Problem with GCA136 (solved)

RocNet(RaspberryPi), mergCBUS and LocoNet based hardware developed by Peter Giling. (GCA)
Documentation: http://wiki.rocrail.net/doku.php?id=english#hardware
Order information: http://wiki.rocrail.net/doku.php?id=gca:gca-index-en/

Problem with GCA136 (solved)

Postby Esteban » 06.07.2013, 13:37

Hello friends,

I built my own GCA136. It is connected to GCA50, and the signal reaches to the inputs of the PIC (pin 3,6,15 and 16 of 16F628A so the address, port, etc. .. is fine) but does not work.

My first question is:

LED 1 is always on. Is this correct?

Regards

Esteban Martín
Last edited by Esteban on 28.07.2013, 21:08, edited 1 time in total.
Esteban
 

Postby rjversluis » 06.07.2013, 14:27

Just buy a gca136 kit directly by Peter. ;-)
Best Regards, Rob.
:!: PS: Do not forget to attach the usual files.
:!: PS: Nicht vergessen die übliche Dateien an zu hängen.
[ macOS - Linux] - [ N: CBus - CAN-GCA ] - [ 0: RocNetNode - GCA-Pi ]
rjversluis
Site Admin
 

Postby Esteban » 06.07.2013, 15:52

Thanks Rob,

I bought Peter a GCA85 and all other modules are self-built. All works fine, but in this case I can't find information about the function of this LED. I have built and tested a MGV81 and runs smoothly. In the same PIC (16F628A), MGV84 firmware works well but not GCA136 firmware, why?

Any help is welcome.
Regards

Esteban Martín
Esteban
 

Postby rjversluis » 06.07.2013, 16:09

I did not write the frimware for the gca136.
But you can check the behaviour by reading the sources:
http://bazaar.launchpad.net/~rocrail-ha ... Servo/src/
Best Regards, Rob.
:!: PS: Do not forget to attach the usual files.
:!: PS: Nicht vergessen die übliche Dateien an zu hängen.
[ macOS - Linux] - [ N: CBus - CAN-GCA ] - [ 0: RocNetNode - GCA-Pi ]
rjversluis
Site Admin
 

Postby Richard-TX » 06.07.2013, 18:41

rjversluis wrote:Just buy a gca136 kit directly by Peter. ;-)


I agree with Rob. Buy a kit.

When cloning a servo controller or any product for that matter, I have found it is best to buy one kit, get it working and then proceed with a DIY version. Things change and sometimes those changes are not reflected in the published documents. There is nothing like having a working board to compare to.

I looked at a few of the different servo and I-O controller solutions available. Each has it own strengths and weaknesses. The only weakness that I can see with Peter's kits is the connectors. For example, the CGA50 is a 16 port I-O module. To connect 16 devices that require power, 16 wires have to be stuffed into one screw terminal. I haven't found a good solution for that. If there were sixteen 3 tier screw terminals used on that kit, it would be a wonderful product. I don't like the DB9 connectors on it either. It should have been a RJ style connector.

The other servo controller I looked at was the ESU Switchpilot. It has two major faults. The first fault is that it is rather expensive at a cost of about $7.50 per servo. The other fault is that it is impossible to program using software unless you have a ESU control station or ESU programmer. The Switchpilot Servo can be manually programmed. The plain Switchpilot servo outputs are impossible to program without a ESU programmer. I have not found a single person that has been able to program the Switchpilot without a ESU programmer.

The only problem that I have with the CGA36 is the connectors for the servos. Had standard servo connectors (.100 pin headers) been used, it would have been much better. The connectors used are difficult for me to source. It is the connector issue that prevented me from buying it.

On the plus side, the level of support and software integration for the CGA series is fantastic. It just can't get any better. There isn't a product in the world that has better support or is better integrated than the CGA series of devices. It is also a mature, time tested product that is rock solid.

In the end I decided to roll my own (DIY) accessory controller using a Raspberry Pi that uses SRCP as the communications protocol. As with anything, there strengths and weaknesses with Raspberry-Rocrail (Roc-Pi) solution. Its low cost per port is it's greatest strength. It may not be the right solution for you or for anyone else for that matter but it certainly has been a really fun project and it works for me. Time will tell if it is worthwhile.
Richard-TX
 

Postby Feiler » 07.07.2013, 18:58

Hello Martin!

First of all, i agree with all others to buy a 'regular' kit from Peter to test your DIY project(s). I use only the pcb and buy all other pieces myself (imo it looks like more 'professional' :D ).

So that we talk about the same circuit:
Schematic
Partslist

Normaly only the LE2 (green LED) is on. In case of programing the GCA136 to set the positions of the servos, the LE1 (red LED) is additional on.
Have you build your own schematic / pcb, or did you use Peters schematic?

Greetings, Sven
Feiler
 

Postby Esteban » 07.07.2013, 21:12

Hi Sven,

Thanks for your reply. I use Peter schematic, but with my own pcb.

I think I found the bug, but until tomorrow I can not check.
Will report.
Regards

Esteban Martín
Esteban
 

Postby Esteban » 28.07.2013, 21:05

Hello friends,

Sorry for the delay, (business trip).

The problem is solved. I only had to change the PIC 16f628a for 16F648A, and everything works fine.

Here you can see my GCA50. It's built in one side pcb:

[albumimg]1532[/albumimg]

And this my GCA136:

[albumimg]1533[/albumimg]

In this video you can see everything working:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9BWJCqUk7RI&feature=share&list=UUKM3-fOU_eof1IIwDJu_5lg

Thank you all (specially for Peter Giling)

:rr_for_ever:
Regards

Esteban Martín
Esteban
 


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