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Offline Outofmydepth

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Benedini Mini problems
« on: May 11, 2018, 03:51:28 AM »
I ordered a Benedini Sound card and I could not get it to work with the OP Board. On mentioning this to Thomas Benedini he said that it was not configured to work with the board as supplied, and it would need returning for him in order to do this or I would need to buy a part to programme it myself.

I thought I would mention this as someone who is just learning the ropes (as I am) may not appreciate this and just order one believing it will be compatible from the go!

Whilst writing I have to add that my experience with Benedini has been far from an enjoyable one. I did have the foresight to mention that I was using an OP board but he forgot to programme it accordingly (hence my warning above!). On my mentioning this (and highlighting my email which he acknowledged), he initially wanted another €28 euros to correct his mistake!

In the event I am now having to try and get a refund through PayPal.

I have read that Mr Benedini has been helpful in other people’s experience (and I believe he has helped making his sound card compatible with the OP board), but I think this may only apply once he has been paid and there are no issues thereafter (or none which incur a cost).

Personally, I would not buy one of these cards, I would consider it too much of a risk, more so as you have little recourse in Germany, (on top of the fact a lot of people think they are expensive for what they are), especially if you have an issue. Not only that but he was not quick to respond or to rectify the issue either, there was just a general reluctance and indifference all round.

In view of the above I think I may try the Das Mikro card and settle for engine sounds alone (if it is not too complicated to adapt!).

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Offline jhamm

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Re: Benedini Mini problems
« Reply #1 on: May 11, 2018, 07:12:23 AM »
Hi,
your experience with Thomas Benedini is uniqe...

Thomas is a helpful and nice person.
I use five TBS Mini and did not even have problems.

Did you order the TBS Mini by mail,
and order the TBS Mini in the configuration for the TCB?

If not, you get a TBS Mini with Standard Configuration "Auto Start"....

No, the TBS Mini are not too expensive!
These are the best sounding modules you can get.





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Offline Outofmydepth

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Re: Benedini Mini problems
« Reply #2 on: May 11, 2018, 10:28:15 AM »
Hi Jhamm,

I appreciate your point, I don't mind admitting I have seen other people say that he has been helpful.

Well to be fair he was helpful to me, but I clearly stated that I needed a Mini for the Open Panzer Board and in error he sent me a different configuration. He said this was because I asked too many questions but I am new to the scene and wanted to make sure I had what I needed (and I had ordered and paid for the mini 4 days after making initial contact, not weeks or months later).

So far no problem, because everyone makes mistakes but then he wanted 28 euros to correct the error. When I questioned this it was reduced, but I still had to pay some postage costs, after that any response was slow coming and I was left not knowing what to do.

Perhaps caught him on a bad day, we all have them, but it has been in all honesty a bad experience.




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Offline LukeZ

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Re: Benedini Mini problems
« Reply #3 on: May 11, 2018, 11:46:11 AM »
Did you order the programming cable for the Mini at the same time? If you have the programming cable then it doesn't matter how the Mini is originally configured, you can change the configuration to anything you like including to work with the Open Panzer TCB. The programming cable is also necessary if you ever plan to change the sounds.

If you are having Thomas do all the configuration for you then it will be more expensive and there will be room for miscommunication, etc... I do not recommend anyone take this approach. When you buy the Mini, buy the cable too then set it up as shown in the Wiki and you will be fine.
NO SUPPORT THROUGH PM - read why
Open Panzer FAQs

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Offline Outofmydepth

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Re: Benedini Mini problems
« Reply #4 on: May 11, 2018, 12:44:03 PM »
In retrospect - good advice! I wish I had done that, I did ask about the difficulties in programming the card etc. and all things considered it was agreed it would be best if TB configured it in advance for the OP Card. I was happy at the time with this approach as I had so many other aspects to consider that it was an attractive option to plug and play the sound element (and ultimately I am mostly interested in the engine sounds/guns). I did suggest he supply the cable to resolve the issue (or ask if that maybe a solution), but this was never taken up and meanwhile matters just deteriorated. However, for anyone else, your right, buy the card and the Programming cable and then any problems can be sorted without recourse to Germany.

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Offline Rad_Schuhart

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Re: Benedini Mini problems
« Reply #5 on: May 13, 2018, 12:02:13 PM »
You can do your own programing cable for less than 3 euros with no soldering at and no previous electronic knowledge at all in seconds. I will try to post what you need here as soon as possible.

