local help with flasing a 9X

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Wormboymat
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local help with flasing a 9X

Post by Wormboymat » Wed May 16, 2012 7:36 am

Hi All,

Apologies for the generic title but that pretty much summs it up.

I've posted here before looking for a hand sorting out an issue with my 9X had limited success (not for lack of suitable help, but lack of my own knowledge).

I've got a second 9X and have tried flashing that one with ER9X using the smartieparts board but have run into a problem again.
I'm starting to think I'm the jinxed one and I'm looking for someone locally that can give me a hand sorting out my problem. I'm happy to learn, but I think my ham-fisted approach is letting me down at the moment.

I am in Perth, Australia and would be happy to drive just about anywhere in the city. If there is noone in Perth I can probably send it over east or even further abroad to have it sorted (although obviously I can't learn that way).

For those interested in my problem...here is the story so far.
Initial turn on and test of buttons using the stock firmware confirms the hardware functionality.
When I've opened up the back of the Tx I've confirmed a v2 board with the contact on the correct track. However, all of the soldering looks pretty sloppy, like it was done in a hurry. That would normally be OK as the Tx obviously works, but has made it hard to install the board. In particular, the silver oval component on the main board (arrowed in the picture) is sitting very high. Much higher than in my previous 9X. This has pushed up the smartieparts board to the point where the pins dont connect. To alleviate this I've bent the legs on the component, put a bit of non-conductive material around it to stop any shorts (both top and bottom) and then popped the smartie parts board back over the top. I'm 99% sure this has allowed the smartieparts board's contacts to connect. Next I've tred to flash the Tx and the script appears to run but it returns an error to say that it cannot check the flash (I'll get the exact wording tonight) Then when I turn on the Tx there is no life at all.

I'm not sure if the hardware, my bending the component, a short circuit, poor contacts, or a bad flash caused the problem. In any case I'm sure its a PEBCAK problem. Hence why I'm seeking help. Hopefully I havn't made a door stop of this thing.

Mat

Note that this pic is not of my Tx, this is just a pic I've pulled off the net to illustrate the component I've referred to above.
Attachments
IMG_0106b.jpg


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jhsa
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Re: local help with flasing a 9X

Post by jhsa » Wed May 16, 2012 12:08 pm

I think you should take a picture of your own board and post it here, so people can see what's really happening with YOUR radio.. ;)
My guess is that you will sort it soon.. There are lots of people with huge amounts of knowledge here.. that doesn't apply to me.. My job here is nagging the developers :mrgreen: someone has to do it, right?? ;) :mrgreen:
Beer for everyone :D

João
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gohsthb
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Re: local help with flasing a 9X

Post by gohsthb » Wed May 16, 2012 12:19 pm

That silver piece is the crystal that drives the clocks in the micro processor.
-Gohst

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jhsa
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Re: local help with flasing a 9X

Post by jhsa » Wed May 16, 2012 12:23 pm

Check that you didn't break any of it's legs when you bent it.. also check (better with a magnifier) if you didn't damage the board. As I said before, better a close up picture
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Wormboymat
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Re: local help with flasing a 9X

Post by Wormboymat » Wed May 16, 2012 1:52 pm

Thank for the replies,

Yup, good call on the photos.
Here are three of my board,

The legs on the crystal all look intact, but you can see from the third image how high it is.
Note that I have done no soldering on this board, this is straight from the factory. I've noticed a lot of the contact pads for the smartiparts board have solder on them where my previous board did not.

Image

Image

Image


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MikeB
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Re: local help with flasing a 9X

Post by MikeB » Wed May 16, 2012 2:26 pm

That looks to me as though your board failed some sort of test, and the crystal has been replaced. It looks like it was replaced without removing the board from the TX. Someone has just broken off the original one, then soldered this one in by soldering it on the top of the board instea of the bottom.

I would suggest you fix this properly if you can:

1. Remove the board from the TX, unplug all the white cable connectors, and disconnect the ribbon to the LCD. Go slowly with this ribbon, at each side is a small, brown tab, gently slide these out from the white body, then the ribbon should easily come out. Remove the 9 screws holding the board in the case, then the board should come out.

2. Remove the crystal from the board. Unsolder each leg in turn, the crystal should come off.

3. Remove all the solder from the top of the board, solder wick is useful here, some stranded wire will work as an alternative. Work as though you are going to solder the wick (or stranded wire) to the board, The solder should collect on the wick. Remove the wick while still hot. Repeat until the wick has soaked all the solder off.

