BladeRF 2.0 A9 - Not responding to open after recover

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n5fpp
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Sep 08, 2018 9:39 pm

BladeRF 2.0 A9 - Not responding to open after recover

Post by n5fpp » Sun Sep 09, 2018 12:18 am

Hello,

I have a BladeRF 2.0 A9. While learning how to upgrade the firmware and FPGA image I have run into a problem.

Short version -
  • I can power up the board, start bladerf-cli, run 'recover <bus> <address> <path to firmware>'.
  • The board responses with 'Success!', but when I try an open, or any other command I get 'Error: No device available', or the GQRX error below.
Long version (leading up to the short version) -
  • In bladerf-cli, I ran 'jump-to-boot' -- discovered that was a mistake and had to short pins 1 & 2 of J6.
  • Ran bladerf-cli, 'recover <bus> <addr> <path to firmware>', got "Success!", was able to run "open".
  • Tried to run 'cal lms', got "Error: Command requires FPGA to be loaded"
  • Loaded latest FPGA image with 'load fpga {path}', was successful. Still got "Error: Command requires FPGA to be loaded"
  • Ran GQRX a few a couple of times and got samples. I noticed I was getting a weird hiccuping from the BladeRF which would eventually lead to a shutdown of the card due to exceeding error count.
  • While trying to diagnose the problem by adjusting the config settings in GQRX, on the fourth time the board shutdown it became none responsive to GQRX. I now get a core dump from GQRX every time I run with the BladeRF

Code: Select all

pascal@tsunami  (master) <64> gqrx -c BladeRF-30.conf

(gqrx:5197): Gtk-WARNING **: 00:59:47.124: Theme parsing error: gtk-main.css:73:38: Failed to import: Error opening file /usr/share/themes/Radiance/gtk-3.20/apps/gnome-builder.css: No such file or directory
gr-osmosdr v0.1.4-127-g4d83c606 (0.1.5git) gnuradio 3.7.12.0
built-in source types: file osmosdr fcd rtl rtl_tcp uhd hackrf bladerf rfspace airspy soapy redpitaya 
Resampling audio 96000 -> 48000
BookmarksFile is /home/pascal/.config/gqrx/bookmarks.csv
[INFO] [UHD] linux; GNU C++ version 7.3.0; Boost_106501; UHD_3.14.0.0-88-g6013a511
gr-osmosdr v0.1.4-127-g4d83c606 (0.1.5git) gnuradio 3.7.12.0
built-in source types: file osmosdr fcd rtl rtl_tcp uhd hackrf bladerf rfspace airspy soapy redpitaya 
[bladeRF common] init: DEBUG: entering initialization
[bladeRF source] init: Opening Nuand bladeRF with device identifier string '*:instance=0'
terminate called after throwing an instance of 'std::runtime_error'
  what():  init: Failed to open bladeRF device '*:instance=0': open: Failed to open device for '*:instance=0': No devices available (-7)
Aborted (core dumped)
  • Discovered the board was also non responsive to bladerf-cli, kept reporting 'Error: No devices available'
  • Ran 'recover', then 'recover <bus> <addr> <path>' and it would report "Success!", but continued to report "Error: No devices available"

That's where I am at now. Considering what I paid for this card, I hope you can give me some good news and help me out. I hope this card isn't so fragile that it is bricked.

The images for the FPGA and the firmware are all the latest from the Nuand website as of 09/08. Other than when I had to short the pins to recover the board, it has always been in the case that I purchased from you.

Any help will be appreciated.


-Freeman, N5FPP

n5fpp
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Sep 08, 2018 9:39 pm

Re: BladeRF 2.0 A9 - Not responding to open after recover

Post by n5fpp » Sun Sep 09, 2018 12:39 am

I just noticed that the board is not reporting as manufactured by 'Nuand', but as 'Cypress'.

Code: Select all

[  123.381996] usb 7-1: new high-speed USB device number 2 using xhci_hcd
[  123.598281] usb 7-1: New USB device found, idVendor=04b4, idProduct=00f3
[  123.598283] usb 7-1: New USB device strings: Mfr=1, Product=2, SerialNumber=3
[  123.598284] usb 7-1: Product: WestBridge 
[  123.598285] usb 7-1: Manufacturer: Cypress
[  123.598286] usb 7-1: SerialNumber: 0000000004BE
I rebooted to force my PCI-e USB-3 card to fully reset. After rebooting and running bladerf-cli, "recover", "recover <bus> <addr> <path>" it now reports as manufactured by "Nuand".

Code: Select all

[  391.258017] usb 8-1: USB disconnect, device number 2
[  396.497205] usb 8-1: new SuperSpeed USB device number 3 using xhci_hcd
[  396.514461] usb 8-1: LPM exit latency is zeroed, disabling LPM.
[  396.515156] usb 8-1: New USB device found, idVendor=2cf0, idProduct=5250
[  396.515161] usb 8-1: New USB device strings: Mfr=1, Product=2, SerialNumber=3
[  396.515164] usb 8-1: Product: bladeRF 2.0
[  396.515167] usb 8-1: Manufacturer: Nuand
I was able to run "open" successfully, and immediately ran "load fx3 <path>" which worked. I also loaded the fpga image which worked. The final test was to power cycle the board and it came up correctly. GQRX runs and the hiccuping problem appears to have gone away.

Hopefully, this will help others who run into the same problem.


-Freeman

bglod
Posts: 187
Joined: Thu Jun 18, 2015 6:10 pm

Re: BladeRF 2.0 A9 - Not responding to open after recover

Post by bglod » Mon Sep 10, 2018 8:16 am

Yes! I'm glad you were able to figure out what was going on. The recover command simply loads the Nuand FX3 image into the FX3's memory -- it is not persistent across power cycles. After opening the device, you have to run the load command as you discovered. This is what saves the Nuand FX3 image into the SPI flash device, and will be loaded upon subsequent power cycles.
Electrical Engineer
Nuand, LLC.

n5fpp
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Sep 08, 2018 9:39 pm

Re: BladeRF 2.0 A9 - Not responding to open after recover

Post by n5fpp » Mon Sep 10, 2018 12:44 pm

The other problem was that the USB3 ports on my ASUS motherboard were misbehaving. I've seen this before with my LimeSDR boards, but thought I had the A9 plugged into the PCIx USB3 card. Once I rebooted, the onboard USB3 ports started working.

I'm tempted to fill those two USB3 ports with epoxy to keep me from using them, but they work fine as USB2 or USB1.


-Freeman, N5FPP

bglod
Posts: 187
Joined: Thu Jun 18, 2015 6:10 pm

Re: BladeRF 2.0 A9 - Not responding to open after recover

Post by bglod » Mon Sep 10, 2018 1:31 pm

Haha, those darn misbehaving USB 3 ports...

Actually, if you want, take a look at our list of good/bad USB controllers if you don't see your motherboard listed, feel free to fill in the necessary information in the "known problematic configurations" list!
Electrical Engineer
Nuand, LLC.

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