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Thread: Construction Tips

  1. #21
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    Default Re: Construction Tips

    Well - I have to say the "cleaving" method worked perfectly for me - just have a sturdy, sharp blade. It worked for both the SIP sockets and the header pins (which have a lot less plastic in between). I cut up a few extra headers to make a 10-pin (2x5) header for my AVR programmer for my Triks-C controller also so I'm happy anyway!

    Continuing on from my last post - I picked up an SD-micro (non-HC) 2GB card and copied the test files on to it. The controller does not seem to be running the test sequence however - it's still running the single light test rotation and there is no music playing on the audio output jack. I can see the power light lit on the MP3 module. Any ideas? I don't have the XBee carrier board yet to try talking to the controller from my PC.

    btw - the Keptel 1000 enclosures work very well for the controller board - nice fit, enough room to install cables (11 total) and still room to access the SD-Micro card. I'm thinking of using them to house a daughter board and 4 SSRs if they will fit.
    [COLOR=#000080][B][I]Brian[/I][/B][/COLOR]

    [COLOR=#ff0000]Christmas in San Jose! - [URL="http://www.christmasinsj.com"]WEB[/URL] - [URL="https://www.facebook.com/ChristmasInSanJose"]FB[/URL] - [URL="https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL1W78s7liEQEE0ed7WSyLF7B6j3lBX43w"]VIDEOS[/URL]
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    [/COLOR][SIZE=3][COLOR=#008000][I]Ignorance is Temporary [/I][/COLOR][COLOR=#800080][I]- [/I][/COLOR][COLOR=#ff0000][I]Stupidity is Forever[/I][/COLOR][COLOR=#800080][I]...[/I][/COLOR][/SIZE][I][COLOR=#ff0000]
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  2. #22
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    Default Re: Construction Tips

    Brian, are you getting the following when you power up the Controller?

    1. Once again the power LED should illuminate immediately.
    2. The light strings may flash on briefly then turn off, this is normal.
    3. The Heartbeat LED should come on for about 1 second then turn off for about 8-10 seconds while the board
    boots up and configures the XBee Pro radio.


    If you are immediately going into the "SOS" like the first test, then the Radio isn't getting configured. Do you have the newest testfile? Have you taken a peek-see at the files that are on the SD card?

    I'm sure Greg will pop in with suggestions.

    Also, I remember seeing that you need to be sure that the hot and neutral are correct. Not sure why, but must be important. Our house is almost 120 years old, so I have to be VERY careful, when any of the old wiring is involved, that neutral is indeed neutral. And NO, I won't be using ANY of the old wiring, in the display...head that one off at the pass...

    Roger
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    Roger Phillips
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  3. #23
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    Default Re: Construction Tips

    I downloaded the latest file from Greg's site - I left all of the files as-is. I'll check on the LED status lights tonight when I get home.

    Brian
    [COLOR=#000080][B][I]Brian[/I][/B][/COLOR]

    [COLOR=#ff0000]Christmas in San Jose! - [URL="http://www.christmasinsj.com"]WEB[/URL] - [URL="https://www.facebook.com/ChristmasInSanJose"]FB[/URL] - [URL="https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL1W78s7liEQEE0ed7WSyLF7B6j3lBX43w"]VIDEOS[/URL]
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    2015 Christmas Show - 5x E681-12, 1x 6804, Ren48LSD, 3x RenSS16, 1x Falcon16v2 (w/expander), 24x90 WS2811 pixel MT (James MT Strips), 12x DIYC Floods, SuperPixelStar, 3x Pixel Arches, PixaBulb House outline
    [/SIZE]
    [/COLOR][SIZE=3][COLOR=#008000][I]Ignorance is Temporary [/I][/COLOR][COLOR=#800080][I]- [/I][/COLOR][COLOR=#ff0000][I]Stupidity is Forever[/I][/COLOR][COLOR=#800080][I]...[/I][/COLOR][/SIZE][I][COLOR=#ff0000]
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  4. #24
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    Default Re: Construction Tips

    Quote Originally Posted by budude View Post
    ...Continuing on from my last post - I picked up an SD-micro (non-HC) 2GB card and copied the test files on to it. The controller does not seem to be running the test sequence however - it's still running the single light test rotation and there is no music playing on the audio output jack. I can see the power light lit on the MP3 module. Any ideas? I don't have the XBee carrier board yet to try talking to the controller from my PC. ...
    From what you are describing I can tell you the Helix Controller is not reading the MicroSD card. A coworker that built a Helix system ran into the same problem. I took his system home with me to test it against one of my MicroSD cards. It worked fine with my card. I then put his card into my PC to look at the files to make sure everything was correct. It was. So I turned the card off with Windows before ejecting it. I then put it back in his controller and it worked fine. I asked my friend if he regularly turns the card off before ejecting it and he said he often ejects the card without turning it off first. This is the only thing I could think of. Maybe if you eject it without turning it off first then the card may be left in a state that the Helix operating system cannot read.

