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Ok, got my ControlBlock.....some questions?



  • Hi,

    I received my ControlBlock the other day, and have just installed it on my Pi, and (after making it stop shutting down automatically on bootup) I am having a couple of issues / questions.

    1. Should I have both the USB on the Pi & ControlBlock connected? I'm getting the lightning bolt on bootup with the ControlBlock connected, so I'm guessing my Pi is not getting enough power? I tried connecting both the USB plugs, but it doesn't seem to make any difference?

    2. Can someone recommend a UK Plug that will have enough power to power both the ControlBlock and the Pi?

    Cheers,
    Stewart



  • No, don't connect micro-usb on the Pi. And just get the official RPi power supply. Or a 3-4A 5V supply from eBay/AliExpress/Whatever.



  • @barrymossel thanks, but when I plug in the micro USB on the controlblock, nothing happens? I don't get any power to the Pi?

    Am I doing something wrong?

    Also, isn't the official power supply only 2.5A?



  • The Pi is powered by the PowerBlock via the GPIO pins. What sort of Pi do you have and do you have the PowerBlock mounted on the first 12 pins of the connector?

    Yes the official power supply is 2.5A as this is the recommended minimum for the Raspberry Pi 3, however once you add any USB devices (keyboard, mouse, controllers, etc) you will probably need more power. Having a power supply that supplies a higher current isn't an issue as long as the voltage is correct (5.2v for Pi 3).



  • @simonster said in Ok, got my ControlBlock.....some questions?:

    The Pi is powered by the PowerBlock via the GPIO pins. What sort of Pi do you have and do you have the PowerBlock mounted on the first 12 pins of the connector?

    Yes the official power supply is 2.5A as this is the recommended minimum for the Raspberry Pi 3, however once you add any USB devices (keyboard, mouse, controllers, etc) you will probably need more power. Having a power supply that supplies a higher current isn't an issue as long as the voltage is correct (5.2v for Pi 3).

    I have a Pi 3, and looking at the power supply I was using, it only outputs 5V. So I'll grab the official one.

    Yeah, it's definitely mounted correctly, because, when it did boot up (sometimes it does and sometimes it doesn't), with power connected to the pi itself, I can configure buttons and use the joystick and buttons no problem.

    Ill try again when I get my power supply sorted.

    Thanks
    Stewart



  • @StuMcBill said in Ok, got my ControlBlock.....some questions?:

    @barrymossel thanks, but when I plug in the micro USB on the controlblock, nothing happens? I don't get any power to the Pi?

    Am I doing something wrong?

    Also, isn't the official power supply only 2.5A?

    I assume that you have a switch connected to the ContolBlock and that you have the driver installed. The switch has to be in the ON position for the ControlBlock to work. If the switch and driver are set, then your problem is an inadequate power unit. Unless you will connecting a lot of peripheral devices to the Pi that needs a lot of current, then 2.5A should be OK to start. I'd rather have 4A so that I am confident that the supply will not be an issue again in the future.

    If you are still having problems after you have change the power supply. Post some pictures of your connections and we'll go from there.



  • @ortsac I don't have a power switch attached to the controlblock, and I do have the driver installed.

    I had to change powerswitchOn to false in controlblockconfig.cfg to stop it shutting down the pi on startup. It wouldn't even get to emulationstation, it would show the Retropie splash screen, then shut down?

    Is this normal behaviour?

    Once I get my new power supply (tomorrow) I'll report back.

    Thanks
    Stewart

    Edit, I believe my iPad charger is 5.1v 2.5A so I'll give that a go today.



  • Tried my iPad charger. Plugged into controlblock block, nothing happens.

    Plugged into Pi, gets to splash screen and then fails to bootup with various EXT4 errors.

    I'm guessing the power supply is the issue. I'll see what happens when I get my official supplies.



  • @StuMcBill Actually an iPad charger should work (you can try different cables). I don't own a controlblock but if you don't use a switch then you might just be able to power it directly to the RPi itself.
    But do you own something like a switch? Can you try with that? Or maybe just short the connectors to fake there is a switch attached (and switched ON)? Just to rule out the controlblock isn't DOA.



