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Adafruit Audio FX Sound Board Not Working + Complications (C
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Adafruit Audio FX Sound Board Not Working + Complications (C

by Larod on Thu May 26, 2022 10:38 am

This is a long story of complications of building this product so here it goes.

So I purchased the Adafruit Audio FX Sound Board 2x2W Amp 16MB along with the Adafruit Lilon/LiPoly Backpack, (I wanted a rechargeable battery as opposed to a battery pack) a SPDT switch, ( the exact one the instructions recommended) Lithium Ion Polymer Battery - 3.7v 500mAh, and 2 mono 3W 4 Ohm speakers.

I am located in Australia and I purchased these from the official adafruit site located in USA. Total cost came to $95.82AU. Already almost $100 for the base parts. I also spent additional money on 10 momentary switches at my local electronics store ($2 each) and some wires. Already an expensive project.

However, I digress

Very excited to work on this project, the instructions on the website don't really give a step by step instruction at all so I had to try and figure out where to start and what to do. I was inspired to make this from the Trellis sound board on adafruits youtube channel and I made my start from the soldering demonstrations in the video. I took electronics in school so I know how to solder and how basic electronics work.

I first wired the backpack, originally using the large pins but then decided to use just wires, attached the rechargeable battery with the switch and.... the switch doesn't work, didn't turn on or off, only way to power on or off was to disconnect and reconnect the ion battery through the JST on the backpack, which was hard to do as it is. I tried different combinations of wiring for the switch.... but still never worked, Step 1 and it didn't even work, not a good start, but I continued.

Started wiring each pin input, 0 to 10 to the momentary switches, while keeping a ground daisy chaining throughout then attaching onto the ground joint. Connected the L and R speakers and I was ready to import sounds.

Everything was looking good so far (except the on/off switch) I first imported the demo files that were on the instructions (darth vader sounds) and it worked. I then replaced them with my audio files, wav, 16bit, mono, appropriate kHz and it sorta worked? Some of the darth sounds were still being played when I hit certain buttons but the files were not physically on the drive when connected to the computer.
I would use a wire to reset the board by putting one on the RST and Ground to reset the board, this some times worked, sometimes didn't.

Eventually... I got the sounds I wanted on the board working to where I liked them.. Great!....

But then..
(The main issue for why this project isn't working)

For whatever reason, when it is powered by the battery... No sounds play and there is a solid Red LED.. This only happens when its connected to a computer. And when it was connected to a computer via micro usb, the red led was off... and when plugged into the computer it would not register as a usb device. Instead it would say to ignore it, eject it or initialise it. I was using a mac for this and when I plugged into a pc, it would say the same thing as well as to reformat it.

My theory is for whatever reason, when its powered it thinks its connected to a computer and when its powered by battery ( not connected to computer) it thinks its connected to a computer thus not playing any sounds.
Which is crazy because it was working fine just moments before...

I looked around to find solutions, re setting the board, I even erased the drive through my macbook and boom now its able to be read.. Great!!.... but it still does the previous problem..

This board is unable to be saved and I was building this for my best friend for his birthday, loaded with funny sounds that we both bond over. I was heart broken that I wasn't able to get this thing completed in time and now its busted.

I thought it could be the ion battery? So I bought a 3AAA battery pack that has an off/on switch built in which I didn't want to do but I just wanted this thing to work... It turns on and off now, Great... but didn't fix the problem...

I've tried all I can and resoldering and desoldering on this board is near to almost impossible because I didn't use jumper pins or headers but that was my choice, regardless that doesn't change the issue and would not be the problem.

I even thought it could be the backpack, so I desoldered the backpack and tried to solder on the 3AAA pack I mentioned earlier straight to the board... still didn't fix it.

This project, yet fun, was an absolute pain and its beyond frustrating that it doesn't work.

Is there a way I could get a new one sent to me? I can include video of what it does when connected to battery and then a computer, I've looked on these forums and seen others have had the same problems.

Thank you for your time and any help is deeply appreciated.

TLDR: Board thinks inputs of computer and battery are reversed resulting into not working, also on/off switch didn't work when wired into the backpack.

Larod
 
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Joined: Thu Oct 06, 2016 4:45 pm

Re: Adafruit Audio FX Sound Board Not Working + Complication

by dastels on Thu May 26, 2022 11:34 am

The on/off switch: Either it fails to turn it off, or to turn it on. It can't fail to "turn it on or off". Did you cut the trace between the switch connection pads/holes?

Phantom sounds: I recall reading in another forum post that things hang around more tenaciously that expected on this board. Delete, empty trash, You have to really get rid of it.

Your situation does sound odd. It will definitely not play sounds when you have a USB data connection, i.e. triggers are ignored. When using a battery, a USB power bank, or a USB power/charge-only cable it should work. I.e. grounding a trigger should play the corresponding file and light the red ACT LED while it plays.

500mAh is the bare minimum for the amplifier version of the board. See https://learn.adafruit.com/adafruit-audio-fx-sound-board/powering-it#powering-with-amplifer-2427298-4.

This paragraph is confusing:
For whatever reason, when it is powered by the battery... No sounds play and there is a solid Red LED.. This only happens when its connected to a computer. And when it was connected to a computer via micro usb, the red led was off... and when plugged into the computer it would not register as a usb device. Instead it would say to ignore it, eject it or initialise it. I was using a mac for this and when I plugged into a pc, it would say the same thing as well as to reformat it.


