MIST power input connector, the sequel

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MIST power input connector, the sequel

Postby Paradroyd » Tue Nov 18, 2014 7:04 pm

Unfortunately, the USB power input on my MIST somewhat suddenly broke off again. This happened to me once before, a little over a year ago (see the discussion here). It's apparently happened to a few other people too. I'm fairly certain that there was no specific incident that caused this. If anything, I've been over cautious with the connector since the last time it sheared off. I've always been leery of it happening again, and despite being really careful with it, it did. While I'm pretty careful with it, I do take the MIST back and forth to different places quite a bit, so I do plug and unplug it a LOT.

Rather than get a new USB connector and having it installed again, I'd like to go a different route this time. While the connector for the USB power is way too small for me attempt myself, I noticed that there are provisions for installing an alternate (and probably more robust) power input on the board. I'm fairly certain that I could do this myself once I know exactly what I need and what I need to do. The hardest part would probably be cutting the metal case in such a way that it doesn't look like crap.. I'll figure that out though.
Obviously I'll have to make sure that any bits of the USB power connector and associated solder are cleaned up. I don't really expect any trouble with that.

Bear with me here, because I'm going to seem overly cautious. The MIST is something I use a lot and I'd like to not screw something up and have to buy a new one...

First question, can I just drop a jack into into the slot (I believe it's J1) and solder the 3 contacts, or do I need to cut or short any pads to make the new jack active?

Second, is the voltage at the new jack the same (5V?) or is there something inline that changes the voltage requirement at that jack (it didn't look like it)?

Finally, do you have a link you can send me to the exact part that this slot was intended for? I want to make sure that it fits exactly and that I preferably wind up with the core of the connector being positive and the outside being negative, just because 90% of the stuff I use is polarized that way and it makes accidents less likely.

Thanks in advance.
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Re: MIST power input connector, the sequel

Postby Paradroyd » Tue Nov 18, 2014 9:12 pm

It seems like one of these might work, doesn't it?
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Re: MIST power input connector, the sequel

Postby MasterOfGizmo » Tue Nov 18, 2014 9:15 pm

Just a quick reply as i am curently on the road: There's a wiki page at the project home on Google code explaining the use of the alternate connector. You just have to move a resistor and add the connector. And it's still the same 5v as before.

And i am very sorry this happened again. It's sad to see the biggest fans of my little project to have such problems.
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Re: MIST power input connector, the sequel

Postby Paradroyd » Tue Nov 18, 2014 9:59 pm

Thanks for the quick reply.

Wow.. I totally missed that page explaining how to change the power connector over. That spells it out pretty clearly. I suspected that that 0 Ohm SMD resistor would have to be removed or moved because of it's conspicuous position and it being 0 Ohms. It seems it's effectively being used as a jumper.

I think I should be able to handle this. Don't feel bad about it breaking..who knows why it happened? Maybe the repair job last time just didn't hold up. Anyway, as long as I can eventually get it going again and it winds up more solid in the end, I'm happy. Once I get ahold of the part I'll give it a try. I'll let you know how it goes.
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Re: MIST power input connector, the sequel

Postby Newsdee » Tue Nov 18, 2014 11:44 pm

Be careful not to upgrade your firmware. You might still want to reatttach the mini USB so you can upload firmware from a PC in case of upgrade issue.

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Re: MIST power input connector, the sequel

Postby Paradroyd » Wed Nov 19, 2014 1:39 am

Newsdee wrote:Be careful not to upgrade your firmware. You might still want to reatttach the mini USB so you can upload firmware from a PC in case of upgrade issue.


Why? I flip my firmware back and forth all the time, and I've never once used the USB to do it. I've always done it through a file on the SD card.
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Re: MIST power input connector, the sequel

Postby Newsdee » Wed Nov 19, 2014 3:01 am

Well... I did play around with my own (buggy) recompiled firmware and had to resort to USB to recover after an upgrade failed.

It is unlikely to happen with the official releases, and there is a third way to upgrade the firmware (see wiki);
just thought I'd flag this other use of the connector.

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Re: MIST power input connector, the sequel

Postby Paradroyd » Wed Nov 19, 2014 6:19 am

Ah.. well, I don't plan on using anything but production firmware. I guess it's still possible to temporarily brick it, but I can always get the USB repaired later in the event that that happens. Like I said, it's a bit beyond me to fix the surface mount USB myself, and I just want to get the thing working again quickly (and hopefully with a minimum of expense).

