User avatar
By Wedgeismyhero
#4926640
So I've been trying to figure out how to work a GBfans sound kit that was installed in a proton pack I purchased, and I think I've got most everything figured out, except for the following:

a) The cyclotron lights do not start when I activate the pack from the wand, but do work after going through the first vent sequence.
b) The Power Cell lights work fine until the first vent sequence, then they light up from the outside to the center of the LED strip.

Here's how I operate the pack in order and what happens:

Upon turning on the battery back (12v pack, I'm assuming came from GBfans):
1. One cyclotron light quickly flickers on then off, stays off, and the bottom Power Cell LED blinks every second.
2. On activating the switch on the wand, the bar graph fills from top to bottom, then fluctuates from bottom to top and back down. This repeats as normal. The Power Cell light functions as normal, filling from bottom to top. Cyclotron lights do not function.
3. Hitting the switch for the Vent Light turns that on as normal, no change in lights. Cyclotron lights still do no function.
4. Firing the wand makes the bar graph pulse from the center out, and gets faster the longer the stream fires. No Cyclotron function.
5. Firing the wand all the way to the vent sequence plays the alarm, the vent sound, makes the bar graph go through the venting sequence, and then makes the Cyclotron lights start flashing, but now the Power Cell LEDs blink from the top and bottom to the center. Now the Cyclotron lights are working, clockwise.

I've read the documentation and have tried as much as I could understand as a layman. I've tried switch settings so everything is set to movie accurate, and that seems to make the Cyclotron lights start with the wand switch, but I still then have the Power Cell light issue. I've tried setting all switches to TVG mode, but that's the sequence I've described above. I've fiddled with the potentiometers on the wand board, and the pack lights board. Nothing seems to fix the issue.

If anybody can help me get the Cyclotron lights starting with the wand switch, and maintaining the Power Cell light sequence starting from the bottom and ending at the top, that would be great!
User avatar
By Wedgeismyhero
#4926698
Yep, here you go!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=36dbX6r6I6k

And pictures of the boards as they currently exist in the shell.

https://imgur.com/gallery/BF2ReGq
https://imgur.com/a/Vl9wb5E

Image
Image
Image
Image

(EDIT: Removed Photobucket pics because Photobucket suuuucks. Added Neutrona Wand board pictures)
Last edited by Wedgeismyhero on November 8th, 2019, 1:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
By Kingpin
Moderator
#4926714
I'll pass this topic on to AJ, see if he might be able to provide some insight.

I've no idea if that sloppy hot glue work could've played any part in it, though even if it hasn't affected the functionality, I'd suggest replacing the hot glue with a mechanical attachment if possible.
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By Marcus B
#4926718
I'm not an expert at electronics, but it looks like you made your own cable to run to the wand lights, and on the pack lights board it looks like some hot glue could have gotten into the potentiometer perhaps making it not make good contact. Those would be the first things I'd look at to troubleshoot.
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User avatar
By Wedgeismyhero
#4926733
Thanks Kingpin, appreciate it! That glue work was definitely alarming when I opened the case for the first time. I think cleaning that up wouldn’t be a bad idea even if it’s not the culprit.
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User avatar
By AJ Quick
Moderator
#4926742
Hot melt glue certainly doesn't help, but it probably isn't the cause. I believe most hot melt glue can be considered to be an insulator.

What I would want to see is if those ribbon cables are the cause. If one was assembled slightly crooked, you could have poor signals being sent.

You can also test your kits independently of one another by unplugging those long ribbon cables and then applying the power source directly to each board. It seems likely to me that each one is working, but signals are not getting through properly or are shorted out.
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User avatar
By Wedgeismyhero
#4926743
Hot melt glue certainly doesn't help, but it probably isn't the cause. I believe most hot melt glue can be considered to be an insulator.

What I would want to see is if those ribbon cables are the cause. If one was assembled slightly crooked, you could have poor signals being sent.

