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Author Topic: Unresponsive Ugobe Pleo  (Read 338 times)

aibo7m3

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Unresponsive Ugobe Pleo
« on: May 17, 2020, 07:56:28 AM »

Hi everyone!

I purchased a pair of untested Ugobe Pleos this past December and one started working perfectly after receiving a new battery, while the other still refused to boot up. I've been trying to do some testing to figure out what could be wrong with this Pleo, but I believe it is beyond my level of technical expertise and thought that I would share here to see if anyone has any ideas. On most start-ups, the Pleo will be completely unresponsive and does not make any sounds or movements. On some start-ups, the Pleo will wake up after a couple minutes of silence, but does not behave normally and freezes frequently with garbled audio.

The Pleo will not run any skits and I was not able to get the Pop OS download to work. Running the script to disable the battery temperature sensor also made no difference and the Pleo remained unresponsive. However, the Pleo will update successfully using the 1.1 update via SD card, though the audio cues during the update process are sometimes garbled. After updating, the Pleo will usually operate relatively normally for around a battery cycle or so, before becoming completely unresponsive again. The garbled audio usually goes away after the update is complete, though on one instance, it continued for several minutes of operation afterward. I tried to connect the Pleo to Dino-Mite to see if I could get any useful information, but I get the error "USB device not recognized" when plugging the Pleo into my computer, which does not occur with my other Ugobes who are successfully recognized. The Pleo will give a Stats RB report, but I don't know how much of the information given there is of any use.

This seems like a hardware-related problem to me, but beyond that, I'm relatively clueless about what could be wrong. I don't believe that this is something that I will be able to repair, but I was curious if anyone had any ideas on what might cause these symptoms. Thanks in advance for any help!
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pnhicks

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Re: Unresponsive Ugobe Pleo
« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2020, 12:49:06 PM »

Hi aibo7m3,

I don't know if you've been following Markishka and Hennadii's thread about their hard bricked Pleo that semi-recognizes the sd card reader?

Its the sort of the start up problem from hell.

Does your Pleo run from SD card, like static skit from dinomite?

If so, I would try the SD upgrade 1.0.2, from what I've heard this should "clear out" failed upgrades similar to what POP demo is supposed to do.

If that fails, you can take the brave approach and try a manual cleaning of the dataflash directory using,*** crap, " cannot connect using dinomite", sorry I have to learn to read! dinomite, list directory contents and try to delete as many files as it will let you using the access 3 command and the RM command.

I had an interesting experience with virtual box and the Pleo USB drivers, it would not connect to pleo using dinomite but the usb updater found new hardware and added the VDF updater or whatever its called and connected.  The guest machine was windowsXP pro 32 bits sp3.

My dinomite runs on my host machine without VB, a windows10 64 bit machine using compatibility settings for windows XPsp3 and turning off driver verification.

Its only for the brave at heart, but my motto is what's broken can be broken!


Then try an sd update like 1.0.2 and see what happens!

Good luck!

Peter
« Last Edit: May 19, 2020, 02:29:54 AM by pnhicks »
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aibo7m3

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Re: Unresponsive Ugobe Pleo
« Reply #2 on: May 21, 2020, 09:26:07 AM »

I've been running Dino-Mite on my older Windows 7 laptop and don't have everything fully figured out yet with the drivers, but my other Pleos are correctly recognized as Pleos when plugged into the laptop, while this Pleo immediately throws a "USB device not recognized" error when connected via micro USB, making me think that any sort of testing via micro USB is probably not going to be likely for this Pleo. 

This Pleo does not seem to run normal skits from an SD card, though I have only tested a couple out so far. They do seem to have some sort of SD card reading capability, as I have been able to update them via SD card using the 1.1 update files, but this did not work as a long-term solution to their boot issues. They also will dump data to Stats RB when I run this on an SD card.

I tried running the 1.0.2 update and did not get any response from the Pleo. They twitched briefly after about 30 seconds and were completely unresponsive after that (this is typical for how they operate without an SD card installed as well). I did not hear any of the update chimes and the Pleo did nothing after this point, so I assume that the update was not able to run.

When I leave the Pleo turned on for an extended period of time (around 5-10 minutes) with or without an SD card installed, I will often hear a "pop" sound and the Pleo will wake up. However, they usually do not behave normally and all audio is oddly distorted. Here is a video of the Pleo to show what I mean.

