2014 Feb 28

2014_02_28 Happy Birthday to Everybody born tomorrow those few years ago when a tomorrow actually arrives :D So I guess you celebrate today or the first of March? If it was me I would ignore March (hatter and hare also the Ides of) and do it today, So Many Happy Returns ;)

Another frustrating session on the sound decoders yesterday. My poor mate left here without his engine which I failed to get finished. Similar problems to the last few weeks.
So after Al left, in between dash's to the toot with a stomach bug we both seemed to pick up at lunch in Town, I managed to strip Java and Decoder pro off my computer and load it back on again.
I also loaded on Digitrax Sound Loader because the Digitrax Chip we tried to fit to Al's engine sounded woeful. I don't think Digitrax really care a lot about sound, do they?

Anyway the reloads did not help. remember the AN I worked on a few days ago? Well it was the only sound loco handy, so it became the test engine. Try it if it worked, then try to fix the broken one etc. etc.  Well not only did I get other stuff going, I broke the sound in the AN. It runs just fine, but after a couple of static hiccups it switched sound off permanently. Fortunately Loksound have serial numbers and Mike Walters has  a way of sending me my lost sound and I can reload it . loksound uses its own programmer and that works just fine. The engine was never on a track whilst I worked on another, nor was another on the track whilst I had the AN running. So another mystery.

This morning after sleeping on it, I decided to revisit the G Class project. I knew that when I found out what the tsunami problem was, I was going to be unhappy, I thought I said "kick my self" In fact I want to Kick Soundcraft in the nuts, because the problem was in fact their doing. They published a circuit outline showing how to connect up the chip. The only problem was the diagram is wrong or at best confusing. They have drawn the Caps on the wrong side. Where the diodes are lined up if the writing is the top of the board as usual. The caps are clearly drawn.

I found a pair of magnifying glasses, and started to search the circuit board, looking for broken tracks or burnt out components. It smelt ok, but you never know.
Now my eyes are poor these days. Distance 20/20 but close up, not good enough to read a circuit board. So using the Soundtraxx chart was seemingly the best way to go.....  Wrong!
Whilst checking out the magnified board I noticed that the tabs were labeled on the underside of the board, going on the diagram, the caps are on top and the F5 and F6 tabs are on the top with the Speakers on the bottom, motor + and - to their right.  This is apparently incorrect, as clearly the speaker and the motor tabs should be on top as marked on the board.  So I was calling the bottom of the board the top based on the twin capacitors being drawn on the wrong side.
So problem solved..  :(