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Author Topic: Arduino Brewboard saber  (Read 2295 times)

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Offline Red Leader 4

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Arduino Brewboard saber
« on: July 09, 2019, 01:56:07 PM »
Hello everyone. i've currently been trying to build a arduino lightsaber using a brewboard for a while now and am really stuck on how to get it working. at this point i have it all wired and when powered on the arduino nano and GY-521 accelerometer are both lighting up. nothing is happening to the dfplayer no lights or sound, the speaker makes a cracking sound when turned on so i know its working, but like i say no sound, no lights from the neopixels or any light from the main switch. can anyone please help me out? i've been at this for weeks and at my wits end. I tried wiring all new parts into a second brewboard and same problem. Does anyone have any pictures of how they made there brewboard lightsaber? Am trying to use the STREAM saber set up for this one and have formatted the sd card

Online SirRawThunderMan

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Re: Arduino Brewboard saber
« Reply #1 on: July 10, 2019, 02:04:28 AM »
Okay, I'm not a brewboard expert, but I've set up enough DIYinos to be familiar with them.

For starters, could you share some pictures of your brewboard setup? Helps to diagnose the problem if we can see what's the matter with it.

Step two, the obvious in hindsight, but often overlooked, problems:
-Is your battery fully charged? or, if you're using a power supply to test it, are you giving it enough power? Neopixels are power hungry (60mA per pixel, times your total number of pixels is a lot of power)
-Have you uploaded STREAM to the Arduino?
-Have you checked the arduino beforehand to see if it actually works? The cheapo ones from the internet can be completely bricked before you ever get them, so just run any of the basic sketches (Blink, fade, etc) in the arduino IDE to test it out.

I used to be a Jedi like you, then I took a lightsaber to the knee

Offline jbkuma

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Re: Arduino Brewboard saber
« Reply #2 on: July 10, 2019, 05:00:39 AM »
Assuming everything is installed properly, it sounds like insufficient power.

What battery are you using? It will need 10A output for a pixel blade.

Offline JakeSoft

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Re: Arduino Brewboard saber
« Reply #3 on: July 11, 2019, 06:17:32 AM »
If the firmware installed correctly, the accent LED should blink briefly every 2 seconds or so when the saber is idle. When you PM'd me previously, it sounds like you were having trouble getting the firmware to install. The GUI makes this process easier, but it also hides when problems occur. Since you are having some problems, you may need to take another approach to verify the firmware installed on your Nano.

I anticipated this sort of thing may happen from time to time, so there is a batch file to install the firmware. You'll need to manually edit it, but once it is set up you can watch the firmware install process and see any errors that might be occurring. Edit and run the UploadFirmware.bat file then report back on what you see. The instructions for how to use the file are provided as comments within the file. It is likely already set up to be mostly what you need already, you just need to modify the "-PCOM3" part to be whatever COM port you are using.

https://github.com/JakeS0ft/STREAM/blob/master/UploadFirmware.bat

Offline Red Leader 4

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Re: Arduino Brewboard saber
« Reply #4 on: July 12, 2019, 11:21:48 AM »
Hello again. update: so with the help of the brewboard maker. we were able to test the dfplayer. with it powered on i touched pins 2 and 3 with some tweezers this caused it to speak. going from 0 to 9 then through the stream menu, but only when i had the tweezers touching it. With the stream set up with the board powered on (a red led lights up on both the nano and the GY-521 accelerometer, but nothing lights up on the dfplayer) and connected to the laptop, i open the startstream.bat file click install firmware (brewboard pixel - 57600) wait a few seconds that to kick in which then takes me back to the main menu, but when i click connect it freezes and nothing happens, i can't close the program. After opening the file again same problem, set up doesn't light up or make any noises. does this set up look ok, i know its not the neatest, its just so i can see and try to understand how it works. The battery i used was fully charge when i started but i have a usb recharge port to add on. i can not get my led switch to light up, is there a way to test the nano on the board? cheers guys


Offline JakeSoft

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Re: Arduino Brewboard saber
« Reply #5 on: July 12, 2019, 12:44:43 PM »
Remember, you have to put the saber into STREAM mode *after* you hit "connect" on the GUI. Keep holding the activation button on your saber. First it will say "Menu mode" then it will say "STREAM Mode". Don't let off the button until you hear the "STREAM Mode" voice prompt.

In the event that the connection attempt fails, the GUI will eventually time out and become responsive again, so don't panic; just wait 60 seconds.

