Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 23

Thread: New PhantomX hex communication(?) Issue / Extremely frustrated with the lack of coherent instructions

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    Northern Virginia
    Posts
    27
    Rep Power
    16

    Angry New PhantomX hex communication(?) Issue / Extremely frustrated with the lack of coherent instructions

    Editing post.
    I was overly frustrated when I wrote this and other posts. I want to apologize for those that took offense. I didn't mean to present a negative attitude, we have all been there, and I reacted poorly. I really want to be a good participant here, and I made a poor first impression.

    im leaving the posts as a reminder to myself to not be a a$&, and also because they actually have my factual experience/issues in them so if others encounter a similar "difficult to trace down" dead board issue, they can find it.

    Thank you, and I look forward to (virtually, LOL) working with everyone!



    Okay, quick and dirty
    Finished all assembly of Hexapod mkII, self-test works
    Reinstalled the Hexapod_mark_II arduino code
    Power up, walker stands up (all good)
    Power down, walker relaxes
    (works on both external power and battery)

    assemble commander v2 according to instructions
    (auto reset, 3.3V).
    Power up okay (no real diagnostics, but "on" light activates, user light blinks once

    Set up Xbee's to the settings in the instructions
    (commander is ID 1, PAN 3400, DL 2, baud rate 5 (38400) DD=10000
    (robot is ID 2, PAN 3400 DL 1, baud rate 5 (38400) DD =10000

    Install xbee's and try operation
    power up robot, stands up
    power up commander v2, wait, hit joysticks...nothing (no motion) Should any LED's blink?


    Okay, take everything down.
    Re-verify Xbee settings...all correct

    Attempt to verify commander program.
    remove batteries, direct connect to USB, flip switch to 5v, reset auto
    Attempt to upload commander v1.1...
    TX LED blinks a few times, RX a few times then
    "problem uploading to board" "programmer is not responding"
    (FTDI drivers are installed correctly, correct serial port chosen, correct board (Duemilanove w/ ATmega328) chosen.

    perhaps voltage aspect? (since instructions are ABSOLUTELY UNCLEAR) set to 3.3v, retry...nope.
    Try loading blink program....same exact error
    Try manual reset....same error
    verified Vcc present on correct pins...correct

    Maybe a xbee firmware issue? (instructions were for 10ec, Xbee's here are 10ee)
    Attempt to revert firmware, use XCTU to try...yeah, no dice, asks for module reset, hit reset button on Uartsbee, window doesn't autoclose...hit cancel as instructed...programming error.
    Great, so now I can't even do that with the parts provided.

    So great guys...instructions yield no way to verify that the board is programmed correct. Search function on forums yields several threads on this issue (all of which were resolved with xbee configuration verify).

    ALSO, other issues:
    1. barrel jack adapter not included in kit...so great, glad I had a RANDOM wall wart to power the battery charger. Seems like a kinda-important part to leave out
    2. Commander v2.0...and instructions are obviously for this one...but code links provided are for 1.1...is there a v2.0 code? Could that be the problem?


    Overall, I'm hoping -someone- can help because the instructions aren't, there isn't a troubleshooting FAQ, sub-forum, or even a sticky pertaining to any of the products, there IS NO WAY TO EXTERNALLY VERIFY ASPECTS OF THE COMMS (i.e. no status blinks, no easy way to modify robot code to at least say there is data being received), no way to narrow down what issue this is, and NONE of the ways of programming or verifying the commander work.

    Needless to say, I'm quite perturbed. I have a HUGE amount of experience with pretty much all aspects of these, and while I could easily dig into the arduino code (well, assuming i could upload even the most basic code to the commander) and/or use the various python ways to direct control the robot THAT ISNT THE POINT OF THE KIT, NOR IS IT IMPLIED BY THE INSTRUCTIONS, nor is it reasonable for a $2k+ set of hardware that isn't even brand new.
    Last edited by birdman; 06-30-2015 at 08:53 AM.

