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Ice Tube Clock - One Segment Not Lighting
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Ice Tube Clock - One Segment Not Lighting

by cconradd on Thu Oct 01, 2015 11:55 am

Hi all - everything went perfectly on my ice tube build up until the end, this is my first go at a kit like this so my soldering skills may not be the best. My issue is that the second to the right segment is not lighting at all (seconds). Everything else seems to work fine; the clock is keeping time, all the menus work etc.

This is what I have done to troubleshoot:

-Checked mosfet (my kit did have the newer one). I bridged the outside pins as described in other posts just to check and it made no difference.

-Checked for cold joints and retouched the connections to the tube.

-Verified that the 3 NC pins are in the right orientation and that no pins are crossed on the tube.


Here is a picture album of the board - http://imgur.com/a/8lAes


Thanks in advance for the help!

cconradd
 
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Re: Ice Tube Clock - One Segment Not Lighting

by Russell 27 on Thu Oct 01, 2015 1:22 pm

I can't remember if that's grid 2 or grid 8. Take a look at the images and look carefully at the solder joints for those grids. The entire display digit is not working, so I'd say a bad grid connection.

BOARD.png
BOARD.png (169.15 KiB) Viewed 1077 times


PINOUT.JPG
PINOUT.JPG (212.97 KiB) Viewed 1077 times


Russell
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Re: Ice Tube Clock - One Segment Not Lighting

by cconradd on Fri Oct 02, 2015 3:33 pm

Thanks for the reply. I checked the places you suggested, I also went over every solder joint on the entire board and tube with a magnifying glass. No luck.

Is there any way to jumper a hot lead direct to the tube to test the segment of the tube itself? This way I can rule out the board, I'm starting to suspect a faulty tube.


On the other hand, I was able to change the firmware and add a GPS without any issue, which was great! But that segment is still dead!

Image

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Re: Ice Tube Clock - One Segment Not Lighting

by Russell 27 on Fri Oct 02, 2015 4:06 pm

Unfortunately a magnifying glass is not a reliable indicator. You need to use a meter. This is grid 2 not working. The pin right next to grid 2 pin on the tube is the filament ground pin. If these happen to be making contact with each other, it would shunt the grid to ground making it inoperable. I noticed on my tube these leads were almost touching inside the tube. With tube removed See if you have continuity on grid 2 pin and ground pin. With the clock powered off and tube installed you could try the same. If you have continuity this is the cause. It may be a matter of just reflowing the solder.
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Re: Ice Tube Clock - One Segment Not Lighting

by cconradd on Fri Oct 02, 2015 4:24 pm

Russell 27 wrote:Unfortunately a magnifying glass is not a reliable indicator. You need to use a meter. This is grid 2 not working. The pin right next to grid 2 pin on the tube is the filament ground pin. If these happen to be making contact with each other, it would shunt the grid to ground making it inoperable. I noticed on my tube these leads were almost touching inside the tube. With tube removed See if you have continuity on grid 2 pin and ground pin. With the clock powered off and tube installed you could try the same. If you have continuity this is the cause. It may be a matter of just reflowing the solder.


I did reflow all the solder and touched up a couple of places. I will try the continuity test tonight.

Thanks for all your help with this!

cconradd
 
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Re: Ice Tube Clock - One Segment Not Lighting

by adafruit_support_bill on Fri Oct 02, 2015 4:32 pm

Russell27 knows these clocks inside and out and then some - as evidenced by his own take on the design: viewtopic.php?f=41&t=79043&p=411390#p400419

I can't add anything to the good advice he has given so-far. :)

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Re: Ice Tube Clock - One Segment Not Lighting

by Russell 27 on Fri Oct 02, 2015 5:02 pm

If you want to test tube, the drawing shows the connections. 3-5 volts on filament. +12 on grid and segments. Since you know tube works, you could test just grid 2 with a few segments for simple test.
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Re: Ice Tube Clock - One Segment Not Lighting

by cconradd on Sat Oct 03, 2015 2:43 pm

Completed the continuity test - no bridging, everything checks out. I get continuity all the way to the tube wires.

Here's the voltage at the header. I'm running jarchies XMAS firmware. I'm getting nothing on the pin marked for segment H. Is this right?

Image

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Re: Ice Tube Clock - One Segment Not Lighting

by Russell 27 on Sat Oct 03, 2015 4:10 pm

H is decimal point, most likely not being used. Keep in mind these pins are multiplexed so a reading from these pins can be tricky. I would recommend you test your tube to verify operation. If you connect power supplies as in original drawing you can test segment 2. 3 to 5 volts on filament. +12 on segment a thru g and grid 2; you should see a number 8 displayed. You could turn on all grids or just say grid 1 also, you know that is working. Both grid and segment have to be pulled high to illuminate segments.
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Re: Ice Tube Clock - One Segment Not Lighting

by cconradd on Sat Oct 03, 2015 5:52 pm

I was able to get an 8 on all segments that display time except number 2. When I put the lead to it, the whole display just dims slightly.

Thoughts?

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Re: Ice Tube Clock - One Segment Not Lighting

by Russell 27 on Sat Oct 03, 2015 6:24 pm

Do you get a resistance or continuity reading between grid 2 pin and any other pins. There may be an internal problem with the tube. If you examine it carefully you can see many of the connections inside. If you don't find anything with meter, unfortunately a tube problem.
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Re: Ice Tube Clock - One Segment Not Lighting

by cconradd on Sat Oct 03, 2015 8:31 pm

I did do a continuity test on the tube itself and then on the header to tube. No issues.

I don't see any obvious issues. The wires for segment 2 are in sort of an L shape and are very very close to another wire, but don't appear to touch.

Haven't done resistance, but I think the tube is suspect at this point. Looks like I need to order a new one.

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Re: Ice Tube Clock - One Segment Not Lighting

by Russell 27 on Sun Oct 04, 2015 5:47 am

Actually I'm speaking of the connections inside the tube, if you measure resistance between grid 2 pin and all other pins individually, with tube removed, you may find where the problem stems from. There should be no continuity (or even high resistance) to another pin. You mentioned tube was slightly dimmer with that connection made in test. My thought was grid 2 inner trace was either shorted somewhere or broken. If you look inside the tube itself you can see all the connections. This may provide an answer why it's not working if you're interested, even if it's not a fix. You know with certainty now.
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Re: Ice Tube Clock - One Segment Not Lighting

by cconradd on Fri Oct 09, 2015 12:29 am

Up and running with a new tube. Thanks for all the help!

Although the new tube is an IV-18, it appears to be a different revision. The digits are larger and the back is solid black instead of grid.


Image

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Re: Ice Tube Clock - One Segment Not Lighting

by adafruit_support_bill on Fri Oct 09, 2015 6:10 am

Great! Where did you get the tube? Our source for these has dried up unfortunately and we've had to discontinue it.

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Please be positive and constructive with your questions and comments.