    I don't know if this same situation applies to you but I would try reading the card with your PC and then turn it off before ejecting it. Then try it again in the Helix. If this doesn't work then try troubleshooting the MicroSD card circuit. If you need assistance with this then let me know.

    Good Luck,
    Greg

  5. #25
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    Default Re: Construction Tips

    As an electronics tech, I learned a few tricks.

    First step is to recognize the Root Cause and fully understand it. Once that is done, the solutions suggest themselves.

    Root cause is incorrectly stated as too much solder. This is incorrect and only a contributing factor.

    Solder flows and wicks into joints that are clean, properly heated, and free of oxides, often cleaned by flux.

    The root cause is too much heat so the pin is warm enough and the heat is applied for too long of a time permitting the heat to travel the length of the pin. In automated manufacturing parts are typically wave soldered. Critical parts of the wave to prevent this damage is solder temperature and board speed through the solder wave. The time is long enough to solder the pins, but not long enough to heat the length of the pin i9n the header.

    When manually soldering these parts it is important to use a temperature controlled soldering station to prevent heating the length of the pin above the flow temp of the solder and limit the soldering time to prevent heating the entire length of the pin. Just as in an automated wave soldering tool, lots of solder is not the root cause.

    In reworking boards manually for repairs, there are a couple of tricks that work well. First as already mentioned is to control the heat of your soldering station. Don't ever solder the parts with just a 15, 25, or other soldering iron. Use a temperature controlled soldering station.

    Part 2 is to use anti wicking tools to keep the pin cool. I know. Most you find online are for wire, but the technique is sound. I have used Aluminum wire which solder will not stick to with an anti wicking tool as close as possible to carry away excess heat from the socket. The extra cooling permits soldering the pins but limits the distance the solder will wick into the pin due to the additional cooling from the other end.

    Hope this helps. Key points is don't use an overheated iron, solder just long enough to solder in the pin and stop the heat.

    Disclaimer. Certified Electronics Technician. I do solder for a living.

    Edit adding photo of the Wave in a wave soldering machine. Too much solder is not the issue.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Technician; 03-27-2015 at 04:38 PM. Reason: Adding photo of wave solder

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  7. #26
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    Default Re: Construction Tips

    Not sure what this has to do with this thread or why you're responding to a nearly 5 year old thread?
    [COLOR=#000080][B][I]Brian[/I][/B][/COLOR]

    [COLOR=#ff0000]Christmas in San Jose! - [URL="http://www.christmasinsj.com"]WEB[/URL] - [URL="https://www.facebook.com/ChristmasInSanJose"]FB[/URL] - [URL="https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL1W78s7liEQEE0ed7WSyLF7B6j3lBX43w"]VIDEOS[/URL]
    [/COLOR][COLOR=#800080]Halloween in San Jose! - [URL="https://www.facebook.com/pages/Halloween-in-San-Jose/356280784428581?ref=tn_tnmn"]FB[/URL]
    [SIZE=1]2015 Halloween Show - Planning now - hopefully some house projection...
    2015 Christmas Show - 5x E681-12, 1x 6804, Ren48LSD, 3x RenSS16, 1x Falcon16v2 (w/expander), 24x90 WS2811 pixel MT (James MT Strips), 12x DIYC Floods, SuperPixelStar, 3x Pixel Arches, PixaBulb House outline
    [/SIZE]
    [/COLOR][SIZE=3][COLOR=#008000][I]Ignorance is Temporary [/I][/COLOR][COLOR=#800080][I]- [/I][/COLOR][COLOR=#ff0000][I]Stupidity is Forever[/I][/COLOR][COLOR=#800080][I]...[/I][/COLOR][/SIZE][I][COLOR=#ff0000]
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  8. #27
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    Default Re: Construction Tips

    In re-reading the thread it looks like you nailed it. Sorry.

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