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Honored Contributor I
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Cyclone 2 FPGA Starter Board Issue

Hello, 

 

My Cyclone II FPGA Starter Board seems not to work when I program it through the USB blaster cable. When I download a sof file, I see the blue led flashing. But simply my programs aren't run. To test the board through it's control panel, I wasn't able to turn on any LED nor any segment on the 7-Segment display. When I ran the SRAM, SDRAM and the Flash tests, all 3 failed. Otherwise, the test gives a "SUCCESS" status for the LEDs and the 7-Segment test despite the fact they don't turn on when I give a command to turn them on through the control panel as I mentioned in the beginning of this post. 

 

When I switch the RUN/PROG switch to the RUN position, all four 7-segment display all at once numbers 0 through F in sequence non-stop, and both RED and GREEN LED are sequenced right/Left at the same time. On the PROG position, the 7-SEG stay off, but I notice all the LEDs are lit, but dim as if there is a floating ground; but can't completely turn them off or on. 

 

Is it possible that the board has a failure, or is there a configuration file I need to download to reconfigure the board so it works again? 

 

Thank you for any help you could provide. 

 

Pat
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Honored Contributor I
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The fact everything work in the RUN mode shows you don't have any hw failure. 

The dimmed LEDs almost surely mean they are driven with a modulated signal (i.e. a square wave) rather than a steady logic level.  

This could indicate that you are loading a wrong sof file, belonging to a project where those LED pins are used for anything else. 

Do you use a precompiled sof file or did you regenerate it from Quartus project sources? In the second case, probably you simply need to check pin assignments.
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Honored Contributor I
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Thank you Cris72, 

 

No, I checked, I didn't load any file that created a square wave signal. It was working fine till I unscrewed the plastic cover to remove the dust on the board. I'm wondering if there has been a static discharge while removing the board. The fact that I can't control anymore the board from the Altera Control Panel is worrying me.  

 

Before I do that, does testing the board from the Control Test Panel requires that the pins assignment file installed prior to the testing procedure? If you say what the problem is, then the board is acting like as if it's lacking the intelligence that will tells it where the leds and 7-segments are so I can turn them on and off manually from the Test Panel Board., not from the Quartus Programmer.  

 

I'm gonna check again today and share my fix if I'm able to. 

 

Thanks for your quick answer.
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Honored Contributor I
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No. If you are loading the same .sof you used when the board was ok, there's no problem with pin assignment. I simply wondered if you had recompiled the demo design and had made a mess with pins. 

 

It's very strange you damaged the board when opening the case with a ESD. I've been using fpga boards without cases for more than 10 years, sometimes I even caused ESD (with the spark!) but I never damaged a board. 

More probable is the event of a short circuit or any other mechanical damage in removing the board (especially if you applied mechanical stress or torsion because of plastic clips or similar) 

 

I'd suggest you create a simple Quartus project which drives LEDs and 7-seg pins in a know sequence. This can be done in half an hour and will immediately tell you if the hardware is ok.
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Honored Contributor I
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Now things are getting even more weird. The board is powered only by the USB connector without having the adapter connected to it. The board runs on the RUN mode doing it's usual self test as I mentioned on the first post, but I'm still having the same problem. Something must have gone wrong with the USB connection. Why would I need to power the board with the adapter if it's getting powered by the USB connector only? It never happened before. Investigating in this area now !!!

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Honored Contributor I
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According to the schematic I just looked at, it seems ok for the USB connected at the same time with the power adapter. Probably each helping the other with current drawing issue. So, my problem isn't in that direction. Looking somewhere else.

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