Hopefully the power connector didn't rake across something in there as it came loose this time or it might be moot anyway. I won't know until I get things switched over and put back together.
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Re: MIST power input connector, the sequel

Postby jerome777 » Wed Nov 19, 2014 11:00 pm

For my first post on this forum, I say hello to all MiST owners and lovers, and to the best of them, Till
for creating such a great FPGA board. Thanks also to the few developers who ports cores (among which Till).

Like you Paradroyd, I was very sad and disappointed 2 months ago :( , when I had the same connector problem when gently aud cautiously
plugging it in. I was thinking about buying a new MiST, or sending it back to Lotharek (and wait perhaps a month and a half),
when I saw this post : viewtopic.php?f=101&t=24583&p=247046
There's a good solution on this photo download/file.php?id=23066 (FedePede04's post Feb 20, 2014 9:52 pm)

As I got a USB cable that I didn't use, I tried fixing the problem, but the 5 pins on the micro USB connector are too much close
(with my poor soldering skills, and those pins are REALLY CLOSE), I looked at the schematics on https://code.google.com/p/mist-board/wiki/Board13 and saw that,
if you take the risk of not using the D- and D+ pins (that could be useful in some cases for firmware updates I must admit),
you've got only 2 wires to solder, which are obviously VBUS (+5 V) and the ground (GND).
Here are the pinouts : https://www.moddiy.com/product_images/u ... 56-533.jpg (from this page http://www.moddiy.com/pages/USB-2.0-%7B ... nouts.html)

Beware of some bad cables (as I had) and test the voltage before, because sometimes cables do not respect
black = ground and red = +5V as the USB specification says "Typical wiring assignment" but do not impose the colors.

So, that could be a solution, assuming you don't need D- and D+ pins (you can't use SAM-BA firmware update)
as you can (as I did) solder pins 4 and 5 together and pins 1 and 2 as they are too much close.

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Re: MIST power input connector, the sequel

Postby Paradroyd » Fri Nov 21, 2014 4:22 am

That is an interesting solution, but I think I'm done messing with the USB power input. I just want to make the connection as solid as possible so that I don't wind up having this happen again in a few months. I also don't want to have to have a cable permanently attached to it. With that in mind I'm going to try to go the 5.5mm x 2.1mm barrel connector route.
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Re: MIST power input connector, the sequel

Postby Paradroyd » Fri Nov 21, 2014 10:18 pm

Amazing..I have power. Moving that literally flea-sized resistor with a relatively normal soldering iron and re-attaching it sucked more than i can possibly convey! Oh my god..

At least it feels rock-solid now. I should have done this last time.

Now it's all down to drilling metal.

BTW, I tried to upload a quick picture, the forum said, Sorry file too big..must be under 2MB. I resized it, uploaded it again, forum said, sorry, maximum file size is 500K.
I give up.
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Re: MIST power input connector, the sequel

Postby Paradroyd » Sat Nov 22, 2014 11:09 pm

My MIST is repaired and appears to be fully working. :D

The new power connector feels solid. it was a little bit of a pain to do. This was mostly because I didn't have the right pieces in place at first, but I was able to repair it myself for the cost of a 99 cent connector and a bit of frustration. More than worth it.

My one concern with the new connector was that there are a LOT of things that use the 5.5mmx2.1mm power connector, most of them using different polarities and voltages. I think I read somewhere this was one of the reasons that this connector isn't installed by default. To somewhat mitigate this, I've ordered (and very quickly received) a couple of these). From now on, I will mostly leave one of these plugged into the MIST at all times except when I have to pack inside a case to move it around. This way, I'm still always using a USB source for power which will always be the right voltage and polarity.

Now, to try out some of the newer cores...
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Re: MIST power input connector, the sequel

Postby MasterOfGizmo » Sun Nov 23, 2014 3:54 pm

First of all: Great to hear your device is running again.

I haven't seen these cables before. Looks very useful, indeed.

With a little care you should be able to use 5v power supplies as well. The polarity is basically always correct, but you should verify that of course.
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Re: MIST power input connector, the sequel

Postby Paradroyd » Sun Nov 23, 2014 8:37 pm

Thanks.

For what it's worth, if the board had been fried I would have bought another one, though I would have very quickly installed the barrel connector on the new one.

