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RCX IR malfunction?!? Help!

My RCX is totally non-communicative,

  • LEGO MINDSTORMS ROBOTICS INVENTION SYSTEM 2.0 RCX-communication failure cannot be solved.

  • Cannot install firmware, no communication whatsoever between the tower and RCX.

  • The tower seem to be operational:
    • Settings (for example range) can be done by the control program.
    • The green led lights when operating.
    • Infrared leds operate (checked with a digital camera sensitive to infrared lights)


RCX works in boot mode but doesn't receive any communication.

  • Tried different ranges from 3 cm to 3 m.
  • Tried with three different sets of batteries.
  • Checked battery (6xAA) voltage: >1,5 V each.
  • Checked with two different computers (the other is Win98)
  • Installed "XP upgrade"
  • All other IR sources blocked, tried inside a small cardboard box also. Windows blocked (sun light)
  • All permanent "test programs" 1-5 seem to work OK.
  • Four times uninstalled and re-installed all software and hardware.
  • All XP updates installed.
  • All other devices working correctly.
  • Tried different USB ports in my PC.
  • No physical damage in RCX. It's brand new, purhcased just one week ago.
  • RCX 2.0 Serial number = 625521


The RCX IR communication port seem to be totally inoperative, most probably due to some component failure. This is of course possible (at least 1/10000) even though the general quality of LEGO products seem to be high.

Ideas?

Do you know how to get hardware serviced?

The dealer www.buyandbehappy.de cannot help and doesn't accept the kit as return because naturally it's opened and a LEGO.


orion posts: 185

> I had the same problem with my USB IR tower until a few days ago. The problem is caused by Hyper-Threading capabilities of your processor. There is a special driver you need to install from the LEGO Mindstorms Webpage.
>
> Here is the Webpage:
> Lego Tech Support - HyperThreading Driver

Nice - thank you for that mindstormer. Another alternative that is not as neat, is to get hold of and try a serial IR Tower.

Bricklink might be the place to look for those.

Orion


posts: 1

I had the same problem with my USB IR tower until a few days ago. The problem is caused by Hyper-Threading capabilities of your processor. There is a special driver you need to install from the LEGO Mindstorms Webpage.

Here is the Webpage:
Lego Tech Support - HyperThreading Driver


orion posts: 185

Okay - do you know anybody who has the Serial Based Tower? It is worth a try, although from what you say - it sounds like the RCX IR receiver may be at fault. The thing is, it depends on weather the tower must do a sucessful handshake with the RCX to start it responding.

I cant say I recall the exact details of the communication protocol, but I would suspect no IR activity from the RCX until it has sucessfully picked something up - it would not make any sense to fire signals from the IR LED on the device until it has a reason to.

It is worth contacting your local Lego group representatives. Lego are normally fairly helpfull with these things, and may be able to service it for you. I doubt any else can, although if you post to Lugnet Robotics, then somebody there may have enough experience to service it - there are people on it who have produced partial RCX schematics.

Orion


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