Archive for January, 2009

Still not there yet…

January 1, 2009

It took me ages to get to the point that I am about to describe. Several other tasks and issues kept me away from my new board. But, after all this time, here I am again, at a point where I can proudly announce that my newly-built board is ready.

A tiny little problem is that the DC-DC converter still doesn’t seem to produce -65V.

This time however, I have a much cleaner build. All components were measured after being soldered and the resistence from 5VDC to GND is something like 40kOhms, which is much, much more reasonable than the 200 Ohms I was measuring last time, due to that damaged capacitor.

To tell the truth, some weird signs did show up. For one, the green LED is not flashing when the board is under the control of the bootloader and the USB is connected to the PC and the bootloader controller program is running on the PC and talking to the bootloader. Weird, isn’t it? However, all the uploading works fine, so I cannot tell this is a serious issue. Moreover, I noticed an error that did not show up with my previous board when writing an indirect register and reading it right away. However, if I re-read the register a little bit later, all seems fine.

Who knows? Maybe this version of the board is haunted by a benign electronics ghost who plays tricks on me from time to time. As long as it doesn’t harm the principal operation of the board, so be it!

I already said that the DC-DC converter doesn’t seem to work in this build either.  Indeed, after bringing the converter up (DR14 <- 0), DR82 (and my volt meter as well) keeps showing stubbornly zero volts. A measurement with a frequency meter shows the 3210 producing no frequency at all. So, it is no wonder that the converter doesn’t work, since it’s the 3210 that doesn’t tell it to.

But maybe all this is due to some condition that the 3210 does not like, e.g., that the 3201 is not in place yet (remember my incremental building-and-testing plan?). Or maybe some other fault.

So, I decided to move on with my little C++.NET controller program and augment its GUI so that it would display all Direct Registers of my 3210, in the hope that I can catch some alarm condition being displayed in a register.

This is the result:

controllercapture

As of this writing, I have not checked yet what the above values mean. Maybe nothing, so I ‘ll have to take again the hard path of debugging the board or changing again the 3210. Ideally, it will not take me too long to check. Don’t hold your breath, but I hope I ‘ll be back really soon this time.

Happy new year to all!