SkyRC — IFA 2014 — MC3000 charger-analyzer

JB

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Re: SkyRC — IFA 2014 / CES 2016 — MC3000 charger-analyzer

Get another USB cable, remove any USB hubs in the way and try again.

Hi. As a result of the earlier error I think the charger is now bricked. It just shows a blank screen upon power up.

Shouldn't my first step now be to un-brick the MC3k? I tried the suggestion of holding the enter button then powering up the MC3K, but it still shows a blank screen.

Anyway, I don't have any USB hubs in place (didn't when I first tried updating the fw). I did try your suggestion of using a different USB cable, but all I get now when plugging in the USB cable is a Win error message saying "USB Device Not Recognized".
 
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tjh

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Re: SkyRC — IFA 2014 / CES 2016 — MC3000 charger-analyzer

Hi. As a result of the earlier error I think the charger is now bricked. It just shows a blank screen upon power up.

Shouldn't my first step now be to un-brick the MC3k?

Anyway, I don't have any USB hubs in place (didn't when I first tried updating the fw). I did try your suggestion of using a different USB cable, but all I get now when plugging in the USB cable is a Win error message saying "USB Device Not Recognized".

It is unlikely the charger is bricked.
As you already quoted, power up the charger with the Enter button held down. This puts the charger into recovery mode.
Then try to update it again with a good USB cable.
 

JB

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Re: SkyRC — IFA 2014 / CES 2016 — MC3000 charger-analyzer

It is unlikely the charger is bricked.
As you already quoted, power up the charger with the Enter button held down. This puts the charger into recovery mode.
Then try to update it again with a good USB cable.

I did try the recovery mode and it did not work for me.

I held the enter button then powered up the MC3K, but it still shows a blank screen.

Anyone know if this recovery mode works if my original fw is v 1.02?
 

tjh

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Re: SkyRC — IFA 2014 / CES 2016 — MC3000 charger-analyzer

I did try the recovery mode and it did not work for me.

I held the enter button then powered up the MC3K, but it still shows a blank screen.

Anyone know if this recovery mode works if my original fw is v 1.02?

Argh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Dummies guide to reflash a charger after a failed flash:

Step 0: Also, if you are using windows 10 make sure that you are up to date. You must be on build 1511. (Thanks to MarioJP)
Step 1: Get a better USB Cable
Step 2: Remove all and any USB devices/cables from your PC.
Step 3: Ensure no ports are in USB3 mode. Turn that off in your BIOS if you have to. Don't ask me how to do this.
Step 4: Remove all cables from the charger
Step 5: Holding the Enter Key on the charger, plug in the Power. IT WILL POWER UP TO A BLANK SCREEN. THIS IS EXPECTED.
Step 6: Plug in the known-good USB cable into the charger, then into your PC.
Step 7: Run the UpgradeFirmware_MC3000_V11.exe program. Ensure it says "My Device was Found" then probably it'll say "Some data was send". It should also show "Boot Version: 1.x" where x is probably 1.
Step 8: Click the update button again.


If Step 7 is failing (can't see your charger) then either:
1) You have managed to damange the built-in boot code of the charger. Almost impossible.
2) You have a bad PC/USB Cable/Windows install. Try another one. Borrow a friends PC.

The boot code that runs when you press Enter is hard coded. So it should always be possible to unbrick the charger by pressing enter when power is plugged in. The blank screen you get is expected, the charger is booting a very small "Boot Loader" and nothing else. This boot loader has nothing to do with the version of firmware your charger is/was running. It's burnt onto the EEPROM of the charger.

Hope this helps.
 
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MarioJP

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Re: SkyRC — IFA 2014 / CES 2016 — MC3000 charger-analyzer

Also, if you are using windows 10 make sure that you are up to date. You must be on build 1511.
 

JB

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Re: SkyRC — IFA 2014 / CES 2016 — MC3000 charger-analyzer

Argh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Dummies guide to reflash a charger after a failed flash:

Step 1: Get a better USB Cable
Step 2: Remove all and any USB devices/cables from your PC.
Step 3: Ensure no ports are in USB3 mode. Turn that off in your BIOS if you have to. Don't ask me how to do this.
Step 4: Remove all cables from the charger
Step 5: Holding the Enter Key on the charger, plug in the Power. IT WILL POWER UP TO A BLANK SCREEN. THIS IS EXPECTED.
Step 6: Plug in the known-good USB cable into the charger, then into your PC.
Step 7: Run the UpgradeFirmware_MC3000_V11.exe program. Ensure it says "My Device was Found" then probably it'll say "Some data was send". It should also show "Boot Version: 1.x" where x is probably 1.
Step 8: Click the update button again.


If Step 7 is failing (can't see your charger) then either:
1) You have managed to damange the built-in boot code of the charger. Almost impossible.
2) You have a bad PC/USB Cable/Windows install. Try another one. Borrow a friends PC.

The boot code that runs when you press Enter is hard coded. So it should always be possible to unbrick the charger by pressing enter when power is plugged in. The blank screen you get is expected, the charger is booting a very small "Boot Loader" and nothing else. This boot loader has nothing to do with the version of firmware your charger is/was running. It's burnt onto the EEPROM of the charger.

Hope this helps.

Thanks for the detailed dummies guide. I did not know that the blank screen after recovery was to be expected.

Anyway, the good news is that Step 6-7-8 worked and now my charger is updated to 1.11 and working. Thanks again.
 

tjh

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Re: SkyRC — IFA 2014 / CES 2016 — MC3000 charger-analyzer

Thanks for the detailed dummies guide. I did not know that the blank screen after recovery was to be expected.