You can also test your kits independently of one another by unplugging those long ribbon cables and then applying the power source directly to each board. It seems likely to me that each one is working, but signals are not getting through properly or are shorted out.
Thanks for your time, AJ. Going to give those a test using the method you described. What should I be looking for when testing these separately? A specific light pattern? Should I be leaving the potentiometers where they are?
User avatar
By Wedgeismyhero
#4926751
So while testing the components both together and individually, I noticed the N-Filter light wasn't going off during the vent sequence. It would only light up when the potentiometer was set to test mode. Best I can guess there's some kind of issue with the pack lights board and/or the Cyclotron lights kit. Not sure where to go from here. I guess I start with replacing the ribbon cables, then if that doesn't work, ordering a new cyclotron lights kit and pack lights board from GBFans. This proton pack purchase has been more and more of a raw deal the deeper I look into the pack itself.
User avatar
By Wedgeismyhero
#4927016
You may also want to message Spongeface, who made the kits. He might have insight into what's happening as well. Maybe it's only one piece, and hopefully not all of it. If you need it, his email is Doug@ghostlab42.com

And wow, so much hot glue!
Thanks, will do! Currently I've got it working well enough, the only problem being that I need to run the pack through a full vent sequence at the start to get the cyclotron lights going. I'll see what Doug has to say about it all. And yeah, the gluing inside the shell is nightmarish.
User avatar
By Spongeface
Supporting Member
#4927095
The sound board is what "connects" the wand lights and the pack lights (powercell/cyclotron lights). So we can try testing the sound board with just the wand lights and then just the pack lights. The following is just to narrow down where to look next.

When connecting/disconnecting ribbon cables, please make sure the battery is turned off or disconnected so that no power is available to the boards.

WandLights and Sound Board check
Can you confirm that the wand lights and sound board are both behaving as expected?
If not acting correctly, unplug the PackLights 10 conductor ribbon cable and test again.
The sounds from the sound board should follow what the wand is asking for.
For example, the pack should be silent until one of the front toggle switches either powers up the pack or goes to standby mode. Go to full power up, then fire and then shut down.
Do all of the sounds play when expected?
Do all of the lights on the wand behave properly?

PackLights and Sound Board check
1. Disconnect the wand lights 14 pin cable (or if too much glue just have the wand lights switches set for powerdown of the pack.)
2. Connect the 10 pin PackLights cable
3. Switches #1, #2 and #4 of the sound board config should be off, #3 and #5 OFF for TVG proton pack only, and #6 should be ON for Hum.
4. Apply battery power.
The bottom powercell led should occasionally blink to indicate there is power applied, but the pack is in powerdown mode.
The Sound board should be silent since it is in powerdown mode.
5. Now set config switch #1 to ON.
The power up sound should play and the powercell/cyclotron lights should start cycling.
After the power sound plays, the "hum" should be continuously playing.
6. Next set config switch #4 to ON.
The vent sound should play and the vent light should strobe.As soon as the vent sound finishes, the strobe should stop and the hum sound should be playing.
7. Next set config switch #4 to OFF.
Nothing changes.
8. Next set config switch #1 to OFF.
The powerdown sound should play and the powercell should go through the powerdown sequence.

Let me know what you find!
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User avatar
By Wedgeismyhero
#4927104
Disconnected the 10 pin cable and ran the wand through its functions.

The wand itself does all the things that it should be doing as far as playing the sounds, and light sequence on bargraph and the wand itself.

Disconnected the 14 pin cable, reconnected the 10 pin cable, and went through the process you outlined for the packlights check.

Upon setting config switch #1 to ON, the power up sound played, the Power Cell lights started pulsing from the bottom up, but the cyclotron lights did NOT start up. I've also noticed in other folks' build videos that the Power Cell lights start with the bottom LED, then they stack in order to the top before pulsing. Mine does not do that, unless I'm confusing this with another pack lights kit.

Everything else functioned as it should, except for the cyclotron lights. Those did not come on.

Something to note that might be important: When I power up the battery, and then power on the pack lights via either the wand, or through the board switch #1, the cyclotron lights WILL start working if I turn the potentiometer all the way counter clockwise or clockwise, and then into Movie Mode or TVG Mode while it's running.
Last edited by Wedgeismyhero on November 17th, 2019, 6:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
By Spongeface
Supporting Member
#4927111
Ok, a few more things to try:

Powercell/cyclotron board stand-alone mode.
1. Turn off the battery, remove the 10 conductor ribbon cable and connect the battery wires directly to the powercell battery screw terminals (make sure the polarity is correct).
Also make sure the config potentiometer is not at either extreme position.
2. Turn on the battery (or power switch)
3. The powercell should immediately start operating along with all four power cell lights.
If the config potentiometer is in the left 1/2 of the range (counterclockwise half of the range), there is no start up sequence and the standard pattern should immediately start.
If the config potentiometer is in the right 1/2 of the range (clockwise half of the range), there is a startup sequence followed by the standard pattern.
4. After several cycles of normal operation, rotate the config potentiometer fully clockwise.
All of the powercell LEDs should light up and stay on. The Vent and cyclotron LEDs should all be off.
5. Rotate the potentiometer back to a middle-ish position and observe the noremal sequencing on the powercell and cyclotron.
6. Rotate the potentiometer fully counterclockwise and only a couple of the powercell lleds should be on, and all 4 of the cyclotrons and the vent leight should be on.

