Icetube clock showing all 8's 88 88 88
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Re: Icetube clock showing all 8's 88 88 88

by matphillips on Tue Oct 23, 2012 12:42 pm

I took the warning about the chip to heart and was very cautious when trying to remove it, which lead to me failing to remove it! I think this may need a special tool, doing it with a small screwdriver didnt seem to budge it without risking damage so I left it alone. I've checked the seating of the other chip and rechecked all the solder joints and then I powered it back up.

When the power was reapplied, the full display came on again, every element lit. With it powered I carefully used the non-conductive end of a small screwdriver and tapped it all over the place to see if there may be a loose connection, no affect. I wiggled the display board around in it's socket too, also no affect, well other than a little shock when touching the wrong part of the board!

So I'm pretty much at a loss, a bit disappointed too :(

Where can I go from here? Is there any sort of "get-you-working" service available? Can I send the whole thing back at all?

many thanks.
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Re: Icetube clock showing all 8's 88 88 88

by adafruit_support_bill on Tue Oct 23, 2012 1:09 pm

At this point, your build looks fine and your boost converter is working, so it is pretty much down to the VFD chip or the tube. It would take several internal shorts in the tube to cause all digits to light at once. So, in the absence of any visible tube problems, lets try replacing the VFD chip.

Contact support@adafruit.com with a link to this thread and ask for a new VFD chip.
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Re: Icetube clock showing all 8's 88 88 88

by matphillips on Tue Oct 23, 2012 1:39 pm

Looks like that chip's coming out either way then! I steadied my nerves and used a very small torx driver to remove it, came out ok actually. In then put it back in and got the same full display so I guess it may be faulty. I'll contact the email address, many thanks.
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Re: Icetube clock showing all 8's 88 88 88

by aalbinger on Tue Oct 23, 2012 11:36 pm

I'm very interested if the replacement chip fixes the issue. I've "inherited" a completed kit that displays all 8's and his a low volume high pitched tone that alters from slightly lower to slightly higher each second.

I've looked at the component placement and solder joints and cannot find a fault. All of the voltages are where expected based on the build doc and these forums.

If this fixes your problem I will look into purchasing the new chip to complete my inherited project.

Thanks!

-Andrew
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Re: Icetube clock showing all 8's 88 88 88

by matphillips on Wed Nov 07, 2012 8:10 am

The replacement chip arrived today (thank you so much) and I excitedly and careful installed it and powered up.... it beeped and I waited and after about twenty seconds... no change, all 8's :(

any other ideas?
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Re: Icetube clock showing all 8's 88 88 88

by adafruit_support_bill on Wed Nov 07, 2012 10:45 am

After consulting with Ladyada, we are both puzzled about what would cause this.
If you contact support@adafruit.com with a link to this thread, we will send you a new kit.
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Re: Icetube clock showing all 8's 88 88 88

by matphillips on Wed Nov 07, 2012 10:56 am

That would be wonderful, thank you, I'll do that. I'll happily return the one I have if it would be helpful.

Thanks.
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Re: Icetube clock showing all 8's 88 88 88

by adafruit_support_bill on Wed Nov 07, 2012 12:31 pm

Yes, we would like to have a look at it to see what is wrong. If you contact support@adafruit.com they can arrange that.
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Re: Icetube clock showing all 8's 88 88 88

by mitpatterson on Sat Nov 17, 2012 4:50 am

I would be interested to see what the "post-mortum" shows once the kits arrives back at adafruit.
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Re: Icetube clock showing all 8's 88 88 88

by matphillips on Sat Dec 15, 2012 9:42 am

The replacement kit just arrived and I've started building it. Fingers crossed that I get this one working.
Much appreciation to the Adafruit team for arranging the replacement. :)
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Re: Icetube clock showing all 8's 88 88 88

by matphillips on Sat Dec 15, 2012 10:35 am

SUCCESS !!
Kit built and working!
I used the original tube (didnt look forward to doing that part again!) so there's an unopened tube and case heading back to adafruit on Monday along with the defective board; hopefully they can find what's wrong with it and that may be of some use to someone else.

Woooo!!

[edit: oh yeah, the last digit on the seconds is dimmer than the rest, I'll ignore it for now,but... any ideas?]
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Re: Icetube clock showing all 8's 88 88 88

by adafruit_support_rick on Sat Dec 15, 2012 12:04 pm

Great! :D

matphillips wrote:edit: oh yeah, the last digit on the seconds is dimmer than the rest, I'll ignore it for now,but... any ideas?


What happens if you turn the brightness all the way up? The seconds will tend to be dimmer at lower brightness settings. It's an effect of the way we drive the tube.
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Re: Icetube clock showing all 8's 88 88 88

by adafruit_support_bill on Sun Dec 16, 2012 6:41 am

Congratulations! :D
As Driverblock says, the dimmer last digit is a function of the way the tube is driven. Due to the resistance of the heater wire, there is a voltage drop from one end of the tube to the other. If you want to try your hand at hacking the firmware, some customers have modified the timing of the display multiplexing to compensate for the lower voltage. If you search these forums you should a few threads on the subject.
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Re: Icetube clock showing all 8's 88 88 88

by matphillips on Mon Dec 17, 2012 7:07 am

Thanks, I'll have a look at that, if this is the way it's supposed to be then that's fine. I took a picture but photographing glowing things is hard! In the pic you can just about see that the other digits are overexposing and 'blowing out' the image, but the last digit is reasonably clear.
I'm happy to just have it working though!

Is the address shown on the 'contact us' page the right one to send the old one back to?

[edit: found some other posts about the brightness thing, the pic is taken at full brightness and the difference is notable at all brightness levels]
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Re: Icetube clock showing all 8's 88 88 88

by adafruit_support_bill on Mon Dec 17, 2012 7:23 am

Yes, the address on the contact page is the correct shipping address.
the difference is notable at all brightness levels

Yes, mine is the same way. These are NOS tubes sourced from various manufacturers and there is some variability from sample to sample.
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