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Offline Chi-el

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Re: High speed tracked vehicle....something different
« Reply #15 on: September 13, 2021, 10:51:11 AM »
Hi Luke,

Got the crystals soldered on and was deeply hoping the board to light up, but it still gives the exact same message as before  :o.
Tried it again with different power sources, both USB and external 15V. Does the USBasp require anything else done in preparation other then the driver and jumper switch to 5V?
I have no other clue on what to try next  :-\

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Offline LukeZ

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Re: High speed tracked vehicle....something different
« Reply #16 on: September 15, 2021, 01:35:52 PM »
Hi Chi-el, sorry you're having all these problems, and sorry also for the slow reply.

At this point we are back to the basics. First of all, make doubly sure that you are connecting the ISP cable to the board correctly. You might take a photo of the orientation you've been using so I can double check.

You could also try buying a different USBASP (maybe yours is defective).

If you have an off-the shelf Arduino board lying around, you could also try using the USBASP to put a bootloader on that. Open the Arduino IDE, in the Tools menu select your Arduino Board type to match whatever kind of Arduino you have, under Programmer select USBASP, and then select Burn Bootloader (Arduino already knows the stock bootloaders for all boards). Of course your off-the-shelf Arduino will already have a bootloader on it, you'll just be overwriting it with the same thing, but if this works it would tell us your USBASP is functioning, which might lead us to think there is still something wrong with your TCB boards.
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Offline Chi-el

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Re: High speed tracked vehicle....something different
« Reply #17 on: September 19, 2021, 03:35:46 AM »
Hi Luke,

Thanks for all the support.
I'm a bit of a noob to this all so I don't have the skills or knowledge to really dive into the Arduino proposal.

But one thing I thought of, when the avrdude gives the error that the target isn't responding. What is it referring to? The USBasp or the TCB?
Because the identical comes up with or without the crystal in place would lead me to think the problem is somewhere else?

Could be indeed a faulty USBasp, though the changing of the driver with Zadig work fine every time. :o

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Offline LukeZ

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Re: High speed tracked vehicle....something different
« Reply #18 on: September 20, 2021, 04:55:41 PM »
Well the Arduino test is fairly simple, it's the same thing as what you're doing now flashing the bootloader to the TCB. Only difference is you don't have to use a batch file, just an option menu in the Arduino IDE. But if you don't have an Arduino lying around I understand, and it won't ultimately solve our problem anyway, it will just confirm that the USBASP is working.

Which I agree if you can get the drivers loaded for it, it seems likely that it does work. Also you raise a good point, the fact that AVRDUDE isn't giving us any message related to the USBASP would seem to indicate it is not the problem (the "target isn't responding" error refers to the TCB, but it is a very vague error and doesn't give us any specifics. You can Google this error and get all kinds of potential things to check if you want.)

Since we know your fabrication house already made one obvious mistake, we are left to wonder if there were others less obvious.

At this point I admit I am somewhat stuck. I am travelling this week, and then next week I am moving house, so I won't have a lot of time in the immediate future to do much. But as time allows I will try to ponder any other troubleshooting ideas we might be able to try.

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Offline grahamn1956

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Re: High speed tracked vehicle....something different
« Reply #19 on: February 12, 2023, 07:19:44 AM »
Hi Chi-el,

Sorry for the slow reply. I think the problem is almost certainly that the processor needs the bootloader installed first. When the board was under production we did this at the factory, but if you are assembling one from scratch then you have to do it yourself. If you buy an Arduino Mega the bootloader already comes installed, but when using a new chip it is blank.

The bootloader only has to be installed once on each board, after that you will not need to do it again. I've attached instructions for how to do this, you will need to buy a USBASP device. They are very cheap, here is one from China but you can probably find European sellers on eBay who have them. Notice the one I linked to gives you the option of buying an 8-pin to 6-pin adapter, you will need this version because we use a 6-pin ISP port on the TCB. Most places sell them with the adapter included.

In the instructions I discuss a pogo adapter, you won't need this because your boards already have pins installed on the ISP port, so you can just plug in the 6-pin cable from the USBASP directly into your board.

The instructions also mention using an FTDI adapter to load the firmware. You can ignore this and just your USB cable to load the firmware as normal. The FTDI adapter is faster when we are flashing hundreds of boards, but you only have to do two of them so it's no problem.

I hope this helps, let me know if you have any questions!


EDIT: No, it doesn't make a difference what position the fight/repair switch is in.

Gosh, I sure wish this was posted in the TCB portion of Downloads!  I have been scratching my head as to why my finished TCB boards (3 off) would not talk on USB, even going to the lengths of changing out one of the FT232 ic's in case it was a fake.  Everything working fine now but sheesh that was a voyage of discovery I could have done without!

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Offline LukeZ

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Re: High speed tracked vehicle....something different
« Reply #20 on: February 12, 2023, 11:24:43 AM »
Hi Graham,

I can well imagine your frustration and my apologies! When I was creating the Downloads page and other sections of the site I wasn't really thinking of people building their own, but now that is the only option you are right this information should be more prominently displayed. I've added a couple links to the TCB Hardware section that will hopefully help others avoid this kind of head scratching.

Thank you for the recommendation and I wish you success with your boards! If any other questions arise please don't hesitate to ask.

For anyone else at this stage, here is one of the links I posted, which explains the one-time bootloader process on blank chips:

Flashing Bootloader to Blank ATmega2560
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Offline grahamn1956

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Re: High speed tracked vehicle....something different
« Reply #21 on: February 12, 2023, 11:57:48 AM »
Hi Graham,

I can well imagine your frustration and my apologies! When I was creating the Downloads page and other sections of the site I wasn't really thinking of people building their own, but now that is the only option you are right this information should be more prominently displayed. I've added a couple links to the TCB Hardware section that will hopefully help others avoid this kind of head scratching.

Thank you for the recommendation and I wish you success with your boards! If any other questions arise please don't hesitate to ask.

For anyone else at this stage, here is one of the links I posted, which explains the one-time bootloader process on blank chips:

Flashing Bootloader to Blank ATmega2560

Thank you Luke, I'm sure those links will help someone out.   8)