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Author Topic: HELP!.CFX board no longer working. Blinking red light on board, no sound.  (Read 667 times)

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Offline Spatterson007

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Hi everyone. I am building my first saber and I was almost done when it stopped working! I am hoping I can get some help from you all.

My setup: I am running a CFX board with neopixel and a crystal chamber. I am using a 18650 15A Keeeppower battery.

My problem: My board is blinking red very quickly when I remove the kill key similar to when it did when it would scan the SD except now it doesn't stop. It continues to blink and there is no sound or LED from neopixel or crystal chamber. This really has me stumped. The board was working perfectly while I initially did the soldering and even though out my testing. I spent a day editing the audio files and visual effects and everything worked fine up until the point where I started to shift the board and battery in the hilt.

What I have attempted to do to solve the problem:
-updated the board firmware (again)
-reverted to using the updated/default sound files from main website (10.005C)
-reformating SD card using normal windows and SD Card Formatter
-Swapped Battery

The only things I did prior the board not functioning anymore are:
-Re-format the SD card and re-upload my files on that wiped card. (Using FAT32)
-Push the board, battery, etc. into the hilt. Maybe this created a short or something?

It is worth noting that one of the RGB wires from my crystal chamber LED got disconnected when I was moving it all into the hilt so I had to pull it all out and re-solder that wire. Unfortunately, this did not fix the problem.

I debugged using RICE and I was getting an error saying that a valid SD card needed to be inserted. Given that I reformatted my drive, I thought that I must have re-formatted it incorrectly but I have reformatted dozens of times using various programs and no luck. Plus, I was able to successfully update the board firmware which successfully read the .dat file off of the card. I only updated the firmware again because I thought that perhaps some short wiped the firmware when I was putting the electronics in the hilt.

At this point, I am starting to believe either a short was created when I pushed it in the hilt and now maybe the board is fried? I really don't know... Let me know if you guys need any other information from me. I don't think it is my sound files, config, or anything like that because it was working before and all I did was copy and paste those files back into the re-formated SD card. Could a short cause this problem? I just really hope the board isn't fried. I did use a multimeter on some of the board parts and I was getting mV where I was expecting 9-10 volts. :/



Offline erv

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Re: HELP!.CFX board no longer working. Blinking red light on board, no sound.
« Reply #1 on: December 17, 2020, 11:07:22 PM »
if you can still update the fw (log it and check that fw.dat is found, all blocks written and pass the test), then you might have an wiring issue. Could be something that shorts your 3.3V that powers the SD

- check all your voltage map
- try another SD card
- re install the default package
- log with debug and see what happens when you first power without the SD card in, then push it in
« Last Edit: December 17, 2020, 11:11:17 PM by erv »

Offline Spatterson007

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Re: HELP!.CFX board no longer working. Blinking red light on board, no sound.
« Reply #2 on: December 18, 2020, 02:03:26 PM »
Thanks for the quick reply Erv. I have uploaded the default SD card files and then I took a look at the logs from RICE with the SD card not in. When powering the board on and connecting to the COM port, I get: Init SD failed- Insert valid SD card over and over and over. Then I insert the SD card and re-open the COM port with the same result.

I then set debug=1 and re ran using the Max window and I got a similar result. SDHC init.. Init SD failed - Insert valid SD card. I get that error mostly and I saw a few: serial error writing to serial port. Not sure if that matters or not.

In the meantime, I will search for any shorts on the board but I haven't found any obvious ones yet. Again, before pushing my board into the hilt, everything was working perfectly including my crystal chamber, neopixel blade, and speaker. This makes me suspect some wiring issue likely occurred when the wires were pushed around.

