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JeeNode USB v5 RF12demo Not Working

Added by Jengineer over 4 years ago

Hi,

I have bought the JeeNode USB v5 (pre-assembled) together with a JeeLink v3 back in October 2013 but it wasn’t until now that I played around a bit with them. The JeeLink works perfectly, I can flash the RF12demo (v12) and it can send stuff and receive random messages from the other 868 MHz things I have lying around.

Regarding the JeeNode, everything except for the wireless communication is working. I can flash the RF12demo (v12), I can also configure everything via the serial interface, but sending and receiving simply do not work (e.g. with the command ‘t’ or ‘a’). The JeeNode does not even receive noise or other random packages (marked with an ‘?’), just nothing. When I try to send, it does something like this (using the broadcast command ‘t’):

> t
test 0
@ -> 66 b@
> t
test 1
> t
test 2
> t
test 3
...

It seems that it only sends data once. However, I never managed to exchange data between JeeNode and JeeLink. Given the fact that the JeeLink can receive stuff, I doubt that the JeeNode actually sends something (useful). I re-checked the soldering points and re-soldered all of them (just to be sure), which didn’t change anything. Of course, I also attached (soldered) an one-wire antenna with a length of 82mm, which is the same length as the one of the JeeLink. I operated the JeeNode and JeeLink attached to the same and to two different computers with varying distances between them, still the same behavior. The RF12 configuration is default (group: 212, freq: 868MHz, IDs: various, including ‘1’/’2’ or ‘31’/’1’ or arbitrary combinations). And I’m using Arduino IDE 1.0.5 with the latest JeeLib (downloaded yesterday).

So, I’m a bit out of ideas, any suggestions are highly appreciated ;)!

Cheers


Replies (11)

RE: JeeNode USB v5 RF12demo Not Working - Added by JohnO over 4 years ago

That behaviour usually means a soldering problem - can you post some photographs.

RE: JeeNode USB v5 RF12demo Not Working - Added by lightbulb over 4 years ago

Jengineer,

What about the rf12demo configuration on each?
It may seem obvious, but confirm each one is using the correct band / group and that the node ID’s are different. e.g Jeelink as node 1, JNv5 as node 5.
And then to be ‘doubly sure’, set them manually again. i e. if you were 868 Mhz group 212:

Jeelink:
“8b”
“212g”
“1i”

JNv3:
“8b”
“212g”
“5i”

Don’t have them sitting within 1m of each other.

then send a test message.

—lightbulb

RE: JeeNode USB v5 RF12demo Not Working - Added by martynj over 4 years ago

Jengineer,

Do you have access to a ’scope? Low end is fine - there is a way to see if the RFM12B has actually initialised.
Failing that, power externally and monitor the current consumption. Transmitting a packet is a noticeable “kick” on a classic moving needle meter.

RE: JeeNode USB v5 RF12demo Not Working - Added by Jengineer over 4 years ago

lightbulb:
I double-checked the configuration, also the one you suggested, still nothing.

martynj:
I don’t have access to a scope right now, but might have in the next days, so I will hook up some signals to the scope to check what is going on.

RE: JeeNode USB v5 RF12demo Not Working - Added by martynj over 4 years ago

Jengineer,

This is the diagnostic path to follow when you get hold of a ’scope.

RE: JeeNode USB v5 RF12demo Not Working - Added by Jengineer over 4 years ago

martynj:
I read the post you linked to and just checked the frequency on the RFM12B’s CLK pin. I noticed that it stabilizes at 1 MHz, but never changes to 1.66 MHz (I do have a multimeter), not even when I’m configuring or sending/receiving. Is there anything inside RF12demo that I have to configure (e.g. to correctly setup SPI)? Btw, during my tests there is nothing attached to the JeeNode. Guess I will take a closer look at the SPI bus when I have access to a scope.

RE: JeeNode USB v5 RF12demo Not Working - Added by martynj over 4 years ago

@Jengineer,

Ok, there is some issue on the SPI bus or, more likely, the RFM12B module has died.  There is a small rate of infant mortality (about 1 in ~250) for these modules.  The good news is once they are working a few hours, they seem to go on for ever.

RE: JeeNode USB v5 RF12demo Not Working - Added by Jengineer over 4 years ago

martynj:
Suppose there is no obvious issue on the SPI bus: Are you saying that even if I had a dead module, it could become alive again? How would that work?

RE: JeeNode USB v5 RF12demo Not Working - Added by martynj over 4 years ago

@Jengineer,

If the SPI bus looks ‘clean’ (voltage swing close to both the 0V and the 3.3V rails and a squarish leading edge) then the RFM12B module is not responding correctly to the commands from the MCU. This follows from your observation - the 1MHz clock signal appears as soon as the module comes out of power on reset (no SPI command is required).  During initialisation down the SPI bus by the rf12 library, this is set to 1.67 MHz and later turned off to save power (this pin is normally unused).

The symptoms of a dead module are typically a refusal to talk at all on the SPI bus - this leads to a hang in rf12demo since the initialisation code does not complete.   If I understand correctly, your symptoms are different - a packet seems to be assembled and shipped out (but not as far as the antenna wire).   Puzzling - you could backtrack to the v11 of rf12demo, it is frozen in Github while v12 is still under active development.

If none of that works, then the RF module is #1 suspect and needs replacing.

RE: JeeNode USB v5 RF12demo Not Working - Added by Jengineer over 4 years ago

martynj:
I checked the SPI bus today with a scope and it looks very neat. Good, stable voltage levels, proper communication from the MCU side (SDI pin), however, the return path (SDO pin) stays silent. I found a thread that very well describes what I’m seeing from the software side (http://jeelabs.net/boards/7/topics/2870?r=2872). How that relates to a silent SPI bus, I don’t know, especially since the software tells me that it did send something once (as shown in my first post).

Anyway, since the module is very likely to be faulty, I’ll order a replacement module and see how that works out. Once I tried that, I’ll let you guys know.

    (1-11/11)