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Amerix
From: Brazil
Posts: 7
Hi guys. I'm another MobiFlight newbie .
I use X-Plane 11 whit the XPUIPC, functional and recognized by MFConnector.
I have one arduino board UNO and two Mega 2560.
Started with the tutorials, right from the beginning, and I was successful with the parking brake led.
I know it's no big deal but I didn't even know the arduino so for me it was a triumphy.
My next step would be the 7-segment display.
I bought some, all MAX7219 with 8 digits. Again, I followed the tutorial.
But this time I can not get anything other than the fully lit digits and points.
I tested it on my two boards (the Mega ones, not on UNO), checked wiring conductivity, repeated the process several times always following the tutorial and did not get any progress.
According the tutorial I am trying to show the active COM1 frequency.
Another detail: I'm using version 7.5.0 of the MF Connector.
Any idea? Any tip or any help will be very welcome.
Thanks in advance.
Américo
2018-11-10 12:46
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pizman82
Moderator
From: ETSI, Germany
Posts: 2732
Supporter
Hi
Welcome !

If you get the parking Brake tutorial succesfull then we can confirm your Xplane --> Mobiflight connection is working fine !
Whatever you can test the Boards without a correct offset... Simply use the TEST Button in the Display Tab.... then on Max it would be show "12345678"

Problem with 7 Segment Displays are mostly on Harware Side.

Important to know..... The Max Chip must be connected to the Arduino before you power your Board.... And it can not be romoved without occure in a error.
Additional every little "loose Contact" whatever just for a millisecond on each of the wires occure also in a error.
You can only solve it by restart the Arduino ( Reset Button or Diconnect from USB for some seconds) and also a restart of Mobiflight Connector.

In 95% of cases with a Max7219 Problem the issue is the wirework. Please confirm all wires (CS CLK DIN 5V GRD) are SOLDER.... Not use Jumperwires or Dupont Systems. also not work with a breadboard or so stuff. ... These chips are verry sensible.

NOTE: If you buy premade tubes (mostly from china) then we find out in the past that maby 20-30% have a building issue already when you buy it (in case of low budget manifacture) . The Pins on the Input/Output sides are sometimes not correct soldered..... so if you just connect there your wires they wont work. You should resolder the Pins yourself to get sure the connection is 100%.

Please check your Hardware.... Report if problem is solved !
Good Luck !
2018-11-10 13:54
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Amerix
From: Brazil
Posts: 7
Hi pizman
Yes, parking brake is ok.
But when I click on "test", the display just blinks, keeping all lit, I mean, numbers "8" and decimal points.
I followed the procedure you indicated, about connecting the MAX chip before connect the Arduino and I soldered the pins myself.
After that, I checked the conductivity of the wires.
I bought 10 tubes and paid about 5 euros each. I consider it a low price but I did not find any of those with a higher price when I researched.
The model is MAX7219CWG and the brand name is Maxim Integrated, a company based in California - USA, but I do not know... maybe they are assembled in China.
As I bought 10 tubes and I'm already testing the second unit, I have 8 left. I'll keep testing.
Just another detail: I enabled debug mode, so, in the MF Connector the correct frequencies appear in the following format:
10/11/2018 12:41:14(953): Command: SetModule <1,0,0,12150,124;>
I've set 121.500 for com1 active (X-plane 11 shows 121.500) But I know about the limitations in decimal frequency, so ...12150... om MFC seems ok.
Sorry for this long text but I'm a bit frustrated. I am building a home cockpit for Hawker 800 XP; I have already designed the cabin, every detail, internal and external, the visual system, also programmed practically all the instruments and I intend to use Arduino to run this all, via MobiFlight and if I can not, I will need to review my entire project.
I thank you so much for your attention. I'll keep trying.
2018-11-10 16:08
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pizman82
Moderator
From: ETSI, Germany
Posts: 2732
Supporter
Hi.
Again.... I recommend to first confirm your Displays are work ok....
So not use a Offset or RUN Mobiflight ( To get sure there is no problem in the used offset for example)
Simply connect your Display and use the TEST Button in Display Tab. if Display show 12345678 you can get sure the wires are ok and every diggit is work correct.

About Your Problem:
88888888 and decimal points (instead of correct value) is a pretty sure indice for a wire problem.

