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total loss of drive
« on: April 05, 2021, 06:44:50 PM »
hello and thank you for letting me join the forum

i bought two TCBs with the correct ESCs a few years ago, im currently migrating them from the 1/16 tanks to 3d printed 1/10 scale beasts.
one despite all checks refuses to operate the ESCs.
it was working fairly well in the 1/16 taigen tiger. although it was intermittent with its ability to drive,
ive checked all radio (flysky) functions and even swapped radios with the working OP board, as they are both set up identically.

if theres no hope for this board, and they are no longer available. Im tinkering with the idea of keeping it in the 1/10 and piggybacking an ardruino board from the receiver to operate the ESCs and using the OP for all other functions. could this cause any issues that anyone is aware of?

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Offline LukeZ

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Re: total loss of drive
« Reply #1 on: April 05, 2021, 11:11:11 PM »
Im tinkering with the idea of keeping it in the 1/10 and piggybacking an ardruino board from the receiver to operate the ESCs and using the OP for all other functions. could this cause any issues that anyone is aware of?
Since you are using ESCs anyway, I don't think you'd need another Arduino, just connect them directly to your receiver and run them the same way you would if it were an RC car or other vehicle. Most radios these days offer the ability to setup the mixing that would be necessary for a dual-tracked vehicle.

If you'd like help troubleshooting the ESC issue with your TCB I'm happy to do that as well.
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Re: total loss of drive
« Reply #2 on: April 06, 2021, 08:01:35 AM »
i have tried running direct from the reciever but it ends up using both sticks, which i cant get my head around.
if you can tell me the signal voltage from left and right connections i can run a meter across it and see if its failed.
red leds on ESCs are on constantly when i try to use it.
ive inspected the board for loose or bad connections, checked the copper strips and nothing is visibly amiss.


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Offline LukeZ

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Re: total loss of drive
« Reply #3 on: April 06, 2021, 09:35:20 AM »
Using a voltmeter to troubleshoot an ESC signal is probably not the first thing I would do to troubleshoot, since even if it is working you will get odd readings unless you have an oscilloscope.

First, can you tell me what ESCs you are using? It sounds like they might be the XCar 45A speed controllers. If you attach different ESCs does it work, or is it the case that no ESCs work whatsoever work with that board? By the same token, do the ESCs in this model work with your second TCB? Have you made sure to remove the +5 volt (center) ESC pin as described in the wiki?

Try this: unplug the ESCs and attach a servo to RC Output 1 or 2 (Left or Right outputs). Make sure you have a way to "start the engine," and now move your throttle and steering sticks. Does the servo move? If so, we can be sure the correct signal is being generated.

Also, can you post your OPZ file for me to look at? Open OP Config, connect to your TCB, read the settings from the TCB (click the green down arrow at the top right of the application), then go to File -> Save Settings to File, then upload that file to your response using the Attachments option.
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Re: total loss of drive
« Reply #4 on: April 07, 2021, 04:58:05 AM »
the escs are the hobbyking reccomended ones and neither set work with the faulty board.
i have another esc from the landing craft project spare and i tried that one to no avail.
ill try the servo test later.
the woking board seems to have developed a glitch as well ( left track stopping after 3 feet of operation) but ill look at that later as its buried in the bowels of a 1/10 Pz38T

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(23.71 kB ~ Downloads: 11)

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Offline LukeZ

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Re: total loss of drive
« Reply #5 on: April 08, 2021, 01:54:02 PM »
Ok, let me know the result of the servo test. Your OPZ file looks fine.
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Re: total loss of drive
« Reply #6 on: April 08, 2021, 03:35:59 PM »
no joy with the servo test, seems no signal is going through

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Offline LukeZ

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Re: total loss of drive
« Reply #7 on: April 08, 2021, 05:04:03 PM »
Ok, thanks for doing the test. It looked like you might have been using a Taigen sound card, presumably then RC Output 8 (labeled Prop 1) is working? Is your barrel elevation servo and/or recoil servo working (outputs 4 and 5)?

I'm just trying to find out if it is only RC output 1 and 2 that are broken somehow, or all RC outputs.

I've not know anyone to encounter this kind of problem before and it would be rather unusual to physically damage those RC output pins, but at the same time since your board appears to be functional in other respects I do not suspect any kind of firmware issue. That leaves hardware, so unusual or not, for the moment that would seem our best hypothesis. 

