MicroDrop can't connect to DropBot


#1

Hello,

I’m having problems getting our DropBot system to work. After connecting all boards and flashing the firmwares, our DropBot doesn’t connect to MicroDrop. I started with MicroDrop v 2.14 which didn’t work, so I updated to 2.19. After the update MicroDrop was missing the blinker module, but after installation of this module it still won’t connect.

I added some screenshots of the cmd output, as well as the Arduino serial monitor.

The PC power supply won’t activate as well. I tried shortcutting the power-on pin of the power supply, which works. I also checked the control board voltages as described in the control board documentation, everything is fine here. The DropBot still won’t connect if I force the power supply to stay active, but I noticed that the power-LED of the signal generator stays off. I checked the voltages on the control board - signal generator board cable, it’s 12V, 5V, 3,3V and -12V as well as GND. Any help will be appreciated!

Thank you!

Best regards,

Christian Dietmann


#2

Hello Christian,

It will be easier to get it running off of an older version of MicroDrop. I would start with the v2.4 installer here.

Thanks,

Josh


#3

Hello Josh,

thanks for your reply! I installed MicroDrop v 2.4 now and re-flashed the firmware.

It still says it can’t connect to the DropBot, but this time the power supply turns on when I start MicroDrop, so there seems to be some kind of communication!

I added the new log and Arduino output.

Is there anything else I can try?

Best regards,

Christian

log.txt (16.9 KB)


#4

Hi Christian,

Please try the following:

  1. Launch a “MicroDrop environment prompt” from the Windows Start menu and run the command ipython to launch an interactive python shell.
  2. Now type the following lines into the ipython shell (or alternatively, you can copy the block of code and type the command %paste):
from dmf_control_board_firmware import DMFControlBoard
proxy = DMFControlBoard()
proxy.set_debug(True)
proxy.connect()

What is the output?

-Ryan

···

On Fri, Jun 29, 2018 at 6:51 AM, Christian Dietmann chris_n...@web.de wrote:

Hello Josh,

thanks for your reply! I installed MicroDrop v 2.4 now and re-flashed the firmware.

It still says it can’t connect to the DropBot, but this time the power supply turns on when I start MicroDrop, so there seems to be some kind of communication!

I added the new log and Arduino output.

Is there anything else I can try?

Best regards,

Christian


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#5

Hello Ryan,

thank you for the reply! Here’s the output. The power supply activated when I ran the commands.

Regards

Christian


#6

Take a look at the function “on_connect” in DMFControlBoard.cpp. If the power supply is turning on, it means that the PC was able to connect to the serial port when sending the “CMD_GET_DEVICE_NAME” command (code = 0x82), but for some reason the control board firmware appears to be hanging and not returning a response.

Can you connect to the control board without the ribbon cable plugged in (i.e., when it is not connected to the signal generator and switching boards?).

-Ryan

···

On Mon, Jul 2, 2018 at 2:47 AM, Christian Dietmann chris_n...@web.de wrote:

Hello Ryan,

thank you for the reply! Here’s the output. The power supply activated when I ran the commands.

Regards

Christian

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#7

Hello Ryan,

I really appreciate your help! It was able to connect without the ribbon cable connected!

Next, I tried connecting only 3 of the HV Switching Boards to the Control Board, it connected as well.

But connecting only the Signal Generator to the Control Board prevented it from connecting.

Does this point to a problem with the Signal Generator? We’re using the Signal Generator Board v 1.2.

We were soldering the boards by ourselves. But before using them, I checked the pins. I was measuring the Signal Generator Board pins according to the documentation, as far as it was possible without it working. The only thing I noticed were the big LED resistors R5, R6 and R10 of 10k Ohm, I assumed that’s why they won’t shine.

The firmware of the board seems to be ok, connecting the FTDI cable to the Signal Generator Board yielded the following output on Arduino IDE’s serial monitor:


#8

Yes, it sounds like there is a problem with the signal generator.

Does the power LED (D1) light up when you try to connect (i.e., after the power supply turns on)? It’s possible that the signal generator is powering on when the FTDI cable is plugged in, but not when it is being powered from the PSU. Note that R5, R6 and R10 should be 1k (not 10k).

