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Frog desk not booting up


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Hi.

I recently bought a Frog desk but I can not get it to start up.

Upon turning it on, all the desk lights flash on then off, as I would expect, but then the display simplay says:

"BIOS V. 1.0

Checking for update"

And that's it.

It does nothing else.

I opened the back, have shceked for loose ribbon, pushed anything that may have shaken loose.

I checked the battery voltage which is fine.

There are 2 removable cards next to each other. (this is different to my other Frog which only has 1 card)

These are held in by clips. I took them out to check and one had some slight corrosion.

I cleaned up and reset the cards.

 

But still, the desk only says the same.

 

I have a floppy disk with the most updated software on it which worked fine on my other desk.

But this desk doesn't read it.

 

So, basically, nothing happens on start up and nothing has changed regardless of anything I have tried.

 

Is there anything else I can try or maybe there is somebody near Birmingham UK where I can take it for a once over.

 

Thanks in advance.

Liam

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Hi,

As you already have  a *Frog there is probably nothing new I could tell you. So:

1 hour ago, iamcyclops said:

maybe there is somebody near Birmingham UK where I can take it for a once over.

@iank99 will be your man. He lives in Coventry but worked for Central Theatre Supplies in Hall Green for many years. He will be able to check the desk over and if any repairs are needed he will may be able to get spares from Zero88 as he's an authorised service centre.

If not, come back here and we'll see what we can suggest... (I have a Fat Frog, although it's been in hibernation for a few years...)

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13 hours ago, iamcyclops said:

Hi.

I recently bought a Frog desk but I can not get it to start up.

There are 2 removable cards next to each other. (this is different to my other Frog which only has 1 card)

These are held in by clips. I took them out to check and one had some slight corrosion.

I cleaned up and reset the cards.

Liam

@iamcyclops
You don't specify which Frog it is... Is it a Frog/Fat Frog or LeapFrog/Solution?

If the "removable cards" are long and slender and about 4 inches long - it sounds like a Frog/Fat Frog with STMain 1 - I don't think STMain2 had two ram slots (it's been a while since I looked at the ones I have). If it's a LeapFrog and the cards are small squares about 2inch square then it won't boot with two cards anyway.

This link is to an image of an STMain2 Linky   - does your mainboard look like that?


If it's a Frog/Fat Frog then I would try removing one of the RAM sticks then power the desk up and see what happens - from memory the early Frogs only need 4Mb of RAM which is one stick of memory. There's no benefit to be gained from adding extra memory (perhaps the seller thought he was doing you a favour) - it's also possible that the two sticks might be different sizes - the onboard bootstrap isn't like a PC so can't test/resize it's memory limits as they change. If you're lucky - there might be a meaningful label on the sticks that shows their capacity - fit the smallest one and try that.

Also - do you hear any noise from the floppy drive as the desk powers up (you should hear it motoring the head to Track zero)? If not, remove the floppy disc from the drive and see what happens. Early Frogs were very temperamental with floppy discs and sometimes won't read a disc that wasn't formatted on that drive... You could try a temporary drive swap from your existing desk?

You need to establish that the desk is booting and running before you do anything else - the mainboard might have failed (it does happen with STMains sadly) in which case that's a whole different can of worms.

Yes - I'm in Coventry - if you wanted to drop the desk over for me to have a quick look at - we can arrange something.

My eMail is ian@serviceguy.co.uk

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20 hours ago, kgallen said:

Hi,

As you already have  a *Frog there is probably nothing new I could tell you. So:

@iank99 will be your man. He lives in Coventry but worked for Central Theatre Supplies in Hall Green for many years. He will be able to check the desk over and if any repairs are needed he will may be able to get spares from Zero88 as he's an authorised service centre.

If not, come back here and we'll see what we can suggest... (I have a Fat Frog, although it's been in hibernation for a few years...)

Thanks for your help......

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7 hours ago, iank99 said:

@iamcyclops
You don't specify which Frog it is... Is it a Frog/Fat Frog or LeapFrog/Solution?

If the "removable cards" are long and slender and about 4 inches long - it sounds like a Frog/Fat Frog with STMain 1 - I don't think STMain2 had two ram slots (it's been a while since I looked at the ones I have). If it's a LeapFrog and the cards are small squares about 2inch square then it won't boot with two cards anyway.

This link is to an image of an STMain2 Linky   - does your mainboard look like that?


If it's a Frog/Fat Frog then I would try removing one of the RAM sticks then power the desk up and see what happens - from memory the early Frogs only need 4Mb of RAM which is one stick of memory. There's no benefit to be gained from adding extra memory (perhaps the seller thought he was doing you a favour) - it's also possible that the two sticks might be different sizes - the onboard bootstrap isn't like a PC so can't test/resize it's memory limits as they change. If you're lucky - there might be a meaningful label on the sticks that shows their capacity - fit the smallest one and try that.

Also - do you hear any noise from the floppy drive as the desk powers up (you should hear it motoring the head to Track zero)? If not, remove the floppy disc from the drive and see what happens. Early Frogs were very temperamental with floppy discs and sometimes won't read a disc that wasn't formatted on that drive... You could try a temporary drive swap from your existing desk?

You need to establish that the desk is booting and running before you do anything else - the mainboard might have failed (it does happen with STMains sadly) in which case that's a whole different can of worms.

Yes - I'm in Coventry - if you wanted to drop the desk over for me to have a quick look at - we can arrange something.

My eMail is ian@serviceguy.co.uk

 

Thank you Ian

Lots of useful information there.

So It's just a Frog...

The link you sent to the STMain2 looks like the card that's in my working Frog.

The broken one is different and is likely the STMain1 that you refered to

and it differs in a few ways from my working one.

The motherboard on the broken one is much longer than the working one

and also, the broken one doesn't have a monitor out as does my working one.

 

I will try doing what you suggested with the 2 RAM sticks and see what happens!

But I don't hear anything from the floppy upon start up, unlike my other.

I don't hear it zero the track head as I do the other one I have. This is without the floppy in.

 

If I don't have any joy sorting it this week based on all the suggestions you made,

I'm coming to work in Birmingham next week for 3 weeks

so will schedule some time to bring it to you for a more informed looked over.

 

Again, thanks for your time.

Liam

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6 minutes ago, kgallen said:

No worries, let us know how you get on and if you need more help. Can't have Frogs lying around not getting used...

Kevin

Thanks.

I totally agree.

I got a Fat frog and a working Frog and will do all I can to get the other up and running.

I love these desks. They absolutely work for me

I'm in comms with Ian so will follow that up and see where it all goes.

 

Liam

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15 hours ago, iamcyclops said:

 

The link you sent to the STMain2 looks like the card that's in my working Frog.

The broken one is different and is likely the STMain1 that you refered to

and it differs in a few ways from my working one.

The motherboard on the broken one is much longer than the working one

and also, the broken one doesn't have a monitor out as does my working one.

 

 

If there's no VGA output then it's one of the very first desks - the VGA option was added in around 1999 I think - it could be retrofitted but not done very often because the case metalwork had to be cut by hand. So your desk is the best part of 23 years old...

Fingers crossed that it still has some life left in it but being that old - it may have fallen foul of the most common fault - the STMain itself just fails.  Try the ram sticks & floppy swap just in case but don't get too attached to it.

 

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Hi Ian,

34 minutes ago, iank99 said:

If there's no VGA output then it's one of the very first desks - the VGA option was added in around 1999 I think - it could be retrofitted but not done very often because the case metalwork had to be cut by hand. So your desk is the best part of 23 years old...

Just double checked the dates for you - Frog and Fat Frog were launched in the first half of 2001, initially without an external monitor output. The external monitor output was added in November 2001, and the rest of the Frog range was launched in 2002.

Edward

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5 hours ago, Edward Z88 said:

Hi Ian,

Just double checked the dates for you - Frog and Fat Frog were launched in the first half of 2001, initially without an external monitor output. The external monitor output was added in November 2001, and the rest of the Frog range was launched in 2002.

Edward

Thanks Edward - at my tender age (as I cherish fond memories of "my" Strand MMS days) years do tend to blur.... It will happen to you one day as well :)

The "bookmark" I have in my memory is that I joined CTS in 1997 and we always dragged a Sirius to any "white glove/wet" hires then suddenly things got lighter as we bought one of the first Frogs (David H. was a firm believer that as a dealer we should have Zero desks in hire - he was never so keen on the Sirius 250 though - it was a beast to lift). I do remember Keith having our Frog back to fit the VGA option for us but he had to cut the metalwork himself (back in the days he was allowed to use sharp implements in the factory :P ).

Now... where did I leave my marbles (and my car keys)? :P 

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On 9/2/2021 at 10:02 AM, iank99 said:

If there's no VGA output then it's one of the very first desks - the VGA option was added in around 1999 I think - it could be retrofitted but not done very often because the case metalwork had to be cut by hand. So your desk is the best part of 23 years old...

Fingers crossed that it still has some life left in it but being that old - it may have fallen foul of the most common fault - the STMain itself just fails.  Try the ram sticks & floppy swap just in case but don't get too attached to it.

 

Ian. Just want to thak you for all your advise. I tried everything, including the things you siggested and still... it just almost feels dead.

So rather than bring it in, i just decided that this one can remain as spares for my other two.

I got plenty of bits now for bot my Frog and Leap Frog...

I'll leave it at that rather than spend more money.

So thanks again for all your help.

Liam

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1 hour ago, iamcyclops said:

Ian. Just want to thak you for all your advise. I tried everything, including the things you siggested and still... it just almost feels dead.

So rather than bring it in, i just decided that this one can remain as spares for my other two.

I got plenty of bits now for bot my Frog and Leap Frog...

I'll leave it at that rather than spend more money.

So thanks again for all your help.

Liam

Not a problem - happy to help...

Things to hold on to - fader caps and fader boards plus the board with the LCD display (I'm not sure but I think the LCD can be re-used on Leap Frogs) and of course the PSU.

I've never had to replace metalwork so the rest of the case could be disposed of if you need the storage space - just put the PCB's in anti-static bags in a box with some silicon sachets (or at a push a spoon of rice).

If you need me in future - you know where to find me :)

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