  2. #2

    Re: New PhantomX hex communication(?) Issue / Extremely frustrated with the lack of coherent instructions

    Hi Birdman, sorry to hear you're having issues. I'm also sorry your kit didn't come with the barrel jack adaptor. Please e-mail me your order number and we'll get you one right away. We can also talk about getting you any other hardware you need.
    [email protected]

    When you try uploading to the Geekduino, do you have the XBee plugged in? You'll have to remove the bee to properly program the Geekduino. Otherwise it might be an issue with the geekduino.

    Some other notes:

    -The Commander should get loaded up with the commander.ino v1.1 included with the ArbotiX Libraries under ArbotiX Sketches
    https://github.com/Interbotix/arboti.../Commander.ino
    The commander 1 vs 2 was a hardware change ( the old commander was all on one PCB) but the code didn't have any changes.

    -The Geekduino should be set to 3.3v and auto reset as shown in the assembly instructions.

    -We've got a beta test program that emulates the commander that you can try to control your robot to verify that it's getting data correctly
    http://learn.trossenrobotics.com/36-...t-control.html
    First, plug the robot straight into your UartSbee / computer to see if you can get the program working. Then you can try to plug an xbee into your robot and the other into your UartSbee and try again. I don't mean to say that this is the proffered way to control the robot, but it will help in the debugging process.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    Northern Virginia
    Posts
    27
    Rep Power
    16

    Re: New PhantomX hex communication(?) Issue / Extremely frustrated with the lack of coherent instructions

    Quote Originally Posted by kgranat View Post
    -We've got a beta test program that emulates the commander that you can try to control your robot to verify that it's getting data correctly
    http://learn.trossenrobotics.com/36-...t-control.html
    First, plug the robot straight into your UartSbee / computer to see if you can get the program working. Then you can try to plug an xbee into your robot and the other into your UartSbee and try again. I don't mean to say that this is the proffered way to control the robot, but it will help in the debugging process.

    While this shouldn't surprise me at this point, that software doesn't work. Downloaded, unzipped, and attempted to run the MacOSX executable, and receive the following error: "Virtualcommander" is damaged and can't be opened".
    Yes, I have Java installed (java 8, update 40)
    OSX 10.10.3
    USB connected to UartSbee, connected to Arbotix-M on the hexapod, hexapod running its correct software, powered externally. On powerup, Hexapod does correct behavior (stands up, and holds position).

    So...now what?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    Northern Virginia
    Posts
    27
    Rep Power
    16

    Re: New PhantomX hex communication(?) Issue / Extremely frustrated with the lack of coherent instructions

    Quote Originally Posted by kgranat View Post
    -The Geekduino should be set to 3.3v and auto reset as shown in the assembly instructions.
    You sure? that directly contradicts your own support page
    http://learn.trossenrobotics.com/32-...ted-guide.html
    "If you have not already, connect your Geekduino to your computer using a USB Micro Cable. This is also a good time to make sure the Geekduino's switches are set correctly. The VCC Switch should be set to 5v and the Reset Switch should be set to AUTO."

    So...which is it.

    Both show the serial port present. Select proper one. Attempt to upload commander.ino, yields an orange bar error in the 3.3v case, and "done uploading" in the 5v case, but BOTH also yield the "avrdude: stk500_recv(): programmer is not responding error.

    So...is it loaded?

    Yours in continuing (and getting worse) frustration,
    -birdman

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    Northern Virginia
    Posts
    27
    Rep Power
    16

    Re: New PhantomX hex communication(?) Issue / Extremely frustrated with the lack of coherent instructions

    Tried to post this earlier, but apparently it didn't work. Comments below with MVB> tags

    Quote Originally Posted by kgranat View Post
    Hi Birdman, sorry to hear you're having issues. I'm also sorry your kit didn't come with the barrel jack adaptor. Please e-mail me your order number and we'll get you one right away. We can also talk about getting you any other hardware you need.
    [email protected]

    MVB>will do

    When you try uploading to the Geekduino, do you have the XBee plugged in? You'll have to remove the bee to properly program the Geekduino. Otherwise it might be an issue with the geekduino.

    MVB> no, it doesn't have an Xbee plugged in. the instructions are quite specific on this, so the Xbee was not plugged in.