 

Offline Red Leader 4

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Re: Arduino Brewboard saber
« Reply #6 on: July 13, 2019, 02:08:26 AM »


This is the wiring diagram for the brewboard 3v. Posted with Saber Republic permission. Going to try what you have suggested Jakesoft. Activation button is that the aux button? Is there any reason the led switch isn't lighting up?

Online SirRawThunderMan

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Re: Arduino Brewboard saber
« Reply #7 on: July 13, 2019, 02:50:36 AM »
Activation button should be the primary button, not the Auxiliary.

After having a look at your pics, I would honestly have the say that, going forward, maybe you might want to get a third colour of wire other than red and black. helps a lot in identifying what's going where. Also, I second Jbkuma's advice about batteries. I can't tell what battery you're using (no brand marks on it in the pics I could see) but that doesn't look like the high discharge 18650 you really need to run a Neopixel saber.
I used to be a Jedi like you, then I took a lightsaber to the knee

Offline Red Leader 4

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Re: Arduino Brewboard saber
« Reply #8 on: July 13, 2019, 06:24:35 AM »
The battery is a 3.7v 12000mAh 18650 battery. Added in the usb port to help charge the battery. tried the stream again while holding the main button, nothing happened. Should the led switch be lighting up at any point. Cheers guys
« Last Edit: July 13, 2019, 09:06:29 AM by Red Leader 4 »

Online SirRawThunderMan

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Re: Arduino Brewboard saber
« Reply #9 on: July 13, 2019, 09:58:28 AM »
Okay, one thing you should know about 18650s in this particular hobby: High capacity does not equal high discharge rate. Neopixel blades are current hungry, at about 60mAh/pixel. two 144pixel per metre strips, at a maximum of 60mAh per pixel, is a lot of juice for a battery to provide (17.28A) Granted, you'll only use 125 pixels in a typical saber, but that's still 15A.

This is more than most 18650s are designed to provide in one go. Most cells these days have protection PCBs built in that turn the battery off if they either over or under discharge, to protect the cell from rapid, explosive disassembly. For pixel blades, you can get batteries with PCBs that allow continuous high discharge, such as these that The Custom Saber Shop sells http://www.thecustomsabershop.com/Sony-Li-Ion-18650-37V-15A-3120mAh-PCB-Protected-Rechargeable-Battery-P1449.aspx

Second thing, 12000mAh cells are almost invariably fake. 4000mAh tends to be the maximum 18650 capacity, and they ain't cheap. anything above that is a fraud.
« Last Edit: July 13, 2019, 10:01:51 AM by SirRawThunderMan »
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Offline Red Leader 4

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Re: Arduino Brewboard saber
« Reply #10 on: July 13, 2019, 10:10:58 AM »
So am i looking for something like this? ZUILEE
Ultrafire Rechargeable 3.7V 18650 4200 mAh Rechargeable Battery or are these fake ones. Do you think my battery is effecting the set up and is there a certain mAh i should be aiming for?
« Last Edit: July 13, 2019, 10:47:01 AM by Red Leader 4 »

Online SirRawThunderMan

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Re: Arduino Brewboard saber
« Reply #11 on: July 13, 2019, 10:57:51 AM »
I can't say for sure if your battery is the culprit, just that the one you've got is wrong for powering Neopixels. :wink:

I mean, you could unsolder the battery and power your brewboard from an external power supply, see if that changes things. or check the battery terminals with a multimeter (anything below 2.9V is pretty much a dead cell).

Also, I'm not sure if that Brewboard wiring diagram is correct, seeing as how it's not actually connecting the battery to the TP4056a charging circuit, but to the output of the switching regulator. I know that's official documentation, but it looks weird to me.

As for battery recommendation, I personally wouldn't trust a single thing branded as ultrafire. I'd stick with the TCSS ones I linked, or, if you're not in the USA, with what your local TCSS reseller sells
I used to be a Jedi like you, then I took a lightsaber to the knee

Offline jbkuma

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Re: Arduino Brewboard saber
« Reply #12 on: July 13, 2019, 11:30:18 AM »
There is no such thing as an 18650 with a capacity above 3600, things labeled higher are often far less, maybe even under 1000.

Buy a reputable brand with a cell made by Panasonic, Sony, sanyo, our Samsung.

Offline Red Leader 4

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Re: Arduino Brewboard saber
« Reply #13 on: July 13, 2019, 11:41:14 AM »
Thank you. I'll start checking for new ones. Do you think that is why my led switch isn't lighting up? I feel there is no power flowing to it and that might be stoping theos from working properly.

Offline jbkuma

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Re: Arduino Brewboard saber
« Reply #14 on: July 13, 2019, 09:08:48 PM »
Yes. My guess is that battery can reliably deliver a max of half an amp or so.