As i said in first reply.... Check your wires... Also check your settings ( so in Mobiflight device settings the 3 Data lines are on the correct Pins you use for your Display) And also confirm you use the correct "NUM" Value... For only one Display at the moment you should set "NUM: 1"
Finaly (as i already said) you must get sure your display was set to the Pins and 5v/GRD BEFORE you power the arduino. The Display must initialised while arduino startup. If you connect it later ( or connection get lost for a moment in case of touching the wires for example) then initialise is lost and it will not longer work until you restart yur board.

**
About Tubes itself.
Thats ok. Tubes cost maby 3-6 $/€. Whatever you buy the expensiv brands for 20$... They also build in china ! Maby those are pre tested by the company who sold it... But thats no real benefit. So... The cheap ones are pretty ok.... Just looking forward to rework some of them if connection is not good.

***
About your Project.
Just note that Mobiflight is basicly build for FSX/P3D. Xplane will work but mostly XP AddOn Aircrafts work not with standard XPUIPC Offsets. In That case you must write a own script in the cfg file there.... Alternate is to work with a Software especialy for Xplane ( Not Mobiflight). Your Chioce !
Good Luck !
2018-11-10 16:24
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StephanHo
From: EDDG, Germany
Posts: 1315
Supporter
Hi Américo,

5 euros for each display is a bit expensive.

Most of us bought thins ones:

https://www.ebay.de/itm/Neu-MAX7219-CWG-8-Digital-Tube-Display-Modul-Control-Modul-Rot-fur-Arduino/272279983203?hash=item3f6526d463:g:AvkAAOSwjXRXZ7y-:rk:6:pf:0

The advantage with this item is that the the display is removable. The disadvantage are the solder points that are to be soldered subsequently.
To get more infos about the MAX chip use the search function in this forum and look for MAX7219. There a some hints if you want to use them as a daiisy chain.

MF is able to show every Frequency but the older simulators have another frequency grid so that you only can use 12150 instead of 121500. But that is another story.

Did you use the test button in the config wizard? If you then see only the 8 and decimal point you have definitley a wiring or contact error. The config wizard counts the defined digits from 1 to 8 (if all are used) otherwise the number of defined digits so not 8.8.8.8.8.8.8.8. but 12345678.

And please do not use the UNO. The support for the UNO is finished. So please use only MEGA boards.
Grüße,
Stephan
2018-11-10 16:38
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Amerix
From: Brazil
Posts: 7
Hello pizman
Again, I apologize for the insistence.
I had already done the tests you recommended, repeated, and did not succeed.
Sometimes everything flashes, in others the display looks like a Christmas tree and right now, is völlig aus, starb.
It is funny: I have two original Mega2560 cards and tested the displays on both. Same problem.
The settings are correct, I also checked.
The procedure also agrees with what you mentioned.
Well, as you say, displays and / or wiring must be screwed up.
As I said before, I'm going to test the 8 "displays / tubes / modules / whatever the correct term" remaining.
Here in Brazil the people say "display of 7 segments and 8 digits".
China, I know. Here in Brazil we say that such a product is "xingling" and, unfortunately, pejoratively.
Regarding my project, I intend to use the arduino only for rotary encoders, leds / lights, few instruments via stepper motors and, if I can, to show the numbers of the radio frequencies, that's why I'm "breaking my head" (Brazilian expression for "going crazy") with these displays.
I built the plane myself, it's not an addOn, so I don't worry about "not standard XPUIPC offsets" (datarefs).
Specific software for X-Plane? Well, we have only the ArdSimX which, by the way, has been discontinued. It still works, I don't now for how long, so, it can not be trusted.
So my friend, do not give up on me yet. I will not give up on MobiFlight so easily.
But I promise to stop disturbing you about this problem. I'll try to find a solution.
I'll start all over and if I need to, I'll buy everything new.
Very grateful for your attention.
Danke.
Américo
2018-11-10 22:11
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Amerix
From: Brazil
Posts: 7
Hi Stephan
Thank you for the link.
Dude, I saw the prices: EUR 1.64?
I paid the equivalent of EUR 5. Well, here in Brazil we are accustomed to being stolen by the government.
But that will change next January. Enough corruption, enough to pay taxes without return.
Here, for example, my car costs three times the value in Europe, because is a imported car.
But see, we have not decent cars build here (But we build good planes).
So, majority of people have imported cars, making the happiness of the government.
If I go talk about electronic products, believe me, you guys will cry.
In fact, everything costs 2, 3 and up to 4 times more than in the "civilized world" because of taxes we pay.
Yeah, the "left" destroyed South America and almost got us too. Now that's enough.
Sorry for running away. We're still in the pure adrenaline of presidential elections.
Back to the subject.
I searched and found a lot of documentation regarding the MAX7219 shortly after meeting Arduino and MobiFlight.
I had also been informed about the "problem" with the frequencies.
In fact, I researched a lot before I started. But as pizman said, my problem should be the wires connections.
If you read my answer to pizman, you will see my current situation.
And about UNO, thanks for the tip, but I also read about having no more support.
Dude, thanks a lot for your attention and for the tips.
Danke.
Américo
2018-11-10 23:09
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StephanHo
From: EDDG, Germany
Posts: 1315
Supporter
Hi Américo,
the prices are relative ... it's like the hair. 3 on the head are relatively little, but 3 in the soup are relatively much ...;)

