Author Topic: getting my system online(UPDATES)  (Read 10723 times)

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Offline Fox_Of_The_Wind

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getting my system online(UPDATES)
« on: April 11, 2015, 11:39:01 AM »
After just about a year I am now on my last stage of this setup (I hope) I got the system going and also got it talking to the server that is online....but it seems to have a few problems.....

1 is the GPS.....it can't find itself. not sure if the build in GPS was not put in right or what.....I might just buy the external gps.
2 is its firmware the little display on it is saying that there is a new firmware out there......not sure if I want to do that.....make a brick out of it on its first day.
« Last Edit: April 26, 2015, 02:54:23 PM by Fox_Of_The_Wind »

Offline 92merc

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Re: Ok here it goes!!!(trying to get system online)
« Reply #1 on: April 11, 2015, 12:18:32 PM »
If it's show internal GPS, that means the external antenna isn't being recognized.  And you will need an external antenna.

You will want to do the firmware update.  I can't recall anyone actually bricking their units.  So you're better off with the new version.
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Offline Fox_Of_The_Wind

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Re: Ok here it goes!!!(trying to get system online)
« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2015, 12:39:31 PM »
If it's show internal GPS, that means the external antenna isn't being recognized.  And you will need an external antenna.

You will want to do the firmware update.  I can't recall anyone actually bricking their units.  So you're better off with the new version.

darn.....thought I could use it without that........time for shopping again.....

going to have to fig out what system I have again looks like there are two firmwares out

would this GPS antenna work? http://www.ebay.com/itm/28dB-LNA-Gain-1575-42MHz-RP-SMA-Male-GPS-Active-Antenna-Aerial-Connector-Cable-/311271494652?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item48793a13fc
« Last Edit: April 11, 2015, 12:55:20 PM by Fox_Of_The_Wind »

Offline dfroula

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Re: Ok here it goes!!!(trying to get system online)
« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2015, 01:10:27 PM »
This one works VERY well, and very cheap. I've used it on the five stations I have built. I get GPS lock in my sub-basement!

http://www.ebay.com/itm/28dB-LNA-Gain-1575-42MHz-RP-SMA-Male-GPS-Active-Antenna-Aerial-Connector-Cable-/311271494652?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item48793a13fc

EDIT: Heh....same antenna as the one you posted. Yes, works well! Good supplier, fast delivery. Excellent quality.

Best,

Don
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Offline Fox_Of_The_Wind

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Re: Ok here it goes!!!(trying to get system online)
« Reply #4 on: April 11, 2015, 01:17:08 PM »
Thanks for the reply. I just ordered it. my lighting system just made a long beep noise and when I looked at the screen it said something about a hardware error. I am hopeing its not happy because of no gps antenna. so in the time being I unplugged the system.

(Fox Unpluged)

Offline dfroula

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Re: Ok here it goes!!!(trying to get system online)
« Reply #5 on: April 11, 2015, 01:19:19 PM »
Check (re-heat, add solder as needed) your soldering on ALL of the pins on the two connectors for the STM board.

Lack of GPS lock would not cause that error.

Don

Offline miraculon

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Re: Ok here it goes!!!(trying to get system online)
« Reply #6 on: April 11, 2015, 01:52:04 PM »
Anthony a.k.a. Fox_Of_The_Wind,

Could you get some good close-up photos of your boards, both top and bottom? We need to see the detail of your solder joints, resistor colors, part polarity, etc.

I saw in your other post that this was your first kit build and you had no experience soldering.
This was a complicated kit for a first time builder, so if we can have a look at the boards, maybe we can spot something.
One potential problem is the resistor color codes. Even after 40+ years professionally and more beyond that as a young mad scientist, I had to measure and double check those darn color stripes myself.

The SOIC-8 ICs (op-amps and PGA) are the trickiest to solder.

