PDA

View Full Version : Driver Station Blank Screen, Anyone have the same problem?


LDavies562
11-26-2008, 06:22 PM
We are currently having significant problems with the Driver Station. We plugged everything in today, and initially got the status screen.

We attempted to update the firmware, yet that did not work even though we went 3/4 of the way through the button pressing process when I'm pretty sure we might have made a mistake and did not wait the whole three minutes.

We rebooted the DS and tried it again, yet now we have a blank screen with the occasional appearing cursor, and no status screen at all. By messing up the firmware update, did we delete the original firmware?

We posted on the FIRST Forums, as well as read through http://forums.usfirst.org/showthread.php?t=10503 None of the advice has proved successful for us.

Thanks in advance for helping us out. Any ideas would be great.

Alan Anderson
11-26-2008, 08:08 PM
...We attempted to update the firmware, yet that did not work even though we went 3/4 of the way through the button pressing process when I'm pretty sure we might have made a mistake and did not wait the whole three minutes.

We rebooted the DS and tried it again, yet now we have a blank screen with the occasional appearing cursor, and no status screen at all. By messing up the firmware update, did we delete the original firmware?

The firmware is completely erased and replaced during the update process. If you didn't let the process finish, your Driver Station now has no firmware. There is a way to recover, but it means taking the cover off and soldering wires to the board, which will completely void the warranty. Contact FIRST and find out what they officially recommend for dealing with the situation.

Lowfategg
11-26-2008, 08:14 PM
Wow, its that easy to brick a drivers station? I think FIRST is going to have a few of these on its hands.

Travis Hoffman
11-26-2008, 09:14 PM
Wow, its that easy to brick a drivers station? I think FIRST is going to have a few of these on its hands.

I think we should avoid speculating about things that may or may not come to pass related to the Driver Station. I think we should instead focus on providing constructive commentary directly related to the original poster's request for assistance in this thread, similar to what Alan provided. On top of that, let's provide some assistance and clarification to teams who have yet to undertake this procedure to help minimize the risk of a similar occurrence happening to their hardware.

First of all, it's been mentioned elsewhere, but the Table of Contents of Chapter 5 does not jive with the actual sections of the document. There is no Section 5.1 "Introduction" as referenced in the TOC, so all the TOC references are incremented one section higher than what is actually in the document. This is a trivial fix that should be made and reposted to the FIRST Control System webpage immediately. To those working very hard on the development and support of this new system and its related documentation, let's scour the existing published material and fix these minor errors, please. Let's also dot the I's and cross the T's of future documentation before releasing it publicly, please. Please don't risk wasting teams' precious time, and please don't make your support jobs harder by adding unneeded confusion to the process.

Documented Firmware Upgrade Process (http://usfirst.org/uploadedFiles/5-FRC_Control_System-Configuration-0-4d.pdf)

Please refer to Section 5.1.1 (in the main document body, avoiding the Table of Contents)


8. The firmware upgrade will proceed automatically. Do NOT interrupt this process by cutting
power to the Driver Station, inserting/removing any cables from the Driver Station, touching any
of the I/O pins, etc. The firmware upgrade takes approximately 3 minutes to complete.
9. The Driver Station will automatically reboot upon completion of the firmware upgrade.


So to the OP - you mentioned you may not have waited 3 minutes. Why did you choose to abort before the minimum duration specified in the instructions?

Step 9 indicates that the Driver Station should reboot once the firmware load is complete. Not having performed the exercise myself yet, it seems that the reboot would be a positive reinforcement that the firmware update has completed and that you should leave the Driver Station alone until the reboot occurs (or until a period of time much greater than 3 minutes goes by without any reboot occurring).

Can someone who has completed this process successfully please tell all of us what the Driver Station does when the firmware load is complete? What does a reboot "look" like when it occurs? What happens on the LCD screen? It sounds like this is the only form of feedback during the upgrade process - I presume nothing is displayed on the LCD that indicates the update progress while the transfer is taking place ("XX bytes of XX total copied", or something similar). If this is true.....can this be addressed in a later firmware release to give teams more feedback that something "good" is happening DURING the firmware upgrade?

Mark McLeod
11-26-2008, 09:33 PM
Can someone who has completed this process successfully please tell all of us what the Driver Station does when the firmware load is complete? What does a reboot "look" like when it occurs? What happens on the LCD screen? It sounds like this is the only form of feedback during the upgrade process - I presume nothing is displayed on the LCD that indicates the update progress while the transfer is taking place ("XX bytes of XX total copied", or something similar). If this is true.....can this be addressed in a later firmware release to give teams more feedback that something "good" is happening DURING the firmware upgrade?