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T8ThfEdmN5w" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T8ThfEdmN5w</a>
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T8ThfEdmN5w
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aibo7m3

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Re: Unresponsive Ugobe Pleo
« Reply #3 on: May 21, 2020, 10:06:00 AM »

I tried running the POP OS update again and was able to get it work this time (in a sense), so it seems like the SD card reader may be operating intermittently. The Pleo did play the successful update chime, but it sounded distorted and this is how the Pleo responded being rebooted without the SD card. Warning: This video has very loud static sounds in it.

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Is3S4ex13S4" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Is3S4ex13S4</a>
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Is3S4ex13S4

I tried the 1.0.4 update again after running the POP OS update, but it still would not run. As always, the 1.1 update ran successfully (with slightly distorted audio) and the Pleo booted up normally after running the 1.1 update. Here's a video of the Pleo immediately after completing the update.

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iR0feW5uJQs" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iR0feW5uJQs</a>
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iR0feW5uJQs

Sadly, however, the effects of this update are not lasting and the Pleo always becomes unresponsive again with time. I have no clue why the 1.1 update seems to temporarily "revive" the Pleo, while other updates do not run at all.
« Last Edit: May 21, 2020, 10:08:51 AM by aibo7m3 »
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pnhicks

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Re: Unresponsive Ugobe Pleo
« Reply #4 on: May 21, 2020, 11:04:45 AM »

Hi Aibo7,


Those are some weird sounds!


The video of the 1.1 update is a new born isn't it?  I thought that was normal new born activity (not that I've ever seen one so go figure)! :P


Have you see a new hatchling behavior to compare to what the 1.1 update looks like?


Where are all the old timers when you need them?


If this is an off the wall behavior then I would say there must some cable issues inside. Oh goodie!  You're a brave one, get the scalpel out!


We'll all be here for morale support :-[ :-X


Cheers!


Peter
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aibo7m3

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Re: Unresponsive Ugobe Pleo
« Reply #5 on: May 21, 2020, 11:11:53 AM »

Yes, the behavior after the 1.1 update seems to be normal newborn Pleo activity from what I can tell and the Pleo will stand up and become more active after around 5-10 minutes. However, the Pleo will only act like this for a short while after the update before going back to being unresponsive again or booting intermittently with distorted audio. I've experienced similar distorted audio issues with multiple "bricked" Pleos before, but I'm not sure what the cause of this is.

The neck and tail cables all seem to operate properly, though the Pleo's tail is unusually loud when moving up/down. I will probably have to try Pleo surgery if I want to get this Pleo up and running properly, just a little daunting without knowing what to look for or what might be wrong first. I do think this Pleo has some life in them, I'm just not entirely confident whether I'm capable of reviving them myself.
« Last Edit: May 21, 2020, 11:15:14 AM by aibo7m3 »
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aibo7m3

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Re: Unresponsive Ugobe Pleo
« Reply #6 on: May 21, 2020, 12:37:32 PM »

Here's another video taken a couple hours after the 1.1 update to show how the Pleo is behaving now. In this video, the Pleo does not wake up when they should and instead briefly twitches. About a minute later, they make a "pop" sound and begin moving slowly with distorted audio. Finally, around four minutes in, they begin operating normally and continue to do so through the end of the video. On some start-ups, the Pleo will begin operating normally eventually (as seen in this video) and on others, will simply remain unresponsive the entire time or only move in intermittent bursts with distorted audio. I've included the full video even though it is long and includes a good deal of waiting, in case it gives any insight as to what could be going on.

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BHpoAFtOWZI" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BHpoAFtOWZI</a>
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BHpoAFtOWZI
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pnhicks

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Re: Unresponsive Ugobe Pleo
« Reply #7 on: May 22, 2020, 04:19:50 AM »

Hi Aibo7,


Okay you caught me out on that one, "cables", in my bilingual mind, equates to "cabelado"  not the control cables for the neck or tail.

cableado:

1. (electric wires installed)

a. wiring


In particular, I was thinking of the weird buzzing sounds, Pleos are particularly vulnerable to RF interference from all the servos affecting the data transmission between the head and main processors and the rear and front body sections.


It is VERY easy to damage the flat cable at either of the zero insertion force (snicker) connectors (especially on a pleo that has been around the block a few times).  It have had the flat cable shield ground connection damaged at the motherboard ground.


