Ambika voicecard flashes LEDs on first start, then dead

I have built 6 SVF voicecards, and one of them does not start.
At first boot (after flash), it blinks both leds (actually the data led turns on first - I can see that in a slow motion video). Then both leds go off and the card does not work.
During second boot it doesn’t blink like the first time, and it’s still dead.
When I reflash, the whole thing repeats.
CPU is fine - tested in another board.
I have tested all SPI connections and they seem to be fine. Obviously something must be wrong with the card.
I can’t make any sense of this behavior when looking at the source code.

Any ideas what to check?

Hmm, is something shorting on the board? Have you tried the card in different slots, and other cards in the slot that this one was in?

Another thing you can do is to go to the update page in the Ambika controller (I think it’s library > more > about) and there you can see what it thinks is connected. Do you see your problem board showing up or does it say there’s nothing connected?

The slot is ok, other cards are working there.
I checked the about page, when I insert this card, all cards are marked ? there, though the other cards work ok.
Also, when this card is in, I get “I/O error accessing SD card” when entering the library page. So clearly, this card is messing something with the SPI bus. Though why the other cards work ok when this faulty one is in?
I guess I have to keep checking the SPI connections until I find something…

“I/O error accessing SD card” is meant to appear when you don’t have an SD card inserted. If you didn’t have an SD card in the slot, then there’s no problem there.

Which programmer did you use to flash the voicecards? Did you flash them while connected to the motherboard or disconnected? I’ve found that I can flash voicecards while they are connected but the motherboard should be powered off. If the motherboard is powered at the same time then funny things can happen.

Otherwise I can’t think of anything else but to suggest checking the soldering :man_shrugging:

The programmer and procedure (I’m flashing disconnected) are fine, as all other cards are ok.
The IO error message popped up when I had a valid card in the slot, it happens only when the broken voicecard is connected (and not always).

I nailed it :slight_smile:
The root cause was actually in the other card that was mounted as A in the same slot. It was not passing SSB correctly and it caused start of firmware update procedure (on card B) with erroneous data. It was somehow random phenomenon not always occurring with other cards and that tricked me into wrong direction.

Ahhhhhh. Nice find!!!

Hi, I have the exact same only when I add the 6th card. Doesn’t follow the card, happens with any of the cards in the 6th position. Wondering what specifically was your issue, but I think mine maybe more on the main board as it doesn’t seem to be card specific. Just always whichever card it in last… driving me mad!

Worked it out, while changing one of the pots from a flower to D shaft, my desolder gun had slipped. I checked the board at the time but on closer inspection i’d broken a trace going to pin 2 of header 6. Quick jumper wire and all fixed.