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Ice Tube - Only 1 LED segment lights
Moderators: adafruit_support_bill, adafruit

Please be positive and constructive with your questions and comments.

Ice Tube - Only 1 LED segment lights

by NoDelta on Sat Jan 18, 2014 3:01 pm

I`m @ the step of the ice tube clock where you plug in the ice tube for the first time. I get a blinking blue segment in one location only!
Photo's are located here:
http://s188.photobucket.com/user/anothe ... ce%20Clock

Here's what I've checked so far:
All solder connections between the board & VFD.
All solder connections between the board & header
All solder connections between the 90 degree header & little board
All solder connections between the little board at the tube.
I don't see an solder bridges or cold solders
5.0v at ISP3 pin 3
8.9v at ISP3 pin 1
61.8v at D3 (no vfd)
13.8v at D3 (w vfd)
4.8v at R3 closest to Q3

What else do I need to check?
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Re: Ice Tube - Only 1 LED segment lights

by adafruit_support_rick on Sat Jan 18, 2014 9:38 pm

The build looks good.

The tutorial suggests looking at it with all the lights turned off - did you try this? Once it's in an enclosure, you can make it brighter.

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Re: Ice Tube - Only 1 LED segment lights

by NoDelta on Sun Jan 19, 2014 11:05 am

Even in the dark, just I segment is lit.
Is there any way to test the tube? The vfd?
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Re: Ice Tube - Only 1 LED segment lights

by adafruit_support_bill on Sun Jan 19, 2014 12:40 pm

Can you post a photo of the solder side of the tube board?

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Re: Ice Tube - Only 1 LED segment lights

by NoDelta on Sun Jan 19, 2014 10:18 pm

Pics of the tube/board/header solders are uploaded to the same photobucket site posted above.

Thanks.
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Re: Ice Tube - Only 1 LED segment lights

by adafruit_support_bill on Mon Jan 20, 2014 7:04 am

Let's check if it is a tube problem. We can do this by shorting the known-good signals with the ones that are not lighting up. If we can get the other ones to light, then the tube is not the problem. This will take a bit of examination to trace the signals on the tube-board.

The segment that is lit is segment 'd' on position 3. In the diagram below, it is controlled by the signals on VFD3 and VFD_D. If you short VFD3 to another digit - say VFD5, the same segment should light up on the other digit. And, if you short VFD_D to another segment - say VFD_A, then you should see segment A light up. You don't have to try all the combinations. But if you can get a few different segments to light and a few different digits to light, we'll assume that the tube is working OK and focus our diagnostics elsewhere.

http://learn.adafruit.com/ice-tube-clock-kit/design
Image

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Re: Ice Tube - Only 1 LED segment lights

by NoDelta on Mon Jan 20, 2014 1:59 pm

What you're saying makes perfect sense, but I`m not sure how to make it happen on the physical clock.
Which pin is VFD3 and which is VFD5?
Which pin is VFDA and which is VFDD?
Are you talking about a jumper below where the VFD solders to the circuit? On the VFD from above? At the header? At the tube/small chip solders?

It's an either/or correct? I don't need to do 3-5 and A-D?
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Re: Ice Tube - Only 1 LED segment lights

by phild13 on Mon Jan 20, 2014 6:50 pm

If you view the tube board from the solder side then the top row of pins (solder pads) on the connector left to right (front of clock to back of clock) are pins
20, 18, 16, 14, 12, 10, 8, 6, 4, 2
and correspond to the following:
VFD_A VFD_B VFD_E VFD_D GND VFD4 VFD7 VFD5 VFD1 VBias
This row of pins when plugged into the female connector are closest to the VFD chip.

The bottom row of pins left to right (front of clock to back of clock) are pins (solder pads)
19, 17, 15, 13, 11, 9, 7, 5, 3, 1 and correspond to the following:
VFD_F VFD_G VFD_C VFD_H GND VFD2 VFD6 VFD8 VFD3 VFD9
This row of pins when plugged into the female connector are closest to the main boards edge.

So, counting from the right VFD3 is the second pin on the bottom solder pad row from the right and VFD5 is the third pin on the top solder pad row counting from the right.

You can use a small diameter wire to jumper the desired pins by holding the wire against the desired solder pads or you can use a wire lead that you cut off (bent into something like this _/\_ to keep from shorting other pins) and tack the wire lead to the desired pins/pads with solder.

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Re: Ice Tube - Only 1 LED segment lights

by NoDelta on Mon Jan 20, 2014 9:56 pm

Thanks PhilD.
I installed two jumpers. One from VFD A (top left) to VFD D (top, 4th from left) and a second from VFD 5 (top, 3rd from right) to VFD 3 (bottom, second from right).
I tried holding the jumpers with my hand with no success, so I soldered both jumpers (at the same time).

As a result, I now have 2 blinking segments. The original blinker is still going, and so is the top horizontal of the same character (position A).
So it seems like the A-D jumper works fine, but not the 3-5 jumper.

Pics are posted to the same photobucket.
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Re: Ice Tube - Only 1 LED segment lights

by adafruit_support_bill on Tue Jan 21, 2014 6:50 am

So it seems like the A-D jumper works fine, but not the 3-5 jumper.

Hmmm. Could be more than one problem there then. We have had a few reports of dissapearing segments in the past few days. One turned out to be a reversed Q3. viewtopic.php?f=41&t=47733&start=15

Q3 turns the tube heater off when it detects that it is on battery power. Try shorting the two outer pins of Q3. This will effectively bypass Q3 and provide power direct to the tube heater.

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Re: Ice Tube - Only 1 LED segment lights

by NoDelta on Tue Jan 21, 2014 7:15 pm

Jumping the first and third pins of Q3 definitely made a difference.
I removed the two previous jumpers and it looks like it`s blinking properly for an un-set clock.

Now, do I just need a new Q3 to get rid of the jumper?
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Re: Ice Tube - Only 1 LED segment lights

by jarchie on Thu Jan 23, 2014 6:22 pm

NoDelta wrote:Now, do I just need a new Q3 to get rid of the jumper?

In the past, people have reported that reversing Q3 (mounting it in the opposite orientation as the silkscreen) fixed the problem. But in two recent cases, reversing Q3 fixed the display problem, but caused sleep to fail, indicating that Q3 was indeed causing (or at least part of) the problem.

I would suggest replacing Q3 to fix the problem, and you might consider using a different part than in the Adafruit kit. See this thread for more information.

Adafruit support might want you to try installing Q3 in the reverse direction before offering a free replacement, however.
--John <www.jarchie.com/email>

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Re: Ice Tube - Only 1 LED segment lights

by adafruit_support_bill on Thu Jan 23, 2014 7:46 pm

Adafruit support might want you to try installing Q3 in the reverse direction

No. The rumors of mismarked parts have not proven true. People have said that it 'fixes' the problem - only to discover that the battery backup no longer works.

It sounds like probably a bad Q3. If you contact support@adafruit.com with a link to this thread, we can ship you a replacement. If you would like to try one of the other options suggested by jarchie, please let us know how it works for you.

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Re: Ice Tube - Only 1 LED segment lights

by egutting on Wed Mar 19, 2014 12:31 am

I had this same exact problem with the same exact things happening. I received 2 Q3s in my kit and replaced the one that was in there with the other and it works like a champ now!

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Re: Ice Tube - Only 1 LED segment lights

by jarchie on Wed Mar 19, 2014 12:36 am

Good to know. Thanks.
--John <www.jarchie.com/email>

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