The screen displays shown in 5.1.1 are what you see.
"DO NOT SHUT OFF!"
is the biggest clue.
If your flash drive has a status light, it'll blink as the download takes place.

After it reboots itself you see the standard screen
Team: 0000
Mode: Invalid
System: Invalid
Battery: No Comms
DS REV: 2008-10-29a



That "*** OTB ***" at the bottom is now gone.

Travis Hoffman
11-26-2008, 09:57 PM
The screen displays shown in 5.1.1 are what you see.
"DO NOT SHUT OFF!"
is the biggest clue.
If your flash drive has a status light, it'll blink as the download takes place.

After it reboots itself you see the standard screen
Team: 0000
Mode: Invalid
System: Invalid
Battery: No Comms
DS REV: 2008-10-29a



That "*** OTB ***" at the bottom is now gone.

Thank you Mark. That's helpful. Does the "checking file size" message at the bottom of the screen when "DO NOT SHUT OFF!" is displayed ever change to something else to indicate different states during the upgrade, or is that a static message throughout?

amk
11-26-2008, 10:01 PM
So to the OP - you mentioned you may not have waited 3 minutes. Why did you choose to abort before the minimum duration specified in the instructions?

The student who was doing the upgrade claimed the Driver Station performed a reboot (as it was supposed to) but upon rebooting, the Station was left in a bricked state. No intentional abort was executed, the DS was left alone and this is the result. As a mentor who was in the general vicinity but not directly supervising, I did not actually see what happened so I cannot back this up.

Is there any way to recover from this? It would seem that there should be a way to install firmware no matter what the state of the DS. Thanks for any suggestions...

Mark McLeod
11-26-2008, 10:08 PM
Does the "checking file size" message at the bottom of the screen when "DO NOT SHUT OFF!" is displayed ever change to something else to indicate different states during the upgrade, or is that a static message throughout?
That does change to:
"verifying integrity"
then
"updating system"
where it stays for a couple of minutes before rebooting.

Mark McLeod
11-26-2008, 10:16 PM
Is there any way to recover from this? It would seem that there should be a way to install firmware no matter what the state of the DS.
I assume you tried putting the flash drive in, cycling the power, then holding down the two arrow buttons for a long time. If that doesn't kick off the firmware loading process, there's not much recourse other than to contact FIRST support directly.

amk
11-26-2008, 10:28 PM
I assume you tried putting the flash drive in, cycling the power, then holding down the two arrow buttons for a long time. If that doesn't kick off the firmware loading process, there's not much recourse other than to contact FIRST support directly.

Yes, very many times, with every possible combination of USB port # & enable/disable, tele/autonomous switch combinations (hey, worth a try!). Why do these things always happen at the worst times? (holiday). Thanks for your suggestions!

Alan Anderson
11-27-2008, 12:08 AM
Is there any way to recover from this? It would seem that there should be a way to install firmware no matter what the state of the DS. Thanks for any suggestions...

With the available firmware images, there is no permanent boot loader. The process of updating completely erases the flash memory, and nothing is left to load a new image if the update does not complete. This is obviously not a good situation, and I'd expect it to be high on the "to be fixed" list for the DS. However, I don't have first-hand knowledge of the dealings between FIRST and the company supporting the DS, so I can't give any guesses as to when or if the ability to break things easily might be corrected.

As I mentioneed before, there is a way to install the firmware on a "brain-dead" Driver Station. It requires access to internal pins on the board, and perhaps other equipment that might not be available to most teams, so it's not a simple solution to the immediate problem.

Lowfategg
11-27-2008, 12:46 AM
I think we should avoid speculating about things that may or may not come to pass related to the Driver Station. I think we should instead focus on providing constructive commentary directly related to the original poster's request for assistance in this thread, similar to what Alan provided. On top of that, let's provide some assistance and clarification to teams who have yet to undertake this procedure to help minimize the risk of a similar occurrence happening to their hardware.

Sorry about that, I just found it interesting.

Mike578
12-11-2008, 05:11 PM
Our team is having a similar problem to this, however, we did not update the firmware. When we plug in the driver station following the benchtop test directions, the screen backlight turns on along with the power LEDs, but nothing appears on the screen. No idea what is going on with it at this point, any help would be appreciated.

iwin2000
12-22-2008, 04:51 PM
Bump.
Does anyone have any solution to this?

Mark McLeod
12-22-2008, 07:34 PM
There are two potential solutions.
The first is to return it to KwikByte (https://www.kwikbyte.com/store/product.php?productid=16152&cat=254&page=1) to be restored to the factory default.

The second hasn't been santioned by FIRST, and may lead to worse problems, but KwikByte also offers a reflashing chip (https://www.kwikbyte.com/store/product.php?productid=16153&cat=254&page=1).