Stag Orbit 32 Programmer

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slingo61
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Stag Orbit 32 Programmer

Post by slingo61 » Sun Sep 04, 2016 1:06 pm

Hi,

I've been given a Stag Orbit 32 Programmer, the only problem is it appears to have a problem.

On pressing the 'ON' button the display says that the batteries are low and shuts down.
I've now replaced the batteries with new ones and it is still saying that the batteries are low and shuts down.

Does anyone have any experience with these devices and can help me out?

Many thanks

Colin

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daveejhitchins
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Re: Stag Orbit 32 Programmer

Post by daveejhitchins » Tue Sep 06, 2016 9:36 am

Does it have an external power-in socket you could try it with? It could just be a fault in the battery curcuit!

Dave H :D
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Re: Stag Orbit 32 Programmer

Post by slingo61 » Tue Sep 06, 2016 9:48 am

Hi Dave,

Thanks for replying.

It does have an external PSU and it is the same same.

I've tried the external PSU with and without the battery connected and I get the same result.

I've just ordered a number of electrolytic capacitors in the hope that replacing them will fix the problem.

Regards

Colin

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Re: Stag Orbit 32 Programmer

Post by daveejhitchins » Tue Sep 06, 2016 10:44 am

slingo61 wrote:I've just ordered a number of electrolytic capacitors in the hope that replacing them will fix the problem.
Always a good place to start . . .

Dave H :D
Parts: UM6502CE, GAL22V10D, GAL16V8D, AS6C62256A, TC514400AZ, WD1772, R6522, TMS27C512, AT28C256
Products: ARA II, ARA III, ABR, ATI, AP6, MGC, AP5 . . .
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Re: Stag Orbit 32 Programmer

Post by slingo61 » Fri Sep 09, 2016 7:12 am

Spent most of last night replacing all of the electrolytic caps.
Still the same problem.

Might put it on the back burner for now unless anyone else has any good ideas.

Colin

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MartinB
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Re: Stag Orbit 32 Programmer

Post by MartinB » Fri Sep 09, 2016 7:43 am

My Dataman S4 has an internal PCB-mounted Lithium cell in addition to the main battery pack and when said Li cell was failing, it caused various issues. Long shot but does the Stag perhaps have a similar cell that needs changing...?

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Re: Stag Orbit 32 Programmer

Post by 1024MAK » Fri Sep 09, 2016 9:08 am

I've not been following this, but with any electronic system, there are some basic checks and tests that can be done.

But first, if you are renewing the electrolytic capacitors, you need to renew ALL of them. Without having a schematic circuit diagram, it's not easy to tell which are critical and which don't matter as much.

So...
  1. Does the power supply have all the secondary / output voltage rails working within typical specifications? Logic supplies (+5V) are normally within +/-5%. Others are normally within +/-10%.
  2. Are these supply voltages free from ripple and with no more than low levels of electrical noise? You need an oscilloscope to test for this.
  3. Do the various voltage supplies go to the power pins of each and every chip? Measure between the Vcc and GND pin of each chip, as you test that the ground is okay at the same time.
  4. Touch the middle of each chip, are any too hot to touch? Unless of course, the hot chip is expected to run hot.
  5. With the power off, visually inspect each and every solder joint. You are looking for poorly soldered joints and dry joints. But also look for solder splashes, other causes of short circuits and any other damage to tracks. Last year, on a 30 year old computer board, I found a solder splash that appeared to have been present since manufacture, it was causing a fault. I can only assume that as solder is a soft metal, it had moved slightly over time and hence now was causing the fault.
  6. Visually check each and every component for any signs of damage.
  7. Still with the power off, test the value of all the resistors. But don't panic if some test differently to their marked colour code or value. Some resistors are in a parallel network, so the test current from the meter is shunted via another resistor, causing an incorrect reading. Also your digital meter should use a low test voltage, as otherwise the semiconductor junctions will start to turn on, making the results meaningless. Check you meters manual/instructions.
  8. If CPU/MPU based, with the power on, use an oscilloscope to check each address, control and data pin of the CPU/MPU. If you can tell us the type, we may be able to help further with this. Meanwhile, you are looking to see if the pin is static, or switching between logic levels. In both cases, is the logic level in the valid voltage range? For 5V TTL, that's less than 0.8V for logic low, and greater than 2V for logic high.
  9. What type of memory chips does it use? Dynamic RAM (DRAM) is often a cause of failure. Some EPROMs forget some of their contents after 20 to 30 years. But a mask ROM chip should be fine.
Mark

slingo61
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Re: Stag Orbit 32 Programmer

