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How to get my new Retrocade Synth working

14 posts in this topic

Hello,

 

I just got my new retrocade synth bundle in the mail today, very excited!

 

I followed the instructions to download the installer for the dashboard, and I got the papilio loader to upgrade the firmware.

 

I was able to upgrade the SPI flash, all portions of the upgrade passed verification.

 

I opened up the dashboard, and attempted to play some notes, but I am getting no audio.

 

I see that there is a little LED on the board that flashes when note on and note off info is rec'd from my computer keyboard, but I don't hear any sound.

 

Also the Screen on the Retrocade is blank.  The light is on but I do not see any text.  Is that normal when you have it hooked up to your computer?

 

I changed patches on the dashboard to make sure I didn't just goof up the sound settings, but it didn't make any difference.

 

What am I missing?

 

Thanks!

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Hello, it sounds like the firmware is not being installed successfully. You should see a little space invaders alien crawling across the LCD when you get the firmware installed.

 

Are you using Papilio Loader 2.8? There was a problem with 2.7 where it was not loading bit files to SPI Flash correctly. It should have been fixed in 2.8 but maybe there is something still off... If using 2.8 and its still not working in the default simple mode then please go to preferences and change to expert mode. Then try to select erase, program, and verify and see if that makes a difference.

 

I'll try to be in the chat room in this forum to help if you need.

 

Jack.

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Thanks for the quick reply!  That is one of the main reasons that I decided to dive in to FPGA sound synthesis: your unreasonably excellent attentiveness to your users. :)

 

No space invader spotted. I am using Papilio Loader 2.8.  Windows 7 BTW.

 

I had to go into the office, but I should be able to test out expert mode in an hour or two, and I'll let you know how it goes.

 

Fingers crossed!

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So, I sat down to work on getting this firmware uploaded once and for all and when I plugged in the board, after maybe 10 seconds I saw the little space invader animation running.

 

I plugged in cable to the audio jack, and the animation froze.  After waiting about 2 minutes I decided to power-cycle.  And that was the last I saw of the space invader. All subsequent power-on's do not show space invader.

 

What should I try next?

 

I attempted to flash the firmware again in expert mode as you recommended, please see below:

 

JTAG chainpos: 0 Device IDCODE = 0x24001093    Desc: XC6SLX9
Using devlist.txt
JTAG chainpos: 0 Device IDCODE = 0x24001093    Desc: XC6SLX9

Uploading "C:\Program Files (x86)\Gadget Factory\Papilio Loader\programmer\bscan_spi_xc6slx9.bit". DNA is 0x597285486e65fbfe
Done.
Programming time 544.0 ms

Programming External Flash Memory with "C:\Program Files (x86)\Gadget Factory\RetroCade Synth\ZPUino_SOC\RetroCade-1.1-zpuino-1.0-PapilioPro-S6LX9-RetroCade-1.1.bit".
Found Macronix Flash (Pages=32768, Page Size=256 bytes, 67108864 bits).
Erasing    :
Doing Partial Erase
..............................................Ok
Verifying  :
..............................................Pass
Programming :
..............................................Ok
Verifying  :
..............................................Pass
Using devlist.txt
Done.
SPI execution time 124734.1 ms
USB transactions: Write 59123 read 58954 retries 0
JTAG chainpos: 0 Device IDCODE = 0x24001093    Desc: XC6SLX9

Using devlist.txt
ISC_Done       = 0
ISC_Enabled    = 0
House Cleaning = 0
DONE           = 0
 

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Ok, that is very weird! It almost sounds like there is not enough power getting to the board. Can you try another USB cable, maybe a powered USB hub?

 

Oh, and I see I missed you in the chat room. Was out at lunch, but should be back now.

 

Jack.

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Okay,

 

I've tried two other usb cables, one of which is brand new, no change in results. 

 

I tried all of the other usb ports on this laptop (while connected to power), all the usb ports on my old Mac tower, and all the usb ports on my lady's fancy new Mac desktop.  No change in results.

 

I have also tried powering down, pulling the boards apart and reseating the shield, making absolutely sure that all of the pins are in good shape.  The pins were a little bent when I took it out of the box, but not by much, so I think everything should be connected just fine.

 

I don't have a powered usb hub, but what kind of voltage does it need?  I have some 5v power adapters that I could try to see if it will work stand-alone.

 

I know you have cooler stuff to do with your time than tech support, so thanks again for your help with this.

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One last update.

 

I took it apart one last time, futzed with the pins a little, and then reconnected the board, and plugged it into my laptop, and l got the space invader animation.

 

I watched the animation for maybe 5 cycles, then I used the micro joystick to move through some of the options, and everything was working fine.  So I decided just to sit and watch it for a while.

 

The animation began running again, but after about 45 seconds it froze again.  Waited two minutes, turned it off.  After power cycle... no more space invader.

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Hmmm, this is not making any sense... I think at this point we should send you new hardware and I'll have it programmed and ready to go. If you can send us an email at support@gadgetfactory.net with your current shipping address and a link to this forum thread then we will get the ball rolling on a swap out.

 

Sorry for the hassle,

Jack.

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It's just as well, I should really be working right now anyways :) 

 

I should have more free time about the time the new one arrives.

 

Thanks very much for the prompt help!

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Alright! New retrocade megawing just arrived and it fired right up!

The space invader animation runs nice and stable.

Connected a midi controller and am able to get sounds, but the notes stay on indefinitely.

Is there some config that I need to do to get note off signals detected?

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After reading through this thread, I realized I should ask this follow up question under a new topic.  The initial issue is solved since the hardware does now appear to be working.  All MOD files are playing correctly, I just haven't quite figured out how to get manual external MIDI control happening.

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Hi

I've just received the Retrocade with the Papilio Pro. No problem with the windows installer 1.3 setup on Win XP.

Then I plug the papilio afer having plugged the wing on it.

I opened "Start/Gadget Factory/RetroCade Synth/Install Retrocade 1.3 firmware - with LCD Contrast fix" (I haven't got "Upgrade to RetroCade-[Version] Bit File" as described in the file "Welcome to the RetroCade Synth.docx").

Papilio Loader 2.8 appears: with

- "Auto-detect onboard FPGA device" /

- the target .bit file defined

- I've selected "run"

Here the lower part of the screen is blinking (15 squares)... after 15 minutes, it's still the same - no information is indicated on Papilio Loader2.8.

 

I've tried another usb cable on various usb port... it is the same.

I've tried expert mode, no information is indicated on Papilio Loader2.8..

 

May I do something wrong, please tell me. Many thanks in advance for your help.

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Hi again,

I've tried to unmount the wing from the Papilio and have re-plugged them together.

Now after having plugged the usb wire, the screen is blinking differently: the upper row is blinking with a very good contrast (16 squares), the lower row of the screen is blinking lightly too as previously but 16 squares this time.

So I've repeated the same procedure as before but nothing happens when I launch the Papilio loader.

Many thanks in advance for your help.

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Hello,

Finally, I've tried to install it on another computer with Win8 and it's good now! Thanks.

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