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DaveFason

NanoBox APEX Adaptor

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rsucre

 

Hi JediMaster,

 

Thanks for your help. I have no idea what ground wire you are referring to. Can you share a picture? I just opened the nanobox driver box and replaced the bluefish board with the apex board that Dave sent me. Then used standard ethernet cable to connect the nanobox to the Apex. It works, just that 0% will not dim the leds completely.

Looking at the first post on this thread, I see the pins labeled GND. If you are referring to those, I must clarify that I used the connector that was previously connected to the bluefish. I did not make my own cable... So I assume that the connector is correctly made and GND is connected.

 

The bluefish that was previously there dims all the way without issue.

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jedimasterben

Looking at the first post on this thread, I see the pins labeled GND. If you are referring to those, I must clarify that I used the connector that was previously connected to the bluefish. I did not make my own cable... So I assume that the connector is correctly made and GND is connected.

 

The bluefish that was previously there dims all the way without issue.

Gotcha, I didn't know if you had one of the newer units with the easy plug-in stuff :)

 

Do you have any other kind of 0-10v device like a pump you can use to test and see if 0% on the Apex is actually sending 0%?

 

I actually use one of these now, and when I manually put the Apex VarSpd ports to off it will turn them full off.

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rsucre

Gotcha, I didn't know if you had one of the newer units with the easy plug-in stuff :)

 

Do you have any other kind of 0-10v device like a pump you can use to test and see if 0% on the Apex is actually sending 0%?

 

I actually use one of these now, and when I manually put the Apex VarSpd ports to off it will turn them full off.

 

If I put the Apex VarSpd ports (blue and white) manually to OFF it will dim them, but not completely off (same behavior). I think that testing with a pump could mislead us, since must of them stop below a certain % (i.e. 20%).

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O2Surplus

I think your APEX must be "leaking" a small amount of voltage to the adapter, even if it's set at 0℅. The adapter, by design, has pull down resistors on it's input side, so it has to be seeing some voltage from the APEX. Do you own a volt/ohm meter and feel comfortable enough with it to do some tests?

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rsucre

I think your APEX must be "leaking" a small amount of voltage to the adapter, even if it's set at 0℅. The adapter, by design, has pull down resistors on it's input side, so it has to be seeing some voltage from the APEX. Do you own a volt/ohm meter and feel comfortable enough with it to do some tests?

 

Sure!

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DaveFason

 

Sure!

 

Rimsky,

Is this with a new APEX? As in the one with the WIFI built in?

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rsucre

 

Rimsky,

Is this with a new APEX? As in the one with the WIFI built in?

Yes. The new Apex 2016.

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rsucre

Any thoughts? I would like to fix it.

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O2Surplus

Sorry for the slow reply. Too many hours on the job away from my laptop.

If you've got a voltmeter handy, you can test the adapter for stray voltage fairly easily. See the 8 tiny resistors aligned in a row next to the APEX inputs? Those resistors are set up in pairs as a voltage divider for each of the APEX's 4 channels. Connect your vom's red (positive) lead to the first resistor on the left (when viewed with the input side facing down). Contact the resistor with your probe on the soldered end closest to the input jacks. Connect the BLACK (negative) probe to the same spot on the resistor that's just to the right the first one. With your APEX channel 1 set to 0%, take a voltage reading and let me know what you find. If there's voltage present, and your APEX isn't deemed defective, I can adjust the software on the adapter to compensate.

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rsucre

Sorry for the slow reply. Too many hours on the job away from my laptop.

If you've got a voltmeter handy, you can test the adapter for stray voltage fairly easily. See the 8 tiny resistors aligned in a row next to the APEX inputs? Those resistors are set up in pairs as a voltage divider for each of the APEX's 4 channels. Connect your vom's red (positive) lead to the first resistor on the left (when viewed with the input side facing down). Contact the resistor with your probe on the soldered end closest to the input jacks. Connect the BLACK (negative) probe to the same spot on the resistor that's just to the right the first one. With your APEX channel 1 set to 0%, take a voltage reading and let me know what you find. If there's voltage present, and your APEX isn't deemed defective, I can adjust the software on the adapter to compensate.

 

I'm getting a very low voltage reading of 120mV at the points circled in yellow.

IMG_4200.jpg

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DaveFason

O2 designed these boards for me. I just sent him a message to find if the new APEX is slightly different from the old. Many others use this module and this is a first.

 

I'm getting a very low voltage reading of 120mV at the points circled in yellow.

 

Sorry for the slow reply. Too many hours on the job away from my laptop.
If you've got a voltmeter handy, you can test the adapter for stray voltage fairly easily. See the 8 tiny resistors aligned in a row next to the APEX inputs? Those resistors are set up in pairs as a voltage divider for each of the APEX's 4 channels. Connect your vom's red (positive) lead to the first resistor on the left (when viewed with the input side facing down). Contact the resistor with your probe on the soldered end closest to the input jacks. Connect the BLACK (negative) probe to the same spot on the resistor that's just to the right the first one. With your APEX channel 1 set to 0%, take a voltage reading and let me know what you find. If there's voltage present, and your APEX isn't deemed defective, I can adjust the software on the adapter to compensate.

