Power On/Off via software

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Mike K7PI Mike K7PI
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Power On/Off via software

Hi Dan...the power on/off does not function.  I am running Version 1.5.5 and XP with latest updates.  The power On/Off function has never worked with any version of the software.  When I power on, there is just a "click" sound but the 8410 does not power up.  When I power off the fan goes to high and the amp goes into some weird mode like it thinks it is timing to go on (but it doesn't).

Any suggestions?

Thanks

Mike
K7PI
Dan AE9K Dan AE9K
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Re: Power On/Off via software

Hi Mike,

This may sound like a really silly question but what position is the front-panel power switch in?

It must be left in the ON position and then the amp turned off via the monitor.  Once the amp is turned off remotely and the front panel switch left in the ON position, you can then turn it on via the monitor.  

The symptoms you describe sound like the front panel switch is in the OFF position.  When this is the case, sending a power-on command from the monitor results in a relay cycling.  Sending a power-off just resets the PIC micro-controller which starts the front-panel count-down and cycles the blower through high, medium then back to low.

I hope it's something simple like this since the power control commands have been pretty solid since they were reworked in version 1.4.5.

Dan
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Mike K7PI Mike K7PI
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Re: Power On/Off via software

Hi Dan...

Well, that explains the power "on" problem but then, the bottom line problem is that it won't turn the amp off.  Like I said, it seems to put the amp in some sort of weird mode where the fan speed goes to high and it looks like it does when the amp is in the beginning cycle after power up.

I'll play with it tomorrow and see if I can get it to work.  Thanks for the fast reply.  Otherwise, the new version is working fine (and this is a minor issue with me).

Happy Trails

Mike
K7PI
Dan AE9K Dan AE9K
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Re: Power On/Off via software

Mike,

Are you still running firmware 2.03h?  Based on emails from early August that was the version you were running last.

Just wondering whether the monitor and amp are in streaming mode or polling mode when the OFF command sequence is sent.  As long as it's 2.03a or greater it should stream automatically.  The text area under the raw telemetry field will indicate whether streaming is occurring when the Start button is clicked initially.

The remote STBY and OPR switching have similar command sequences.  Do these work reliably or does the amp miss a significant percentage of attempts?

Thanks,

Dan
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Mike K7PI Mike K7PI
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Re: Power On/Off via software

Hi Dan,

Yes, still using 2.03h. STBY/OPR operate fine. In fact, everything else seems to work fine. I was going to investigate more today but it is very windy here and I have everything disconnected (we often loose power here with these storms).  I'll try again tomorrow and let you know what I find out.

Thanks very much for the help..

73 Dr Mike
K7PI
Mike K7PI Mike K7PI
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Re: Power On/Off via software

Dan,

Turning off the amp with Monitor does not shut it off but rather recycles the warmup sequence.  STBY/OPR works fine as does everything else.  You might remember I had issues turn-on issues with my 8410 when I first received it so maybe something is unique in my settings or hardware.  IN any case, this is no big deal and please don't waste any time on it.  I'll just switch on/off manually which is just fine.

I'll email you the telemetry log file recorded during my testing.  Both cycles shown in the file were initiated when Power Off was initiated from inside Monitor.  File provided for you curiosity interest only :-).

Thanks much for a great program...

73 de Mike
K7PI
Dan AE9K Dan AE9K
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Re: Power On/Off via software

Mike,

I reviewing the telemetry file you emailed, I haven't found anything related to the power-off issue but I did find a recurrence of a telemetry quirk that I thought was resolved in 2.02g.   When the amp sends an $APA20 string with the amp serial number there's an extraneous 0x02 after the serial number and a repeat of the $APA20 label.

A sample $APA20 string from your log file (the '.' represents the unprintable 0x02):

09/29/2013 09:30:21.6,$APA20,841011070187.$APA20,1085830C02080054,2.03h,3*4111

A sample $APA20 string from my amp:

07/23/2013 21:41:55.0,$APA20,841010080080,10DABCFB010800A6,2.03h,0*3025

While the monitor has ignored these extra characters for quite some time, it's odd that 2.03h is producing this on your amp and not mine.  The same firmware should produce the same results.

I've never heard of an incomplete firmware load but this is odd that we're getting down-rev behavior that doesn't match the version number.  Can you reload 2.03h and grab another telemetry log?  Or, if you like, I can send you 2.03k which only adds support for the forthcoming EEPROM dump capability.  Loading 2.03k may be better if only so we can see that the version increments as evidence that it succeeded.