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Offline Fox_Of_The_Wind

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Re: Ok here it goes!!!(trying to get system online)
« Reply #7 on: April 12, 2015, 11:33:14 AM »
Anthony a.k.a. Fox_Of_The_Wind,

Could you get some good close-up photos of your boards, both top and bottom? We need to see the detail of your solder joints, resistor colors, part polarity, etc.

I saw in your other post that this was your first kit build and you had no experience soldering.
This was a complicated kit for a first time builder, so if we can have a look at the boards, maybe we can spot something.
One potential problem is the resistor color codes. Even after 40+ years professionally and more beyond that as a young mad scientist, I had to measure and double check those darn color stripes myself.

The SOIC-8 ICs (op-amps and PGA) are the trickiest to solder.

Greg H.

It has not given a hardware error since that one time. If it was a bad connection would it keep doing it? or would it depend on heat factor?

anyway on a happy note it got GPS lock and now its showing on the map.....But I do know its not getting a good signal I watched the live map for a bit and this system don't seem to be helping on the full network at all.

Offline jmcmurry

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Re: Ok here it goes!!!(trying to get system online)
« Reply #8 on: April 12, 2015, 01:00:52 PM »
Anthony,

You may want to put some more information on your Blitzortung Services page when you get a chance.  Most have put their antenna type in the comments so others can see what is being used. 

- Jim

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Offline miraculon

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Re: Ok here it goes!!!(trying to get system online)
« Reply #9 on: April 12, 2015, 01:32:30 PM »
Anthony a.k.a. Fox_Of_The_Wind,

Could you get some good close-up photos of your boards, both top and bottom? We need to see the detail of your solder joints, resistor colors, part polarity, etc.

I saw in your other post that this was your first kit build and you had no experience soldering.
This was a complicated kit for a first time builder, so if we can have a look at the boards, maybe we can spot something.
One potential problem is the resistor color codes. Even after 40+ years professionally and more beyond that as a young mad scientist, I had to measure and double check those darn color stripes myself.

The SOIC-8 ICs (op-amps and PGA) are the trickiest to solder.

Greg H.

It has not given a hardware error since that one time. If it was a bad connection would it keep doing it? or would it depend on heat factor?

anyway on a happy note it got GPS lock and now its showing on the map.....But I do know its not getting a good signal I watched the live map for a bit and this system don't seem to be helping on the full network at all.

Solder issues can be thermally intermittent indeed. I had problems with random disconnects of my "eBay Special" VP2 console until I re-soldered the header connector where the logger plugs into. It would go for several days without a problem.

When I was still working (retired now), we had a thermal intermittent in a PCB through-hole that would come and go with thermal cycling.

Greg H.


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Offline dfroula

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Re: Ok here it goes!!!(trying to get system online)
« Reply #10 on: April 12, 2015, 01:45:39 PM »
I seem to recall that some of the older firmware versions had bugs which could manifest as "hard faults". If you have not, be sure you are running v7.4 of the firmware.

Don

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Re: Ok here it goes!!!(trying to get system online)
« Reply #11 on: April 12, 2015, 05:00:54 PM »
You've got some real junk coming from somewhere!  but you are sending the rare distant signal mixed in...
1328 De soto     6968 0 - 0% |0 - 0% |6 - 0% 
Watch for an invite to Region 3 Operators...
« Last Edit: April 12, 2015, 05:03:39 PM by Cutty Sark Sailor »
 

Offline Fox_Of_The_Wind

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Re: Ok here it goes!!!(trying to get system online)
« Reply #12 on: April 12, 2015, 05:58:24 PM »
Anthony,

You may want to put some more information on your Blitzortung Services page when you get a chance.  Most have put their antenna type in the comments so others can see what is being used. 

- Jim

ok will do.


