Camera Axe not recognised on USB

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Camera Axe not recognised on USB

Postby brian_mk » Wed Apr 01, 2015 3:41 am

Hi all,

I have aquired a Camera Axe that appears 'dead'. The LCD display is blank.
When I connect it to the USB port on either a Win 7 64bit Laptop or a Win XP 32bit machine, the OS does not attempt to install the drivers. The USB power LED illuminates and the supply voltage apears ok (3.7V).
I believe the problem first came about when the previous owner was attempting to upgrade the software, so I suspect it is a firmware issue rather than a hardware fault.
Can anyone suggest the best way to proceed to troubleshoot and get the device working again?

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Re: Camera Axe not recognised on USB

Postby Maurice » Wed Apr 01, 2015 5:21 am

Please put camera axe and other questions related to tech photography stuff in this forum.

Since the voltage is 3.7V it sounds like you have an old design using the lithum battery and not 6 AA batteries, right? This video describes the issue with that version: http://www.techphotoblog.com/tpb-51/

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Re: Camera Axe not recognised on USB

Postby Maurice » Wed Apr 01, 2015 5:23 am

Here's another post from Brian that I'm moving here.

Thinking the problem may be connected with the FT232R USB/serial device, I installed the FT_Prog programming utility from FTDI.
However the utility is unable to see any connected devices when scanning the USB for FTDI devices. Now I'm wondering if the FT232R may be faulty.

I have seen suggestions online about checking that the TEST pin on the device (pin 26) is connected to ground. That appears to be ok. As it is a surface mount device, replacing the FT232R would be pretty much impossible.
Any other suggestions I might try? It seems a shame to simply bin it.


I still suggest watching the video above. You can check the power after the regulator to see if it's 5V or not which will verify that's the issue.

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Re: Camera Axe not recognised on USB

Postby brian_mk » Wed Apr 01, 2015 6:14 am

Thanks Maurice.
That's very useful information.

I have just checked the 5v rail and can see no power (previously I only checked the voltage directly across the battery - duh!).
It looks like I have the same problem mentioned in the video.

Replacing the TPS61200 looks tricky as the device is so small and the surface mount pads are very close together.
The part number on the device I have appears to be 'BRR 1B1 A43B'. I am guessing this is the same device but from a different manufacturer?

I tried the Farnell/CPC website but they do not appear to sell the TPS61200.
However, I have found that the device is available on eBay in the UK for £3.80, so I may buy a couple and attempt to replace it - although my soldering iron may be a bit on the large side.

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Re: Camera Axe not recognised on USB

Postby brian_mk » Wed Apr 01, 2015 7:23 am

I just hooked up a bench power supply to the 5V rail and the unit immediately sprang into life. :)

I am now thinking that it might be easier to fit 6 x 1.5v AA cells into my unit (in a similar way to the re-designed version) and use a 7805 or similar regulator to derive the 5V. An easier alternative might be a 9V PP3 battery, but it would not give quite as good battery life.

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Re: Camera Axe not recognised on USB

Postby Maurice » Wed Apr 01, 2015 8:02 am

Hand soldering the TPS61200 is possible (I've done it), but is very hard. Most other packages are easier to hand solder even if they are smaller.

If you can rig up the 6AAs and a 7805 that would be easier and work just as good. The one other thing to consider is if you want to power it over USB. You might just have the switch choose between USB and battery power so you don't have to mess around with things like back voltages.

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