Dave

dastels
 
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Re: Adafruit Audio FX Sound Board Not Working + Complication

by Larod on Thu May 26, 2022 10:32 pm

Hello, Thank you for a fast reply.
With the ion battery connected and the switch wired in, the slider switch will not turn on or off the board. I even purchased another switch to replace the slider and it was also ineffective. Only way to turn on or off the power is by physically remove the battery. I wired these and the backpack as according to the instructions.

Deleting "phantom sounds" yes thats already been done and is not an issue anymore.

Correct, it will not play sounds even if I make a connection with a piece of wire from the trigger port to ground. Because as said in my first post, when connected to a power source, the board believes it is a computer input which does not enable the board to be useable/activated/trigger any sounds. And yes you are correct that it should be working when grounding a pin and such when the battery powers the board but it doesn't.

The 500mAh battery as stated in your replay is the 'bare minimum' which i don't believe to be a problem as it worked perfectly fine, the sounds were audibly at a good loud volume as well as being powered under those specifications, this battery choice would not be the reason for the board not computing.
However if you believe that this ion battery choice could be the issue, the board is currently being powered by a 3AAA battery pack as stated and linked in the instructions.

I believe the board to be corrupt or defective and the only solution is a replacement.

Thank you :)

Larod
 
Posts: 7
Joined: Thu Oct 06, 2016 4:45 pm

Re: Adafruit Audio FX Sound Board Not Working + Complication

by dastels on Thu May 26, 2022 11:06 pm

This really doesn't give me any additional information. Even answers to questions I asked.
Did you cut the trace between the switch connection pads/holes?


Have you read through the tutorial for the board? https://learn.adafruit.com/adafruit-audio-fx-sound-board

Dave

dastels
 
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Re: Adafruit Audio FX Sound Board Not Working + Complication

by dastels on Thu May 26, 2022 11:08 pm

Can you post some clear close shots of the board and the soldering?

Dave

dastels
 
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Re: Adafruit Audio FX Sound Board Not Working + Complication

by Larod on Fri May 27, 2022 2:53 am

Hi,
Yep no worries, I'll do you one better and I've made a video demonstrating it :)

https://youtu.be/7m8AQbM0oCE

Thanks

Larod
 
Posts: 7
Joined: Thu Oct 06, 2016 4:45 pm

Re: Adafruit Audio FX Sound Board Not Working + Complication

by dastels on Fri May 27, 2022 10:12 am

The video was great. Thanks. However, good, close, clear photos of the soldering would still be useful. I'm wondering if there's a short on one (or more) of the trigger inputs. Specifically one that doesn't have a sound associated with it. The red ACT light indicates that a sound is triggered, With the board disconnected and unpowered, please check continuity between each trigger input and ground. They should all be unconnected.

And once again, regarding the battery/power backpack switch: Did you cut the trace between the switch connection pads/holes? The backpack is by default always on. If you want to add a power switch to it (as you do) you need to cut the trace between the switch holes/pads.

Dave

dastels
 
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Re: Adafruit Audio FX Sound Board Not Working + Complication

by Larod on Sat May 28, 2022 7:55 am

Hi,
Each pin has sounds assigned to it, I have checked it all and the red led simply just stays lit as demonstrated in the video.
In the PDF instructions, no where does it say to "cut a trace". I don't really understand what you mean by that so I don't believe I have done this step if it's needed to be done.
Regardless, the backpack, the battery and switch when all connected together should work once wired and it does not. But if I am missing another step then fair enough.
But honestly, as I stated in my video and my post, my problem isn't the button working anymore, I am now fine with using the 3AAA battery pack as the power and on/off.
The board just simply has something wrong and has had glitchy problems since the beginning, this is why I believe it to be a faulty board.
Do you have a solution for the boards backwards input recognition that I have not previously mentioned, attempted to fix or theorised?
If not, then I believe the only solution is a new board.
Thank you.

Larod
 
Posts: 7
Joined: Thu Oct 06, 2016 4:45 pm

Re: Adafruit Audio FX Sound Board Not Working + Complication

by dastels on Sat May 28, 2022 11:35 am

FYI https://learn.adafruit.com/adafruit-pro-trinket-lipoly-slash-liion-backpack/pinouts#optional-switch-1942369-6:
If you want to have an on/off switch for your project, it's a quick mod. The line from the battery to the VBAT pin has a 0.1" breakout with a thin trace in between. Cut the trace between the two outlined pins and solder a switch in place. The switch is current-carrying so make sure it can handle the current draw you're expecting


The board does seem... confused. I've never seen this particular problem before. There's really no way to know what's happening inside since the firmware is closed-source.

Let's try a new board. Please email support@adafruit.com with a link to this thread, your order number, and request the replacement of one Adafruit Audio FX Sound Board 2x2W Amp 16MB.

Dave

dastels
 
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Re: Adafruit Audio FX Sound Board Not Working + Complication

by Larod on Sun May 29, 2022 9:32 am

Thank you Dave for all of your speedy responses and help, I appreciate it! :)

Larod
 
Posts: 7
Joined: Thu Oct 06, 2016 4:45 pm

Please be positive and constructive with your questions and comments.