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  Tasc R30... incomplete
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Dick Schneiders
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Re:Tasc R30... incomplete
« on: June 16, 2005, 05:09AM »
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Quote from: Mike Watters on June 15, 2005, 03:04PM   

Sorry to pry about your bed frame packaging Ismenio.

I didn't want your Conchess module to fall out of the chess computer. They also fall apart. Not that I would want to worry anybody.

Mike
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Hey, I resemble that remark!  What, me worry?



My Conchess hasn't yet arrived, but it should anytime.

Dick Schneiders
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Mike Watters
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Re:Tasc R30... incomplete
« Reply #1 on: June 15, 2005, 03:04PM »
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Sorry to pry about your bed frame packaging Ismenio.

I didn't want your Conchess module to fall out of the chess computer. They also fall apart. Not that I would want to worry anybody.

Mike
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Ismenio
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Re:Tasc R30... incomplete
« Reply #2 on: June 15, 2005, 09:47AM »
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Mike,

How can you even think of such a thing! But that’s a good idea though, and a valid sacrifice to get a Tasc+Smartboard working isn’t it?

But I actually used what came in the packaging of a bed frame we recently bought. Proof that we are right! Our wives should really let us keep boxes and stuff like that!

Best,

Ismenio
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Mike Watters
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Re:Tasc R30... incomplete
« Reply #3 on: June 14, 2005, 02:01PM »
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Quote:
Here's the "fix".  You can see the small pieces of styrofoam I have put so that when you close the case, the circuit board gets pushed a little bit closer to the back of the external board. And no animals or Phantom styrofoam packaging were harmed in the production of this episode

Ismenio

Ismenio

Those would not be bits of styrofoam from a Conchess Ambassador module slot, would they? 

Mike (FPPA)
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Endspielgott
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Re:Tasc R30... incomplete
« Reply #4 on: June 14, 2005, 04:13AM »
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Quote from: Ismenio on June 13, 2005, 04:40PM   


Christian, feel free to give Mr Kreuzberg a link to this thread in case he wants to check it out. Maybe he will point out my mistakes!
 


Ismenio,

I already did that...but he is a busy guy for the moment...so many robots to repair

Since I have two working Smartboards available I told him that there is no need to be hasty

But again: You did a great job!

Christian
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Ismenio
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Re:Tasc R30... incomplete
« Reply #5 on: June 13, 2005, 04:40PM »
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Thanks everyone for your kind comments! There is a different feeling playing with the Tasc now, after feeling frustrated, hopeless and doubts whether it was worth the effort to get all of of these and the work. Since Friday night I've had very little sleep but now it feels good to sleep

Here's an update. Since I had to open it again for a small adjustment, I took pictures of the "fix". Everything was working fine but I noticed that I had to have the bishop right in the center of the square and if I moved just a little bit to the sides the recognition was not 100% Yeah, I was picky! Now it works so well that I kept playing with the "position" set up feature so much that I almost missed dinner!

Here's the "fix".  You can see the small pieces of styrofoam I have put so that when you close the case, the circuit board gets pushed a little bit closer to the back of the external board. And no animals or Phantom styrofoam packaging were harmed in the production of this episode



Christian, feel free to give Mr Kreuzberg a link to this thread in case he wants to check it out. Maybe he will point out my mistakes!
Even though everything is working 100% I still wonder if I took the right approach.

Another detail I didn't mention before. You may have noticed the spots I have marked in yellow here in the previous pictures. Those were the places they had the circuit board literally glued to the casing. IF you ever need to open it for fixing something, this may be your biggest challenge. It was mine. To separate the glued circuit board from the casing. It took me maybe an hour to get that done. You have to be very careful not to break the circuit board. I used a plastic ruler and carefully inserted it between the board and the case and tried to jiggle it a little until that spot started to get loose.



I think the problem this board had with those squares may be traced again to the distance that section of the board was from the back end of the casing. That's the area where you have the small circuit board with the connectors so the pieces of wood attached to the cover that exercise some pressure on the internal board can't go that far.



Only now I'm starting to actually enjoy the Tasc and even though I knew about the features I'm very much amazed by them! The smooth piece recognition is by far my favorite, followed by the big display and its features. I like to slide the pieces when I can, instead of picking them and lifting them up to move to another square! It feels great! Also, because there's no magnets, even when I bump into other pieces there's no dragging around! I have to say, whatever the merits of the lawsuit brought against Tasc, it is very sad that it is no longer being produced. I am thinking of changing my vote in Mike's poll on the most sophisticated chess computer! Looks like there's no competition for Tasc in number of features.

