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Author Topic: AstroEQ stopped working...  (Read 2148 times)

rvaneynd

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AstroEQ stopped working...
« on: October 05, 2017, 19:26:51 »

Problem, been using my AstroEQ with success for the last year+ but I have a serious problem.
I can not connect to it anymore.
The drivers are loaded and when I try to use the utility to configure the unit, I says reading EEPROM and see it sending the :011 command, but nothing comes back.

The Power light is on, The link light flashes, but the status light stays off.

Further updates. I can use the Utility to upgrade/reload the firmware. This works fine but after the reload/upgrade of FW 8.05 is does not want to communicate as per error above.

I managed to download Firmware 7.4 and load it. Box starts to work but when I try to load a config in to the unit it fails every time.
More updates. I managed to get it working again using FW 7.4 and the 3.4.0 version of the AstroEQ utility.

Is there a problem with 8.05 version of the FW on a 4.5 version box?

Raoul
« Last Edit: October 05, 2017, 20:21:26 by rvaneynd »
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TCWORLD

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Re: AstroEQ stopped working...
« Reply #1 on: October 05, 2017, 20:39:37 »

Hi Raoul,

How odd.

Using the latest version of the config utility (3.7.2), and firmware V8.05, could you try the following steps. The aim of the steps is to force the config utility into thinking the EEPROM is corrupt which will allow it to run the repair steps. To do this you need to upload firmware to the AstroEQ which will basically blank the EEPROM.

  • Replace the firmware file in the hex/ folder with the attached file (unzip the attached to get the new .hex) - keep a backup copy of original for later
  • Upload the firmware using the upload button in the config utility
  • Once the firmware is programmed, close the config utility, unplug the AstroEQ and plug back in (basically to power cycle it)
  • Replace the firmware file in the hex/ folder with the backup copy
  • Open the config utility and upload the firmware again
  • Proceed to the next step in the config utility. It should report back that the EEPROM is corrupt
  • Continue to the next screen which will repair the EEPROM
  • Upload one of the default configurations (e.g. EQ5), doesn't matter which, this is just to make sure the EEPROM is fully populated with a known good configuration

You should now be ready to go again. You can return to the main screen and change the config to match your mount requirements.

If you have any problems having tried those steps, let me know and I'll investigate further.
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Tom Carpenter (AstroEQ)

rvaneynd

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Re: AstroEQ stopped working...
« Reply #2 on: October 05, 2017, 21:14:21 »

Tom,

Thank you for the quick response. At the moment I have it working and doing a bit of astronomy.
I will try this tomorrow or during the weekend and let you know the outcome.

Raoul.
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TCWORLD

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Re: AstroEQ stopped working...
« Reply #3 on: October 05, 2017, 22:08:04 »

Sure. No hurry if you have it working.

Basically the EEPROM structure changed from the V7.x firmware to the V8.x firmware. It should be able to detect the config is corrupt because it doesn't match the new structure, and so report back to the config utility to do the repair, but clearly it is just crashing instead. Uploading firmware that will intentionally blank the EEPROM should allow a different (earlier) check in the firmware to report the corruption and not crash (theoretically).

The new config utility won't be able to talk to the V7.x firmware either because of various major changes in the firmware and programming mode comms.

In any case I'll check where in the firmware it is crashing and try to fix it for the next version.
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Tom Carpenter (AstroEQ)

rvaneynd

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Re: AstroEQ stopped working...
« Reply #4 on: October 05, 2017, 23:51:00 »

Tom,

The utility version I use is 3.7.3 (not 3.7.2) as this is the latest as downloaded from your website.
I managed to get all the way to step 7.
But as soon as I try step 8, click DONE to upload the config, I see the command :012 and then EEPROM communication failure.

After that I can reload the FW, but can not communicate with it anymore to do the config.

Raoul.
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TCWORLD

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Re: AstroEQ stopped working...
« Reply #5 on: October 06, 2017, 09:07:46 »

Hi Raoul,

3.7.3 is the one I meant - forgot I had put a new one up a few weeks ago.

Do you see the :T1 command at the end? Or does it stop at :O12?

Could you try uploading the attached firmware, and they connect to the AstroEQ com port using a serial terminal software at 9600 Baud (e.g. PuTTY, HyperTerminal, etc.). You should get 484 lines of EEPROM dumped to the serial console. If it doesn't reach and display address 483 there is likely something wrong with the EEPROM.
« Last Edit: October 06, 2017, 09:09:28 by TCWORLD »
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Tom Carpenter (AstroEQ)

rvaneynd

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Re: AstroEQ stopped working...
« Reply #6 on: October 06, 2017, 09:20:00 »

Tom,

It stops at :012

I uploaded the firmware and run putty and yes, I get lines starting at 0 all the way to 483. So 484 in total.
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TCWORLD

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Re: AstroEQ stopped working...
« Reply #7 on: October 06, 2017, 09:50:27 »

Could you let me know what config settings you are using?
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Tom Carpenter (AstroEQ)

TCWORLD

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Re: AstroEQ stopped working...
« Reply #8 on: October 06, 2017, 10:01:35 »

Ooops, I think I know what is wrong.

Can you try the steps in my first response again, but using the attached hex to wipe the EEPROM instead?
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Tom Carpenter (AstroEQ)

rvaneynd

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Re: AstroEQ stopped working...
« Reply #9 on: October 06, 2017, 10:08:10 »

Wooohhoooo, awesome.

It is working now. Thank you.

What was the problem?
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TCWORLD

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Re: AstroEQ stopped working...
« Reply #10 on: October 06, 2017, 10:32:59 »

My first attempt only cleared the EPROM header, not the entire EEPROM. That meant when the config utility repaired the EEPROM header it basically undid the first step. By the time it got to uploading the new config the AstroEQ will have already reset and loaded the dead config again.

I'll change the firmware so the repair step clears out the whole EEPROM instead of just patching the header.
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Tom Carpenter (AstroEQ)

rvaneynd

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Re: AstroEQ stopped working...
« Reply #11 on: October 06, 2017, 11:44:15 »

Cool.

That explains something else. I am currently building an AstroEQ using the Arduino Mega. Just being a geek and like to keep busy during those cloudy nights.  :)

When I loaded the latest Arduino Mega firmware for the first time, I had a similar problem where the Mega did not respond when trying to upload a config.
I found an Arduino script which clears the EEPROM completely and after doing that the latest Firmware loaded and managed to upload a config without any problems.

Thanks again for you quick help.
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