You've got some real junk coming from somewhere!  but you are sending the rare distant signal mixed in...
1328 De soto     6968 0 - 0% |0 - 0% |6 - 0% 
Watch for an invite to Region 3 Operators...

yes I know :-( I shutdown everything that I have (computer things) and it still was doing it. I would have to say its were the rods are. it must be a bad spot. I am going to have to move the setup someplace else. I did have a idea it would not work. I just wanted to see if the system would even work at all. You said I am sending the rare distant signal is that good or bad?....not sure if they (Region 3) would even want me yet.....as you can see my system is buggy.

I seem to recall that some of the older firmware versions had bugs which could manifest as "hard faults". If you have not, be sure you are running v7.4 of the firmware.

Don

you know what? since I did do the firmware update to 7.4 it has not said anything about a hard fault. I hope that was it
« Last Edit: April 12, 2015, 06:09:36 PM by Fox_Of_The_Wind »

Offline Cutty Sark Sailor

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Re: Ok here it goes!!!(trying to get system online)
« Reply #13 on: April 12, 2015, 07:41:31 PM »

yes I know :-( I shutdown everything that I have (computer things) and it still was doing it. I would have to say its were the rods are. it must be a bad spot. I am going to have to move the setup someplace else. I did have a idea it would not work. I just wanted to see if the system would even work at all. You said I am sending the rare distant signal is that good or bad?....not sure if they (Region 3) would even want me yet.....as you can see my system is buggy.

Anthony, if that approx. 62.5 kHz disturber is in something's power supply, it won't necessarily go away just because it's shutdown... try unplugging devices from power.  It could be anywhere, even in a power strip.
Where are your antennas located in relation to such other devices?

Mike
 

Offline sacreyweather

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Re: Ok here it goes!!!(trying to get system online)
« Reply #14 on: April 12, 2015, 07:46:27 PM »
That waveform reminds me of mine before I grounded my system, but Mike would know better than I.
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Offline Fox_Of_The_Wind

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Re: Ok here it goes!!!(trying to get system online)
« Reply #15 on: April 12, 2015, 09:15:38 PM »

yes I know :-( I shutdown everything that I have (computer things) and it still was doing it. I would have to say its were the rods are. it must be a bad spot. I am going to have to move the setup someplace else. I did have a idea it would not work. I just wanted to see if the system would even work at all. You said I am sending the rare distant signal is that good or bad?....not sure if they (Region 3) would even want me yet.....as you can see my system is buggy.

Anthony, if that approx. 62.5 kHz disturber is in something's power supply, it won't necessarily go away just because it's shutdown... try unplugging devices from power.  It could be anywhere, even in a power strip.
Where are your antennas located in relation to such other devices?

Mike

I just got done shutting down everything AND unplugging it.....that room sure was dark and quiet....anyway the system was still showing that problem. the only thing I can think that might be doing it is the breaker box's. The AM radio that I was using made a lot of noise around them.....BUT it did not around were the antennas are located.....

My other thought is the wire that are coming out of the antennas are so so small that they might not be making good contact in the amp board and that might be making get a mad signal? I don't like the way the wires go into the little holders on the amp board they can come out so easy....I might try to put some more copper wiring script in them to make a better contact. One more thought would be to move the full system to a shed that I have in the yard. only problem I could think of for that would be the temp. I do know it gets into the 100F in that shed in the summer. and I SURE don't want to fry the system.

For now I unplugged the lighting system. I did not think anyone would want it to send bad data to the servers.

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Re: Ok here it goes!!!(trying to get system online)
« Reply #16 on: April 12, 2015, 11:10:35 PM »
Temp isn't an issue if solder ok... those devices have very high temp specs... That 62.5 kHz could be anything from an RFID to some weird power supply...  My favorite is the ACER premium pc I bought on sale last year.. great features, lotsa power... top of the line.  It radiated so badly my system was non functional... I could not cure it... gave it to my son, who took it to Colorado, and I think it might be the source of a couple of issues with stations up in Oregon and Washington and Alberta.  Knew I should have stayed with HP...  #-o  Sometimes bargains aint...