Offline erv

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Re: HELP!.CFX board no longer working. Blinking red light on board, no sound.
« Reply #3 on: December 18, 2020, 02:53:40 PM »
Voltage map

Offline Spatterson007

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Re: HELP!.CFX board no longer working. Blinking red light on board, no sound.
« Reply #4 on: December 18, 2020, 04:06:47 PM »
I tested the voltages with my multimeter and some do not look right. I have removed every wire other than the (+) and (-) from batt. The (+5V or Vbatt) looks good but the (9-10V) comes out to basically 0V and so does the (1.8V). The +5V next to the micro USB also comes out to basically zero. I am pretty convinced that I killed the board via some short when I was moving the electronics into the hilt. Particularly because I had some solder joints where the insulation tape came off the solder and was definitely pushing on the board. I will most likely order another CFX board. Let me know if you advise differently but given the voltages I am getting from my multimeter, I think I killed it. I appreciate the help Erv. I will report back after testing another CFX board.
« Last Edit: December 18, 2020, 04:08:27 PM by Spatterson007 »

Offline erv

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Re: HELP!.CFX board no longer working. Blinking red light on board, no sound.
« Reply #5 on: December 19, 2020, 02:33:34 AM »
that sounds like the aux 3.3V is dead (hence not powering properly the SD card resulting that it's not "found"). Further diag are impossible since there's no picture

Offline Spatterson007

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Re: HELP!.CFX board no longer working. Blinking red light on board, no sound.
« Reply #6 on: December 30, 2020, 10:02:17 AM »
I finally received my new board. The voltages look good and it seems to be working properly. The neopixel and crystal are working as I want them to and my soundfonts/tracks are being read. There are a few concerns I have with my build, however:

1-The only issue I seem to of had is that my computer is not reading the board when plug in the CFX using the micro USB. I think there is a small amount of solder from the power negative that might be connected to the micro USB. Could this be the cause? It is a minor issue since I have already finished customizing my files and don't need to use the micro usb.

2-Another question I had is related to my crystal chamber. I have used the #5 7 and 8 accent pads to drive the crystal and I have connected the fourth (negative) to the ground. Is this correct? It is working fine but I was unsure whether to connect it to the power negative or to the ground.

3- After about 4-5 minutes of use of the neopixel and crystal chamber, I get the temperature critical sound playing out of the speaker. It goes away if I plug in the kill key for a few minutes. Should I be concerned? This occurs with or without the blade attached. EDIT: I just changed htemp from 40 to 80. This might help.

4- The last snag I've run into is fitting my battery and board into the saber. When I pushed my last board in I could not get it to slide in without a small amount of WD-40 used on the inner part of the hilt. With the WD-40 it slides right in. Is it safe to use a small amount of WD-40 or could this fry my board if the board makes contact with the WD-40? I plan on covering the entire board in insulation tape so nothing is exposed.

I am absolutely in love with this board and cannot wait for my build to be complete!


« Last Edit: December 30, 2020, 10:07:33 AM by Spatterson007 »

Offline erv

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Re: HELP!.CFX board no longer working. Blinking red light on board, no sound.
« Reply #7 on: December 30, 2020, 10:09:16 AM »
what do you mean by reading the board ? over RICE or mass storage ? (mass storage is only active when requested, from RICE serial command, aux+act combo while saber is off or vocal menu)

The negative pad is connected to the USB shielding

temperature alert is configurable (adjust to taste)

not really safe to put any grease on an electronic board, plus WD40 has some volatile solvents in it. It will also grab dirt over time. The board should touch the hilt, or you'll end with electrical contact with parts at some point

Offline Spatterson007

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Re: HELP!.CFX board no longer working. Blinking red light on board, no sound.
« Reply #8 on: December 30, 2020, 11:41:31 AM »
I meant over RICE. When I connect the board to my computer, windows pop up says USB device not recognized and in RICE I cannot see a COM port to connect to when I click portlist. Again, I don't really need to use RICE so it isn't too important to me but I did notice that it wasn't working. Thanks for the help with the other questions, Erv! Everything is working thus far. I am going to begin slowly moving the parts into the hilt.


Offline erv

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Re: HELP!.CFX board no longer working. Blinking red light on board, no sound.
« Reply #9 on: December 31, 2020, 03:19:37 AM »
missing driver (see details in the manual). From windows 8.1 you shouldn't need any. If you have windows 10, then you either have a defective USB on the board or a defective cable (ensure to not use a charging cable, that's incomplete)