Post by slingo61 » Mon Sep 12, 2016 7:13 am

MartinB: Thanks for the suggestion. The Orbit 32 has an 8.4 volt battery pack in it which I've changed. There doesn't appear to be any other batteries in it.

1024MAK: Lots to go at here. Will work through them when I can. The main problem being a lack of oscilloscope. All electrolytic caps have been changed. One additional problem is the PCB appears to be multi layer so I can't follow all of the tracks to work out where they go.

Regards,
Colin

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Re: Stag Orbit 32 Programmer

Post by daveejhitchins » Mon Sep 12, 2016 7:38 am

slingo61 wrote:One additional problem is the PCB appears to be multi layer so I can't follow all of the tracks to work out where they go.
Yes you can . . . It's just VERY time consuming needing lot and lots of patience to place your probe on one connection and then move the other probe over every :shock: other connection . . . It does work, though :D

Dave H :D
Parts: UM6502CE, GAL22V10D, GAL16V8D, AS6C62256A, TC514400AZ, WD1772, R6522, TMS27C512, AT28C256
Products: ARA II, ARA III, ABR, ATI, AP6, MGC, AP5 . . .
For a price list, contact me at: Retro Hardware AT dave ej hitchins DOT plus DOT com

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Re: Stag Orbit 32 Programmer

Post by MartinB » Mon Sep 12, 2016 10:45 am

One last thought but you've likely already tried it - pressing the Reset 'button' on the back? (I think I'm detecting some kind of reset 'thingy' from the scraps of documentation kicking around....?)

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Re: Stag Orbit 32 Programmer

Post by slingo61 » Tue Sep 13, 2016 7:14 am

Morning everyone,

Tried the reset switch and it appears to just restart the device (unless I'm doing something wrong). I've found datasheets for most of the devices that are close to the battery and external power supply connectors. I'll start checking the supply voltages to the devices first.

Regards,
Colin

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Re: Stag Orbit 32 Programmer

Post by slingo61 » Mon Sep 19, 2016 8:58 am

Quick update.

I've bought another Stag Orbit 32 from a certain auction site.

Going to do side by side comparisons to try and find the fault. Will report back when I've got more news.

Regards,
Colin

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Re: Stag Orbit 32 Programmer

Post by wakko » Mon Oct 17, 2016 8:30 am

Hi Colin, I'm working on a fault on my Orbit 48 and have gone through the battery circuit as part of my fault finding. You'll need to concentrate your efforts around the power jack area on the underside of the board. There you'll find a MAX chip in the corner which is a NiCd/NiMH charge controller and there are 2 TL062C op-amps which I'm pretty sure are involved in the circuit to compare the battery voltage against a reference and send a signal to the CPU is they're getting low. If I remember correctly this signal goes through a NEC PIO chip to the CPU. Also for tracing tracks on the board, get the board out of the case and use a powerful torch to shine light through the board (do this from both sides) and you'll find the tracks easily visible. I think it's a 4 layer board which obvious tracks front and back but also tracks on a third layer with another layer acting as a ground plane.

Hope this helps!

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Re: Stag Orbit 32 Programmer

Post by slingo61 » Mon Nov 07, 2016 1:06 pm

Hi Wakko, Sorry I've missed your post before now.
I've managed to get myself a second Orbit 32 and have been trying to do comparisons between the 2. I've located the chips you describe and have tried to do side by side test but nothing yet. I'm looking at trying to work out the circuit diagram if possible. Will keep the post updated as and when I can.

Time is precious at the moment as my mother is in hospital.

