Retrostone problems

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Admin
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Re: Retrostone problems

Post by Admin » Wed 22 Aug 2018 15:20

Retrorangepi developpers asked me to invite you to share on their forum too :
http://orangepi.club/showthread.php?tid=2603

Let me know if my previous post helped you.

(It might also be your retrostones that have hardware problem. In which case don't worry I'll replace it of course.)

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marauder
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Re: Retrostone problems

Post by marauder » Wed 22 Aug 2018 16:53

Admin wrote:
Wed 22 Aug 2018 14:48
Which means that perhaps when you try to boot for first time, get the white blue screen for 30s or 1min, then turn OFF, maybe you turn OFF while the system is installing. Which may result in a corrupted image.
That might have happened during my first attempts, of course.
But I already had at least 1 successful first time boot and system has been installed properly.
And now I experience boot failures during the next launches, so even if the problem of LCD not displaying anything during the installation exists, there's definitely also another problem - of not booting the system even after it has been installed correctly.
Admin wrote:
Wed 22 Aug 2018 14:48
Idea n°2 : can you try to install "orangepi PC+" version on the SD card and see if it can boot correctly on HDMI? (the GPIO buttons won't work neither LCD but it will confirm if it's a software problem. Link to download retrorangepi PC+ : http://www.retrorangepi.org/images/4.1/ ... img.tar.gz
Ok, I've done that.
After turning the device on with HDMI connected it first showed some console output with the Armbian boot sequence, and after the line "Starting kernel..." the screen went black and my monitor showed "No signal".
I tried that 7 or 8 times - every time the same.

bedfellow
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Re: Retrostone problems

Post by bedfellow » Wed 22 Aug 2018 20:17

I have deleted the partitions on the SD Card using GParted and created a new partition. Flashed the RetrOrangePi image to the SD Card using Etcher, inserted it into the RetroStone, It cycled through 'slim' screen and then into Emulation Station. I waited 10 minutes before shutting system down, via Quit Emulation Station and then re-powered up, where it once again showed the blue and white screen and never got past that stage even after I left it powered on in excess of 15 minutes. I then shutdown and re-powered, when once again it never got past the blue and white screen. After several attempts of cycling power I got it to boot, but it will not consistently do so.

This is a screenshot of the SD Card partition after all of the above:
Image

This is it 'booting': https://youtu.be/rGJMItIcWMw

bedfellow
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Re: Retrostone problems

Post by bedfellow » Wed 22 Aug 2018 20:38

I addition to my post above, this is what I get on my TV screen with the RetroStone plugged into HDMI. The display starts off OK then progressively gets the horizontal lines.

Image

bedfellow
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Re: Retrostone problems

Post by bedfellow » Wed 22 Aug 2018 22:04

From this video, I think we can probably conclude that the issues I have with my RetroStone are due to a hardware fault: https://youtu.be/Eup2kCk66vQ

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marauder
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Re: Retrostone problems

Post by marauder » Wed 22 Aug 2018 23:41

I have experimented a bit more and here are my conclusions, maybe it will be useful for someone:

- The device boots successfully only about 1 out of 3 times (before I thought that it's even worse, see the next point).

- When you flash an SD card and launch for the 1st time, you MUST catch that successful boot, otherwise the installation will be interrupted and the system will get into a corrupted state, that can't be fixed. So if your device fails to boot during the first launch - you have to format and re-flash your SD card, and only then try to boot again.

- If you manage to boot and install the system properly, then during the further launches you are more or less safe, even if it fails to boot, then just turn it off and on again, and it will boot eventually. The data doesn't seem to be corrupted after such fails. However I have created an image of my SD card after successful installation and making all the adjustments (like scraping games metadata, remapping buttons per cores, etc). Now in case if something goes wrong, I always have a ready-to-use system for flashing, without having to go through that installation mess again.

- The result doesn't really depend on the SD card brand. At least I have installed the system on Sandisk, then created an image from it and flashed it to the card supplied with my Retrostone, and it keeps booting with the same rate of success.

- It's still not clear if these boot failures are caused by software or hardware issues.
On one hand, not everyone reports such issue, while everyone uses the same software, this could be an argument for a hardware problem.
On the other hand, if the hardware issue is that massive, I have no idea how it could get through quality control, of course if there was any.

- There's another problem: all the games eventually crash back to the menu or even reset the whole RetrorangePi (it looks pretty much like a kernel panic). Sometimes it happens after a while, sometimes - in the first few seconds. And it doesn't depend on particular games, happens in any.

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Re: Retrostone problems

Post by Admin » Thu 23 Aug 2018 13:10

@Marauder From your test I think it might be a hardware issue. As you have tested different SD card it don't seem to be the SD the problem.

Also I discussed with the factory and they repport that some units during the tests boot only 1 time every 3 times. They removed these boards from production as defective. However I'm thinking that if they can boot 1 time every 3 time, then maybe 1/3 of these boards booted correctly during the tests and went throught as OK boards.

I'll prepare you a replacement to be shipped to you. I would be gratefull if you can keep your current unit until you receive the replacement and can compare behaviour between both to confirm. Afterwards if you can send me the defective unit I will try to identify the problem.
What is your backer number?

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Re: Retrostone problems

Post by Admin » Thu 23 Aug 2018 13:21

bedfellow wrote:
Wed 22 Aug 2018 20:38
I addition to my post above, this is what I get on my TV screen with the RetroStone plugged into HDMI. The display starts off OK then progressively gets the horizontal lines.

Image
This is usual, it's because it starts to boot on HDMI for few seconds (5-10 seconds) then signal switch to LCD. At that point the HDMI picture will start to have artifacts (those lines)
bedfellow wrote:
Wed 22 Aug 2018 22:04
From this video, I think we can probably conclude that the issues I have with my RetroStone are due to a hardware fault: https://youtu.be/Eup2kCk66vQ
About your video I think this is not the LCD that is defective, it's likely because the battery is low (as LED2 is ON I seem to see in your video) Even if charger is connected, if battery is very low you'll experience those.
Can you confirm if it's the case?

However if you have those boot issues it might not be normal. Have you also tried with a different memory card? When it boots correctly do you experience OS freezing or game quiting as Marauder described?

bedfellow
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Re: Retrostone problems

Post by bedfellow » Thu 23 Aug 2018 13:31

Admin wrote:
Thu 23 Aug 2018 13:21
bedfellow wrote:
Wed 22 Aug 2018 22:04
From this video, I think we can probably conclude that the issues I have with my RetroStone are due to a hardware fault: https://youtu.be/Eup2kCk66vQ
About your video I think this is not the LCD that is defective, it's likely because the battery is low (as LED2 is ON I seem to see in your video) Even if charger is connected, if battery is very low you'll experience those.
Can you confirm if it's the case?
This is less that one hour since the battery was fuly charged and the charger is plugged in, is this normal?
Admin wrote:
Thu 23 Aug 2018 13:21
However if you have those boot issues it might not be normal. Have you also tried with a different memory card? When it boots correctly do you experience OS freezing or game quiting as Marauder described?
I have same issue as @Marauder when it comes to creating the SD Card though, as the unit fails to boot properly (1/3rd blue, 2/3rd white screen) more times than not, so creating an SD Card may be an issue.

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Re: Retrostone problems

Post by Admin » Thu 23 Aug 2018 15:14

No it does not sound correct indeed. You mean the battery was fully charged, you played for 1 hour, then the LCD started to flips ? Or the low battery LED turn on first? Or the charge cable was connected ever since it was fully charged?

Is it particularly hot where you live? like 40°C + ?

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