030 exxos RTC issues.

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exxos
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030 exxos RTC issues.

Post by exxos » Mon Sep 03, 2018 10:02 pm

There have been a couple reports of my RTC modules not working in some people's machines last year. It was generally thought that the previous batch of my boards could have been faulty, or had a fault. However, the current batch I did were definitely 100% tested and working, but I have had two reports of the modules failing to store data this past week. Both were machines I had in for repair, and the module was working fine in both machines originally (and my test machine).

I don't know if any of the people I am emailing are on here or not.. But one chap chap fitted a CT60 with pico psu, and the machine did not boot, upon reverting to a stock machine, it also did not boot like the NVRAM settings were corrupted. Basically the settings are no longer been stored in the RTC chip, resulting in corruption, and the machine not booting.

I just had another report that a similar thing is also happened on another machine... Only this machine has one of my own power supplies.. So it should not really be a power issue. I could understand it if a bad power supply spiking and killing the chip.. Or it could be possible that there is simply bad grounding on the Falcon causing the module to malfunction or even kill it.

The overall consensus is that there is a write issue to the module, as to why this is, and why it only happens seemingly random on people's machines it is very difficult to tell. I did originally find that there was no decoupling capacitor on the Falcon which was causing write issues, however that capacitor is now fitted as standard on the later batches, so this should really not be a problem.. But this does actually point into a power problem again.. And the same issue as before..
viewtopic.php?f=10&t=37#p2479

The first idea here simply the power supply.. But obviously in today's report, does not seem to be the case.. but does not rule out a power issue.. If the modules are working in my own Falcon, then I would lean towards the thought that there may be some noise on the RW line to the RTC module. It could explain write issues.. but not why some modules are being killed off.

The modules are not shipped with the battery, I don't think it is possible to blow the module by putting in the battery wrong.. It is also possible the metal shielding could come in contact with the top of the module and maybe short the battery out.. I lost my shielding a while ago so not really sure about that.. But it could explain some issues of the module storing time battery shorted out.

So for the time being I am pulling these modules from my store until this issue can be resolved.
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Re: 030 exxos RTC issues.

Post by exxos » Wed Sep 05, 2018 11:01 pm

So I spent some time today looking though all 60 odd RTC modules. 2 Different batches of chips on there. I brought a couple home, just re-tested them, no problems.. Actually the RTC in my test falcon is one of the current batch, so its actually been on test for a fair while now. So its not like the modules are malfunctioning even. At least not on my falcon.

From what I found before, when adding the capacitor, it was a read issue, rather than a write issue. So while the written values do not appear, it doesn't actually mean the write failed, but the read did not happen properly. The cap was added to the current batch anyway.

The only thing I can really think is if there is some reset problem on some falcons, either with the main reset line ot the RTC reset line.

In one case the falcon fails to reset like its got corrupt NVRAM settings, and the keypress on boot "fix", while it works on my machine, doesn't work on one particular machine. So I am leaning towards a read issue for some reason.

I do have a falcon here which I am going to try more in depths testing on the RTC before I ship it back to the user. Though so far each machine I have done, has worked for a few hours then seems to start acting up once the user has it. Which makes it annoying as I don't have the machine in front of me to look at anymore. Though I have sent out a RTC module and a dallas RTC to the 2 problem machines to see what happens then... I hope if something works, I can obtain those RTC modules back to re-test in my falcon. Then at least I will know if the modules are being killed in some machines or not.

<rant>
I really didn't think the Falcons would be such a PITA like the ST series was with various odd faults. I have enough troubles with the STF/E without spending months trying to diagnose screwy faults on Falcons which shouldn't happen :roll: It wouldn't be so bad if they actually failed while I was testing them out, and each one gets tested for several hours minimum already.

When machines get sent halfway around the world, it makes it near impossible to diagnose the faults and just results in 100's of emailing getting nowhere. Such odd faults seem to to be increasing which I really don't get why. I have 2 falcons and never had any issues. Though after talking to people for the past years, the falcons just seem to be riddled with various issues. It's pretty much put me off wanting to do anymore work on falcons now as there just seems to be to many random unknowns going on all the time :roll: .
</rant>

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2.jpg
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troed
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Re: 030 exxos RTC issues.

Post by troed » Thu Sep 06, 2018 1:54 am

I have one of your RTCs, just haven't installed it yet. Will do and then we can hope I run into issues so I can help tracking them down :)

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Re: 030 exxos RTC issues.

Post by exxos » Thu Sep 06, 2018 8:12 am

troed wrote:
Thu Sep 06, 2018 1:54 am
I have one of your RTCs, just haven't installed it yet. Will do and then we can hope I run into issues so I can help tracking them down :)
That would be good, nobody can solder!
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Re: 030 exxos RTC issues.

Post by exxos » Thu Sep 06, 2018 12:56 pm

Plugged in 2 of the modules.. both still perfectly fine..

I've not had any odd issues in my falcon. So what ever the issues is, has to be some common fault on on the falcons themselves.. as to what, anyone's guess..

Going to finish fitting the RTC to this falcon I have in for repair, so will do some testings with that.. see if I can get it to fail...

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Re: 030 exxos RTC issues.

Post by exxos » Thu Sep 06, 2018 1:33 pm

RTC fitted to this other falcon.. so far it all seems to be working perfectly as well. Will leave the machine running and also check over the next days. So again , really don't understand why others are having issues with all this :roll:
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Re: 030 exxos RTC issues.

Post by dhedberg » Thu Sep 06, 2018 1:45 pm

Have you tried using any of the Falcon030 NVRAM tools around? Changing various settings, rebooting, validating...
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Re: 030 exxos RTC issues.

Post by exxos » Thu Sep 06, 2018 4:31 pm

dhedberg wrote:
Thu Sep 06, 2018 1:45 pm
Have you tried using any of the Falcon030 NVRAM tools around? Changing various settings, rebooting, validating...
I'm using bootc201 as well , so I know right on boot the settings are how I left them. Settings all seem to store fine.

I am really wondering if people are just shorting the battery out on the metal shielding.. it is close.. its the only thing I can really think of the thing "losing" settings.
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Re: 030 exxos RTC issues.

Post by troed » Thu Sep 06, 2018 4:48 pm

exxos wrote:
Thu Sep 06, 2018 4:31 pm
I am really wondering if people are just shorting the battery out on the metal shielding.. it is close.. its the only thing I can really think of the thing "losing" settings.
Banging too hard on the keyboard? :)

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Re: 030 exxos RTC issues.

Post by exxos » Thu Sep 06, 2018 4:53 pm

troed wrote:
Thu Sep 06, 2018 4:48 pm
Banging too hard on the keyboard? :)
Maybe! One guy I know put the shielding back.. not sure about the second guy.. will ask..
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