Newly assembled System Blue problems
#1
Hi all,

I received my System Blue kit earlier this week and I assembled it today. However, upon supplying power to the unit I hear some repeating beeps from the buzzer and I cannot access the web interface. I tried re-flash the firmware using DfuSe and although the procedure went smoothly, the behaviour is still the same.

In the interest of clarity, I made a short video:

https://youtu.be/nS3QS4GNlYc

In the video the board was powered by my laptop and the network cable was connected directly to the laptop. As you can see in the video, trying to ping 192.168.1.235 (which I understand is the default when no DHCP server is available to issue an IP address) failed and the LAN connection briefly becomes active before showing "Network cable unplugged" again.

Any advice?

Thanks!

Bogdan
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#2
And when it is connected to a router with DHCP??
Clément
Stations: 252, 680, 733, 1440
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#3
(2017-07-15, 21:02)DelandeC Wrote: And when it is connected to a router with DHCP??

It behaves exactly the same.
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#4
Are all the elements installed correctly? Soldering contacts are reliable?
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#5
Is the network cable directly connected to the PC? You probably will need a crossover cable for that.
Kevin McCormick KB0UOI
Macomb, IL USA
Stations: 1539
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#6
Can your laptop provide the current required by the board? The assembly instructions say that 1.0 A may be needed.
I am close to powering up my board for the first time so I am keeping an eye on these posts.
Peter
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#7
A little more information:

I first powered on the board using a 1A power adapter and connected it to a router with DHCP enabled. The result was the same as you saw in the video. I only connected the board to the computer afterwards, in order to do the firmware flashing and since the result was the same, I just shot the video then and there. The network cable connecting the board and the laptop is cross-over. I also just checked all the solder joints with a magnifying glass and they all look OK.

Is there a circuit diagram for System Blue available? Also, is there any way to obtain a debug log?
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#8
It looks like it's trying to boot but failing and entering a reboot loop. I don't think it's normal for the blue GPS led to start brighter than the others on power up and drop in level a few seconds later. It's difficult to tell but it also looks like it rebrightens a bit just before the two green and blue LEDs go off and the long beep happens. The status LEDs are all fed from pins on the CPU via current limiting resistors so any variation in brightness indicates that the associated pin is not static at "0" or "1" but is switching rapidly between the two states.

Most of the components you have to solder in only fit in one place on the PCB, an exception being the two crystals. Have got those in the right places? The 25 MHz one near the ethernet chip and the 8 MHz one near the CPU. Failing that have a very close inspection (on both sides of the board) in the region of the CPU for solder bridges, badly flowed joints etc.
Cheers
Dave.

Stations: 1627
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#9
(2017-07-16, 09:18)allsorts Wrote: Most of the components you have to solder in only fit in one place on the PCB, an exception being the two crystals. Have got those in the right places? The 25 MHz one near the ethernet chip and the 8 MHz one near the CPU. Failing that have a very close inspection (on both sides of the board) in the region of the CPU for solder bridges, badly flowed joints etc.

Yes, the crystals are in the right places. And I just checked the CPU under a magnifying glass but I didn't notice anything out of the ordinary.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/1ks6tg8esz22sk...3.JPG?dl=0
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#10
Looking at the soldier joints, some appear to have a lot of solder that flowed through the via, others do not.

I would double check that the solder joints are making good connections and none are shorting.

Are you still using a 1A power supply?

You may want to try a bigger supply.

Had really good luck with this one.

https://www.powerstream.com/AC-1898.htm
Kevin McCormick KB0UOI
Macomb, IL USA
Stations: 1539
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#11
(2017-07-16, 20:02)kevinmcc Wrote: Looking at the soldier joints, some appear to have a lot of solder that flowed through the via, others do not.

I would double check that the solder joints are making good connections and none are shorting.

Are you still using a 1A power supply?

You may want to try a bigger supply.

