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how to get FlowArm to connect to AL5B arm via the SSC-32?

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Posts: 9
Posted: 2011-08-11 15:19 
Perhaps a silly question, but nothing is happening/working. How do I get FlowArm to connect to AL5B arm via the SSC-32?

I have 9V going to VL, 6.13V going to VS1, both verified with a multi-meter. I'm using wall-warts for both power sources, with more than sufficient current. Nothing is overheating, and I'm reading 6.13V on the servo power bus. The servos aren't vibrating or resisting any force.

It's connected the SSC-32 to my XP machine by USB, and Device Manager says it's COM8.

I load up FlowArm, it cycles through each COM port and stops at COM10. And nothing happens on the physical arm no matter what I do to the virtual arm.


side note: I accidentally forgot to remove the jumper and fried the 6V power supply that came with the arm. I've since removed the jumper and replaced the power supply. I assume nothing else would have been damaged?


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Posted: 2011-08-11 15:50 
All the answers lie in what the SSC-32 is doing. Is the LED on, off, or blinking?

Do you have the USB to serial cable installed before you open the program?

Are you sure the baud rate on the SSC-32 set to 115.2kbaud?

You can try connecting with LynxTerm just as a troubleshooting step, but from what I have seen iFlowArm does a really good job of... just connecting.

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Posts: 9
Posted: 2011-08-11 16:06 
My baud jumpers match this image, which is how the SSC-32 arrived as default:
http://www.lynxmotion.com/images/assemb ... mirf14.jpg

The LED is off.

The USB is plugged in and the arm powered up before I open the software. Changing the COM and connecting/disconnecting in the software has no effect.

Using Lynx SSC-32 Terminal, it connects, but nothing else has any effect. Clicking 'Reg.' brings up the error 'Can't find SSC-32 card'.

As a side note, by turning it off then on again, the servos all twitch.


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Posts: 9
Posted: 2011-08-11 16:15 
I've noticed something interesting . . .

I connect with LynxTerm at 115200, and type whatever I want, and nothing happens. If I just type 'v', still, nothing happens.

Then when I type 'ver' and press enter, nothing is echoed back. But whenever I type 'v' after that, it echoes back '2' for some reason.

example:
v <- I type 'v', nothing returns
ver <- I type 'ver' and press enter, nothing returns
v2 <- I type 'v' again, and a 2 appears


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Posted: 2011-08-11 17:00 
Lets focus on the SSC-32 LED for a moment. With nothing plugged into the DB9 when you apply power the LED should go on and stay on. Then open LynxTerm and connect the DB9. The LED should still be on steady. Then type ver and enter. At that point the LED should go out, and blink on every key press. Is that happening?

In your previous testing has the green LED ever gone out or blinked? If not it means you are on the wrong comm port, or the cable is a null modem cable, or the DB9 enable jumpers are either missing or installed sideways instead of up and down. A picture would help.

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Posted: 2011-08-11 17:05 
Have you updated the firmware?

What sort of PC is this? Laptop / desktop, make and model?

What USB to serial cable are you using?

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Posts: 9
Posted: 2011-08-11 17:16 
> With nothing plugged into the DB9 when you apply power the LED should go on and stay on.
Even removing the DB9 and resetting power, nope, the LED never turns on.

> In your previous testing has the green LED ever gone out or blinked?
It was over a week ago so my memory is fuzzy, but I *think* I saw the LED working back before I fried the power supply. I don't have my camera USB cable with me, I'll upload a pic tonight. Or do you have a picture of the jumpers where they should be so that I can double check?

> Have you updated the firmware?
nope

> What sort of PC is this? Laptop / desktop, make and model?
Windows XP SP3, Dell Optiplex 755 (desktop)

> What USB to serial cable are you using?
http://www.lynxmotion.com/p-699-usb-to- ... cable.aspx

On another note:
It gets stranger . . . so measuring the voltages, I power it up, and it goes to ~1.5V then quickly drops to much lower. It's as if it's being shorted. I wiggle around wires, flip power on/off many times, it's consistent and the problem doesn't go away.

So I turn it off for ~5 minutes changing nothing, then turn it back on again, and all the voltages are fine again. The voltage regulator has 9V for in, 0V ground, and 4.99V out.

Is my SSC-32 (or some component on it) possibly fried?


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Posts: 9256
Posted: 2011-08-11 17:36 
It's sounding like it's not healthy for sure. I would suspect something was damaged in the power supply oops. For what we are doing here all you need is the two baud rate jumpers and the two DB9 enable jumpers. When the board is aligned so you can read SSC-32 all of the jumpers should be vertical. The only mystery here is why the voltage is not consistently 5vdc from the regulator. Usually when something is broken it is always broken. ;)

Look at the wires that go into the terminals. Make sure there are no wires that didn't go into the terminal. There is a process to get them all in there.

Remove the wire, carefully straighten them out and twist them together very tightly.
Looking into the opening where the wire goes in, screw the terminal CCW until it opens up completely.
Carefully insert the wires back into the terminal, and make sure all of them go inside.
Tighten the terminal back down firmly.

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I've always tried to do my best...


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Posts: 9
Posted: 2011-08-22 10:33 
I've tried all the obvious, and the LED just isn't working. So I'm going to buy a new SSC-32. Are all SSC-32s immediately compatible, or do I need to upload special firmware to it before it'll work on my arm?


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Posts: 4922
Posted: 2011-08-22 11:06 
This can probably be better answered by Robot Dude or Devon, but:

As I mentioned on the SOR forum (KurtEck), I would try to get the SSC-32 to talk to the PC through Lynxterm. I would remove everything from the SSC-32 except the power and RS-232 cable. I would also verify that you have the baud rate jumpers set to 115200 as well as the jumpers to use RS-232 communication. I would turn on the power to the SSC-32 (if the LED does not come on, something is probably wrong). I would then configure Lynxterm to talk to com port 8 and baud rate 115200 and try to connect. I would then type the command "VER" and see if anything is returned... If this fails I would probably get a new SSC-32...

All new SSC-32's are created equal. There are some different versions of the firmware for them, that you can download to the SSC-32 using Lynxterm. There are some differences in the firmware: I believe the default firmware that ships with the SSC-32 is configured with code support for the 2DOF hexapods (plus all of the standard command set). There are other versions, that support the General Purpose sequence code that you can download. There is also some other beta/alpha versions up there that support the General purpose sequencer code with the addition of some new Binary commands that allow you to send fewer characters for the commands... (This is the version I use - 2-07...)

So unless the new FlowArm code uses the new Binary command set, you can probably use any version of the firmware. But I personally would update it to one of the GP or EGP versions as you probably don't need the 2DOF hexapod support with your ARM...

Kurt


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Posted: 2011-08-22 12:04 
To reinforce Kurts post. For an arm virtually any firmware will work as all of the arm software uses ascii commands (that's supported in every firmware release.)

The LED is not a power indicator, it's a status light. It's job is to turn on at power up showing the SSC-32 is 99percent functional. Then when it receives data it turn off and blinks when receiving data. Many programs that control the arms constantly try to connect to the SSC-32. If you have a serial connection when you power up the SSC-32 it might turn the LED off before you even notice it was on. Try powering the SSC-32 up without a serial connection. Does the LED light up then? If not the processors code could be corrupt, or the 5vdc regulator could be bad.

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I've always tried to do my best...


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Posts: 9
Posted: 2011-08-31 11:58 
I simply swapped out the SSC-32 for a new one, and it works fine now.

That jumper must have caused something to fry . . .


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Posted: 2011-08-31 12:16 
I'm glad you have it working now!

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I've always tried to do my best...


 

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