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Ranxerox
Joined: Mar 29 2020
Posts: 3

H8000FW boot loop problem

Ranxerox (My Eventide Gear)
March 29, 2020 - 10:21 am

I have an H8000FW that yesterday presented an issue on start-up. It was working normally previously and has been sitting in a rack powered down for the last couple of weeks, and and has not been moved or otherwise subjected to impacts, power surges or anything else.

Symptoms -

1. Powers up in the normal way, but seems to skip through the 'EVE/NET' splash screen, accompanied by a fair bit of relay clicking

2. Shows the screen saying 'I sense there is new RAM', then prompts user to clear the program data Yes or No

3. Whether you select Yes or No, at step 2, it then shows the screen saying 'New OS version detected', then prompts user to clear the setup data Yes or No

4. Whether you select Yes or No, at step 3, it then proceeds to check a number of objects in memory, including Program data, then after a few seconds suddenly returns to the Eventide power-up screen and loops back through the steps. 

Things I have tried:

1. Replaced the SRAM battery - used both CR2330 and BR2330 correct types at full charge

2. Removed and resocketed removable chips (my H8000FW is a later model where U106 is soldered to the board) and checked all are seated properly

3. Removed and resocketed ribbon connectors where they were not already hotglued into place

4. Re-flashed the latest OS V5.61 using CF card in a PCM card adapter - I have done this several times

Interestingly, each time I re-flash the OS it seems to fix the issue - the unit successfully loads the factory programs and seems happy. When I go into the diagnostic test mode and run the NV Ram and RTC checks they both pass, and the unit seems normal.

However if I then switch the unit off and on again, it returns to the boot loop issues above, and fails all NV Ram checks and gives an error for the RTC saying it cannot initiate the clock (suspect these are interrelated issues). It also sporadically throws memory and illegal CPU error codes. 

So I'm hoping this is not faulty NV Ram, but maybe a problem with corrupted data on the boot ROM chip? Haaaalp!!!

nickrose's picture
Eventide Staff
nickrose
Joined: Jan 17 2008
Posts: 4580
nickrose
March 29, 2020 - 10:25 am

It really does sound like the battery, but you have changed it several times. It would be good to measure the battery voltage in place (should be around 3.0V).

Otherwise I fear it is a hardware fault, probably a bad NVRAM or RTC as the test messages suggest.

 

 

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Ranxerox
Joined: Mar 29 2020
Posts: 3
Ranxerox (My Eventide Gear)
March 29, 2020 - 05:26 pm

Thanks for your reply. I measured the battery voltage in place as you suggested. With the unit switched off it measured 3.0V on the nose, but powered up this dropped to 1.88V. Returned to 3.0V when switched off. Is that normal?

Also, there is a socketed 8-pin DIP chip to the left of the battery holder - U1002 - which I took out and forgot to replace before powering the unit up. This appeared to make absolutely no difference to the boot loop issue. I don't know the purpose or type of the chip (my eyesight isn't good enough to read off) - would it be worth replacing it?

nickrose's picture
Eventide Staff
nickrose
Joined: Jan 17 2008
Posts: 4580
nickrose
March 29, 2020 - 06:12 pm

Assuming that you have measured it correctly (and I have no reason to believe that you have not), the 1.88V is worrying - this means that the battery will soon be depleted, which will cause problems as you describe.

Basically, there is some kind of hardware problem in the NVRAM area. If your unit is still under warranty, speedily contact your dealer or Eventide. Otherwise, contact Eventide directly. support@eventide.com.

 

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Ranxerox
Joined: Mar 29 2020
Posts: 3
Ranxerox (My Eventide Gear)
March 29, 2020 - 06:34 pm

Sadly, it's not under warranty (I'm not the original owner). I was hoping to eliminate any relatively simple possible causes initially, for instance in the past I have found replacing the socketed DIP ICs can rectify things. 

Sending it in to be fixed could get quite expensive, however if necessary I'm assuming Source Distribution here in London is the nearest repair centre. I will contact Eventide support as you suggest.