The other option you have for drive is to get a Sabertooth dual motor controller. That costs money but it may be easier than your original suggestion of programming an Arduino...
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Re: total loss of drive
« Reply #8 on: April 09, 2021, 04:33:38 AM »
elevation servo runs fine on both boards, turret traverse is direct from the radio as it ran constantly when run through the board.
i have no taigen sound card yet i did use a das micro for a while but removed it to use the taigen one when i grab one from forgebear
ill look into a sabretooth but just received two new 45 escs with the motors for the king tiger.

the arduino turned up and ill have a look at using that on the KT while i mess with the OP boards, which if they are a total loss ill switch to arduinos till a suitable supplier is found for the project.

looked at the pinout schematic for the arduino and it seems ill have to run pre 6.0 henglong wiring on the smoker which is just reconnecting both heater and pump wires to one plug. and recode the KT OPX to suit.

not sure about servo recoil on the arduino but ill work it out.

and the last time i got involved with eletronics at this scale was when i was 14 in the 70's and technology has progresed considerably since then and my eyesight is not what it used to be.

i did do a full inspection on the iffy board and saw no breaks, dry soldered joints, or physical damage to any of it. no sign of cooking, or damage to the pcb. i even cleaned the output pins (magnifying visor, acetone and stripped down cotton bud) so unless the main chip has given up the ghost nothing is visible.

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Offline LukeZ

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Re: total loss of drive
« Reply #9 on: April 09, 2021, 04:12:54 PM »
i did do a full inspection on the iffy board and saw no breaks, dry soldered joints, or physical damage to any of it. no sign of cooking, or damage to the pcb. i even cleaned the output pins (magnifying visor, acetone and stripped down cotton bud) so unless the main chip has given up the ghost nothing is visible.
This is certainly strange. If the processor had "given up the ghost" we would find that nothing works, but in your case several things still do, including other RC outputs.

I've helped troubleshoot a lot of problems over the years and from my experience what appears to be the most serious problems usually turn out to be something very simple that was overlooked. Without being there in person I can't say for sure, but I suspect your boards can still operate correctly, but something is definitely going on.

On closer inspection of your OPZ file it doesn't appear to be the case that you have run through the Radio Setup routine (all channel values were still at defaults). This doesn't necessarily explain your issue but does point to something simple overlooked, which means there could be others.

If you want to continue troubleshooting, I would recommend starting at the beginning. Complete the Radio Setup process as described in the wiki. Then disconnect everything from your TCB except power, your receiver, and a servo on RC Output 1. Try manipulating it again using your throttle or steering channel, or better yet, set the drive motors to something other than RC Output (which will free RC Output 1 and 2 for other uses), then assign one of your analog aux channels as a trigger to the "RC Output 1 - Pass-through" function. This second approach eliminates needing to start the engine for that output to become active. Troubleshooting is a process of eliminating as many variables as possible until we find a baseline condition that works, then slowly adding back complexity until we find the thing that is causing a problem.

Using the Snoop feature of the OP Config console (on the Firmware tab) can also be a useful troubleshooting tool, as can the onboard red and green LEDs.

Earlier you mentioned having difficulty setting up a tank-style mix on your transmitter, but your proposed solution is to essentially recreate the TCB in code using a second Arduino. This is going to be much more challenging than creating a channel mix on your radio. But I am not discouraging you from experimenting with that approach at all! It will be a good experience and you will learn much, and it may even be enjoyable. However it is often the case that people give up on what can admittedly be a tedious troubleshooting effort, only to turn to more difficult solutions than what would ultimately have been the fix to the original problem had it been discovered.

Whatever you do, keep us posted on your progress and I will be interested to hear how you get on.
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Re: total loss of drive
« Reply #10 on: April 11, 2021, 01:02:43 PM »
the radio was set up with the board in its previous incarnation (taigen later tiger 1)
but ill run through everything again as though its a first time marrying the radio with board.

the reason i thought about dual boards was back in the urks of time i experimented with eliminating track recoil with piggybacked rx 18 boards (one running the drive motors and the other everything else) which actually worked. and was easier than detatching a pin on the chip and rewiring it to something else, plus at the time i was upgrading to 2.4 from 27 so had lots of spare rx18 boards to play with.

i might purchase a couple of spare recievers and see if its that end of the process thats at fault. at least with flysky i can use them on other boards as the need arises.



Re: total loss of drive
« Reply #11 on: April 15, 2021, 06:44:27 AM »
update,

i scrubbed everything and started afresh, reflashed the two boards with the updated firmware, used new recivers, and new hobbyking 45 esc's, fully charged batteries and told the dog not to disturb me for a few hours.

recoded everything from the radio to the opx

both boards are now functioning as they should. i have no idea if it was the esc's or recievers that were throwing a spanner in the works but at 9 quid each for the esc's im happy the boards are running again.

i even found the firmware hack to turn my other FS i6 to ten channel.

now to start looking at the mega i bought and see if i can get that to do the open panzer thing.

These boards must be pretty robust and virtually indescructable. which is a good sign (if they survived my tinkering its a good road test for anything)

thanks for the advice and support.


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Offline LukeZ

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Re: total loss of drive
« Reply #12 on: April 15, 2021, 01:36:15 PM »
Very good, your persistence has paid off! Thanks for reporting back.

The FS-i6 upgrade is a good one, I've done it myself and it makes it a good transmitter at a very affordable price.
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