Normally I wouldn't be that concerned about accidentally plugging the wrong connector in, but I have one of these that I also carry around with me and hook up in the same places that I hook up my MIST. It uses an identical barrel connector, but it uses a supply at 7.5 volts with a large current capacity (it drives servos, etc) with the same polarity. Leaving the USB-barrel cable in the MIST should mitigate most of the the risk of plugging the wrong one in.
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Re: MIST power input connector, the sequel

Postby MasterOfGizmo » Sun Nov 23, 2014 9:34 pm

Ok, here's a secret: The mist should (really should, as i never verified this) survive more than 5v since the 5v are never used directly inside the mist and all voltages used are lower than 5v and generated by regulators which cope with more than 5v. But usb and the db9 joysticks are powered directly from the 5v source. So attached usb peripherals and db9 joysticks that use the 5v (e.g. for auto fire) may get damaged.
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Re: MIST power input connector, the sequel

Postby Gryzor » Mon Nov 24, 2014 7:55 am

Having suffered a broken power connector in the past myself, I'm thinking of getting a short micro USB extender to save the soldered port some wear and tear... anyone knows of any??
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Re: MIST power input connector, the sequel

Postby Paradroyd » Mon Nov 24, 2014 5:34 pm

MasterOfGizmo wrote:Ok, here's a secret: The mist should (really should, as i never verified this) survive more than 5v since the 5v are never used directly inside the mist and all voltages used are lower than 5v and generated by regulators which cope with more than 5v. But usb and the db9 joysticks are powered directly from the 5v source. So attached usb peripherals and db9 joysticks that use the 5v (e.g. for auto fire) may get damaged.


I thought that might be the case (I think I saw a 3.3v regulator in there), but it's the kind of gamble I'm going to try really hard to avoid taking. Nevertheless, that's good to know. And by the way, thank you for making the provisions for adding a barrel connector and providing docs on how to install and enable it. I wish you'd found a way to have it enabled by a jumper or something instead of the surface-mount resistor from hell :wink: , but thanks nonetheless.
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Re: MIST power input connector, the sequel

Postby NegSol » Sun Oct 23, 2016 10:59 am

Thanks for every one sharing their experience (I know its an old poste - but still useful and people will be still around) - Really helpful.

About the surface-mount resistor from hell .. I also had to install a barrel connector yesterday as my usb port gave up on me. Since I did not want to damage any surface mount parts while de-soldering the 0 Ohms resistor, I basically cut it in half with pliers and than cleaned up the pads with my soldering iron. Works nice and easy. As for the jumper that has to be bridge (with the 0 Ohms resistor) I simply use a large drop of solder to bridge the gap. Works like charm.

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Re: MIST power input connector, the sequel

Postby Newsdee » Wed Nov 30, 2016 7:14 am

So... now it's my turn to have lost the USB connector :(
I was showing my MiST to friends and must have inadvertently put too much pressure on the cable, and it lifted the part off the board.

I would like to put a barrel connector, but I don't have the machinery to drill the hole in the case. Maybe I can get one of those transparent cases fron Lotharek, but I do prefer having an enclosure, and there is no space for MIDI.

Any ideas for alternative cases? Or would soldering an USB cable be easy enough?

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Re: MIST power input connector, the sequel

Postby guidol » Wed Nov 30, 2016 4:23 pm

Newsdee wrote: Or would soldering an USB cable be easy enough?


You can also move the 0Ohm-SMD Part or desolder it and short the other contact...and then you could solder a Power-USB-cable to the port which was for the power-connector.

https://github.com/mist-devel/mist-board/wiki/PwrDcJack
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Re: MIST power input connector, the sequel

Postby Paradroyd » Fri Dec 02, 2016 9:59 pm

Newsdee wrote:So... now it's my turn to have lost the USB connector :(
I was showing my MiST to friends and must have inadvertently put too much pressure on the cable, and it lifted the part off the board.

I would like to put a barrel connector, but I don't have the machinery to drill the hole in the case. Maybe I can get one of those transparent cases fron Lotharek, but I do prefer having an enclosure, and there is no space for MIDI.

Any ideas for alternative cases? Or would soldering an USB cable be easy enough?


For what it's worth, I didn't use any special machinery on mine. I mostly just used a regular hand drill and maybe a small needle file (very carefully).
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