Another thing you might want do is double check all of the
i2c connections (i.e., A4/SDA and A5/SCL).

-Ryan

···

On Wed, Jul 4, 2018 at 4:43 AM, Christian Dietmann chris_n...@web.de wrote:

Hello Ryan,

I really appreciate your help! It was able to connect without the ribbon cable connected!

Next, I tried connecting only 3 of the HV Switching Boards to the Control Board, it connected as well.

But connecting only the Signal Generator to the Control Board prevented it from connecting.

Does this point to a problem with the Signal Generator? We’re using the Signal Generator Board v 1.2.

We were soldering the boards by ourselves. But before using them, I checked the pins. I was measuring the Signal Generator Board pins according to the documentation, as far as it was possible without it working. The only thing I noticed were the big LED resistors R5, R6 and R10 of 10k Ohm, I assumed that’s why they won’t shine.

The firmware of the board seems to be ok, connecting the FTDI cable to the Signal Generator Board yielded the following output on Arduino IDE’s serial monitor:

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#9

Hello Ryan,

it works now! The DropBot connects to MicroDrop.

I replaced R5, R6 and R10 with 1k. Maybe we have an old or the wrong BOM, ours states it should be 10k (but this seemed weird to us). We were not checking the schematic before soldering, which is correctly stating 1k.

Next, I checked the I2C connector. The SDA and SCL pins were fine, but the Vcc pin had no connection between the connector and the board. This way the board was not fully powered, althought during previous checks I noticed a voltage on D1, so I assumed the problem lies somewhere else. Soldering a cable from the connector pin to R10 solved the problem. The board powered up and the DropBot connected! Maybe the interlayer connection of the Vcc pin was not fully established or missing.

I’m very thankful for your patience and your help!

Best regards

Christian


#10

No problem. Glad to hear you are up and running!

···

On Thu, Jul 5, 2018 at 4:22 AM, Christian Dietmann chris_n...@web.de wrote:

Hello Ryan,

it works now! The DropBot connects to MicroDrop.

I replaced R5, R6 and R10 with 1k. Maybe we have an old or the wrong BOM, ours states it should be 10k (but this seemed weird to us). We were not checking the schematic before soldering, which is correctly stating 1k.

Next, I checked the I2C connector. The SDA and SCL pins were fine, but the Vcc pin had no connection between the connector and the board. This way the board was not fully powered, althought during previous checks I noticed a voltage on D1, so I assumed the problem lies somewhere else. Soldering a cable from the connector pin to R10 solved the problem. The board powered up and the DropBot connected! Maybe the interlayer connection of the Vcc pin was not fully established or missing.

I’m very thankful for your patience and your help!

Best regards

Christian

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#11

Hello,

I have tried all of the above and I still have not been able to connect to the control board. I am attaching screen shots.

Brian

···

On Thursday, June 28, 2018 at 9:37:37 AM UTC-5, Christian Dietmann wrote:

Hello,

I’m having problems getting our DropBot system to work. After connecting all boards and flashing the firmwares, our DropBot doesn’t connect to MicroDrop. I started with MicroDrop v 2.14 which didn’t work, so I updated to 2.19. After the update MicroDrop was missing the blinker module, but after installation of this module it still won’t connect.

I added some screenshots of the cmd output, as well as the Arduino serial monitor.

The PC power supply won’t activate as well. I tried shortcutting the power-on pin of the power supply, which works. I also checked the control board voltages as described in the control board documentation, everything is fine here. The DropBot still won’t connect if I force the power supply to stay active, but I noticed that the power-LED of the signal generator stays off. I checked the voltages on the control board - signal generator board cable, it’s 12V, 5V, 3,3V and -12V as well as GND. Any help will be appreciated!

Thank you!

Best regards,

Christian Dietmann


#12

Hey Brian,

It looks like you are still using MicroDrop 2.19 based on the screenshots you sent. You won’t have the proper software to connect to the control board unles you downgrade to 2.8 or lower.

Thanks,

Josh