Had really good luck with this one.

https://www.powerstream.com/AC-1898.htm

I re-checked every solder joint with a multimeter and I still haven't found anything suspicious.

Still using the 1A supply; I don't think I have a USB power supply with more than 1A output, I'll have to look.
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#12
Is the firmware installed correctly for blue? Do not mix it with red?!
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#13
Worth checking the crystals easy mistake. Looking at your board photo the reset/boot switches looked square, they are but the pin out isn't. Another long shot have you pressed each button a few times? Just in case one is stuck. Nothing a miss on the other side of the board, no solder splashes?

Does the GPS LED near the GPS Rx module ever light up or start winking? It's hard to tell from the video. Just been up into the loft to video my systems boot sequence which is:

Power up: Lo beep, Pwr, Mod, Net, GPS front panel (Fp) leds on.
Very quickly changes to: Pwr, Flt, Alm on.
1 second.
GPS Rx led starts to wink on/off.
1/2 second.
Pwr, Flt on.
Hi beep.
Pwr, Mod, Net on, GPS Rx continues to wink.
Hi beep.
A second or so later the GPS Rx LED stops winking.
Up to a minute then GPS Fp LED starts to flash and signals are sent to server.

Note that my very brief (just a few video frames) initial LED pattern is the same as yours but your system doesn't switch to Pwr, Flt, Alm. If you have a TTL to serial/USB convertor a boot log ought to be available from controllers serial port.
Cheers
Dave.

Stations: 1627
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#14
Station 1918 is online!  Big Grin

Today I had planned to do some investigations using the log obtained via the serial port. To my surprise, however, the board seemed to function normally when powered via the serial port, and no suspicious messages were displayed in the terminal. So, I thought the problem must be power-related. Thus I tried a 2A power supply, with the same result - endless reboot. Then, measuring the voltage at the USB mini plug... surprise: 2.8V. I looked around in the junk box and found a short (~50cm) cable and it works just fine: the board gets 4.92V.

Here's my brand new 1.5m USB A - USB mini B cable, which was causing the problems:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/cgbobyuydujby9...8.JPG?dl=0

I was then able to access the web interface, create my account, update the firmware to 8.2 and connect the station to the network. Now I'll have to see what the next steps are, what else needs to be configured, and find a permanent location for the station; but for now, I'll just leave it where it is and pat myself on the back. Tongue

My sincere thanks to everyone who helped me with ideas for troubleshooting!

Bogdan
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#15
Great News. With 2.8 V at the USB mini plug I'm surprised that there was so much sign of life from the controller. It's known that USB leads vary greatly in the amount of copper they do (or don't) contain. Though to drop 2 V I think your new lead must have been faulty, it certainly is now with the end chopped off. B-)

*LOTS* of things to configure. Be aware that the firmware doesn't grey things out you can't adjust, it just doesn't show them. So just wandering about the web interface may not show you all the available options/settings. One of the things to do is get an idea of what the VLF enviorment is like for you. Nice and quiet or electric fence ticks every secondish or VLF transmitters within a few tens of miles or noise from one (or more) SMPSUs in devices or as plug in "transformers".
Cheers
Dave.

Stations: 1627
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#16
Just looked on Lightningmaps.org (LMO) wow your noise level looks like mine! Something large close to 22 kHz then a second harmonic at 44 kHz and third at 66 kHz (approx). I wonder what that is, time to start tracking it down and doing something about it.

Wish I could do the same. I doubt our Ministry of Defence would turn off the two VLF transmitters on 19.6 kHz and 22.1 kHz that put in massive carriers here. The 60 kHz time signal or other MOD VLF Tx on 81 kHz are much less of a problem.
Cheers
Dave.

Stations: 1627
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#17
Well, I'm in the middle of the city, so the radio spectrum isn't the cleanest.
I'll take it slowly, reading the documents that are available on blitzortung.org and should I have any questions, I know where to come.
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