EDIT: Ok, this is the diagram I followed for the benedini mikro, I cant find the diagram for the mini. The VCC wire for the mikro is not needed. I believe for the mini should be the same. And this is the board that you can use https://www.ebay.com/itm/Basic-Breakout-Board-For-FTDI-FT232RL-USB-to-Serial-IC-For-Arduino-New-3-3V-5-5V/222345924768?hash=item33c4d990a0:g:MogAAOSwImRYUYAV So for about 2 euros you have a programmer :)
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Benedini Mini problems 2,3.png
Views: 111
« Last Edit: May 13, 2018, 12:27:48 PM by Rad_Schuhart »

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Offline johnnyvd

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Re: Benedini Mini problems
« Reply #6 on: May 14, 2018, 03:07:28 AM »
In retrospect - good advice! I wish I had done that, I did ask about the difficulties in programming the card etc. and all things considered it was agreed it would be best if TB configured it in advance for the OP Card. I was happy at the time with this approach as I had so many other aspects to consider that it was an attractive option to plug and play the sound element (and ultimately I am mostly interested in the engine sounds/guns). I did suggest he supply the cable to resolve the issue (or ask if that maybe a solution), but this was never taken up and meanwhile matters just deteriorated. However, for anyone else, your right, buy the card and the Programming cable and then any problems can be sorted without recourse to Germany.

Sorry to hear the bad experience you have with Benedini..

I think ordering the USB Programming cable for TBS Mini + TBS Micro is your best solution. Especially if you plan on starting more projects! You can also use it to program The TBS mini, micro AND Das Mikro.. the cable is expensive, but also the only option to program the TBS mini..

Sorry to say, but the Benedini soundcard will never really be a plug-and-play solution and the possibility to connect it to the openpanzer TCB is a service from Thomas Benedini and i guess we cannot expect him to give full support on that matter..

Best option would be that the Open soundcard would be more easy to Acquire.. i had some plans for this, but i have so many project on my hands right now that i really did not find the time..
« Last Edit: May 14, 2018, 04:57:52 PM by johnnyvd »
* E-75 / E-100 PAK44 "monster" - in progress
* Sturmjagdtiger PAK44 - in progress
* pz.kpfw KV-2 754(r) - in progress
* T-34 88mm "Kurland Tiger" - in progress

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Offline Outofmydepth

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Re: Benedini Mini problems
« Reply #7 on: May 14, 2018, 05:44:13 AM »
Hi Rad, thank you very much for this input, this is very useful and even I can follow it! So do this and I can programme a Mikro on a PC? I do wish that TB could have just suggested something similar (for the sake of a few euros) and it would have stopped what has become a difficult disagreement. I know he would rather I buy (and pay postage) for his own but in the circumstances on this occasion it would have resolved the matter amicably and quickly and for little cost.

Johnnyyvd, I do appreciate the rather unusual circumstances (of the Benedini card and OP board), but I do think he needs to be clear about this when enquiries are made. It is not a cheap choice and on my initial enquiry stating that I wanted to use his card with an OP Board no such caveats were given, just that this was not a problem, that he could provide it pre-programmed for this purpose. However I know my naivety and lack of experience is not helping and had this thread existed at the time I was making the choice it would have been a god send (not as a warning but because clearly the sound element requires a little more thought and understanding).

Anyway, much as I wanted to concentrate on other aspects of R/C tanks and just plug and play the sound element, I can see I need to delve deeper into this aspect also! I will grab one of these cards that Rad has suggested (I would never have known to look for this or that this is what was required) and try and get a Mikro and hopefully get some engine noise at least!


Thank you both again for your help and suggestions.

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Offline Outofmydepth

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Re: Benedini Mini problems
« Reply #8 on: May 14, 2018, 05:54:25 AM »
Sorry I meant to ask Johnnyvd a bit more about the Open Sound Card. I have seen that some work has been done on one and I have heard it on You Tube (is that right?) but I think I am right in saying it is not openly available or is just at a development stage. When you say that you had plans to make it easier to acquire, do you mean build that which is already in existence? I also note that you have been too busy to do this but just how difficult would it be to have some made (if you know how to do this you must be another electronics wizard!)? In my (incredibly humble) view this is the one aspect that would put the OP board on the map once and for all. Luke (who must be another genius in this field) has done so much towards this project (and keeps answering questions day in and day out), I really want it to succeed. Its so rare these days people do so much for so little so that everyone can benefit. What about crowd funding or something if it is an issue of finding some money for production?

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Offline LukeZ

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Re: Benedini Mini problems
« Reply #9 on: May 14, 2018, 11:43:38 AM »
Johnny most likely refers to building some prototype versions of the OP Sound Card himself. All the schematics and specifications are posted so anyone with the know-how can do this, though I do not recommend it unless you are experienced with assembling PCBs.

I also do not recommend it presently because the sound card hardware is still undergoing changes and the version posted now is not going to be the final version.

