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Glitching Sound

After hooking up an external 8 ohm speaker to the EZB and figuring out how to get the LED in my Robie Sr.'s mouth to flash like I wanted, everything was working great.



But then for no reason I can tell, it started doing THIS.


It sounds like maybe the speaker has just blown out, but with the way it's all wired, it would appear (to me, at least) that the LED should still be flashing with each spoken syllable like it should be.
User-inserted image


Any thoughts?


Related Hardware EZ-Robot EZ-B v4
#5  
do you have a iotiny ? for testing the speaker?
Synthiam
#6  
Hello @Bobsheaux,

Can you remove the large speaker from the equation and test just the EZ-B speaker?
#7  
@Nomad
I don't have an iotiny, just the EZB4

@Jeremie
I can remove the external speaker from the extension cable port I've soldered to the EZB. The original EZB speaker just by itself is as quiet as the external speaker.
#8  
Could you have a loose connection, bad connection or bad solder joint somewhere? You check all your connections or run new cable. I had issue  somewhat like this in the sound system of my robot a while back. Turned out to be a bad RCA Jack connection. I replaced the cable and didn't have the issue anymore.
#9  
As near as I can tell, there are no loose connections.
 User-inserted image


But my EZB's internal speaker is having the same issues as the external speaker I attached. Even if there was a connection issue with the new speaker, wouldn't the old speaker remain unaffected?
#10  
atleast one wire chould complete cover up with krimp.
are these wire all the way thru the holes?
#11  
The wires are all the way through the holes, yes.
#12  
cover up the exposed wires with some schrink.
#13   — Edited
I think @Nomad is suggesting you could have a short happening between the two bare wires or an exposed part of the wire and a trace, wirepad or an electrical component. 

Also make sure you don't have any solder splash between the two soldering joints you made to the Speaker holes or adjacent traces. 

It may be possible you overheated the holes while soldering and damaged the solder pads thus causing connectivity issues between the pad and the trace it's joined to. 

You could also have a broken wire.

Another possibility is you have a bad WIFI connection or something interfering or flooding your connection from the computer to the EZB. Make sure your EZB and router are on a uncluttered channel. You can change the EZB channel on its web interface. Your router needs to be done by logging into it's web interface and change it from in there. Get a free WIFI channel scanner app for you phone and find out what the most unused channel is in your area and change to that. 

How much other stuff is running through your router on the home network? Is something on that flooding your Wifi connection? If so can you turn something off or get an access point to extend your network? I have one attached to my router with an Ethernet cable and only let my robot and it's computer access through it. Solved all my problems. 

Also, how old is your router. Some old routers won't handle the EZB well. When I first started using the EZB back in the early days of the EZ-B v4/1 I had to get a new router that would stay connected and when it did I had poor performance.
#14  
there are two solder pads in line  under the wires.
would be good to face the wire to the other side.away from thr pads.

User-inserted image
#15  
"I think @Nomad is suggesting you could have a short happening between the two bare wires or an exposed part of the wire and a trace, wirepad or an electrical component."
How do I determine that, and if that's the case, how do I fix it?

"Also make sure you don't have any solder splash between the two soldering joints you made to the Speaker holes or adjacent traces."
There isn't, everything's fine on that front.

"It may be possible you overheated the holes while soldering and damaged the solder pads thus causing connectivity issues between the pad and the trace it's joined to."
What do I do about that? 

"You could also have a broken wire."
What about the internal speaker? A broken wire wouldn't adversely affect THAT the same way it would the external speaker, would it?

"Another possibility is you have a bad WIFI connection or something interfering or flooding your connection from the computer to the EZB. Make sure your EZB and router are on a uncluttered channel. You can change the EZB channel on its web interface. Your router needs to be done by logging into it's web interface and change it from in there. Get a free WIFI channel scanner app for you phone and find out what the most unused channel is in your area and change to that. How much other stuff is running through your router on the home network? Is something on that flooding your Wifi connection? If so can you turn something off or get an access point to extend your network?"
Didn't understand a word of that. I downloaded channel scanner app, thought maybe I could figure something out from that, but I have no idea what to do with it or what to get out of it. Right now all I've got is the question blaring in my head "How could that be the issue when everything was working just fine before? If I had a bad wifi connection, wouldn't this simply NOT work since the beginning?":(

"Also, how old is your router. Some old routers won't handle the EZB well."
The router isn't mine to tamper with or replace.
#16  
hi bob

can you desolder the wire and solder the other direction?

User-inserted image
Synthiam
#17  
Hi Bob,

One thing I forgot to ask is where your volume is set on the soundboard skill, 100%?

As others have mentioned you could have a minor bridged connection, all you would need to do is check with a multimeter (ohms setting) and see what the resistance is between the speaker connections. If the reading is low (lower than 8ohms with the speaker connected or lower than 40kohms without) than you may need to add some flux and reflow your connections. Reflow would also help you see if a trace/pad comes off the board but I'm fairly certain this isn't the case.