Edvinas
Joined: Apr 13 2019
Posts: 4
Edvinas
June 30, 2020 - 02:54 pm

Hello,

I am experiencing a similar boot loop problem on Orville.

A day before it would throw an 'E12' error within 10 min of operation and now it never starts up. It enters an endless boot loop, sometimes shows "h7000" welcome screen folowed by "I sense that the internal Ram is new, do you wish to format?" or 'E0' error.. 

 

I am trying to arrange a professional help, however would like to ask if there is a downloadable service manual for Orville and where is the NVRAM chip located on the board?

Thank you!

nickrose's picture
Eventide Staff
nickrose
Joined: Jan 17 2008
Posts: 4580
nickrose
July 01, 2020 - 09:25 am

On both Orville and H8000 there is a socketed PAL (U106 - just left of EPROM)  which can cause much trouble if the socket contacts are bad or corroded, which can easily be the case with a 20 year old unit. When we repair them, we remove the socket and solder the PAL direct to the PCB. This requires some skill. If you don't wish to to that, try "wiggling" it in its socket to polish the contacts.

The unit crashing after startup can of course be many things, but try a new battery (optional), followed by a full init ('8' key held down at first startup screen) Make sure there is no card in the slot.

The NVRAM is U206, a 32 pin chip just below the left expansion connector.

 

 

Edvinas
Joined: Apr 13 2019
Posts: 4
Edvinas
July 01, 2020 - 11:57 am

Thank you Nick, that's actually very helpful.

I got it started yesterday by pure luck. After a number of on/off switch flips, it proceeded and formated the ram. Then when the unit loaded as dsp7000 (only engine A was available), I did a full reset from 'Setup' menu. Booted as Orville and worked for some time with occasional random self re-boot.

Today cold start and it's back on endless boot (pressing 8 does not help), even though I installed a new battery..

Looking under the hood, the PAL is already soldered. Perhaps it's worth reflowing, something I could do myself. If that doesn't help, would NVRAM replacement be the next call? Does it contain any code or can I simply find a replacement and solder it?

I understand, I'm asking a lot, however really appreciate your expertise and answers.

Thank you

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Eventide Staff
nickrose
Joined: Jan 17 2008
Posts: 4580
nickrose
July 02, 2020 - 08:45 am

Alas, I see no evidence that the NVRAM is at fault. It is more likely that the main ram is the problem (4 chips). As you say, could also be the boot rom.

While U106 does not look great it is probably OK. See if pressing hard on it makes a difference.

 

Edvinas
Joined: Apr 13 2019
Posts: 4
Edvinas
July 02, 2020 - 04:42 pm

Great info, U106 and RAM keeps appearing as culprits in other people's posts.

Last couple of questions if I may.
If it's ROM, is h8000's ROM compatible with Orville? Would Eventide have one for sale?

Is there a chance to obtain Orville's service manual?

The reason I'm asking is because I'm based in UK and the service center I contacted (Source Distribution) no longer services Orville. This may be the case with others too. Also, I assume the LED's on the mainboard are giving certain messages that could help troubleshooting.

Thank you!

Edvinas
Joined: Apr 13 2019
Posts: 4
Edvinas
July 02, 2020 - 05:01 pm

BTW, forgot to mention pressing/wiggling U106 did not help..

nickrose's picture
Eventide Staff
nickrose
Joined: Jan 17 2008
Posts: 4580
nickrose
July 02, 2020 - 05:44 pm

We have had trouble in the past with socketed U106. The reliability of the sram is fundamental to the performance of the unit, so it is important.

No idea if an H8000 boot rom will run in an Orville. Have never tried it. Contact support@eventide.com if you want to purchase one.

There is no available service manual for Orville.

We no longer service Orville - too old, and nobody here knows them.

We do know a number of external people who may service our older equipment:

https://www.eventideaudio.com/support/downloads/legacy-product-repair-information