Is there a way of testing the EmonTX shield?

I've just finished building my EmonTX shield for my Arduino Uno. I *think* I soldered everything right (this is my first hardware project). My base station is a Raspberry Pi with the RFM12Pi expansion board. 

Unfortunately, after firing everything up I don't see any input nodes on my econcms website and looking at the logs for RFM12Pi I can see that it's not receiving any data from my shield.

I'm using this sketch for the arduino with shield:

Here's the output I get from the serial port when running the script:

emonTX Shield CT123 example
Node: 10 Freq: 433Mhz Network: 210
10134 10084 0 10174
27 35 0 46
7 15 0 39
7 17 0 39
15 20 0 39

Then it just seems to hang there. So here's my question: 

How can I test whether my shield is actually soldered up right, and the components are working correctly? Sorry if this is a really dumb question, am very new to anything hardware related (am a software developer by trade). 


Robert Wall's picture

Re: Is there a way of testing the EmonTX shield?

It would appear that the problem lies with your RFM12B module. It has run through the initialisation apparently correctly, and started running the main loop (because it has produced numbers to the serial output), but it has hung when it entered the branch to send the data by radio. I'm betting that it is not returning from send_rf_data();

Have you soldered the links on the shield p.c.b. (see the assembly instructions in the build guide for pictures), and are all the soldered joints around the RFM12B module good - look particularly for whiskers of solder bridging adjacent pads.

donturner's picture

Re: Is there a way of testing the EmonTX shield?

Many thanks for your response Robert. You're right, there's definitely a problem calling send_rf_data(). Commenting out that line and the loop runs correctly. 

Thing is, I've checked all the solder joints around the RFM12B and very carefully cleaned them with a razor blade so there shouldn't be any whiskers of solder between them. 

To be honest, I don't know where to start with debugging it further. Is there a way I can test each of the links using a sketch for the RFM12B? Or delve into send_rf_data() to see exactly where it's failing? 

Or should I put it down to my inexperience and buy another shield hoping that my soldering is better next time round?

Many thanks for your help thus far.

donturner's picture

Re: Is there a way of testing the EmonTX shield?

Quick update. I resoldered all the joints round the RFM12B and the jumpers and guess works! Must've been a dodgy contact somewhere. Thanks again for your help, the pointer to the RFM12B helped me narrow down the problem.

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