Brickster12

Powered Up - Issues

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Posted (edited)

Hi,

as the new Powered Up elements are software driven and receive firmware updates from time to time I think it might be useful to have a place to discussuss issues related to the software and updates.

To give it a start I would like to discribe my observations after the last firmware update I performed on my hubs:

 

 

I performed a firmware update on three of my 2-port-hubs ("Hub No. 4") on 10. Aug. 2019 through the Powered Up - App for Android. The update was performed successfully on all three hubs according to the app.

There was no interuption of the update and my smartphone was fully charged, the hubs were running on almost new Alkaline batteries.

 

Shortly after that I discovered a quite strange bahaviour that can be reproduced and is obviously not an intended behaviour:

 

When using two or more hubs in range of BLE together with one or more handsets plugged in motors or lights show an abnormal behaviour when [+] or [-] buttons are pressed a couble of times.

Expected "normal" bahaviour should be (was before the update):

  • M-motors: while [+] or [-] button on handset is pressed, motor on particular port goes +/- 100% depding on button. Releasing button, lets motor run out.
  • M-smart-motors ("Boost motor"): same as M-motor.
  • Train motors: [+] button on handset increments speed forward, [-] button increments speed backwards, [ ] button stops (breaks) motor on particular port.
  • Lights: [+] or [-] buttons increments brightness, [ ] turns off light on particular port.

Observed bahavior after firmware update:

  • A single 2-port-hub in BLE vicinity:
    • Everything works as expected.
  • Two or more 2-port-hubs in BLE vicinity:
    • Hubs on the same channel (same LED color):
      • M-motors, M-smart-motors: pressing [+] or [-] a couple of times lets the motors on the particular port go mad: they run continuously or stuttering at random speeds. Pressing [ ] does not stop them. Occasionally they stop when pressing [+] or [-] on a random sequence.
      • Train motors: in addition to the stuttering they also show extremely rapid changes between +100% and -100% which looks like causing very hard loads on the structure (motor starts to jump when not built into something).
      • Lights: very similar like the motors but with brightness, resulting in wildly flashing lights.
    • Hubs on different channels (different LED colors):
      • Motors/lights on hub turned on first: normal bahaviour (!!)
      • Motors/lights on any other hub added to the network in BLE vicinity after the first one: same abnormal behaviour but separated by channel.
      • Using just one or multiple handsets does not make a difference.

 

This actually means for me I: with this current firmware I cannot run two or more trains at the same time - regardless how many handsets I use. This is because all hubs in BLE vicinity form a communication network (which is desirable) and are affected of the issue.

 

Does any one else observe this strange behaviour?

I've raised a LEGO service ticket with a description of the issues yesterday. I have only reveived the automated feedback so far.

 

Edited by Brickster12

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What is the total voltage of your Eneloop batteries? I guess it is about 7.2V instead of 9V (for alkaline). I think that might have to do something with it, at least that is what you should check first. It is typical for microcontrollers and other ICs to behave strangely in under-voltage situations. Maybe the firmware update did something that just made them less robust to under-voltage issues.

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Posted (edited)

Oh, I expressed myself wrongly in my original post.

During update and first usage after the update the hubs were running on Alkaline batteries. Later on I replaced them by the Eneloop rechargebles.

 

There ist no difference in behavior between Alkaline and rechargebles.

 

I also did a quick-check: when using rechargebles the Powered Up app reports full batteries.

Hence it appears that at least Eneloops are feasible for use.

 

(I corrected the original post)

Edited by Brickster12

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Two two port hubs connected to a single remote, one train motor attached to each (one channel A, one channel B). Observed stuttering on channel A train motor if channel B train motor is running.

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