LimeSDR Mini Not Booting?

I could use some help here if someone has any ideas.

Noob to SDR, and LimeSDR. Ordered a Mini, HW version 1.3. Running the latest Windows 10 build 1909 with PothosDev environment & associated software - including LimeSuite tools. Plugged in first factory fresh LimeSDR Mini, installed driver - no issues, all according to wikis.

Tried running a quick test. See log below. Essentially, it just refused to run anything. But the board was detected properly.

[ TESTING STARTED ]
->Start time: Thu Jun 4 18:53:33 2020

Command not supported
Command not supported
Command not supported
Command not supported
->Device: LimeSDR Mini, media=USB 3, module=FT601, serial=1D589735BC01D5, index=0
Serial Number: 1D589735BC01D5

[ Clock Network Test ]
->REF clock test
Command not supported
Command not supported
->REF clock test FAILED
->VCTCXO test
Command not supported
FAILED
->Clock Network Test FAILED

[ FPGA EEPROM Test ]
->Read EEPROM
Operation failed: error code 2
->FPGA EEPROM Test FAILED

[ LMS7002M Test ]
->Perform Registers Test
Command not supported
SPI_write() failed
Command not supported
SPI_write() failed
Command not supported
SPI_write() failed
Command not supported
Command not supported
Command not supported
Command not supported
Command not supported
->LMS7002M Test FAILED

[ RF Loopback Test ]
->Configure LMS
Command not supported
Command not supported
Command not supported
Command not supported
Command not supported
Command not supported
Failed to set sample rate
->RF Loopback Test FAILED

=> Board tests FAILED <=

Elapsed time: 6.58 seconds

Next, tried an update via cmd line using LimeUtil. It gets to about 22%, then the programming fails.

Also even tried reprogramming the EEPROM. Thats failing too. Its like there is just no data connection or the FPGA isnt booting properly.
image

Any help or suggestions would be appreciated! Thanks!

That doesn’t look good. @Zack, anything else to suggest trying or RMA?

Hello @kscnatsu,

It looks like FPGA is erased for some reason. If you have a possibility to program MAX10 Intel FPGA, then we could try to re-flash it. If you don’t, then contact CrowdSupply for RMA.

@zach Thanks for getting back to me. I dont have the appropriate equipment to do this on hand, so I’m RMAing. Hopefully device #2 will be good to go!

@Zack I just got my second Mini - I ran a board test and it all passed. I then tried to use the limeUtil program included as part of the Pothos package to run a firmware update - and I ran into the same issue as before. Is there some special update process for this?

The update actually does try to run before it dies randomly (sometimes 1%, sometime 42%, etc.).

Since this seems to be an issue with the way I am using the device, can you please walk me through the FPGA flash process? It might be faster to just grab a programmer device rather than sending back a second device…will a regular USB Blaster with some headers soldered to the board’s JTAG port work?

Hi @kscnatsu,

So, it looks like it fails in the middle of update hence FPGA is not programmed.
Could you try to update the board using LimeSuiteGUI, you can download it here:
https://wiki.myriadrf.org/LimeSuiteGUI

Then, try to update FPGA gateware as described here:
https://wiki.myriadrf.org/LimeSDR-USB_Board_Programming#Uploading_FPGA_Gateware_to_FLASH_Memory

just use automatic option for both Device and Programming mode.

If the above fails, then USB Blaster will do the job. You will need a cable adapter as described here:
https://wiki.myriadrf.org/LimeSDR-Mini_JTAG_cable_adapter

@Zack Thanks for the assist. I picked up a clone USB Blaster and got the pof file reloaded. Reflashed EEPROM and that seems to have made a huge dent towards resolving the problem.

Also FYI, I tried to run an FGPA GW upload to Flash using the method you described and that erased the FGPA a second time. That seems to be problematic - maybe even a bug? Updating to new firmware is usually the first thing I do when receiving a factory device. I am unable to take a JTAG programmer everywhere I wish to use this device (that’s the idea of the Mini USB stick). I have it to a fully “PASS” state for the LimeQuickTest at the moment.

