FX mod - video issues in activator & menu [Solved]

Hello, I’ve installed the FX mod chip (non-preprogrammed) to my old arduboy, according to manual.

During the activator phase, the arduboy activator had video issues, like analog TV bad sync. But I’ve managed to flash everything either. Except for menu issues - there is no image in menu at all. But I am able to flash a game and games work well. I’ve used the master branch of MrBlinky/Arduboy-FX-mod-chip from github.

I’ve uploaded a video to youtube: Arduboy FX mod video issues - YouTube

Do you have any idea what might be wrong with video in activator & menu?

I’ve tested recharging the battery and resoldering all fx mod joints, but neither helped.

Did you compile the bootloader yourself?
If so, what version of the Arduino IDE did you use?

Just some ideas:

  • Could the process of flashing the activator sketch to the chip have been interrupted even briefly? Maybe the USB cable was faulty?
  • Have you reflashed the binary containing all the games to the mod chip?
  • Have you selected “Flash Bootloader” in the Activator, or tried the reset button method? Maybe the bootloader is just weirdly corrupted from a bad solder joint at the time of flashing.
  • Did you completely remove the modchip PCB from the Arduboy and check for solder (even minute amounts) shorting out any of the connections?

If my noobish programmer brain isn’t mistaken, these SHOULD fix the problem, even partially. If they don’t, it may very well be a hardware issue with the modchip.

No, I’ve used all pre-compiled from github.

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Also, have you seen this topic and scrolled to about a quarter of the way through it? There’s a lot of people having problems there, so reading that topic may very well help. I had problems with flashing the bootloader with the Activator sketch, but completely removed the modchip and saw some solder shorting out important joints, so I removed the problem solder. Then I completely resoldered the chip, flashed the bootloader with the Activator, and everything worked fine.

  • Could the process of flashing the activator sketch to the chip have been interrupted even briefly? Maybe the USB cable was faulty?
    I’ve tried flashing 2 times, each time image was running.
  • Have you reflashed the binary containing all the games to the mod chip?
    Yes.
    There are no issues with games, just the activator and menu.
  • Have you selected “Flash Bootloader” in the Activator, or tried the reset button method? Maybe the bootloader is just weirdly corrupted from a bad solder joint at the time of flashing.
    I used the activator. I didn’t used reset button at all.
  • Did you completely remove the modchip PCB from the Arduboy and check for solder (even minute amounts) shorting out any of the connections?
    No. I’ve just try reheating the thing in place. Maybe I’ll try it later.
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I’ve tried desoldering and resoldering of modchip, speaker and battery and didn’t helped.
Also tried compiling mod-chip-adruboy sketch in arduino 1.8.13 and running display issue persists.

Did you use the precompiled file at this link (right-click and “Save As…”) to flash the bootloader?

I’ve originally tried the one in portable-activator.zip, but now tried the one in your link, and the result is still the same.

Is it normal, that there’s this kind of visual glitches during the bootloader flashing, or do I have some interconnect/crosstalk between ISP programming and display?
image

When I flashed the bootloader with the Activator sketch there was just a blank screen for ~10 seconds and then the FX menu appeared.

I had a preprogrammed chip by the way, sorry I didn’t tell you earlier.

So it’s only the bootloader menu and the activator that has issues?

Those applications use a different drawing method than nearly all games, so I think that is something the source but I’m not sure why this would be the resulting glitch.

Have you made sure that nothing is shorting the connection for the display reset signal?

Actually… now I’m wondering if you have a short between one of the display control signals and the signals to the flash chip. Check the pcb for any damages or solder bridges to pads that aren’t supposed to be connected.

It looks like you’ve got a yellow one from the kickstarter? Some people have reminded me that the test pads are different for some of the very early ones so it’s possible maybe they aren’t lined up quite right.

Can you share a picture of the back of the pcb?

@mr.blinky any idea on why these apps might be freaking out?

Yes, only the bootloader (running image) and menu (no image at all). I’ve also tried the bootloader without the mod PCB attached, and it still does not work. Image is running, and some artifacts also shown:

So it must be something in my arduboy, not the mod itself. Here is the photo:


I havent found any issue with the traces, but cannot see under the display. It also seems that pin positioning is good. Maybe the display reset or CS does not work at all on my device.

I’ve noticed that there are display enabling/disabling in bootloader sketch, tried to fiddle with the source a little bit, but with no success. Is somewhere the menu source code available? Maybe I can fiddle with that a little bit.

Damn that’s extremely weird I wonder if the SSD1306 controller in your specific screen has a problem.

Since it’s a yellow I don’t have any to replace it though :frowning:

How is the display mounted? Can it be unglued somehow?

It’s finally working!

I’ve unglued the display by knife (while cracking the edge of display a little bit, but not much, it still works), and noticed, that while I pressed on the ribbon cable, it started to work temporaily. Then I’ve “reflowed” the ribbon to PCB, and it works well now. Probably badly soldered CS pin…

Thank you all for your assistance!

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You are very much welcome! I like helping people :hugs:

Oh damn you found the short it was under the glass! That’s a really tricky repair to get right without cracking the glass very impressed!

You’ve been awarded the Arduboy Repair badge as a result!

https://community.arduboy.com/badges/123/epic-repair

(I think some other people need this award retroactively applied!)

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