OpenSprinkler Forums Hardware Questions DIY Kit Assembly Questions LCD is backlit but characters are rectangles

This topic contains 17 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  TheDeadly1 3 years, 11 months ago.

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  • #22907

    I finished assembling my 2.1u and checked the resistances successfully. When I power the board (via USB or 24vac) the LCD backlight comes on but the characters are all rectangles, almost like the contrast is set too high. So far I have checked the following:

    1. Voltage at vin is 5 volt and at vcc is 3.3
    2. Reseated ICs
    3. Checked if controller would get an IP address when connected to my network (it doesn’t)

    What else should I try? I have attached pictures of my board.

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/25ymwy4isvly0c9/IMG_2264.jpg
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/6nzh4x69kedb2y0/IMG_2263.jpg

    #26877

    Ray
    Keymaster

    The voltages are correct, that’s good. The first thing to figure out is if the microcontroller is up running. For example, unplug power, then press and hold the second pushbutton (B2) and plug the power back in, does the LCD remain off? If it remains off, that means the microcontroller is running and can successfully enter bootloading mode. If not, that means for some reason the microcontroller is not up running. Can you take off the LCD and take a picture of the microcontroller? Also, make sure the 12MHz crystal (for microcontroller) and 25MHz crystal (for Ethernet controller) are not accidentally switched.

    #26878

    The LCD reacts the same even if B2 is held down on power up. I also double checked the crystals and they are correct. Here’s the front of the board minus the LCD.

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/ve3ngxbw85metzz/image.jpeg

    #26879

    Ray
    Keymaster

    OK, looks like the microcontroller is not up running for some reason. Not sure what to try next. So I suggest that you send an email to [email protected] to arrange for support / replacement.

    #26880

    nickarm
    Participant

    Hello ubestbsteppin. I have exactly the same problem. Did you find any solution..??

    #26881

    HUSKERS
    Participant

    I just got my kit this afternoon. I have the same problem above. I am going to get my jewelers eyepiece and look over my soldering.

    #26882

    HUSKERS
    Participant

    Ray,
    Mine did as you say. I unplugged power and then held B button in. Plugged in power….LCD was off. I need to check into boot loading mode.
    Rick

    The voltages are correct, that’s good. The first thing to figure out is if the microcontroller is up running. For example, unplug power, then press and hold the second pushbutton (B2) and plug the power back in, does the LCD remain off? If it remains off, that means the microcontroller is running and can successfully enter bootloading mode. If not, that means for some reason the microcontroller is not up running. Can you take off the LCD and take a picture of the microcontroller? Also, make sure the 12MHz crystal (for microcontroller) and 25MHz crystal (for Ethernet controller) are not accidentally switched.
    ray Site Admin Posts: 800Joined: Mon Jul 30, 2012 10:06 pm

    #26883

    HUSKERS
    Participant

    Today on further examination I found 3 areas of questionable soldering. I’m 60 and my eyes are challenged. Low and behold it came on like its suppose to. More fun to come now!

    #26884

    Ray
    Keymaster

    It has come to my attention that, in ubestbsteppin’s case, the surface-mount DS1307 RTC was placed in the wrong orientation. This causes the microcontroller to stop working, and is our fault since the surface mount components are assembled by us. So if you encountered similar problem (LCD characters are rectangles), check the DS1307 chip — the white dot should e on the lower-left corner (i.e. close to the 32.768kHz crystal). If you see the white dot on the upper right corner (i.e. close to the microcontroller), please contact [email protected]. Thanks.

    #39102

    TheDeadly1
    Participant

    I am experiencing the same issue as stated above, except that I am having this problem on two PCBs. Neither of the PCBs will power-up and run correctly. In fact, they both act exactly the same. Vin and Vcc are both within spec with both USB and a 24VAC Adapter. It’s the third or forth time these PCBs have been inspected by me. Unless there is a whisker or ball of solder under a part, these PCBs are good to go. I’m guessing that the µCs in the DIY kit were already programmed before being sold. Since there was a period in recent history where the OpenSprinkler DIY kits were not available, my only option at that point was to buy bare PCBs and source the parts myself. I assembled one OS Pi and two OS 2.2u boards. The OS Pi works great and is currently installed and running. I’m having lots of problems with the ATmega644 based PCBs. Since I sourced all the parts (including the ATmega644), the µCs had no firmware or bootloader installed. After two days of trying different schemes for programming, I successfully programmed the µCs by using an old Duemilanove as an ISP with the 644s in a breadboard with a 16MHz crystal.

    I have been through the forum posts looking for anything that might help me. I’d really appreciate your assistance before I pitch these in the circular file and build up a couple more OS Pi’s.

    #39105

    TheDeadly1
    Participant

    Update:

    On a whim, I plugged in an ethernet cable after reading a post in a different thread. It appears that I have indeed gotten the µC programmed correctly, as I found it’s IP address listed on a network scan and I was able to access its web interface. I still need to replace the DS1307, 12MHz crystal and, of course, get the LCD working properly. I have additional LCDs that I can try, but at least I can concentrate my efforts in a particular area. If you have any additional suggestions, they would be greatly appreciated. If I happen to get it repaired, I will post my findings.

    Also, I received the three enclosures I ordered late last week. I will say this about your company: Your shipments and Very, Very prompt! Thanks!

    #39137

    Ray
    Keymaster

    Thanks for your kind words 🙂

    #39156

    TheDeadly1
    Participant

    I buzzed-out the connections from the LCD connector to the µC, and everything seemed OK. I also buzzed-out connections from all of the µC & LCD connector pins to adjacent pins and to any of the traces that run adjacent to the pins. I did not find any shorts. I tried another LCD from the lot of five I bought, and two other LCDs I had from other projects. That’s five LCDs that I tried in the board and none of them worked. What I find most unusual is both boards exhibit the exact same characteristics. I’d be willing to bet that if I built up another PCB, it would do the same thing. It almost makes me think that I either installed a part incorrectly on both PCBs, or that I got a bad batch of one of the parts from my source.

    I think that I’m going to use the web interface to exercise as much of the circuit as I can, then make an educated guess as to what is installed on the board that has not been tested (i.e. – SD card socket, relay circuit, µC buttons) and start removing them.

    #39393

    TheDeadly1
    Participant

    I finally got the opportunity to try to troubleshoot this issue. I removed the µC & LCD sockets. While I had the sockets out, I cleaned up the PCB and inspected the area. I did find a slightly damaged trace, which I repaired. Everything looked pretty good, so I soldered in new sockets and replaced the µC & LCD. I still have the same issue with improper function of the LCD. With the small amount of using the web interface to actuate the device, some functions seem to be working, but others do not. I am not able to operate the triacs, actuate the relay, change the LCD contrast or brightness. I was able to update my location and give it a static IP address. In addition, it appears to sync with NTP and it also got a notification that there was a firmware update (I have 2.1.2). When I tried to update with the osFWUpdater, a device was NOT detected and the update failed. I wish I had a o’scope or logic analyzer so I could do a bit more troubleshooting, as it appears that the µC is partially functioning.

    I think what I’ll do at this point is to declare defeat and put them away for now…rather disappointing.

    #39744

    thisisit
    Participant

    Hi, TheDeadly1. did you find any solution to your problem? I have similar problem: firmware uploaded ok, USB is working, network is working, web interface is working, however LCD shows rectangles, and triacs are not working.

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OpenSprinkler Forums Hardware Questions DIY Kit Assembly Questions LCD is backlit but characters are rectangles