Dutch Regards,

Ismenio
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Dick Schneiders
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Re:It's working!!!
« Reply #6 on: June 13, 2005, 11:00AM »
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Quote from: Ismenio on June 12, 2005, 08:33PM   

Folks, the Tasc is now fully functional!!! It wasn't easy but I got it to work!
Ismenio


Ismenio,

Wow!!  I am very impressed with your ingenuity and perseverance. 

That was excellent work and you must be very pleased and proud of yourself.

I certainly would be. 

Now I know where to send anything I have that isn't working. 

Dick Schneiders
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Robert Weck
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Re:It's working!!!
« Reply #7 on: June 13, 2005, 07:39AM »
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Hi Ismenio,


Quote:

Folks, the Tasc is now fully functional!!! It wasn't easy but I got it to work!

That's great news!! I can understand what your feeling were at that moment!

I think you had the same feeling as me, when 'hard and me got my Sphinx 40 to work (bought as defective!)



relieved regards,
Robert


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Mike Watters
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Re:Tasc R30... incomplete
« Reply #8 on: June 13, 2005, 12:14AM »
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Ismenio

Outstanding !!

You would have my highest respect for taking it apart, testing for the problem, the savvy and patience to pursue the solution and then achieving success. But to take photos of it whilst you were going along! That is awesome.

Thanks to this thread we all have a better idea what is going on inside a Tasc.

Well done my friend
Mike

PS I hope you didn't harm any styrofoam inserts.
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Endspielgott
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Re:It's working!!!
« Reply #9 on: June 13, 2005, 12:11AM »
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Quote from: Ismenio on June 12, 2005, 08:33PM   


Christian, since you mention you have the same problem where only one square was not working, I am wondering if something similar could be the issue. It looks to me that the board uses a matrix system with coordinates, based on the 8 groups of similar components in each side of the board. It doesn't seem that we have 1 group for each square so that leads me to believe that if the problem was with one of these circuits, you would have problems with an entire rank or an entire file and not just one square. But that's just my speculation. I still want to know what Mr Kreuzberg will say about this and let us know how it goes with yours.

Ismenio


Ismenio,

that´s great news. Congrat!!!!!!!!!!

I will send this Info to Mr Kreuzberg, hopefully my board can be fixed in hte same way!

Christian
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Alain Zanchetta
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Re:Tasc R30... incomplete
« Reply #10 on: June 12, 2005, 09:51PM »
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Congratulations, Ismenio !

best,
Alain
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Ismenio
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It's working!!!
« Reply #11 on: June 12, 2005, 08:33PM »
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Folks, the Tasc is now fully functional!!! It wasn't easy but I got it to work!
They say that a picture is worth a thousand words, so I'll try to show how I got it to work in a few thousand words.

Quick background: I made a blind purchase of two task computers and a smartboard with no idea as to whether they were working. Without the pieces I couldn't do much except for some tests with the great help of the members here, especially Christian, Mike and Robert. But I couldn't even tell for sure the board was working 100%

Knowing that the chances of getting just the pieces were pretty slim and adding to that the known fact that even if I got good, working pieces, there was a good chance they would not work with my board, I had my expectations set to the lowest level I could think of, but still had some hopes.

I found a very kind visitor who happened to have just the pieces and he negotiated a trade. When I got the pieces it looked like the board did recognize them and I was able to play with the computer, after fixing my stupid move of connecting the cable for the keys the wrong way.
But there was no way to make the board sense any piece in the b8 and c8 squares So I decided to open the smartboard and see what I could do...

These may be some rare pictures of inside of a Tasc Smartboard! And again, it's not a good idea to open one, especially if it's working!

1. Getting ready to open it. I've never seen so many screws in a board before!



2. Here's what a Tasc SB looks like on the inside



3. These are the spots where the b8 and c8 squares are. Right underneath that circuit board.



4. Main board removed from the case. Again, the squares with problems are highlighted. I couldn't see anything visibly wrong here or in the components around them.



5. I had no problem when I put the pieces on the circuit board here. Again, you can see b8 and c8 before I place the pieces there.