    Some other notes:

    -The Commander should get loaded up with the commander.ino v1.1 included with the ArbotiX Libraries under ArbotiX Sketches
    https://github.com/Interbotix/arboti.../Commander.ino
    The commander 1 vs 2 was a hardware change ( the old commander was all on one PCB) but the code didn't have any changes.

    -The Geekduino should be set to 3.3v and auto reset as shown in the assembly instructions.

    MVB> see other reply

    -We've got a beta test program that emulates the commander that you can try to control your robot to verify that it's getting data correctly
    http://learn.trossenrobotics.com/36-...t-control.html
    First, plug the robot straight into your UartSbee / computer to see if you can get the program working. Then you can try to plug an xbee into your robot and the other into your UartSbee and try again. I don't mean to say that this is the proffered way to control the robot, but it will help in the debugging process.

    MVB> see other reply...debugging is difficult when your debugging code doesn't even work

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    342
    Images
    15
    Rep Power
    34

    Re: New PhantomX hex communication(?) Issue / Extremely frustrated with the lack of coherent instructions

    Quote Originally Posted by birdman View Post
    While this shouldn't surprise me at this point, that software doesn't work.
    I'm a little hesitant to help with that attitude but I went ahead and tried to get this to run on my 10.10.3 machine. At first I downloaded the file and attempted to run just as you did and received the same error message. I do not know why.

    So I checked the troubleshooting section of the link provided and downloaded Processing. Extract and execute Processing to go the Sketch menu/ Import Library / Add Library

    Type controlP5 in the search box and install.

    Open the VirtualCommander.pde and it will tell you it needs to make a new folder ( typical for Arduino type stuff ). Now you won't be able to run the application yet because of a compile error. That's because it made a new folder for the .pde source but didn't move the .png image into the new folder. Once you move the png file to the same folder as the pde you can compile and run the application.

    Hope this helps. Don't forget you attract more flies with sugar than vinegar.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Screen Shot 2015-06-29 at 5.30.06 PM.jpg 
Views:	154 
Size:	58.7 KB 
ID:	6078
    01001001001000000100110001101111011101100110010100 10000001010010011011110110001001101111011101000111 0011

    My Instagram
    My YouTube

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    Northern Virginia
    Posts
    27
    Rep Power
    16

    Re: New PhantomX hex communication(?) Issue / Extremely frustrated with the lack of coherent instructions

    Quote Originally Posted by r3n33 View Post

    I'm a little hesitant to help with that attitude

    So I checked the troubleshooting section of the link provided and downloaded Processing.
    Hope this helps. Don't forget you attract more flies with sugar than vinegar.
    Thank you for your judgement, its really not required. Sometimes frustration is simply frustration.

    My frustration is directed not at users or you, but at Trossen, as I have yet to encounter a worse support/instruction/etc. experience, even with products that are less developed. Its now 96 hours with the only suggestion being to use software that requires even more software to do an alternative build because the software doesn't work. Honestly...does that make sense?

    As for the troubleshooting, notice it says "alternatively you may want to..." that means ALTERNATIVELY. The fact remains the actual executable they recommended does-not-work. So now I have to install yet MORE software, solely because the build provided...doesn't work.

    I am attempting your method.

    I mean don't get me wrong I'm a big fan of the product, and I hope it really is useful for the experimentation I'm doing, but so far, my impression is I should have built this myself...its cost me more in debugging than it would have taken to work up my own link / control...and then I could have included some actual diagnostics...on a board I could program (like the other 5 different arduino boards I've used with this exact same computer and software configuration).

  8. #8

    Re: New PhantomX hex communication(?) Issue / Extremely frustrated with the lack of coherent instructions

    Quote Originally Posted by birdman View Post
    You sure? that directly contradicts your own support page
    http://learn.trossenrobotics.com/32-...ted-guide.html
    "If you have not already, connect your Geekduino to your computer using a USB Micro Cable. This is also a good time to make sure the Geekduino's switches are set correctly. The VCC Switch should be set to 5v and the Reset Switch should be set to AUTO."

    So...which is it.

