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Author Topic: Dead Pleo - any final suggestions to check?  (Read 483 times)

InkyMortar

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Dead Pleo - any final suggestions to check?
« on: October 13, 2020, 02:04:38 AM »

Hello all - it's been quite a few years since I was last on here; great to see the site is still active.  :)

I last posted in 2013 about Sidney: http://bobthepleo.com/forums/index.php/topic,3523.msg51790.html#msg51790

Despite trying a few options at the time, nothing seemed to work and so he was put into a cupboard where he has remained. Despite needing the space, I've previously resisted from throwing him out as I always hoped there might be something else I could try to get him working again. I've spent time over the last couple of days looking through the forum here and thinking about what might help.

Yesterday I installed Windows XP onto a virtual machine and reinstalled Dino-MITE to check him out. I'm using a known working USB cable, and I know the virtual machine is successfully connected to the USB port. Sidney has a battery pack inside him (definitely flat, probably dead) to ensure all the connections are in place. Unfortunately there's absolutely no response, and Dino-MITE and Windows don't recognise that anything is connected.

I wondered whether wise sages on here might have any suggestions for things I could consider before sending him to the great dinosaur home in the sky.

Thanks
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pnhicks

  • Fossil savant
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  • Pleo(s): None of mine stay in one piece long enough! :((
  • You can't break what's already broken!
Re: Dead Pleo - any final suggestions to check?
« Reply #1 on: October 16, 2020, 09:40:50 AM »

Hi Inky,


Sorry I didn't see your new post until today for some strange reason it wasn't marked as new? 


Any way, not that I am a guru, but working with AdamE, we did find out (as Crewella pointed out in your original post), that for Dino-mite to work (with Ugobe Pleos) the pleo must have a "working battery" and the pleo must be on.


If your battery is totally flat (which sounds like it is) Dino-mite will not connect.


You can connect an 8 volt dc power supply (at least 1.5 Amp or larger) directly to the battery bay "springs" with insulated alligator clips.


That should let you get Dinomite running.


Cheers!


Peter



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InkyMortar

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Re: Dead Pleo - any final suggestions to check?
« Reply #2 on: October 19, 2020, 07:43:45 AM »

Thanks Peter - I'll borrow a transformer and have a go with it. I'll report back. :)
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InkyMortar

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Re: Dead Pleo - any final suggestions to check?
« Reply #3 on: October 29, 2020, 11:11:31 AM »

Hello - an update on this:

I've been constantly running the batteries I have (3x green Ugobe/Innovo ones) in the Innovo charging cradles (x2) with the reconditioning enabled for at least a dozen cycles, but none of them subsequently charge. I'm going to try cleaning all connections for the batteries and charging cradles with q-tip and alcohol, but I'm guessing the packs are all dead.

I connected a transformer with alligator clips as suggested (thanks Peter) and I've reinstalled Win XP and DynoMite. One slight challenge in that I'm running XP in a virtual machine on Mac OS. I'm comfortable it's installed correctly (I'm regularly using Win 10 in a VM).

However, when I connect everything up, I'm just getting a sound-based quiet click from Sidney. No movement at all. He doesn't register as connected via the USB port in XP or Mac OS (the VM setup is configured to prompt me which OS to link to when anything is connected, and the prompt doesn't appear so the connection isn't being recognised). Needless to say nothing appears in DynoMite.

I've set the transformer to 7.5v - the next step up is 9v and I haven't tried that yet as I was concerned about frying his internals.

I think I may be running out of options. Any further thoughts of things I might try?

Thank you :)
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pnhicks

  • Fossil savant
  • * Posts: 183
  • es Male
  • Pleo(s): None of mine stay in one piece long enough! :((
  • You can't break what's already broken!
Re: Dead Pleo - any final suggestions to check?
« Reply #4 on: October 30, 2020, 09:13:16 AM »

Hi InkyM,


Did you have the files from the "static" folder in Dino-mite installed on the sd card?  I would also add the "Startup script to disable battery temp sensor" from the downloads section to the sd card as well.


http://bobthepleo.com/forums/index.php?action=downloads;sa=view;down=77

As far as your power supply, the chip that makes the power for the motherboard is a  TI LM2941and should handle 6.5 to 8.5 volt input input to create the 5v rail for the cpu.