  • @StuMcBill said in Ok, got my ControlBlock.....some questions?:

    Tried my iPad charger. Plugged into controlblock block, nothing happens.

    Plugged into Pi, gets to splash screen and then fails to bootup with various EXT4 errors.

    I'm guessing the power supply is the issue. I'll see what happens when I get my official supplies.

    Try this for now, remove the ControlBlock entirely from the setup. Connect the iPad supply to the Pi and see if you still have problems booting up. The EXT4 errors indicates a bad or corrupted SD card. It could be that the SD card got corrupted by inadequate power and improperly shutting down the system.

    Let's try to eliminate one problem at a time. If everything boots up properly without the ControlBlock then we know that the Pi, SD card, and the supply is capable of booting properly on their own. If you still get EXT4 errors then the SD card is bad. You might have to re-image on another SD card and start without the ControlBlock first.



  • @ortsac I will do that. Just bought a new USB cable so hopefully that will help too.

    I've always had those errors on startup, well about 7 out of 10 startups. It eventually does start up so I don't think the card is corrupt. I think it's the power supply.

    Does it make a difference that I am plugging it into a 4 way extension plug and not directly into the wall?



  • Ok, I can't get my RetroPie to start up again, so I am going to flash a fresh RetroPie installation and then install the controlblock service on a fresh install.

    Would this be the correct procedure to get the PI & ControlBlock setup?

    1. Flash RetroPie to Micro SD Card.
    2. Boot up RetroPie & update via retropie-setup.sh (in RetroPie menu).
    3. Reboot Pi.
    4. Run ControlBlock Quick Installation Script.
    5. Shutdown Pi and disconnect power.
    6. Connect ControlBlock to GPIO Pins on Pi.
    7. Connect Micro USB to ControlBlock and Power on.

    Presumably this should then Power both the Pi and ControlBlock (with no power attached to the Pi).

    Hopefully someone can tell me if this is correct, and if not point me in the right direction?

    Thanks
    Stewart



  • @StuMcBill said in Ok, got my ControlBlock.....some questions?:

    Does it make a difference that I am plugging it into a 4 way extension plug and not directly into the wall?

    No that doesn't matter.

    @StuMcBill said in Ok, got my ControlBlock.....some questions?:

    Ok, I can't get my RetroPie to start up again, so I am going to flash a fresh RetroPie installation and then install the controlblock service on a fresh install.

    Would this be the correct procedure to get the PI & ControlBlock setup?

    1. Flash RetroPie to Micro SD Card.
    2. Boot up RetroPie & update via retropie-setup.sh (in RetroPie menu).
    3. Reboot Pi.
    4. Run ControlBlock Quick Installation Script.
    5. Shutdown Pi and disconnect power.
    6. Connect ControlBlock to GPIO Pins on Pi.
    7. Connect Micro USB to ControlBlock and Power on.

    Presumably this should then Power both the Pi and ControlBlock (with no power attached to the Pi).

    Hopefully someone can tell me if this is correct, and if not point me in the right direction?

    Thanks
    Stewart

    Yep, seems to be correct. Make sure to check if you don't get weird errors and no yellow lightning bolt in the top right corner of your screen (which indicates power problems).
    And try first with a power switch if you have one. (Otherwise get one, as this functionality is just great imo.)



  • Thanks, I'm just in the process of installing now.

    I don't have a power switch, but I do plan on getting one soon, any you can recommend?



  • Ok, fresh install, and EXT4 errors!?! Guess my SD card could be totally corrupted? Anyway I can check on my Mac?

    Didn't see any Lighting Bolts though.

    Right managed to get it working.

    Flash RetroPie to Micro SD Card. - Done
    Boot up RetroPie & update via retropie-setup.sh (in RetroPie menu). - Done
    Reboot Pi. - Done
    Run ControlBlock Quick Installation Script. - Running now.

    I've got to head out, so won't be able to finish this for a while, but I will keep the thread updated.

    Thanks for all the help.

    Stewart



  • @StuMcBill said in Ok, got my ControlBlock.....some questions?:

    Thanks, I'm just in the process of installing now.

    I don't have a power switch, but I do plan on getting one soon, any you can recommend?

