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Ideally, this troubleshooting guide will develop to be a flowchart of things to check.

PowerEdit

Symptoms

  • nothing is happening
  • strange things are happening
    • could be caused by low voltage
  • motors appear to have no coherent signal
    • could be caused by no MUX power
  • some motors aren`t working
    • could be caused by low voltage


Check

  • is there proper voltage at the power pins on the chips, DB9s, and other connectors furthest from the power source
    • if not, look for broken traces, blown fuses, broken wires; trace both ways using the multimeter


MotorsEdit

Symptoms

  • jittery response
    • see Noise for tips on noise reduction
    • could be caused by no MUX power
    • could be caused by overlaying signal and power lines, creating interference
    • could be low voltage
  • no response
    • something is broken


Check

  • are motor control signals actually being sent
  • are any wires broken
  • is the RC transmitter fully charged (maybe the rechargeable batteries dont provide enough power)
  • is everything powered
  • does the motor work, check when it`s plugged in directly to the Pololu or RC receiver
    • if this doesnt work, make sure the controller isnt broken before tossing the motor
  • does the motor controller work, check a known good motor with the Pololu and RC receiver directly
    • if this works, it`s likely a MUX problem, either a broken trace or a power issue


SensorsEdit

Symptoms

  • no data is returned
    • is it plugged in to power, and proper signal port
    • is a proper level-shifter used, connected the right way
  • data is frequently failing it`s checksum
    • data path is being corrupted
  • data appears to be wrong
    • is the orientation of the sensor correct
    • are all the proper sensor pins connected
  • sensor does not respond when talked to
    • is the voltage level of the signals compatible, ie RS485 level, use a scope to see


Check

  • are the signal wires overlayed with power wires, which will cause Noise
  • does the sensor`s connection show the proper voltage for power
  • are the voltage levels on the RS232/TTL board correct? Reference RS232 Converter

Circuit BoardsEdit

Symptoms

  • usually shown through other symptoms, ie no data, no power
  • heating up


Check

  • broken traces, wrong pins connected, use the Datasheets to confirm layout, missing components