Issue With VOXL 2 When Connected To Microhard Modem Add-on

  • Good afternoon,

    Recently, I have been trying to get a microhard modem attached to our VOXL 2. I have the M0048 add-on that works on the VOXL 1. But there is an interesting issue when I plug it into the VOXL 2. The VOXL 2 will constantly reboot, and the modem will as well, which makes me unable to adb in or do anything. But, when I don't have the add-on attached, there are no issues. The interval that the VOXL 2 restarts is very regular, and there is a weird (but annoying) method I've discovered to get it to work. Sometimes, if you plug in the USB-C at the exact moment before the VOXL 2 restarts, it won't restart and you can adb in and stuff. But after I turn the VOXL 2 off and on again, the issue will come back.

    I was thinking maybe this could be a hardware issue with the specific VOXL 2 that I have. So I tried it on a different VOXL 2. Same problem. Then I thought maybe it was the add-on. I tried multiple different microhard add-ons (all M0048) and the same thing happened. One of the add-ons had a microhard attached to it, another didn't. But the same thing happened.

    As a note, the voxl-platform on the main VOXL 2 I use is 0.9, and the other one I tested it on was 1.3, so I don't think it's a problem with the platform.

    Also, sometimes, it just randomly works and doesn't restart, but the problem comes back after a little bit.

    As another note, there are no other components on this VOXL 2. It is just the board and the microhard.

    I am wondering if the microhard board is supported on the VOXL 2. If not, are there any alternatives I can try to get microhard working on the board?

    After doing some digging, I think this might be the same issue:

    Thank you,

    John Nomikos.

  • Dev Team

    @John-Nomikos When it comes to reboot loops, we've often found the culprit to be a faulty MCBL-0001 (VOXL -> APM) cable. Do you have any other APMs or MCBL-0001s that you can test with?

    Sometimes the cables come slightly loose from the connectors after time and it can cause inconsistent power issues.

  • Dev Team

  • @tom

    Hi Tom,

    It could very well be the issue. I am aware of that problem, and I have 3 separate of those cables that I was trying, but perhaps all of them could be faulty. What is interesting is the fact that this restarting only happens after I have the microhard add-on attached. It is strange that there are no restart loops without it attached at all.

  • Dev Team

    @John-Nomikos It could be that after the microhard modem is attached the power draw is higher than what the suspect cable can handle.

    Here's another possibility from another thread:

  • Dev Team

    Hi @John-Nomikos
    Have you confirmed the issue we pointed to in the other forum post?
    Do you have Kapton or another insulating tape you can place on the J5 120-pin B2B connector on Voxl2 to help confirm the Microhard is not touching J5? We've seen it first hand that it triggers resets.
    I doubt all 3 MCBL-00001 are all bad on you (although we do know they go bad fast from users pulling them out by the cable wires instead of the plastic shroud, but that's another issue).

    Let us know.

  • Hello @Vinny

    Seems like the issue was a mixture of both things. Because there were times when the microhard was 100% touching J5 and that was the issue, but our cables are also finnicky, and cause problems as well. The solution was to make sure the microhard was not touching J5, and to mess with the MCBL wire a bit.

    Thank you for the help, I very much appreciate it.

    John Nomikos.

  • Dev Team

    @John-Nomikos Great to hear!
    Yeah I have since taken over our Cable Tech Docs section and I am currently going though an entire revamp of that page. As part of it, I am going to hopefully get video(s) up there showing proper cable removal techniques.
    The biggest issue I know of with MCBL-00001 is that it is just "easier" for users to pull it out using the wires, which strains the crimp pins, and damages the connections. It's required to pull it from the plastic shroud which can be somewhat blocked by the heatshrink on our Power Module, and I see even in our own internal teams that it's not always done correctly.... when done correctly, that cable should last years and years... I have some that are very old (pushing 10 years) and still work great. But I have had come across some internally that only lasted a few days. We might just start providing them in qty-2 batches instead of 1 just to help everyone get past that issue while we improve our training information to hopefully put this issue behind us.

  • @Vinny Side note: I'm slicing off the little retention nubs on every DF13 connector I own today. I would suggest anyone planning on doing a lot of detachment-insertions consider this. I really don't think DF13's were ever meant for a lot of In-Out especially in awkward placements. Long live GH 1.25's..

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