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Re: Stag Orbit 32 Programmer

Post by wakko » Wed Jan 11, 2017 2:53 pm

Hi Colin, Thought I'd catch up to see if you'd got anywhere with fixing the programmer and saw your last message. Hope your mother is ok and out of the hospital now. I've had a few attempts at fixing my programmer, without success so far. I'm reluctant to throw away a decent programmer so I've not given up but I've had to buy another programmer in the meantime. Hopefully you've got somewhere with yours.

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Re: Stag Orbit 32 Programmer

Post by slingo61 » Tue Feb 28, 2017 12:36 pm

Hi Wakko, mother is doing fine now and is back home at last. I've not really looked at the programmer since November 2016. I've had the 2 devices side by side and still couldn't figure out what is wrong with the faulty one. I'm thinking of looking at them again in the next few weeks.
I'll post an update when I do.

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Re: Stag Orbit 32 Programmer

Post by geka » Thu Sep 14, 2017 10:26 am

slingo61 wrote:MartinB: Thanks for the suggestion. The Orbit 32 has an 8.4 volt battery pack in it which I've changed. There doesn't appear to be any other batteries in it.

1024MAK: Lots to go at here. Will work through them when I can. The main problem being a lack of oscilloscope. All electrolytic caps have been changed. One additional problem is the PCB appears to be multi layer so I can't follow all of the tracks to work out where they go.

Regards,
Colin
Hello slingo61,

In my Orbit 32 Programmer, the MAX713 chip is configured for 7 battery cells and max. charge time 4.4h (264 min) !
I charge the battery pack (7 cells) in Orbit 32 with a 12v power supply. My Orbit 32 powering down at battery
voltage < 8.4V.

Best Regards.

geka

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Re: Stag Orbit 32 Programmer

Post by wakko » Mon Feb 25, 2019 5:09 pm

Re-lighting an old thread, my Orbit 48 was always 'Boosting' and I've found the fault lies with an NEC upd71055 PIO, the one nearest to the sounder. One port pin is used as an input for the fast charge signal coming from the MAX713. The default state for this IO line is high, so the unit should think that the battery isn't being fast charged unless told otherwise by the MAX713. On my unit the pin P2_4 is open circuit, I used a curve tracer to find this. I have some spares on order and I'll update when I've swapped the IC out.

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Re: Stag Orbit 32 Programmer

Post by johnkenyon » Mon Feb 25, 2019 6:18 pm

Mine kept shutting down about 45 seconds after being powered up.
Problem was caused by a botched/leaky battery pack. The battery pack died, and electrolyte from the batteries wicked up the lead and rotted the molex contact. It then continued to rot a track on the PCB. Luckily I could trace where it went and after soldering a replacement wire link the thing works OK.

My battery pack is 7x AAA batteries held in a 4xAAA+3xAAA holders.
To stop the battery from dying again, I have a calendar reminder set up to give the thing a top up every 2 months.

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Re: Stag Orbit 32 Programmer

Post by wakko » Mon Feb 25, 2019 7:55 pm

Exactly the same thing has happened to mine. Luckily no serious damage and just need a new battery and a molex connector, as well as the PIO which I'm sure is unrelated. While testing mine I used a variable psu to take the place of the battery.

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Re: Stag Orbit 32 Programmer

Post by wakko » Mon Feb 25, 2019 8:20 pm

For the record, with the bottom pio removed the programmer shows the warning that the batteries are low and will shut down. But it never does, probably because the pio is missing :D However it's interesting that it thinks the batteries are flat and may help Colin, the original poster.
Last edited by wakko on Mon Feb 25, 2019 8:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Stag Orbit 32 Programmer

Post by wakko » Wed Mar 13, 2019 8:27 pm

For anyone else who might come across this..... My Orbit 48 was always saying it was fast charging (boosting) the battery and you couldn't program any devices. I've replaced the NEC D71055GB as I mentioned earlier in the thread and it has fixed the fault. Now it says my battery is full without a battery connected but I'm thinking this is ok. I'll build a new battery pack and update accordingly, the pack is made from 7 x 600mAh AA cells in series. Another thing worth mentioning is if the incoming DC is less than 12.1V you may see a 'Connect Error' when you try to read a device, raising the voltage level slightly will cure this.

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