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September 24, 2021, 04:25:25 pm

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Messages - Andy Brown

1
I've recently been upgrading my PC from one based around the HP Z800 motherboard to a new one based on a pair of cheap Xeon E5-2678 v3 CPUs in an Asus Z10PE-D16 WS board. As part of that upgrade I've installed an Asrock Ultra Quad NVME PCIe card adapter. Like the equivalent Asus Hyper card this requires bifurcation of the PCIe slot which means splitting it from fixed x8 or x16 lanes to x4/x4 or x4/x4/x4/x4.

The Asus BIOS doesn't expose this option, but it is there if you load the BIOS into AMIBCP. I've done that, and made the option visible. The modified BIOS can be downloaded here:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1YSEnI8z1pOtUhZz416uyEbQSFcA_x-Q7/view?usp=sharing

I have confirmed that the option is now visible but as yet I only have one NVME drive on the Asrock card so I can't confirm if it actually takes effect when selected. I'm posting this here in the hope it's helpful for someone.

I flashed this BIOS by writing it to a USB drive and using the BIOS flashback option where you hold down the button on the back of board where the IOs are and boot the machine.
2
Hi, I think you may run out of inputs on a single LTC2986. I would recommend downloading the evaluation software from the analog.com site and running the configuration designer to see if what you're planning is feasible.
3
Hi, I see that there's a script available that converts Altium to KiCad. I'll run it on the schematic at the weekend and if it works then I'll provide the results.
4
Quote from: Phil on July 20, 2019, 11:45:06 am
Interesting comment on mini-B connector. I always heard that the micro-b was more reliable (see: https://electronics.stackexchange.com/questions/18552/why-was-mini-usb-deprecated-in-favor-of-micro-usb ).

though i only ever had 1 micro-b connector fail (none for micro-b). in the end i standardised on micro-b as this is more common though annoyingly, i still have some mini-b's around which i leave the cable plugged in to avoid annoyance.


Hi Phil, the micro-USB connectors that I encountered were fully SMD and had a tendency to rip off the board taking the pads with them if you pushed too hard. I just had a look on ebay and it looks like you can now get micro connectors with through-hole chassis pins. I would be more confident using those. Based on your linked article it seems I need take care inserting and removing mini-B cables if I want them to last a long time.  My favourite is the original full-size B connector but obviously, it's big.
5
Thanks for the info about the crystal and also the ch340. I just tried the new_id method and it did work on my Ubuntu VM. I'll give it a try on the Pi later and will also try the permanent fix. Looks promising though.
6
I've recently built a development board for the new STM32G081RBT6 MCU featuring the Cortex M0+ core.



There's a full write up here and a video on YouTube that you can watch.
7
Hi, HP's "beep decoder" document is here:

https://support.hp.com/gb-en/document/c03599666

Four beeps = a problem with the power. Unfortunately they don't offer further debugging steps. Thermaltake are well known, quality brand so I expect your new PSU is fine.

When your old PSU died do you think that there is a possibility it fried something on the board at the same time?
8
Hi Howard, yes you are right I used the wrong gender connector there and didn't warn others not to do the same.
9
Hi, yes it will do that. Bluetooth is not required to run a reflow.
10
I just posted a new article that documents my experience using a 4k TV as a computer monitor. I walk through the selection process documenting all the pitfalls that I found along the way. Hopefully if any of you are considering doing the same then this will help you make your decisions.

Click here for the article.
11
Hi Dave, yes I'm here. If you have any questions please ask.
12
I can't find anything wrong with what you've done so far. You've done exactly what I would have done in your situation. Based on HP's own documentation 8 beeps means:

Quote
The Diagnostic LED blinks red 8 times and the system beeps 8 times (once per second), then a 2-second pause follows:
This indicates an invalid system ROM based on bad checksum and entering Failsafe (Boot Block) recovery mode.


It does sound like the BIOS chip was damaged or the bootblock, the part you can't flash, was corrupted and therefore not restored when you did each of your flash attempts.
13
Hi, when you say "cleaned it up" what do you mean? Was it working before you cleaned it up? One basic thing you can do is, one-by-one, remove and re-seat each cable that connects to the motherboard - particularly the power cables. Then do the same for the DRAM sticks, then the same for the cards. For the cards, visually check the 'golden' fingers for any crud that might be lodged in there.

Removing and re-seating the CPUs, as well as testing with just one, is also a possibility but it's more drastic and should be left until you're sure it's not something simple.
14
General discussion / Re: Electronic Design Software
April 01, 2018, 10:46:59 am
Quote from: Klutts on April 01, 2018, 08:30:15 am
I don't think an Internet connection should be a deciding factor these days, for the most part anyway.

I totally agree. I do see that some people object to 'cloud' based systems on principle but I'm not one of them.
15
General discussion / Re: Electronic Design Software
March 22, 2018, 07:15:16 am
Hi, these days I use and recommend Altium Circuit Maker. It requires an Internet connection but if you can accept that then I think it's a very powerful system.