Anyway, the good news is that Step 6-7-8 worked and now my charger is updated to 1.11 and working. Thanks again.

Excellent, good to hear :)
 

kreisl

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Re: SkyRC — IFA 2014 / CES 2016 — MC3000 charger-analyzer

Why not? Dust, coffee, metallic parts, cat/squirell hair whatever cover instead of an ugly cardboard box.
These days i am attending a small cute fuzzy dog and there is hair flying all over the place. So had to come up with an acceptable solution for the cover and i am vely satisfied with this one :crazy:

28092660826_9ef0fc0e98_o.jpg


28092659656_b05a239532_o.jpg


28092657836_128178637c_o.jpg


At some point the cover itself will have collected enough dust to warrant some cleaning. Then i'd take some scotch packaging tape and dust off np

The downsides of my above solution:
- the cover is "not so compact" ;)
- the original MC3000 package padding gets used up

The upsides are:
- perfect fit and finish
- feels nice
- easy to clean with scotch
- can be reused as package padding in the retail box, why not

(…)

Btw i got myself another mc3k unit, it was drawn out of the latest production run June. I am examining it and it is a bit different, i.e. improved, compared with my old III/2015 eng unit, including re critical details of the CAD plastic construction inside. The PCB is v1.5, unchanged since 01/2016. Not only construction, I also heard that they had changed the supplier of the plastic material; i am sorry to hear that one batch got shipped out with inferior plastic quality earlier this year (see posted serial number list). Actually my new production sample is a bit special, i asked them not to apply any glue on the white connectors on the PCB, and the cooler has vertical fins for my personal enjoyment lol. As reference, the total weight of my unplugged new device is 619g on a +1g digital kitchen scale. Please could you guys share the weights of your units?

@tjh
Thanks for the detailed description of the unbricking procedure!
Do you think that this is the so-called hard reset which is mentioned but not documented in the manual?
:candle:
 

tjh

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Re: SkyRC — IFA 2014 / CES 2016 — MC3000 charger-analyzer

@tjh
Thanks for the detailed description of the unbricking procedure!
Do you think that this is the so-called hard reset which is mentioned but not documented in the manual?
:candle:

I don't think it's a hard reset, no. It's just forcing the MC3000 to boot into it's tiny "Recovery/Boot" Firmware. This is the hard coded Firmware mentioned in that Video where they say "Early production units won't have flashing lights as the charger update". My early unit has Boot Firmware v1.1 (You can see this by booting into the recovery mode and then opening up the Flashing program, I have Boot v1.1.

I'd be curious to know what version of BootROM you have with your brand new production run unit - Probably ver 1.2 that has the "nice flashing lights while updating" change.

BTW everything I say is just speculation and guesswork based on what I've read, but it's how most devices with a flashable firmware work.
 

kreisl

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Re: SkyRC — IFA 2014 / CES 2016 — MC3000 charger-analyzer

Step 7: Run the UpgradeFirmware_MC3000_V11.exe program. Ensure it says "My Device was Found" then probably it'll say "Some data was send". It should also show "Boot Version: 1.x" where x is probably 1.
My early unit has Boot Firmware v1.1 (You can see this by booting into the recovery mode and then opening up the Flashing program, I have Boot v1.1.
i followed your steps. for the Boot Version it shows 1.4 :shrug:

snap1juk51.png
 

tjh

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Re: SkyRC — IFA 2014 / CES 2016 — MC3000 charger-analyzer

Interesting! Thanks for showing us.
Only SkyRC would know the differences, and I suspect they're minor. Well, we know one, the flashing LEDs during firmware update.
 

ediaz

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I have a litium battery with low power and I am getting all time "Check Voltage" warning. (the volt is 1,5)

There is any way to force to charge the litium battery? I can connect this battery to other to jump to some like 3.0 but I in a 90$ charger I expect to do this for me.

Regards!!:sssh:
 

Rapster

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I have a litium battery with low power and I am getting all time "Check Voltage" warning. (the volt is 1,5)

There is any way to force to charge the litium battery? I can connect this battery to other to jump to some like 3.0 but I in a 90$ charger I expect to do this for me.

Regards!!:sssh:

Are you referring to lithium batteries or lithium-ion batteries? Those are two very different animals...

If you are referring to lithium (primary) batteries, then do not try to charge those...:poof:
 

samgab

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Are you referring to lithium batteries or lithium-ion batteries? Those are two very different animals...

If you are referring to lithium (primary) batteries, then do not try to charge those...:poof:

Correct, and what is more, if the lithium-ion cell is down to 1.5 volts then it's irrevocably damaged, and the $90 charger is doing the right thing by rejecting it. Throw it (the cell, not the charger! ;)) away and in future don't let li-ion cells discharge below about 3.0V (depending on the specific chemistry this may vary a little, but never down to 2.5V, let alone 1.5V). First the anode copper current collector is dissolved into the electrolyte. This increases the self discharge rate of the cell, however, as the voltage is increased again above 2 volts, the copper ions which are dispersed throughout the electrolyte are precipitated as metallic copper wherever they happen to be, not necessarily back on the current collector foil. This is a dangerous situation which can ultimately cause a short circuit between the electrodes.
 
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Gauss163

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Correct, and what is more, if the lithium-ion cell is down to 1.5 volts then it's irrevocably damaged, and the $90 charger is doing the right thing by rejecting it. Throw it (the cell, not the charger! ;)) away and in future don't let li-ion cells discharge below about 3.0V (depending on the specific chemistry this may vary a little, but never down to 2.5V, let alone 1.5V). ...

Many cells are fine discharged down to 2.5V. Most sources claim that the copper dissolution doesn't start occurring till below 1.5V, but the exact number will depend on chemistry etc.
 

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