Another possibility is if some little investigator messed around with the neck/head to body connection, they could have damaged or lost the ferrite choke on the head to body data cables (the black round tube around the wires).


On very damaged pleos I've seen it cracked or broken, just an idea.


Cheers!


Peter




« Last Edit: May 22, 2020, 04:21:54 AM by pnhicks »
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aibo7m3

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Re: Unresponsive Ugobe Pleo
« Reply #8 on: May 22, 2020, 07:48:46 AM »

No worries, thank you for clarifying, I had not been certain which meaning of the word you were referring to. This Pleo appears to have never been taken apart before as none of the seams along the rubber have been broken, but it seems like it was not stored in a good environment by the previous owner, as both this Pleo and the one I received it with were very dirty when I received them and the damage to the rubber on the toes looks almost like it could have come from a rodent. I might take a look a little later and see if I can find anything that seems amiss, I feel bad about opening up a Pleo that still has their skin intact, but know that it is probably the only option for getting this Ugobe up and running properly.

I also have two RBs that arrived to me bricked with similar (though not identical) audio symptoms. One boots intermittently like this Ugobe Pleo and has pops/static mixed into the regular Pleo sounds, while the other will not operate at all on the default personality and is motionless with chopped up audio when running skits. The first has never been taken apart, but the second is currently skinless and I've attempted to find the source of the issue a few times before, but all without success. I did focus on the wiring between the head and body in my search since I've heard of these wires becoming damaged in RBs before, but none of the wires appear obviously frayed or damaged in any way (there could be damage that I've missed though). The ferrite choke that you refer to is present and appears to be in good condition with no cracks or visible damage. Is the flat cable that you are referring to the one that connects the two halves of the body? And do you have images of how the ends of this cable should look when plugged in on an RB? Particularly the side that plugs in at the front half of the Pleo's body. This cable is connected on this Pleo RB, but I can't say for sure if it is connected properly or possibly damaged/misaligned since it looks a little suspect to me.

Sorry for derailing the topic a little bit to talk about RBs, you got my curiosity going about other Pleos here that are in need of repair. Thanks for your help!
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pnhicks

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Re: Unresponsive Ugobe Pleo
« Reply #9 on: May 22, 2020, 09:47:27 AM »

Hi Aibo7,


I feel like I'm living in two parallel universes and at the moment they are coming together!


I'm trying to help Markishka and Hennadii with the Pleo from hell and after trying every software, firmware trick in book, we just think we have found a bad flat data cable, or possible misaligned daughtercard pin.


Anyway, besides my weirdness and to answer your question, the flat cable does joint from and rear halves of the Pleo. I will upload some pictures, (it takes me a while with the one drive links). 


In the meantime, 90% of the time, the damage I find is on the front end, its like someone said, "okay zero insertion force, so like if I use a vice grip and hammer that should work good, right?"


To remove the cable pull gently on the blue tape on the top side of the cable in line with the, but opposite of the cable insertion direction.  Check the silver contacts on the bottom side of the cable.  The end of the cable should be flush, not ragged or bent up.  Check for missing contacts (they can peel off with hard use.


The cable should go in at a 90 angle (right angle) to the motherboard if its too short you can't just stick it in at a 45 angle an call it good!  If it doesn't slide right in, ITS NOT LINED UP, remember ZIF, the end of the cable could have been mangled before you got there.


There is usually a blue line horizontal on the end on the cable indicating that the cable is fully inserted in the connector when the line is just visible outside of the connector.


Hope this helps!


Peter




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pnhicks

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Re: Unresponsive Ugobe Pleo
« Reply #10 on: May 22, 2020, 10:14:45 AM »

Hi Aibo7,


Here are some photos of said cable!


https://1drv.ms/u/s!As6F3Yo9RNKWvQS2wwUWpcKWGuk8?e=VO0kPs


Cheers!


Peter
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aibo7m3

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Re: Unresponsive Ugobe Pleo
« Reply #11 on: May 22, 2020, 10:37:40 AM »

Thank you for all the help! It is really useful to know what can fail frequently on Pleos and what sort of symptoms different faults might cause.