    Both show the serial port present. Select proper one. Attempt to upload commander.ino, yields an orange bar error in the 3.3v case, and "done uploading" in the 5v case, but BOTH also yield the "avrdude: stk500_recv(): programmer is not responding error.

    So...is it loaded?

    Yours in continuing (and getting worse) frustration,
    -birdman
    You are correct that the Geekduino getting started guide has you set the switch to 5v, which is the normal baseline. However the ArbotiX getting started guide instructs/shows you to set the switches appropriately, this is a special setting for the ArbotiX Commander

    http://learn.trossenrobotics.com/2-u...bly-guide.html
    "Make sure to set the Geekduino switches. The Reset switch needs to be on AUTO and the voltage switch needs to be on 3V3."

    That being said, the switch only matters for operation of the unit, the geekduino can normally be programmed the same at both voltages. The fact that you are having issues leads me to believe that there is something wrong with your board. I just now received your e-mail with your order details, and I will be sending out a pre-programmed board to you tomorrow, as well as pre-set XBees just incase. Hopefully that will fix your problems.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    Northern Virginia
    Posts
    27
    Rep Power
    16

    Re: New PhantomX hex communication(?) Issue / Extremely frustrated with the lack of coherent instructions

    Quote Originally Posted by kgranat View Post
    You are correct that the Geekduino getting started guide has you set the switch to 5v, which is the normal baseline. However the ArbotiX getting started guide instructs/shows you to set the switches appropriately, this is a special setting for the ArbotiX Commander

    http://learn.trossenrobotics.com/2-u...bly-guide.html
    "Make sure to set the Geekduino switches. The Reset switch needs to be on AUTO and the voltage switch needs to be on 3V3."

    Yes, which is why I set it to 3.3 when it was in the commander chassis, on battery, with Xbee, etc, on initial tries, and then switched to 5v when attempting to reprogram (to verify program).

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Portland, OR
    Posts
    3,198
    Images
    952
    Rep Power
    141

    Re: New PhantomX hex communication(?) Issue / Extremely frustrated with the lack of coherent instructions

    Quote Originally Posted by birdman View Post
    Thank you for your judgement, its really not required. Sometimes frustration is simply frustration.

    My frustration is directed not at users or you, but at Trossen, as I have yet to encounter a worse support/instruction/etc. experience, even with products that are less developed. Its now 96 hours with the only suggestion being to use software that requires even more software to do an alternative build because the software doesn't work. Honestly...does that make sense?

    As for the troubleshooting, notice it says "alternatively you may want to..." that means ALTERNATIVELY. The fact remains the actual executable they recommended does-not-work. So now I have to install yet MORE software, solely because the build provided...doesn't work.

    I am attempting your method.

    I mean don't get me wrong I'm a big fan of the product, and I hope it really is useful for the experimentation I'm doing, but so far, my impression is I should have built this myself...its cost me more in debugging than it would have taken to work up my own link / control...and then I could have included some actual diagnostics...on a board I could program (like the other 5 different arduino boards I've used with this exact same computer and software configuration).
    You seem to be pretty frustrated, which might be alleviated if you slowed down and had a better understanding of the project and code that is out there. This is indeed a robotic development platform, which has more documentation and project examples than any other hexapod kit online, and thousands of happy users. I urge you to slow down a bit and reel in the negative attitude towards people trying to help you.

    Customer or not, the use of these forums is a privilege.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. Serial communication issue
    By navidahmeduom in forum Arbotix, Microcontrollers, Arduino
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: 06-05-2015, 03:00 PM
  2. PhantomX Quad issue
    By jedrzejgalecki in forum Software and Programming
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 04-16-2015, 12:56 PM
  3. Question(s) PhantomX Turret - Coding + serial communication through Arduino IDE and Processing
    By Stuck in forum Robotics General Discussion
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 11-29-2014, 11:37 PM
  4. Question(s) PhantomX AX Quadruped Mark II PhantomX Robot Turret Equipped??
    By hwan we in forum Robotics General Discussion
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 03-11-2013, 02:09 PM
  5. Bioloid Premium Humanoid Assembly Instructions
    By california-ken in forum Humanoids, Walkers & Crawlers
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 09-11-2011, 02:43 PM

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •