Modular clock problems

More
1 month 2 days ago #12342 by tgibbs99
Hello!

I have put together 7-8 Nixie clock kits. Currently, I have 6 Modular clocks, 4 assembled, and two to complete. Each of the 4 clocks is malfunctioning in a slightly different way. Some with Nixie tube problems, some with LED problems. Each pattern of problems is related to the atmel chip. For example, one pattern is the 10's of hours digit doesn't light up. If I move the atmel chip to a different board, the pattern is then apparent on that board. It appears that all the hardware is working fine, if I switch to several different atmel chips, everything works with some chip, no atmel chip is able make every thing at once.

First question, do you have a stripped down version of the clock software? Ideally one that just powers up the High Voltage, and tests each digit?

Second question: Do you have a detailed procedure for flashing the software to a new chip (and setting the fuse bytes)? (I've read everything in the forum.) I spent 6 hours today flashing various bootloaders, and trying to edit the fuse bytes, to no avail. In one, attempting to change the Extended Fuse from 0xFD to 0x05, I got an error message in Arduino saying the 0x05 method had been deprecated, and I should use 0xFD.

So, just those two questions for today. I'm sure there will be more.

Thanks.

Tim

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
1 month 2 days ago #12343 by Ty_Eeberfest
Replied by Ty_Eeberfest on topic Modular clock problems
Moved to "Arduino Nixie Clock Kit Support Forum" where it's on topic and will get more views.

To the best of my knowledge no stripped down version of the software exists. Closest thing would be the Test Mode that runs on a freshly flashed board and/or after doing a factory reset. You've probably encountered the test mode: all 6 tubes count from 0 - 9 repeatedly with LEDs cycling through primary colors, then shuts off after 1 minute.

The 10 hour tube not lighting sounds familiar. Exactly which boards do you have - Rev. 3 or Rev. 3.01? This is important as several I/O changes were made from Rev. 3 to 3.01. The revision should be printed on the boards, kind of in between the 10sec and 1min tubes. You need to check in the code and maybe change a #define that is right after all the includes. #define FWV2 for a 3.01 board or #define REV3 for a 3 board.

Not sure why you are having a hard time flashing. How are you going about it? By far the easiest way is to stick with the chips that came with the kits (if they run at all they're 99.9% certainly not bad chips) because the bootloader is already on them and you don't have to mess with fuses. Plug the chip into an UNO and flash away from the Arduino IDE.

If you insist on flashing "virgin" chips you need some sort of ISP that lets you talk to the Atmega's SPI interface. I use an old AVRISP Mk.II with good results.
1) Set fuses. From command line say:
avrdude -v -c avrispmkII -p m328p -P usb -B 4 -b 19200 -U lfuse:w:0xFF:m -U hfuse:w:0xDE:m -U efuse:w:0x05:m
but change the "-c" option to match your particular ISP.
2) Cycle power to the chip!!
3) In Arduino IDE make sure that Tools -> Programmer is set to match your ISP.
4) Do Tools -> Burn Boot Loader
5) Cycle power to the chip!!
6) Now flash like you would do any other Arduino.

Look into it later when the dust is clearing off the crater.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
1 month 2 days ago #12344 by Ty_Eeberfest
Replied by Ty_Eeberfest on topic Modular clock problems
Also... after consulting my big Atmel data book I'd say it makes no difference whether eFuse is set to 0x05 or 0xfd. There is no functional difference between the two. The difference is that someone seems to have decided it's better to set 5 unused bits to 1 instead of 0. Whatever. I've never had a problem using 0x05.

If you'd rather use, that's fine, make the obvious change to that avrdude command in my previous post...

Look into it later when the dust is clearing off the crater.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Ian

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
1 month 2 days ago #12354 by Ian
Replied by Ian on topic Modular clock problems
I can confirm that it is "normal" that the fuse flashing complains about the difference between 0x05 and 0xfd.

It is NOT important that you have a boot loader installed. It is there on the standard chips to allow people who have an Arduino UNO to pop the chip from the clock into the Arduino board they have to reprogram it. It is not needed for the clock itself.

The "stripped down" firmware is the mode that the clock comes up in after a factory reset. This removes all of the tricky stuff around the HV generation and just runs it in the simplest mode possible. It also cycles the digits so you can get a good test of them. NOTE: The test mode turns off after 60 seconds, exactly because the HV feedback control is not used, and things could thermally run away. If you want more time, power off and on again.

It's a really good point about the different board versions, Ty, I had forgotten that.

It's great that you are able to program your own chips - I'm sure that we'll get it sorted out quickly. I keep a reference board of each version, and the differences are managed in the code as #defines, so we can run up compatible versions for pretty much anything quickly.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
1 month 1 day ago #12363 by tgibbs99
Replied by tgibbs99 on topic Modular clock problems
Ty and Ian,

Thank you for the quick and helpful replies. I now feel confident that with this level of support I will have six fully functioning clocks in no time.

It was especially helpful to be reminded of the changing #define statements for Rev 3 and 3.01.

Not all the problems are solved yet. Photos and videos of my setups to follow.

Thanks again.

Tim

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
1 month 1 day ago #12364 by Ty_Eeberfest
Replied by Ty_Eeberfest on topic Modular clock problems
Tim,

Yes we'll get it sorted one way or another. Let us know what other problems there are. Please post in as much detail as possible - I'd rather read a wall of text and look at pictures then have to go back and forth asking for clarifications!

Look into it later when the dust is clearing off the crater.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Moderators: AccutronTy_EeberfestIan
Time to create page: 0.107 seconds
Go to top
JSN Boot template designed by JoomlaShine.com