I'll email 2.03k to you.

Dan
AE9K
 
Dan AE9K Dan AE9K
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Re: Power On/Off via software

Mike,

Thanks for the email reply that all is working normally with 2.03k.  Now your $APA20 strings in the telemetry log you sent also look normal (just $APA20, serial number, ESN, firmware version):

09/30/2013 10:28:46.2,$APA20,841011070187,1085830C02080054,2.03k,0*E7E0

I'm still baffled by the behavior under 2.03h and will follow up with Gordon on possible explanations why we were seeing issues that were fixed in 2.02g.

Dan
AE9K
Dan AE9K Dan AE9K
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Re: Power On/Off via software

Mike,

I just noticed in the screen shots you emailed that CE mode is enabled.  This should be disabled and this very definitely affects the power switching behavior.  

CE mode is for EU regulatory compliance purposes and is intended to be enabled only on amps sold in Europe.  The behavior per Gordon is that in the EU, if the front panel switch is on and mains power is off then on (as it would be if the amp were unplugged then plugged in) the amp fires right up.  With CE mode disabled, the amp doesn't fire up with mains power but rather requires the front panel switch to be cycled through OFF then back to ON again.

With CE mode enabled, it means leaving the front panel switch ON in anticipation of using the monitor's remote power-on capability leaves you open to the possibility that if you lose your mains temporarily the amp will fire up when mains power is restored.  At a minimum it could cause your amp to fire up when you don't expect it.  Worst-case, if you have a dust cover over your amp like I do, the amp could fire up unexpectedly and overheat in short order.  Not sure what would happen as there are no thermal faults.

So, I highly recommend getting CE mode disabled.  I would advise having RF Concepts make that change so they're aware an amp shipped  within the US was setup for Europe.

Dan
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Mike K7PI Mike K7PI
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Re: Power On/Off via software

Dan,

How do I turn off streaming mode so I can use terminal software to toggle CE mode?  When I use HyperTerminal I get a steady data stream and I can't stop it.

Thanks

Mike
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Dan AE9K Dan AE9K
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Re: Power On/Off via software

Mike,

To turn off streaming mode, type:

  #6,0<ENTER>

Where <ENTER> is pressing the ENTER key.  It doesn't matter if the individual characters you type have streaming telemetry in between.  The characters will still apply.

In a future release of the monitor, I'll have it kill streaming mode when the program ends.  That should avoid the need to disable it manually.

Thanks,

Dan
AE9K
Mike K7PI Mike K7PI
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Re: Power On/Off via software

Dan,

Tried the command using HyperTerminal and it had no effect on the streaming data (data keeps streaming).  I tied logging on using the command #1,123456 <Enter> and did not get the confirmation that the password was accepted.  Retried the command #6,0 <Enter>  after attempted login commmand with no change.

Tried to reload firmware and it would not load.  Will recycle mains and reboot and see if I can reload firmware.
Dan AE9K Dan AE9K
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Re: Power On/Off via software

Mike,

When you did the #1,123456 are you typing these characters one-by-one or pasting the whole thing in from the clipboard?  They should be typed one-at-a-time.  The whole thing should look like this (possibly with extra telemetry lines mixed in due to streaming):

#1,Enter password:123456

If the password characters are sent before that prompt appears, authentication will fail.

This may be obvious but just wanted to check.  When I automated all of this in the monitor it was fairly timing sensitive meaning that the intra-character timing couldn't be too small otherwise it would fail. So I couldn't just send #1, as a string, but instead had to insert 50 ms delays between characters, then wait for the password prompt then play out the password with 50 ms delays.

Dan
AE9K

Mike K7PI Mike K7PI
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Re: Power On/Off via software

Dan,

All is OK now...recycled 8410 mains and rebooted computer.  Reloaded firmware.  Turned off CE mode to Direct.  Now turn Off/On via Monitor works fine.  Wow, I am sorry for all the posts on this subject.  I believe CE mode must have been changed way back when I was working with Alpha trying to correct an on/off switching problem when I first received the amp.  In any case, it all works fine now.  Dan, you are great!  Thank you so much for all your time.  We are all very fortunate to have this great software and your support.  Please let me know if there is anything I can do to help.

Happy Trails

Mike K7PI