The Pleo RB in question came to me already missing its skin and I believe that someone has unsuccessfully attempted a repair on it previously. The Pleo has been unresponsive on the default personality ever since I received it and has always been able to read skits from the micro SD slot, albeit while motionless and with choppy audio. I did some disassembly on it myself looking for faults around five years ago and may have made mistakes in the process, but I never attempted to disconnect any of the wires or the flex cable in between the two halves of the body. However, it does look like someone may have disconnected or attempted to disconnect these before I owned the Pleo as there is some damage to the connectors next to the one for the flex cable and I cannot tell if the cable itself is inserted properly.

Are the photos you attached from a Ugobe Pleo? The arrangement of wires looks different from the RB that I own, so I just wanted to check, but it's helpful nonetheless. It is good to know that the contacts on the front end of the cable are longer than on the rear, since I was concerned about so much of the contacts being exposed while the cable was plugged in on my RB, but it looks like this may be normal.

Here are the photos of the flex cable on my Pleo RB, I have not messed with it at all and just have photographed it as it is. If it looks correctly inserted, then I won't bother with the risk of removing and reinserting it. The red connector that you can see in the background of the first photo has a chip of plastic missing from it and both that connector and the small white one next to it look like they may have been pulled on with too much force at some point, but both visually appear to still be properly making a connection, so I am not sure whether or not they could be playing a role in this Pleo's problems. Maybe I'll have to revive one of the old threads about this RB or create a new one so it doesn't get too confusing troubleshooting two different Pleos in one thread!






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pnhicks

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Re: Unresponsive Ugobe Pleo
« Reply #12 on: May 22, 2020, 01:01:17 PM »

Hi Aibio7,


Yeah, my pics are from my Pleo, the RB is a mockup in-progress and I thought that the real deal might make it clearer, wrong again!


I thought you wanted to see the ground ground connection for the cable for your "original" problem with the static noise, I can't keep it all straight  :P :P dinosaur1.gif


It does look very long though


More pictures Tomorrow!


Peter

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aibo7m3

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Re: Unresponsive Ugobe Pleo
« Reply #13 on: May 22, 2020, 01:20:27 PM »

No worries, I've probably made things a bit confusing by bringing a second broken Pleo into the discussion! I don't have the Ugobe Pleo opened up yet, but all of your advice and photos have been very helpful in figuring out what could be wrong and should make diagnosing the fault easier going forward.
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pnhicks

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Re: Unresponsive Ugobe Pleo
« Reply #14 on: May 24, 2020, 02:21:02 AM »

Hi Aibo7,


As promised the pictures comparing the motherboard connections between Pleo models:

https://1drv.ms/u/s!As6F3Yo9RNKWvQqejpdT7E-u3Ndk?e=uR4E3g


The ratty very used hard cable I had for testing, APPEARED to enter further into the connector, but this is PURE conjuncture on my part and may be only due to the very flexible nature of this highly distressed cable!


The Ugobe data cable (the flat flex cable, ffc) had external shielding for the RF noise generated by all the servos in the Pleo, and the shield was grounded at one end (the motherboard end to large ground pad on the top of the motherboard).  This pad is empty in the RB model and the data cable has two external ferrite chokes (flat) and the cable has external shielding under the black abrasion protection cover.

Motherboard rear connectors both models in the center is the 20 contact ZIF (zero insertion force, snicker) connector for the 20 contact FFC data cable. On the Ugobe, to the right of the FFC connector (as looking at the back of the MB) is the 5 pin serial communication connector that is connected by a wiring harness to the bottom USD port (painfully not present on the RB).

Immediately to left of the FFC connector, on both models is the reddish (two pin, RB, 3 pin Ugobe) power switch board connector, and continuing to the far left, the white two pin (both models) rear speaker connection.

Now I have to ask you a question!  How to you get your pictures to show up in your posts??!!


Hope this helps your troubleshooting!

Peter





« Last Edit: May 24, 2020, 02:48:05 AM by pnhicks »
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aibo7m3

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Re: Unresponsive Ugobe Pleo
« Reply #15 on: May 24, 2020, 12:13:18 PM »

Thank you for all your help, it's really fascinating to learn all of this!

Regarding the Ugobe, I've pealed back the Pleo's skin at the neck and don't see anything obviously amiss around the neck area, but haven't gone any further than this yet, so I don't have a huge amount of news to report right now. As a note, the Pleo did start working at one point and continued to operate completely normally for a couple hours of run time including multiple reboot cycles, but eventually stopped booting up consistently and started playing static again. Whatever the fault is, it seems to be intermittent. I am curious to see what the flex cable connecting the two halves of the body looks like on this Pleo, but I will probably have to save that for another day.