4. Turn the board over, and peel back the foam spacer so you can get at the bottom of the pads for the crystal.

5. Now put the crystal back in the top of the board, with the pins through the board and solder on the bottom of the board. Cut off any excess of the legs of the crystal, you want to leave about 1mm through the board. Because of all the solder on the top of the board, it might be a good idea to leave the crystal just off the board rather than hard against the board. To help this, get a piece of thin card, just narrower than the gap between the legs of the crystal. When you put the crystal back on the board, before you solder it, slide this piece of card under the midle of the crystal, this will space the crystal just off the board. After you have soldered it in place, you should be able to pull the card out.

6. Press the foam spacer back down on the back of the board.

7. Put the board back in the TX, put the screws back in. As you do this, make sure the 6 buttons still work. Sometimes it is possible that one or more get a bit jammed and don't 'click' properly.

8. Gently replace the LCD ribbon, make sure the two tabs are pulled out, then just slide the ribbon into the whith body and push the two tabs back in to hold it in place.

9. Plug all the white connectors back in.

10. Now you can put the SP board back on and flash the radio.

Mike.
erskyTx/er9x developer
The difficult we do immediately,
The impossible takes a little longer!

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jhsa
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Re: local help with flasing a 9X

Post by jhsa » Wed May 16, 2012 2:44 pm

You could also use the wick to remove the excess sloder from the pads where the smartieparts board connects.. just be carefull not to touch any of the small SMD components with the iron and wick..
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Wormboymat
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Re: local help with flasing a 9X

Post by Wormboymat » Wed May 16, 2012 2:56 pm

Thanks Guys,

Hows this for making a liar out me. I tried to replicate the flash I did the other night to get the same error message as previously, so I could post that up as well... and the mongrel flashed properly.

Interestingly, the unit did not turn on when i plugged in the usb cable, but it flashed correctly and them once I plugged in the battery it all started up fine.

I'm going to try setting everything up now to make sure its all good.

Mike, i reckon you're right about fixing that crystal properly, however I've just got the thing working and I dont want to tempt fate further at this point.

I'll report back once I've done the calibrations and setup.

Thankyou João, Mike and Gohst for your input.

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ShowMaster
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Re: local help with flasing a 9X

Post by ShowMaster » Wed May 16, 2012 2:57 pm

Mikes how to is excellent. I'll add one more idea. Are you sure you can't find a friend or fellow flyer, someone that has soldering and unsoldering experience to help you? Look on local roofs for a ham radio antenna and ask them for help. Many of us still know how to solder well. I've been setting up a soldering station at my local field and many bring their critical soldering there for help. I used to teach flying, since electric I teach soldering more.
When you do get the chrystal off and find the board holes are still filled with solder and you can't clear them a few tips. Add more new leaded solder to the pads before using the desoldering braid. If that doesn't work I use a sewing needle smaller that the hole next. I hold its tip on the solder while heating the solder and push it through the hole just as the solder melts and even wiggle it around a little. This usually opens the hole without damaging it or its feed through connection. It takes a few tries to sync up all the action but it does save destroying the hole for me for years now. Compressed air works but can cool the solder too fast and splatter the solder. Vacuum pumps work great but most of us don't own one. I do and still use the needle idea as my plan B,
SM

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jhsa
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Re: local help with flasing a 9X

Post by jhsa » Wed May 16, 2012 3:12 pm

vacuum pumps if misused can damage the PCB.. I think for this kind of boards the wick and your needle idea would work best..
Just my 2c.. ;)
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ShowMaster
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Re: local help with flasing a 9X

Post by ShowMaster » Wed May 16, 2012 4:04 pm

jhsa wrote:vacuum pumps if misused can damage the PCB.. I think for this kind of boards the wick and your needle idea would work best..
Just my 2c.. ;)
The solder wick and needle trick was used to replace bad caps on over 50 broadcast quality Sony CRT monitors I brought back to life several years ago. I had the best tools money could buy and because of the tight spaces even a solder sucker was too big to use most of the time. I amazed the "boss" fixing so many in such a short time that passed inspection and worked that I was hired to just fix unfixed equipment in storage, I worked for 9 mo. It started as a 2 week freelance job to earn hobby money.
Several years later most of the monitors were surplused for new HiDef ones but the checks cashed.
Many can solder but it's desoldering that requires practice and "special tools" so now the secrets out.
SM

Wormboymat
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Re: local help with flasing a 9X

Post by Wormboymat » Wed May 16, 2012 4:26 pm

All calibrations done. Everything looks good *touch wood*
thanks again folks


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