I don't see WiFi as the issue unless you are encountering other issues when using the digital ports, servos, etc.

I also don't see a broken wire as the issue, no sound would come out in this case.
#18   — Edited

Quote:

I also don't see a broken wire as the issue, no sound would come out in this case.
Thanks for the insight @Jeremie. I was trying to come up with possible causes based on behavior. As for my broken wire theory, I agree it's unlikely unless the break is under the insolation.  The insolation could be holding the wire together and letting the wire break contact intermittently. I've had this happen at times. Most commonly near connections where I skinned or crimped.  However a broken wire making intermittent contact would probably show up only when the robot moved. Also a bridged contact or trace would probably not be intermittent. 

The OP said it worked properly the day before. That's why I started thinking it could be on the computer, router or Wifi end. If the OP damaged the EZB while soldering I would think the issue would have showed up right away. 

I like your idea of checking and playing with the volume slider on the Soundboard control in ARC. His video shows a rhythm to a voice cutting out. Almost like clipping.
#19  
"can you desolder the wire and solder the other direction?"
Not very confidently. I can't see what you're suggesting with that pic.

"One thing I forgot to ask is where your volume is set on the soundboard skill, 100%?"
It was at 100%, yes.

"As others have mentioned you could have a minor bridged connection, all you would need to do is check with a multimeter (ohms setting) and see what the resistance is between the speaker connections. If the reading is low (lower than 8ohms with the speaker connected or lower than 40kohms without) than you may need to add some flux and reflow your connections. Reflow would also help you see if a trace/pad comes off the board but I'm fairly certain this isn't the case."
I have no idea what you're telling me here.:(

"That's why I started thinking it could be on the computer, router or Wifi end."
I don't think it's the computer, otherwise the the test phrase I have in the Speech Synthesis control would be equally glitched when talking through the PC Speaker instead of the EZB (right?). I can't think the router or wifi are at fault, because every other control is working fine without issue.

"I like your idea of checking and playing with the volume slider on the Soundboard control in ARC."
Oh, was that being suggested earlier? No, that's not it either. The EZB's start-up noise is just as quiet as soon as the battery's plugged in.:(
#20  

Quote:

"As others have mentioned you could have a minor bridged connection, all you would need to do is check with a multimeter (ohms setting) and see what the resistance is between the speaker connections. If the reading is low (lower than 8ohms with the speaker connected or lower than 40kohms without) than you may need to add some flux and reflow your connections. Reflow would also help you see if a trace/pad comes off the board but I'm fairly certain this isn't the case."
I have no idea what you're telling me here.
#21   — Edited
Do you still have all those LED's strung together that didn't work the way you thought they would. Or did you remove them and are just using one LED? 

I did notice that the LED is now not flashing like the first day it was working. This is a good clue. What changed? Is the LED now burned out? This would cause problems. 

Any chance you could post a pic of your wiring of this circuit?

You may have to pull everything out of the robot and bench test this again to get it right. At the least it may make it easier to repair or see your issue. You may have to rebuild the circuit with new components and make sure it's wired correctly. 

Good luck and try to enjoy the learning process.
Synthiam
#22  
Are you connected to the EZB through AP mode or client mode? Meaning, do you have the EZB connecting to your router?
#23  
@Dave
Any videos you'd recommend on flux & reflow? Again, NO IDEA what I'm looking at here, so searching for "adding flux & reflow" on youtube isn't doing anything for me.:(

I still have all of the LEDs in the original circuit as I configured them, yes. It was working and I didn't want to mess with a good thing.  But what changed? I don't know, it just stopped. And unfortunately, I can't show you a pic of how the wiring originally was. It was suggested that I don't use the makeshift splitter that I made (which WAS working, until it wasn't), and that I wire the speaker directly to the EZB and the LED directly to the speaker, so that original wiring that I made is gone. At the moment, the best I have of my original set-up is that graphic I made at the beginning. 

@DJ Sures
I don't know if I'm on AP or client mode. But regardless, every other control is still working perfectly fine and the internal EZB speaker is having those issues without being connected.
#24  
I'm no expert on all this but here is what I've learned:

Reflowing a solder joint (not to be confused with reflow soldering) is simply heating up the solder joint to re melt the existing solder and letting it cool back down. This will sometimes renew the joint and ensure a good and strong and clean connection. This is done when a solder joint (soldering a wire into a hols for example) has been improperly soldered with not enough heat, a dirty soldering hole, pad or wire or the joint has been stressed with use (heat). It's sometime referred to as a "Cold Solder Joint". Adding a little flux to the joint you want to reflow helps transfer the heat from the iron and help protect the board and traces from overheating and damage. It also helps remove any contaminants that would cause the joint to be less conductive.  

Search for "reflowing a cold solder joint" for more videos. Here's one I found: