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NickTaylor

Losing some settings

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My Leapfrog is not used so much now days. It is currently at a show to be used in place of a Fatfrog. For some reason it is losing some settings from the onboard memory. It maybe a case of sitting around for so long the battery backup is dead or totally flat. Having said that it kept the fixtures. For the time being I have suggested leaving the desk plugged in for 24 hours to see if that works. Obviously if it needs a service I will get that done after this show!

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It's being unpredictable which is usually a sign the battery needs swapping - a 10 minute job to open the case and swap.

 

The onboard battery preserves the data in the RAM which is setup parameters and show memories plus fixture data - when the battery voltage drops, the RAM behaves weirdly. The battery is non-rechargeable, so depending on the overall temperature in the room it's being stored in and the make of the battery - its "life" is around 18months to 2 years.

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Nick - change the battery pronto. You will find this causes all kinds of problems, even if status shows as battery status is "normal". See this item on BlueRoom when our Fat Frog similarly lost its mind in what seemed a random fashion to see what I mean.

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Thanks for those two tips gents. The show is next week. I am loath to start mainataining things right now as very hard to fit around the day job. In fact the desk is at least seven years old and the battery never changed. The last hirer never mentioned anything so a bit late to find out now

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(Caution - rambings of a techie...)

 

My Fat Frog factory-fit battery lasted about 6 years (2006-2012), those Zero88-fit ones are awesome...

 

The one I fitted in 2012 died this week [~2 years] in between the tech and dress rehearsals - I lost the second half of my Act 2 cues [huh? 15 pages left in the script and only 2 cues to go, what the heck is going on here.... oh... sh**!]. The date of 1/1/2999 should have awoken a few more grey cells than it did at that point... - well it was 4/1/2015 so it wasn't that far out, kinda...

 

And this year, for the very first time, I forgot to take my box of floppys to the tech rehearsal... (and no use asking the kids in the show - "What's a flippy dusk, Kev?"). Well I always save to floppy but the desk stores the cue stack so maybe not worry this time for once...

 

...fortunately the wife obliged and brought the box down otherwise I'd now still be swearing and trying to replot the rest of the show from memory. And had it happened this week I'd be crying during a performance and trying to busk the last half hour of the show... (whilst also running music and sfx cues, 4 radio mics and smoke machine, it's tough in the amateur world you know!)

 

Which brings me to a [-n academic] question - when does the desk actually copy the RAM to flash? Actually does it? OK, so sometimes you get a "Saving Show" popup (usually when you're in the middle of something!) which is when I guess it's doing just that, but clearly between me plotting cue 82 and cue 97 [probably about 1/2 hour] at the tech this data was only in RAM, and it didn't get copied to flash by the act of me saving to floppy 4 times when all was done.

 

Maybe the cue stack doesn't get copied to Flash at all and stays in the battery (un-)backed RAM?

 

Note to self - replace battery in or before 2017!

 

Kevin

 

ps I was having a play last night after having changed the battery, going into and out of Super User didn't force a show save - I didn't really want to go changing Desk Setup settings to try and force one as the desk is ready for the show starting this week...

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Hi Kevin,

 

Under normal conditions the desk should be programming to the battery backed RAM as this get full it will move the data from there to the flash RAM, as you pointed out you get a "saving show" message when you hit program on occasion.

From what i remember of the desk architecture, the act of just going into an out of super use will not force the data to be moved i think you have actually make a change to a setting and leave super user to do that.

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Hi Keith,

 

Thanks for that - my experience is also that you have to make some "meaningful" change in Super User to get a "Saving Show".

 

My assumption was that on a cold boot, the "Loading Show" step was copying from Flash into RAM, but it seems it must be more complicated than this, as from my exprience with the flat battery, Flash might not have the full or latest cue stack image, and there is reliance on the image in RAM being coherent, hence requiring a good battery!

 

With the battery replaced, all seemed well when I booted the desk last night, so hopefully the run of the show will be uneventful in terms of technical problems!

 

Thanks,

Kevin

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The assumption may have been made in the initial code design that a "cold boot" shouldn't copy the Flash show to the RAM on the basis that if the power to the desk glitched and had caused some corruption of the Flash, then you wouldn't then be loading a corrupt file and wondering "wtf?" as you tried to use it. There could be circumstances where the Flash could corrupt but the ram being battery powered wouldn't perhaps, it might also have been felt it could leave the desk unuseable.

 

It might also be likely that that the time "overhead" when booting was felt to be too long by copying Flash to Ram (remember too - this code base was used across Frogs that could have shows with complex fixtures, subs and chases programmed).

 

I have no direct knowledge of course so this is mostly supposition based on observation ;)

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...hopefully the run of the show will be uneventful in terms of technical problems!

 

...and it was fortunately...! Good 'old Fat Frog!

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Kevin - yep - for it's day and for what it does - I can't disagree.

 

It's going to end up being the Sirius 24/48 of it's era - I think, they still sell for £200 or more on fleaBay and as long as they're not physically abused will carry on for ages.

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