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  • Encoder/Controller Issue?

    When our encoder wires are plugged into the core motor controller the board throws and error and dies. Any ideas as to why this is happening?

  • #2
    I forgot to mention, encoder wires are Andymark

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    • #3
      Were you running some sample code or your own code? If it's your own code, it could be a code problem. What "error" did it "throw"?

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      • #4
        The error is that when the encoders are plugged in, the core hub starts by recognizing the motor controller and running normal, but after a bit, the core hub can't find the motor controller anymore. When the encoders are unplugged, it works fine. The code is our own...

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        • #5
          We tested sample code and our Coach's code as well.

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          • #6
            The hub in the core power distribution module is fairly dumb, and doesn't actively 'find' the controllers. The phone is responsible for finding the controllers through the hub part.

            I would suggest you troubleshoot through simplification and substitution. First, set up the robot with only a phone, the core power distribution module, one motor controller and one motor (connected with encoder). Can you duplicate the problem with that configuration? If not, there may be a problem with one of the components you've disconnected. If you can duplicate the problem, swap parts one at a time. So, replace the motor with a different motor, leave everything else the same, and test. If it passes, swap back the original motor and confirm that the problem returns. If the problem remains with the different motor, swap back the original and move to the next part in the chain (the encoder cable). Continue this process until you get all the way back to the phone. Note that you can swap the USB part of the core hub with a 'normal' USB hub to bypass that for testing, and keep the powerpole wires running through the core If the problem persists no matter what you swap, there's something stranger going on, like more than one bad component, or you may have something else wrong, like a wire shorted to the chassis of the robot, or ???

            If the 'simple' configuration works fine, then try swapping in each of the removed parts one at a time. When you can duplicate the problem, you've just added the bad part. If you can swap all the removed parts into the simple config without a failure, then move on to building the original full robot, again adding one part at a time and testing.

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            • #7
              Did all motor controllers disappear or just one particular one? Also, what are the firmware versions of the motor controllers. Like what 5294-jjkd said, if that's just one controller, swap it out with another one and see if that fixed the problem. If only one controller has problem, I would check the USB cable of that controller. If more than one controllers disappeared, then I would check all USB cables especially the one from the hub to the phone.

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              • #8
                We have tried to simplify the problem. We have replaced every motor, motor controller, wire, and the core module and each time it worked consistently when the encoders were plugged in and failed consistently when the encoders were plugged in. We bought all of our stuff this August so it is very near the latest firmware.

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                • #9
                  Did only one controller fail or others too. If one controller failed, is it always the one with encoders plugged in?
                  I've never heard of this issue. In fact, our robot has many Neverest motors and we have most of the encoders plugged in but we don't have this issue. So if the firmware is the latest, it can't be firmware issue. I assume you have changed the encoder wires too?

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                  • #10
                    Only one controller has failed and it always is the one with a encoder plugged into it. And yes we have tried changing encoder wires.

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                    • #11
                      Actually, we replaced the board that was erroring with a brand new board. That fixed the problem for a day or two and now the error appears on the new board.

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                      • #12
                        Here are some images.

                        http://imgur.com/WHcHfR3

                        http://imgur.com/wv2GiUV

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                        • #13
                          If you swap the controller with encoder and a controller without encoders, will the controller formerly being used without encoders fail? It sounds as if you have a bad motor controller; our team had received a motor controller which did not work straight out of the package this year (it is currently being sent back to MR for repairs).

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                          • #14
                            We have six Neverest motors this year, four with encoders, never a problem. In your picture, I see two motor controllers with encoders plugged in, but your previous messages indicated that only one was failing. Do both fail? What is the exact error message on the robot phone?

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by 5294-jjkd View Post
                              We have six Neverest motors this year, four with encoders, never a problem. In your picture, I see two motor controllers with encoders plugged in, but your previous messages indicated that only one was failing. Do both fail? What is the exact error message on the robot phone?
                              The error message is "the core power distribution module failed to communicate with motor controller [serial number for right motor controller]"
                              We have 8 never rest motors (they weren't bought from modern robotics, not exactly sure where they are from but somewhere legit). Going off of memory we have found 3 that have failed. We tested extensively and found that if we replaced those motors with new ones, we got no error (we had another one where the casing was cracked but that was a separate issue). However, the other day when it would seem that we found another motor that was broken, we replaced that motor with a motor which was previously thought to be broken and that worked.
                              And by replace I mean just plug into the board not physically put on our robot

                              But of the 2 times we have physically replaced the motor (because we believed we had a bad motor), the error was gone... For about 2-3 days. The error then came back with these completely fresh motors

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