Money for production is definitely an issue but only when we get to the production stage. Right now the issue is my time to work on development. Many additional features have been requested and it needs a lot of work but my free time is limited, often what free time I do have is spent maintaining the TCB firmware. So I really can't predict when or if the OP sound card is going to become a viable option for the masses.

Although we've made a lot of progress, the OP project is still in its early stages. People who aren't very experienced with tanks and model electronics, and those looking for plug-and-play solutions, really will do best to look to other products. Also not every model needs the capabilities of the TCB, in which case the complexity just becomes a drawback. I have seen a few cases where someone bought the TCB and became frustrated, and I think they would have been better off installing something like Taigen's new electronics which if you don't need IR battle are nearly just as good with a lot less hassle.
NO SUPPORT THROUGH PM - read why
Open Panzer FAQs

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Offline Rad_Schuhart

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Re: Benedini Mini problems
« Reply #10 on: May 14, 2018, 01:34:11 PM »
Hi Rad, thank you very much for this input, this is very useful and even I can follow it! So do this and I can programme a Mikro on a PC? I do wish that TB could have just suggested something similar (for the sake of a few euros) and it would have stopped what has become a difficult disagreement. I know he would rather I buy (and pay postage) for his own but in the circumstances on this occasion it would have resolved the matter amicably and quickly and for little cost.

Thank you both again for your help and suggestions.

Hi mate, as I always say, If you have the money, you (well, not you, I mean everybody) should buy all the stuff directly to Benedini, his job must be apreciated and recognized...

Said that, I cannot justify the price of his stuff. The benedini micros have a price of about 100 euros plus the programming cable, plus shipping... The chinesse knockout can be found for 15 bucks free shipping! IMHO due to Mr Benedini charges so much for his boards, I think he should at least, give the programmer for free, or indicate to users how to do our own. So even when I defend to buy the stuff directly from him, I cannot encourage to buy the programming cable.

Said that, I bought the benedini mikro clone, and it came with a programmer. (everything was about 20 bucks shipping included) but the programmer came bad wired, so I had to investigate what was going wrong. Then is when I found the photo I posted, I just had to swap some wires. Some time later one of my sons broke the chinesse programmer and I did my own with the item that I linked you from ebay. Works flawlessly and I have been able to program everything and to flash my own sounds. When having benedini stuff, having a programmer is a must. I wish I could help you more, but I have no benedini mini to tell you exactly what to do, but it wont be very different. If Mr Benedini lowers the price (lol) or the chinesse guys copies it, I will get one.

But I must confess all my hopes are in the Open Panzer sound board. The posibility of using it as a stand alone (without the TCB) opens a world of marvels. If the sound quality and capability is like the prototype, and if Luke adds a decent bunch of light outputs, I see this little board selling like hot bread...

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Offline johnnyvd

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Re: Benedini Mini problems
« Reply #11 on: May 14, 2018, 04:56:11 PM »
Johnny most likely refers to building some prototype versions of the OP Sound Card himself.

This is correct. I'm not even near an electronics genius.. The real genius is Luke who did all the development on the TCB, open soundcard and the scout..

But i really believe in the capabilities of the complete openpanzer concept.. All the other tank controlboards are very restrictive.. The TCB gave me the room i needed to control all the different projects i have standing around here!

While the Benedini has quite a good sound quality it just doesn't feel quite right on how it interacts with the TCB..

I need to build some opensound  prototypes first to test myselves and then maybe start a small series...

(Oh, and i am envisioning a new project.. Panzerwerfer 42)
* E-75 / E-100 PAK44 "monster" - in progress
* Sturmjagdtiger PAK44 - in progress
* pz.kpfw KV-2 754(r) - in progress
* T-34 88mm "Kurland Tiger" - in progress

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Offline Outofmydepth

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Re: Benedini Mini problems
« Reply #12 on: May 21, 2018, 12:23:43 PM »
Thanks everyone for the information provided, all of interest! Luke I do think you do yourself a disservice! I am the ultimate novice on a steep learning curve (more like a cliff actually), and I have found the OP board a good choice nonetheless. Partly as it is so clearly and well explained on this forum, with so much information and guidance provided, not so readily available for the Likes of Elmod, Clarke and IBU3, in addition to which none of these are really able to cater for large scale (heavy) tanks. I think all of these require a certain willingness to learn and have certain foibles (although I don't know anything about the Taigen one you mention). Although I have as yet to get stuck in to the practical application of the board (I am still trying to acquire the hardware!), I am looking forward to it!



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Offline bowlman

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Re: Benedini Mini problems
« Reply #13 on: May 31, 2018, 10:11:19 PM »
I'm glade I read from here before I ordered the TBS Mini to let Thomas know I was using it on the TCB Open Panzer Board and got the program cable also and also read Rad's post on the Chinese knock off and the program cable he recommended got them to for simple sound card .
Thanks
Jimmy