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Troubleshooting Tips
1. Get Organized
Make sure that your wiring is organized and labeled. Move all extra wires, waste, coffee mugs, and other non-related materials away from the system. Draw a schematic representation of your system.
2. Visually Inspect the Board
Make sure all jumpers are in the correct position, and that the Base Address dip switch is set correctly. With the Power OFF, re-insert the board into your PC, and make sure it is seated properly and firmly in the expansion slot. Inspect the accessory panels for any loose connections or broken wires.
3. Check System Essentials
Make sure power is available in the power cable and that it is properly connected to all power supplies. Check to see that there is voltage out of your power supplies. Verify that all necessary parts of the system are properly connected to the power supply.
4. Check for Continuity
Check all cables for continuity using a Multimeter. Verify pinout of connectors. Re-connect the cable to the appropriate subsystem boards and panels. Verify connectivity and continuity for all sensor connections on the screw terminal board.
5. Verify the System Connectivity
Is this how you want the system connected? Do you have a block diagram or schematic representation of the system and does it correspond exactly to the physical system connection? Use a different color pen to trace the schematic as you test the physical connections of your system.
6. Understand the Operating Criteria for the Plug-in Card
Read the user manual and make sure that the DAS board and its related software are installed correctly. Use the user manual as a reference while programming to verify the correct sequence of commands.
7. Divide and Conquer
Disconnect the entire system. Use your schematic and begin re-connecting the system one device at a time. Perform a test after connecting each device. If a device is functioning correctly, connect the next device or input signal. Continue until you locate the fault or until the system is fully connected and operational. Check using an oscilloscope for any amplified noise sources that may be affecting system performance.
8. Know your Software
If it is custom-developed software, make sure the syntax is correct and you are using the correct protocol for communicating with the DAS board. For off-the-shelf software, verify the configuration. Check if the correct board driver is loaded.
9. Take a Break
Leave the system and do something else for a few minutes. This will give you a chance to relax. Your attention will be temporarily diverted to something else and will help reduce the pressure and stress of the problem at hand. Usually a coffee break or a good night's sleep will do wonders.
10. Get a New Perspective
Review your system objectives and connections with a colleague. Discuss the implementation strategy. A word of caution--be selective in asking for help and control your temptation to involve too many people. You need someone with sharp analytical skills and experience.