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PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2012 9:29 am 
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Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2012 9:02 am
Posts: 9
Hi fellow Hardrockers,

I just finished building my amp (incl. 0.5W pre-amp) last night. Bias-alignment worked as expected and I already put a few nice DX-contact in my log in the last hours. I use the amp in combination with a Softrock v6.3 SDR. I'm still running Hardrock-50 Firmware version 1.3 with the known problems.

I have 3 additiuonal issues not solved yet and looking for feedback/ideas:

1) Low Output on upper bands
I know this topic was covered before, however I already have the proposed changes implemented (L8/L9 have 8 turns and C41, C42, C43 are the new ones provided by Jim). I'm only running on 20 to 10 meters and the bandfilters were chosen correctly when testing output power. Here are my measured values: 20m=45watts, 17meters= 30watts, 15meters= 22watts, 12meters and 10meters=18watts
Any suggestions what to check/test ?

2) PTT sometimes hangs up after transmit (stays in transmit when Trcvr is already back to RX). This happens in PTT as well as COR keying mode.

3) Firmware upgrade to v1.4 does not work. I use a WinXP Laptop with the MCP2200 driver installed. The computer recognizes the connected USB cable as COM9 and "ready to use" with the MicroChip driver. However, when I start the mikroBootloader.exe, switch to COM9 and hit "connect" it comes back with a message saying: "Waiting for MCU response" follwed by "unable to connect" ?!?!?

Any help/input is welcome....

Thanks and 73 de Jens, DL2RMM
Dresden, Germany


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2012 10:50 am 
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Joined: Wed Nov 17, 2010 8:25 pm
Posts: 54
You have to power cycle the amp to throw it into boot loader mode. Might take a few tries to get the timing right.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2012 2:00 pm 
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Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2012 9:02 am
Posts: 9
Curtis,

thanks for your response ... I forgot to mention in my original post that I did power-cycle the amp after I hitting "connect". I repeated it about 50times in the last hour (trying different timings between hitting "connect" and power On/Off switching) but still no avail ....
I did double-check the correct connection of the ribbon cable between front and back panel..... could there be any other known reason for the MCU not responding during boot up?

73, Jens DL2RMM


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2012 2:15 pm 
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Joined: Wed Nov 17, 2010 8:25 pm
Posts: 54
When things boot up, you should initially see the row of squares for about 5 seconds, then it will go to the splash screen. During that "row of squares" time is when it is checking for the bootloader signals. Try this sequence:

Double Check that the mikrobootloader is configured for 19200, 8, N, 1, NONE
Make sure that the Mikrobootloader is configured for COM9 but not in "connect" mode yet
Power cycle the amp and watch for the squares
Immediately hit the connect button

If that doesn't work, then we need to diagnose what might be going on. There are very few places where something can go wrong here. We know that your MCP2200 chip is working. We know the PIC is working. What we don't know is if you are getting communication between the two.

There is another thread on this topic...He was having a problem as well, but I can't remember what his issue was...something with correct COM port I believe...but not sure.

I think what I need to do is put a key sequence in to allow the HARDROCK to stay in "searching for bootload signal" indefinately. This would allow you to have it wait for a connection and would probably help with the timing issues, especially since some PCs probably take a little longer than others to detect that the USB->Serial converter is connected.

Verify all of the above and report back and we'll look at further troubleshooting.

Just an FYI...I am sitting in the airport right now and will be getting on an airplane to Europe for a week in about 2 hours. I will be out of communication for about 24 hours...its not that I forgot about you, just out of town. I'll check email as soon as I get settled in and have internet.

Curtis


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2012 2:34 pm 
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Joined: Sat Sep 29, 2012 11:24 pm
Posts: 26
Hi, guys. Decided to try the firmware update today. Running Win 7, 32 bit.

Loaded the mikrobootloader, and started the application. As soon as I run the software, I get a Registry error ( win error code 2). I am not a PC guy,so I thought I would ask here for help. After dismissing the error, the mikroBootloader window comes up.. Clicking on the Change settings results in Error reading Combo1:Registry Error ( win error code 2)

When I plug the HardRock into the USB port, it recognizes the MCP2200 USB serial port emulator.

Any suggestions?

Thanks,

Dave
KF7DRU


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2012 2:41 pm 
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Joined: Wed Nov 17, 2010 8:25 pm
Posts: 54
Try right clicking on the launch icon or executable and selecting "Run as Administrator". Its likely the registry error is due to some security issue. I run on Windows 7 just fine, so I know its compatible.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2012 2:46 pm 
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Joined: Sat Sep 29, 2012 11:24 pm
Posts: 26
OK, tried the run as administrator, and no change. Still get the same error.

Another thing. I was in the Device manager, and see that no driver is installed for the USB emulator. Is that normal?

Thanks for the help.

Dave


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2012 2:56 pm 
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Joined: Wed Nov 17, 2010 8:25 pm
Posts: 54
You need to install the driver for the mcp2200. Link and instructions in the wiki. Other than that, no other driver is needed.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2012 3:51 pm 
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Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2012 9:02 am
Posts: 9
Curtis,

yes, your detailed steps did it .... FW1.4 loaded correctly now, thanks.
I just tested the amp with the new firmware a few minutes ago (at my 30W level) on 17meters and had a nice chat with a guy in Virginia... got a 57 report :D

@ Dave - I remember having the same fault as yours in the beginning and ignored it. With the MCP2200 driver installed (as in the instructions) the computer recognized the MCP chip as COM9 and showed up in the device manager with the correct driver associated.

I now just need to understand my low output level on the upper bands.... as I just cycled through the bands again and get about the same low power out between 17 and 10meters (20meters is fine at about 50W).

73 de Jens, DL2RMM


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2012 3:52 pm 
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Joined: Sat Sep 29, 2012 11:24 pm
Posts: 26
Ok, some progress. I found the driver, and have gotten it installed. Now the miKroBootloader starts without an error.

Next, we are instructed to set the com port to the port the amp registered as. How do you find that information?

Thanks,

Dave


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