    I depends mostly on looks. I am going to use a simple toggle switch like http://www.ebay.com/itm/Hot-Sale-15A-250V-SPST-2-Terminal-ON-OFF-Toggle-Switch-0L-/322552977354 but you can use any SPST switch you can find. It should just open and close the circuit (not a momentary switch though, which only closes the circuit for the moment you push the button).

    @StuMcBill said in Ok, got my ControlBlock.....some questions?:

    Ok, fresh install, and EXT4 errors!?! Guess my SD card could be totally corrupted? Anyway I can check on my Mac?

    Didn't see any Lighting Bolts though.

    No lightning bolts means you probably have the right power supply and USB cable (and you should, as I neither have problems with a standard iPad charger). I unfortunately don't know anything about those EXT4 errors. What do they say?
    But as EXT4 has to do with the filesystem I probably means something is wrong with either the SD card or the image (and I can't imagine the latter it boots anyway).



  • Like I said before, do not connect the ControlBlock unto the RPi on the fresh install. If problem occurs, you would be able to diagnose the problem on the P1, SD card, and Power Supply. Do not connect anything else on the Pi except a keyboard.
    If the EXT4 error occurs without the ControlBlock, surely the SD Card is bad or file is corrupted. EXT4 means system files are corrupted. Get a fresh SD card, do not reuse the old one and reimage Retropie into the new SD card.
    If lightning bolt is shown during the boot process, then your power supply is inadequate even with the minimal devices connected.
    If the system boots properly, hit F4 to exit out of Emulationstation and perform the ControlBlock installation. Now you know that your basic setup is OK.

    Let us know how it goes.



  • @StuMcBill said in Ok, got my ControlBlock.....some questions?:

    Ok, fresh install, and EXT4 errors!?! Guess my SD card could be totally corrupted? Anyway I can check on my Mac?

    Didn't see any Lighting Bolts though.

    Right managed to get it working.

    Flash RetroPie to Micro SD Card. - Done
    Boot up RetroPie & update via retropie-setup.sh (in RetroPie menu). - Done
    Reboot Pi. - Done
    Run ControlBlock Quick Installation Script. - Running now.

    I've got to head out, so won't be able to finish this for a while, but I will keep the thread updated.

    Thanks for all the help.

    Stewart

    OK, I have ran the ControlBlock installation script, rebooted the Pi, no problems. Powered off, disconnected power, connected the ControlBlock to the Pi, plugged USB power into the ControlBlock and.....nothing. No signs of life from the Pi (no lights at all, either Red or green).

    I'm going to leave it as is just now and try again when I get my official Pi Power Supply, and try again.

    If that doesn't work, does that mean I have a problem with my ControlBlock and should be looking for a replacement?

    Thanks.
    Stewart



  • @StuMcBill This is good info....Do you have an LED connected to the ControlBlock? This will provide a good feedback whether the ControlBlock is acting up or not. The Pi will not get its power until the ControlBlock is turned on properly. It must be waiting for the switch to get turned on and since you do not have one installed the Pi will never get turned on. Unless the "powerswitchOn = false in controlblockconfig.cfg " does not work, then this is a driver issue on the ControlBlock.
    It is best to connect a switch and an LED to the ControlBlock . You will have visual feedback on the ControlBlock and manual control of the power turning ON or OFF.



  • @ortsac said in Ok, got my ControlBlock.....some questions?:

    @StuMcBill This is good info....Do you have an LED connected to the ControlBlock? This will provide a good feedback whether the ControlBlock is acting up or not. The Pi will not get its power until the ControlBlock is turned on properly. It must be waiting for the switch to get turned on and since you do not have one installed the Pi will never get turned on. Unless the "powerswitchOn = false in controlblockconfig.cfg " does not work, then this is a driver issue on the ControlBlock.
    It is best to connect a switch and an LED to the ControlBlock . You will have visual feedback on the ControlBlock and manual control of the power turning ON or OFF.

    Ok cool. I might try and grab a switch and led, as I don't have either of these.

    I'm assuming that powerswitchOn has defaulted to true as it did before, so I'll try changing that to false and try again with my pi power supply.

    I'll report back.



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