Now I cant seem to make any SDR application (gqrx, cubic, sdrangel, sdrconsole) on Windows 10 or Ubuntu Linux 19.04 start using the device. They either dont see the LimeSDR Mini or just crash as soon as I try to start capture. Any suggestions for a basic test to try?

I want to make this work, but I have to say, this level of effort is very disheartening to someone new to the SDR world, especially when Lime seems to offer such a promising device…I haven’t even been able to tune a simple BFM freq yet because of the massive setup problems.

Indeed and you shouldn’t need to. This is unusual behaviour. I’m guessing it’s possible for the issue to be due to power supply/instability issues with the host computer, but if after restoring via JTAG you try updating from another and the same thing happens again, it’s probably time to RMA.

We don’t package for non-LTS Ubuntu releases, so assume you built from source? If you could also post the output from LimeQuickTest.

@Zack Ive tried two different PCs - a Chromebook and a HP Mobile Workstation. I can get the same behavior on both, so unlikely to be a PSU issue. I flashed via JTAG from a dedicated Windows 10 PC running Quarttus Lite, but tried to use the Mini attached to a Linux VM.

I was typing quickly fatfingered that Ubuntu version - I have confirmed it is 18.04 LTS. Sorry! No source build here. Please find my current LimeQuickTest output below - which is taken AFTER attempting to tune BFM frequency with CubicSDR (program recognized LimeSDR Mini device, but crashed when attempting to setfreq). To be clear - all board tests passed normally before attempting to use this device with SDR software.

warren@warren-sdrvm:~$ sudo LimeQuickTest
[ TESTING STARTED ]
->Start time: Thu Jun 25 20:04:07 2020

->Device: LimeSDR Mini, media=USB, module=FT601, addr=24607:1027, serial=1D53881ECEDED5
Warning: USB3 not available
Serial Number: 1D53881ECEDED5

[ Clock Network Test ]
->REF clock test
Test results: 10827; 24024; 37221 - PASSED
->VCTCXO test
Results : 6711024 (min); 6711191 (max) - PASSED
->Clock Network Test PASSED

[ FPGA EEPROM Test ]
->Read EEPROM
->Read data: 13 07 0C 14 06 17 07
->FPGA EEPROM Test PASSED

[ LMS7002M Test ]
->Perform Registers Test
TransferPacket: Write failed (ret=0)
TransferPacket: Write failed (ret=0)
TransferPacket: Write failed (ret=0)
TransferPacket: Write failed (ret=0)
TransferPacket: Write failed (ret=0)
TransferPacket: Write failed (ret=0)
RegistersTestInterval(startAddr=0x4c0, endAddr=0x4e7) - failed
RegistersTestInterval(startAddr=0x500, endAddr=0x527) - failed
RegistersTestInterval(startAddr=0x500, endAddr=0x527) - failed
RegistersTestInterval(startAddr=0x500, endAddr=0x527) - failed
RegistersTestInterval(startAddr=0x500, endAddr=0x527) - failed
RegistersTestInterval(startAddr=0x540, endAddr=0x567) - failed
RegistersTestInterval(startAddr=0x540, endAddr=0x567) - failed
RegistersTestInterval(startAddr=0x540, endAddr=0x567) - failed
RegistersTestInterval(startAddr=0x540, endAddr=0x567) - failed
RegistersTestInterval(startAddr=0x580, endAddr=0x5a7) - failed
RegistersTestInterval(startAddr=0x580, endAddr=0x5a7) - failed
RegistersTestInterval(startAddr=0x580, endAddr=0x5a7) - failed
RegistersTestInterval(startAddr=0x580, endAddr=0x5a7) - failed
RegistersTestInterval(startAddr=0x20, endAddr=0x2f) - failed
RegistersTestInterval(startAddr=0x20, endAddr=0x2f) - failed
RegistersTestInterval(startAddr=0x92, endAddr=0xa7) - failed
RegistersTestInterval(startAddr=0x92, endAddr=0xa7) - failed
RegistersTest() failed
->LMS7002M Test FAILED