Anyway, finding interference is part of the 'fun'... we've many threads and many hours with it...  Leave the system running... it won't hurt anything... you do send a signal once in awhile...

What kid of antennas???? I may have missed that...
« Last Edit: April 12, 2015, 11:12:54 PM by Cutty Sark Sailor »
 

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Re: Ok here it goes!!!(trying to get system online)
« Reply #17 on: April 13, 2015, 03:02:02 AM »
That waveform reminds me of mine before I grounded my system, but Mike would know better than I.
John's right, also ... Have you grounded the system at the controller only, unshielded cat to router, ?
 

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Re: Ok here it goes!!!(trying to get system online)
« Reply #18 on: April 13, 2015, 06:26:32 AM »
My other thought is the wire that are coming out of the antennas are so so small that they might not be making good contact in the amp board and that might be making get a mad signal? I don't like the way the wires go into the little holders on the amp board they can come out so easy....I might try to put some more copper wiring script in them to make a better contact.

Disregard the connectors, but you can see in http://www.wxforum.net/index.php?topic=19914.msg192426#msg192426 that Don has soldered on larger wires to take care of that issue.

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Offline dfroula

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Re: Ok here it goes!!!(trying to get system online)
« Reply #19 on: April 13, 2015, 08:21:10 AM »

Disregard the connectors, but you can see in http://www.wxforum.net/index.php?topic=19914.msg192426#msg192426 that Don has soldered on larger wires to take care of that issue.

- Jim

Yes, I use two-wire shielded microphone cable I solder the "ground" end of the ferrite antenna to the black wire and shield drain wire and the other antenna wire to the red wire. On the amp side, I twist the black and drain wires together and tin with solder to make a larger, solid terminal so the screw connector makes better connection. I also tin the red wire with solder for the same reason.

If you are using shielded ferrite antennas, be SURE the shields are grounded as above. Also be sure you have not reversed the ground and signal connections at the amp. If you have and end up with the shield connected to the signal terminal of the amp instead of the ground terminal, you will have all sorts of wacky noise problems until it is fixed and properly grounded.

Also, don't try to use the DB9 connectors like I did in the picture Jim referenced. They don't work well. Keep the wire connections between the amp and antennas as short as possible.

Don

Offline Fox_Of_The_Wind

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Re: Ok here it goes!!!(trying to get system online)
« Reply #20 on: April 13, 2015, 07:30:02 PM »

Disregard the connectors, but you can see in http://www.wxforum.net/index.php?topic=19914.msg192426#msg192426 that Don has soldered on larger wires to take care of that issue.

- Jim

Yes, I use two-wire shielded microphone cable I solder the "ground" end of the ferrite antenna to the black wire and shield drain wire and the other antenna wire to the red wire. On the amp side, I twist the black and drain wires together and tin with solder to make a larger, solid terminal so the screw connector makes better connection. I also tin the red wire with solder for the same reason.

If you are using shielded ferrite antennas, be SURE the shields are grounded as above. Also be sure you have not reversed the ground and signal connections at the amp. If you have and end up with the shield connected to the signal terminal of the amp instead of the ground terminal, you will have all sorts of wacky noise problems until it is fixed and properly grounded.

Also, don't try to use the DB9 connectors like I did in the picture Jim referenced. They don't work well. Keep the wire connections between the amp and antennas as short as possible.

Don

I believe the antennas don't have shields.
That waveform reminds me of mine before I grounded my system, but Mike would know better than I.
John's right, also ... Have you grounded the system at the controller only, unshielded cat to router, ?
I am using unshielded cat5 from the controller to my switch. Should it be shielded?

Temp isn't an issue if solder ok... those devices have very high temp specs... That 62.5 kHz could be anything from an RFID to some weird power supply...  My favorite is the ACER premium pc I bought on sale last year.. great features, lotsa power... top of the line.  It radiated so badly my system was non functional... I could not cure it... gave it to my son, who took it to Colorado, and I think it might be the source of a couple of issues with stations up in Oregon and Washington and Alberta.  Knew I should have stayed with HP...  #-o  Sometimes bargains aint...