 

 

 

Aaron,

This is the new style APEX, curious if the changed slightly from the old. Let me know if you have a program I can send him to upload to the adaptor.

Thanks!

 

-Dave

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jedimasterben

From what Neptune has said, the new unit maintains compatibility with all past modules and connections, so the pinouts and whatnot should still be the same on the VarSpd ports.

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O2Surplus

120mV? Hmmmm... I've seen this before. The adapter's software is currently set to reject any signal under 1/10 of a volt. Your APEX is just exceeding that by 20mV. That's why your still seeing some light from the LEDs. No worries though, I'll send Dave a software update that will fix the problem.

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rsucre

120mV? Hmmmm... I've seen this before. The adapter's software is currently set to reject any signal under 1/10 of a volt. Your APEX is just exceeding that by 20mV. That's why your still seeing some light from the LEDs. No worries though, I'll send Dave a software update that will fix the problem.

 

Thanks!

 

Is this programmed with a FTDI programmer?

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DaveFason

Yes. I just talked to Aaron on the phone. You will have a updated firmware emailed over later tonight.

 

Thank you for testing this. The odd thing is older APEX units do not have this. For a circuit to be considered off/closed and still have this much come through is weird.

 

-Dave

 

 

Thanks!

 

Is this programmed with a FTDI programmer?

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O2Surplus

 

Thanks!

 

Is this programmed with a FTDI programmer?

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O2Surplus

Yes...just connect the FTDI adapter to the the 6 pin header and you'll be good to go. I sent the software to Dave in the form of a .hex file along with a Windows compatible uploader program called "Xloader". You won't need to mess with the Arduino IDE or any libraries. Just run the Xloader .exe file from your desktop. Set the board setting to an Arduino "UNO" and then point the program towards the new software file and upload. Easy peasy.

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rsucre

Yes...just connect the FTDI adapter to the the 6 pin header and you'll be good to go. I sent the software to Dave in the form of a .hex file along with a Windows compatible uploader program called "Xloader". You won't need to mess with the Arduino IDE or any libraries. Just run the Xloader .exe file from your desktop. Set the board setting to an Arduino "UNO" and then point the program towards the new software file and upload. Easy peasy.

 

OK, know how to use it. I have a Mac, so I found a way to do it via a Windows virtual machine using VirtualBox.

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braaap

Yes. I just talked to Aaron on the phone. You will have a updated firmware emailed over later tonight.

 

Thank you for testing this. The odd thing is older APEX units do not have this. For a circuit to be considered off/closed and still have this much come through is weird.

 

-Dave

 

 

 

It isn't THAT weird. Neptune Systems did make it after all. They aren't one for a very high level of quality control.

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HarryPotter

 

 

It isn't THAT weird. Neptune Systems did make it after all. They aren't one for a very high level of quality control.

 

 

I didn't know you were an apex basher :wub: Now I like you even more

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braaap

 

 

I didn't know you were an apex basher :wub: Now I like you even more

 

 

I love my Apex and the functions it provides. I hate the people at Neptune and the low quality product they now put out. The original black label apex was the good one. Now it is just overpriced junk.

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rsucre

Yes...just connect the FTDI adapter to the the 6 pin header and you'll be good to go. I sent the software to Dave in the form of a .hex file along with a Windows compatible uploader program called "Xloader". You won't need to mess with the Arduino IDE or any libraries. Just run the Xloader .exe file from your desktop. Set the board setting to an Arduino "UNO" and then point the program towards the new software file and upload. Easy peasy.

 

I updated the Nanobox to Apex adapter with the Hex file provided by Dave and I'm happy to report that it was successful. Now I can completely dim the Nanobox Duo via Apex. Thanks a lot for your help!

 

What do you think is "healthier" for the Nanobox, just to dim it at night or it would be better to shut off power completely at night? I have plugged the Duo power supply to one of the Apex EB832 outlets so it is easy to shut it off at night. But don't know if it is better or worse for a power supply. In terms of extending its lifespan, etc...

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DaveFason

 

I updated the Nanobox to Apex adapter with the Hex file provided by Dave and I'm happy to report that it was successful. Now I can completely dim the Nanobox Duo via Apex. Thanks a lot for your help!

 

What do you think is "healthier" for the Nanobox, just to dim it at night or it would be better to shut off power completely at night? I have plugged the Duo power supply to one of the Apex EB832 outlets so it is easy to shut it off at night. But don't know if it is better or worse for a power supply. In terms of extending its lifespan, etc...

 

Just leave it on.

 

So glad to hear that fixed the issue. Now to call APEX :D

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dling

Someone posted on a question I had about cleaning up my lighting and said that I

would need one of these in order to allow me to continue to use my dim4 controller

when I change over to the LDD drivers. I cant find any info on these adapters and what they do.

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jedimasterben

They convert a 0-10v signal from an Apex to the 5v PWM signal needed by the LDD drivers.

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