As for the Pleo RB, I can't tell for sure whether or not the flex cable on mine is sticking out any further than the one that you have pictured, but I managed to get a close-up photo of the cable from the other side and it looks like there could be some damage to it. The contacts look alright at the point where they plug into the connector, but it looks like the connection could be severed further up, since there are spots where I can see through to the blue backing on the cable.



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pnhicks

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Re: Unresponsive Ugobe Pleo
« Reply #16 on: May 25, 2020, 05:20:15 AM »

Hi Aibo7,

Thanks for the image info!  I'll never get use to this forum!  My text randomly changes fonts, sizes, gifs sometimes work, writing a post longer than three sentences is an act total faith.  I have lost SO many missives that could have won Pulitzer prizes right into the ether without some much as an error message.

I am a grumpy old man and I own it.

Now that I got that rank out of my system, the blue tape (Mylar maybe) is just reinforcement for the actual cable per se.  It is suppose to make it easier to cram, oops, gently insert the FFC into the ZIF (hehehe) connector.  Hence the mangled appearance and partial separation of the blue tape.

A note about the contacts, the part the remains OUTSIDE the connector, won't be damaged.  Its the poor darlings that get jammed, whoops again, every so gently, inserted, repeatedly, that get bent, folded or mutilated.  If you had any doubt about the condition of the cable, why not gently tug it out and take a peak?

A little magnifier will help a lot as the contacts are 0.5mm pitch (spacing) and (at least for my old peepers) a magnifier helps a lot! They are very useful as well for identifying blown up capacitors, cracks on circuit board, etc.

Cheers and happy hunting!

Peter

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pnhicks

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Re: Unresponsive Ugobe Pleo
« Reply #17 on: May 25, 2020, 10:55:46 AM »

Hi Aibo7,


Here are some more pictures (UGOBE) of the motherboard with the mounting screws showing the washers and one with the motherboard and battery connectors (springs) removed showing the daughter card pins (headers) below.


Would be very easy to get one misaligned or mangled up on reinstallation.


I cant get the image tags to word (I'm not holding my mouth right or something)...I don't have photo bucket,


but as long as you can view the link.. >:( :(


https://1drv.ms/u/s!As6F3Yo9RNKWvRF_O_aE1Rj5K8li?e=rDIUEs

Cheers!

Peter
« Last Edit: May 25, 2020, 11:00:18 AM by pnhicks »
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pnhicks

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  • Pleo(s): None of mine stay in one piece long enough! :((
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Re: Unresponsive Ugobe Pleo
« Reply #18 on: May 27, 2020, 10:16:20 AM »

Hi Aibo7,

I was building a RB mockup out of some spare parts laying around, when a constant rebooting problem appeared out of the blue.  Disassembly revealed that some ham-fisted aficionado ( I wonder who ? :-[ ??? ;) )  had broken off one of the pins (headers) on the Right Hand Daughtercard.  The trick was it was still in place and at the right height!  It wasn't until I examined the pins with my trusty magnifier that I saw the break at the  BASE of the pin.

See attached photos.

https://1drv.ms/u/s!As6F3Yo9RNKWvRSsD1H7wVb6HyqN?e=vgxRp9

Cheers!

Peter
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pnhicks

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Re: Unresponsive Ugobe Pleo
« Reply #19 on: May 28, 2020, 12:46:43 AM »

Hi Aibo7.

I couldn't believe my luck!  ;D  I added a tiny bit solder to the broken pin and a tiny amount to the motherboard, jammed the pin back into the header and applied a smidgen of heat with the solder pencil and viola!  No stuck boot loop, no more Toshiba motor communication error, now he will happily stay in static pose connected to Dino-mite while I tinker about!

Cheers!

Peter

PS
I am adding an image to show how both FFC and Head data cable ferrite chokes can fail (from two different pleos, I had seen the head choke before, but I needed a data cable, and so I started dismembering a damaged one and viola)
https://1drv.ms/u/s!As6F3Yo9RNKWvRVFjWK6l13SmsQO?e=zkhLMg
« Last Edit: May 28, 2020, 01:51:21 AM by pnhicks »
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