Next, back to the sound board and powercell/cyclotron testing
1. Turn off the battery, move the battery wires back to the sound board screw terminals and plug in the 10 conductor ribbon cable between the sound baord and the powercell board.
2. Set the sound board config switches 1, 2 and 4 all OFF. Do not connect the 14 conductor cable to the wand (or configure the wand so that the pack should be in shutdown mode).
3. Turn on the batter (Reapply power).
The powercell config potentiometer should be fully counterclockwise from the previous test. The cyclotron Lights are displaying the 4 incoming control signals from the sound board. They were before also, but without the ribbon cable connected they should all be high, so all 4 cyclotrons were on in the stand-alone test described above.
4. In powerdown mode, all four control signals should be low, so all 4 cyclotron LEDs should be OFF.
5. Flip switch #1 ON so the pack will play the powerup sound
While the powerup sound is playing, a single cyclotron light should come on. (Note which cyclotron LED this is!)
After the pwer up sound has played, the single cyclotron will turn off and another cyclotron LED will turn on.
This indicates pack idle.
6. Flip switch #1 OFF and the power down sound will play.
While the powerdown sound is playing, two additional cyclotron LEDs (not the first cyclotron LED) should come on, for a total of 3 cycloptron LEDs.
When the sound finishes, the pack is back to powerdown and all 4 cyclotron LEDs should be OFF.

Other sounds will cause other patterns on the cyclotron LEDs. This is just trying to see if the control signals are generated, connected and received between the two boards.
User avatar
By Wedgeismyhero
#4927112
So, in stand alone mode, as soon as I flick on the battery, the only thing that happens is that the bottom Power Cell LED blinks intermittently (once every 8 seconds or so), no activity from the Cyclotron lights. Doesn't matter which half of the range I power it on from. Going full clockwise lights up all of the Power Cell LEDs. Going full counter clockwise lights up two of the Cyclotron lights, the vent light, AND the top three Power Cell LEDs. Nothing I do starts the Cyclotrons cycling.

When I reconnect the battery to the sound board, and start the battery with the potentiometer all the way counter clockwise, the Cyclotron lights do not light up, and the top three Power Cell LEDs are still lighting up. When I flip the #1 switch to play the powerup sound, the sound plays, then the Cyclotron with the red lead lights up, and stays on. The rest of the cyclotron lights do NOT cycle after the power up sound. When I switch #1 off, the powerdown sound plays, and the Cyclotron lights with the red and orange leads light up, but not a third.
User avatar
By Spongeface
Supporting Member
#4927113
The powercell should be seeing all 4 inputs at a "high" voltage without any cable attached. Since it is seeing two inputs low, it is not starting the sequencing and those inputs are a problem.
Not sure if this is also a cable issue - If the board is repaired or replaced and the cable is bad, it could damage a working powercell board again.

There is no easy way to see if the output from the sound board is working properly, since we are using the powercell board to look at the outputs of the sound board through the ribbon cable and the powercell board is not behaving on its own.

Has the powercell board ever worked for you? It may have been damaged before/during install so the damage may not be related to the other boards or cables.

At a minimum, It looks like you will "get" to remove the powercell board. After you remove the board and clean things up, it is worth retesting in stand-alone mode by just connecting a battery to the board and see if it is able to start sequencing the display - just in case.
User avatar
By Wedgeismyhero
#4927114
The only way the Power Cell has functioned as intended was after setting it to TVG mode. But the Cyclotron lights don’t start up until running it through a full vent sequence. The Power Cell LEDs light up in the right sequence, but they don’t speed up when the pack “heats up” and the n-filter light and cyclotrons don’t do anything special during the venting cycle. As soon as I power everything down, it’s back to the Cyclotron lights not working on powerup.

I hadn't owned the Powercell before the pack was put together by Knowones Designs. He said he had issues with a previous set of electronics, and said he had a new kit overnighted so he could make his delivery deadline. No clue which parts he replaced after the initial problem.
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