Anyway, finding interference is part of the 'fun'... we've many threads and many hours with it...  Leave the system running... it won't hurt anything... you do send a signal once in awhile...

What kid of antennas???? I may have missed that...

ferrite rods 300mm. and I also will leave the system on now. (hope it don't mess up)


Oh. How could I go by grounding the system? I see ther are two screw connection on the top left of the board that says ground. Could I just put a wire on that and tape the other end to a water pipe? Or would that be a big no no??

Thank you all for the help.
« Last Edit: April 13, 2015, 07:37:27 PM by Fox_Of_The_Wind »

Offline sacreyweather

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Re: Ok here it goes!!!(trying to get system online)
« Reply #21 on: April 13, 2015, 08:07:21 PM »
Anthony,

If you are able, try mounting the system in your shed, if that is going to be its permanent spot. Mine is mounted in a 12x24 storage building about 50 yards from my house. It has electricity.  I am using an Apple Express as the wireless connection to my WiFi, and have not had any problems with this setup. As for temps, it reached 111 in the shed last summer. I have a fan on a timer to cool the Express. The max temp I saw on the CPU was 52C. The thermal tolerance on the parts is 70C, I believe.

On the ground, I pounded a 6 ft. rod into the ground next to the shed, drilled a hole just large enough to get a piece of 12 gauge wire through to the rod. Once I was satisfied with the connection, I sealed the hole with caulk.  To connect the ground wire to the controller, I got a short piece (like 6") of 18 or 20 gauge wire for that and connected it to the 12 gauge using a wire nut.  My signals went from looking like yours nearly to what you see on mine now.  Check the signals at sferic.us, through the forum. I need to buy a decent power supply for the system, but finding one that will take the heat and not cost a fortune is a trick, so the iPhone power supply has stayed.

John
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Re: Ok here it goes!!!(trying to get system online)
« Reply #22 on: April 13, 2015, 08:23:54 PM »
Anthony,

If you are able, try mounting the system in your shed, if that is going to be its permanent spot. Mine is mounted in a 12x24 storage building about 50 yards from my house. It has electricity.  I am using an Apple Express as the wireless connection to my WiFi, and have not had any problems with this setup. As for temps, it reached 111 in the shed last summer. I have a fan on a timer to cool the Express. The max temp I saw on the CPU was 52C. The thermal tolerance on the parts is 70C, I believe.

On the ground, I pounded a 6 ft. rod into the ground next to the shed, drilled a hole just large enough to get a piece of 12 gauge wire through to the rod. Once I was satisfied with the connection, I sealed the hole with caulk.  To connect the ground wire to the controller, I got a short piece (like 6") of 18 or 20 gauge wire for that and connected it to the 12 gauge using a wire nut.  My signals went from looking like yours nearly to what you see on mine now.  Check the signals at sferic.us, through the forum. I need to buy a decent power supply for the system, but finding one that will take the heat and not cost a fortune is a trick, so the iPhone power supply has stayed.

John

Thank you for this info. I have just did a temp ground on mine just to see what it would do. I used a old phone wire and wired the other end into a ground at a local outlet. it don't seem to be doing all the beeping so much now. So I might have something here......I think.

Offline sacreyweather

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Re: Ok here it goes!!!(trying to get system online)
« Reply #23 on: April 13, 2015, 08:36:46 PM »
You may want to remove that temp ground that you have.  That may screw up the controller or create a ground loop. The ground on the outlet may not work for that.
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Re: Ok here it goes!!!(trying to get system online)
« Reply #24 on: April 13, 2015, 09:09:22 PM »
You may want to remove that temp ground that you have.  That may screw up the controller or create a ground loop. The ground on the outlet may not work for that.

its removed. thanks for the info....you would hear my cry for miles if I would have killed it.

 

anything