Yes of course I have read your answer to pizman. As so often he will be right. It is often due to the wiring but also to the solder joints. Simply re-solder the complete PCB, at least if it comes from China. This is complex but always leads to success.

You also do not need to stop being active here with your problems until it is eliminated. Do not worry, your problems will be solved as long as you cooperate. Because without you it is not possible. Also you should be said: there are no stupid questions, just stupid answers;)

Boa sorte!
Grüße,
Stephan
2018-11-10 23:34
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Amerix
From: Brazil
Posts: 7
Hi Stephan
Hair and soup. Yes, it's true, 3 in the soup is "definitely" too much.
Great joke, I did not know that one.
In fact, more than a joke, it's almost a philosophical question.
Relativity is also relative; depends on the personal "and" geographical point of view.
About your comment, I have no words, just thank you.
And yes, I'll keep trying, including re-soldering.
Vielen Dank, Glück und Erfolg (If I miss the grammar, it's Google's fault :D ).
Américo
2018-11-11 13:17
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pizman82
Moderator
From: ETSI, Germany
Posts: 2732
Supporter
Hi again,

Abou resolder.... Just to prevent missunderstanding with different languages

Stephan said "resolder so whole PCB" But he mean just Resolder the "10 Pins" (Leftside Inputx5 and right side Outputx5 ) NOT resolder the chip or the connectors for the Displays itself.
Also get sure you have no doublecontact ( for example a bit of solder tin is run into another drop and there is a electrical bridge over 2 pins !)

Keep Cool Finaly.... Your explaned Problem is report multiple times and can always solved with a resolder of the Tubes.... Only in one case i remeber the Tube itself was broke ( so verry rare) . Pretty sure this is the solution and your Displays will work in a few days !


Last note about Mega ! Not buy the expensiv original ARDUINO Brand.... Simply buy the Clones from China ( We all do here) Arduino cost 40-50 US$ Clones only maby 10$
Good Luck !
2018-11-11 15:44
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Amerix
From: Brazil
Posts: 7
Hallo pizman
About resolder, that's OK, I understood what Stefhan mean.
Even so, I confess that I used a magnifying glass to check all the soldering points.
The welding I did seems to be OK but tomorrow I will pass the tubes and pins to a professional do the job. I'll just look and try to learn from him.

Man, I'm a descendant of Italians and my wife is German.
I swear I try to stay calm, always, but the DNA speaks louder, some times.
My German wife is the one who keeps me on the rails.
I am a fighter pilot of the Brazilian Air Force, retired. My blood looks like napalm :w00t: !!!
So I refuse to lose a battle to this simple electronic device.

Well, here in Brazil we paid € 50 for MEGA 2560, the "xingling" one.
One of my Arduino MEGA is original and I paid € 39.60, in Italy, about 3 months ago.
The UNO and the other MEGA, both was a gift from a friend.

Sorry again (I talk/write too much) and thanks for your kindness.
2018-11-11 22:03
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StephanHo
From: EDDG, Germany
Posts: 1315
Supporter
Américo, can you contact me via email? stephanho ( at ) t-online.de
Grüße,
Stephan
2018-11-12 00:58
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Amerix
From: Brazil
Posts: 7
Hallo Stephan
Done:thumbup:
2018-11-12 14:24
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