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CPX seems tired
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CPX seems tired

by lleathers on Thu May 02, 2019 2:36 pm

We are using the CPX for a middle school class. They are shared devices used by several students throughout the week. They are used for a total of 1.5 hours per week, for 9 weeks.

This week, many of the devices seem "tired" or worn out. Lights seem dim and the sounds are softer (even on the highest volume setting) and sound a bit digitized. Any suggestions or thoughts?

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Re: CPX seems tired

by franklin97355 on Thu May 02, 2019 2:55 pm

Are you using batteries or USB for power?

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Re: CPX seems tired

by lleathers on Fri May 03, 2019 9:58 am

We've used both and the results are the same.

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Re: CPX seems tired

by adafruit2 on Fri May 03, 2019 1:08 pm

there's no real reason for them to be less bright if the power is the same and they aren't damaged. could be the code changed. we need a lot more details on how you test them for more info

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Re: CPX seems tired

by lleathers on Tue May 07, 2019 10:29 am

Can you please provide some information on how to test them for damage? We have a class set, and approximately 80% are not producing sound correctly.

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Re: CPX seems tired

by adafruit2 on Tue May 07, 2019 10:56 am

try makecode.adafruit.com if you haven't. check the LEDs first :)

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Re: CPX seems tired

by kevinjwalters on Tue May 07, 2019 6:51 pm

If you have a multimeter easily to hand it would be worth checking voltage across the VOUT to GND on a good and a "tired" one whilst half NeoPixels are lit to maximum brightness white. If there's a significant difference between boards then swap them around to see if the issue is the board or the USB lead. If usb lead is implicated I would swap a between computers taking care to use same usb port just to rule out the computer/port. Mine says 4.75V unlit and 4.51V with 5 NeoPixels on full white which is what I would expect from the 5V out of my desktop. Actually, I'd check the voltage between 3.3V and GND too, mine's 3.32V unlit and 3.31V lit.

Worth posting a decent close up photo of front and back of a "tired" board too and maybe a sideways shot of the battery socket.

Adder later: For full brightness in MakeCode you need to use a set brightness block set to 255. That would normally be placed in an on start block as it only needs to run once at the start of the program.
Last edited by kevinjwalters on Tue May 14, 2019 3:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: CPX seems tired

by kevinjwalters on Wed May 08, 2019 2:12 pm

This has no relevance to your problem but are you using CircuitPython or MakeCode?

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Re: CPX seems tired

by lleathers on Fri May 10, 2019 12:02 pm

We're using MakeCode.

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Re: CPX seems tired

by adafruit2 on Fri May 10, 2019 2:33 pm

any photos or videos would help us a lot too

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Re: CPX seems tired

by kevinjwalters on Tue May 14, 2019 3:42 pm

Would also be useful to know the details on any electronic components you have been using the CPX boards with, i.e. connecting them to the touch pads around the outside.

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Re: CPX seems tired

by kevinjwalters on Mon May 20, 2019 5:04 pm

I think there has been a fairly recent change to the way audio works in MakeCode. I ran a test and thought it was quieter but then assumed I must be imagining it. Turns out I wasn't and that that MakeCode had changed, see Adafruit Forums: MakeCode: MakeCode Tutorials and Sound Broken.

There's a small chance the difference you note in audio could be from when the uf2 file was generated wrt to this change. A lot of software change nowadays is phased (in marketing terminology A/B testing), also possible you were caught in the middle of that phasing.

It doesn't explain the NeoPixel change though unless default brightness levels were tweaked too.

To rule that out I would take two boards showing good and tired behaviour and then download the freshly made uf2 file on from the same browser and desktop with same code.

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Re: CPX seems tired

by kevinjwalters on Tue Jun 04, 2019 11:03 am

@johnpark has found you can go back to an older version of MakeCode with https://makecode.adafruit.com/v1.1.46 - see MakeCode Tutorials and Sound Broken for more detail. That's worth a go to generate new uf2 files and test those to work out if the sound is a hardware or software issue.

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