The Pleo software could detect anything around 7 volts as "low battery" and start powering down some parts of the software.


Don't take any of this as gospel just a clue as to what might be going on.


I hate usb ports in VM.  The usb connection is hard enough to keep open in Dinomite. I run Dinomite on my win10 x64 machine with no problems (WELL a few) without virtualization.


Cheers,


Peter
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InkyMortar

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Re: Dead Pleo - any final suggestions to check?
« Reply #5 on: October 30, 2020, 11:29:31 AM »

Thanks Peter, that's helpful - sounds like I'm probably at the end of the line in that case. I don't have any options to install XP on a dedicated machine (I agree that the VM is probably adding further complications to diagnosis). I did originally try running Mite on the Win10 VM but it wouldn't load (I presumed because it's 64bit vs the 32bit Mite needs).

I can't set the transformer to 8.5v and I suspect from what you've said that trying 9v is probably going to fry the internals.

Don't think it's worth putting anything on an SD card unless you think otherwise. My computer isn't recognising that anything is physically connected so it won't even get as far as connecting with Mite let alone reading the card.

I think the only remaining option is replacing a battery pack, but I've looked through the instructions for "build your own" and I really don't think I'm capable. I see the person on here who was creating batteries is currently not taking orders.
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pnhicks

  • Fossil savant
  • * Posts: 183
  • es Male
  • Pleo(s): None of mine stay in one piece long enough! :((
  • You can't break what's already broken!
Re: Dead Pleo - any final suggestions to check?
« Reply #6 on: October 30, 2020, 12:50:48 PM »

Hi InkyM,


Sorry about that!  It very well could be the input power board fuse. A very easy fix. If you are a little handy it's fun too to see the inside bits of your Pleo! 


See forum post:
http://bobthepleo.com/forums/index.php/topic,5182.msg67137.html#msg67137

Cheers!

Peter
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AdamE

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Re: Dead Pleo - any final suggestions to check?
« Reply #7 on: November 05, 2020, 02:46:11 PM »

Sorry I am late to the party on this one - the battery sensor disable script may well help - basically just connecting a power supply without any thermistor in the circuit will make the Pleo think the battery is dead.

I'm not sure if this will also stop them connecting to DinoMite?

Ogie (my Pleo who had to have open heart surgery for a replacement main fuse) also happened to have a faulty battery sensor.  He works fine with the above script on an SD card, but refuses to boot without one....  worth a shot maybe?

The batteries are all getting a bit ancient now - I have one Innvo battery that lasts about an hour still, but my two Ugobe batteries now last between 10 and 30 minutes (its very random) before the Pleo's go to sleep, or in the case of one of the batteries just 'die' mid movement!

I hope some of that helps!
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InkyMortar

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Re: Dead Pleo - any final suggestions to check?
« Reply #8 on: November 09, 2020, 10:57:40 AM »

Thank you both - I will have a go at trying Sidney with the battery sensor disable script on an SD card.

I like the info about the fuse too. I'm not particularly good at soldering and precision engineering but that seems quite straightforward and relatively easy to get to.

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AdamE

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Re: Dead Pleo - any final suggestions to check?
« Reply #9 on: November 14, 2020, 10:03:40 AM »

Thank you both - I will have a go at trying Sidney with the battery sensor disable script on an SD card.

I like the info about the fuse too. I'm not particularly good at soldering and precision engineering but that seems quite straightforward and relatively easy to get to.

If you are not confident with soldering a surface fuse you can just about get things by a small amount of disassembly (not full board removal) and a little careful cutting.  Then solder a piece of 5amp fuse wire across the blown fuse.  Worked a treat for Ogie, and saved me lot's of hassle!
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