[ RF Loopback Test ]
->Configure LMS
TuneVCO(CGEN) - failed to lock (cmphl!=0)
SetFrequencyCGEN(61.44 MHz) failed
TuneVCO(CGEN) - failed to lock (cmphl!=0)
SetFrequencyCGEN(122.88 MHz) failed
Failed to set sample rate
->RF Loopback Test FAILED

=> Board tests FAILED <=

Elapsed time: 72.92 seconds

Some have had success using VMs and for others this has caused no end of problems, which were resolved once they stopped using a VM.

Should work with USB 2.0, but we don’t guarantee this, as it may not deliver sufficient power.

Please try with USB 3.0 under a native host O/S.

@andrewback Sorry for the delay in my response, I was on vacation and left this project at home.

I switched to a dedicated Windows 10 v1904 laptop with a full USB 3.1 Type A port, and tried using SDRConsole V3.0.23.

I have a valid radio definition, and can now initialize the radio, but cannot pickup a simple BFM freq. 10mHz bandwidth, 200kHz filter. All other default options. Just clicks and white noise, no signals above 90dBm. I have the included two small antennas installed, trying to tune a FM radio that I can on my car. See screenshot.

Can you post the results of running LimeQuickTest on this system.

@andrewback Sure, see below. I didnt see any major red flags…but interested to see if you have some thoughts. And yes, this is on a USB 3 SS port.

[ TESTING STARTED ]
->Start time: Wed Jul 8 19:19:17 2020

->Device: LimeSDR Mini, media=USB 2, module=FT601, serial=1D53881ECEDED5, index=0
Warning: USB3 not available
Serial Number: 1D53881ECEDED5

[ Clock Network Test ]
->REF clock test
Test results: 13549; 26741; 39938 - PASSED
->VCTCXO test
Results : 6711002 (min); 6711169 (max) - PASSED
->Clock Network Test PASSED

[ FPGA EEPROM Test ]
->Read EEPROM
->Read data: 13 07 0C 14 06 17 07
->FPGA EEPROM Test PASSED

[ LMS7002M Test ]
->Perform Registers Test
->External Reset line test
Reg 0x20: Write value 0xFFFD, Read value 0xFFFD
Reg 0x20: value after reset 0x0FFFF
->LMS7002M Test PASSED

[ RF Loopback Test ]
->Configure LMS
->Run Tests (TX_2 -> LNA_W):
CH0 (SXR=1000.0MHz, SXT=1005.0MHz): Result:(-14.4 dBFS, 5.00 MHz) - PASSED
->Run Tests (TX_1 -> LNA_H):
CH0 (SXR=2100.0MHz, SXT=2105.0MHz): Result:(-13.0 dBFS, 5.00 MHz) - PASSED
->RF Loopback Test PASSED

=> Board tests PASSED <=

Elapsed time: 4.41 seconds

Hi @kscnatsu,

According to LimeQuickTest, it is USB2. Could you check USB connector on LimeSDR-Mini if there is no damage, please.
Could you post a photo of your setup, please.

@andrewback Sure, please see a few pictures below. No noticeable pin or device damage that I can see - I’ve included some pictures below of my setup (pretty simple and direct). No ESD exposure - its usually in the acrylic case. I am a computer engineer at a major Fortune 100 corporation - I can assure you that this is a USB 3. I have tried both ports too.




My guess is that we need to RMA, but will wait for @Zack to confirm first.

Hi @kscnatsu, @andrewback,

Let us go for RMA.

Thanks, @Zack.

@kscnatsu can you PM me with your e-mail and we can arrange RMA.