6. And here they are. At this point I even played a little game to test things out. Everything was working fine.



7. I started testing my theory that the problem was with the distance the pieces were from the board. I used pieces of cardboard box to check for that.



8. Well, since I'm crazy, I decided to sand off a little bit right where those squares are located in the case (external chess board). This was a tedious process, sanding a little, test, sand a little test...



9. That worked, partially. b8 was working fine but not c8. So I decided to use little pieces of Styrofoam and put them between the big circuit board and the external board, at the borders. Just enough to get the circuit board with the squares a little bit closer to the external chess board... it worked!!!
I didn't take pictures of that though and now the board is closed and hopefully I won't have to open it again!



I never thought one day I would be fixing a chess computer using as tool a piece of sandpaper and pieces of Styrofoam as parts
I guess I can't argue with the results!

Christian, since you mention you have the same problem where only one square was not working, I am wondering if something similar could be the issue. It looks to me that the board uses a matrix system with coordinates, based on the 8 groups of similar components in each side of the board. It doesn't seem that we have 1 group for each square so that leads me to believe that if the problem was with one of these circuits, you would have problems with an entire rank or an entire file and not just one square. But that's just my speculation. I still want to know what Mr Kreuzberg will say about this and let us know how it goes with yours.

Ismenio
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Ismenio
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Re:Tasc R30... incomplete
« Reply #12 on: June 11, 2005, 10:20AM »
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Thanks Christian! I appreciate that.

I was bold (=dumb) enough to open my smartboard. I can see why Mr Kreuzberg finds them hard to work on. They are not easy to get to and very delicate! I do not recommend that anyone do this but I got some results. The acrylic plate where you have the sensors and the electronics seem to be working fine. Actually, I carefully put it in a structure where I was able to have it safely stand in the same position as it would be inside the board and when I put the pieces on it, it does recognize all of them!!!

I'm guessing here but it seems the pieces have to be at a certain distance from the sensors in order to be recognized and for some strange reason those two squares may be a couple of millimeters away from the surface of the board when I put it together. Yes, I was able to not only open it but also to get things back in their place and it still "works" the way it did before. I'm curious to hear what Mr Kreuzberg has to say about your board. In the mean time, I'll see what I can do here. Once again, I'm so close!!!

Ismenio
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Endspielgott
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Re:Tasc R30... incomplete
« Reply #13 on: June 11, 2005, 02:16AM »
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Ismenio,

so you are down to the same problem as I am with one of my Smartboards...so it will be Mr Kreuzberg for you also. He is still busy with my SB 30, but since it shows the same signs of failure (in my case C1 accepts no pieces), after having repaired mine it should be easy for him to repair yours. Anyway I will ask him to describe the problem (when he has solved it), maybe this still can be resolved without sending something across the great water.

Christian
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Ismenio
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Re:Tasc R30... incomplete
« Reply #14 on: June 10, 2005, 07:57PM »
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Robert, your question wasn't silly at all.

Now, the same can't be said in regards to this guy on the other end replying to your message
I could almost swear I had tried that many times but it didn't work. Well, guess what... it does! But that's where the good news end
I can now access the menu! If you wanted proof that I'm so dumb I should be kicked out of here, you have it now!
The problem was entirely my fault! When I opened the two units to switch the EPROMs, I re-connected the ribbon cable for keys incorrectly!

Now I'm still having problems
I now have to deal with the b8 and c5 squares. It is not recognizing the pieces I put there. I know the pieces are working because if use the setup option I can place them anywhere on the board and the computer recognizes them in a heartbeat. This thing is draining all my energy!

If I use the setup option and start a game without that knight and bishop, I can start a game and it works fine.

BTW, what I have is: 1 working Tasc unit, 2 non-working Tasc unit, 1 set of pieces and 1 smartboard and a lot of frustration!

Again, thanks for your help. The same goes to Christian and Mike and everyone who tried to help me.
I'll keep you posted on my progress (I hope it will be a progress!!!)

Best Regards,

Ismenio
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Robert Weck
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Re:Tasc R30... incomplete
« Reply #15 on: June 10, 2005, 04:34AM »
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Hi Ismenio,


maybe a silly question, but you never know: 
have you tried setting the pieces to the beginning position?

If yes:
Maybe the piece-recognition of one of these chessmen doesn't work correctly; if you could find out which one by exchanging the pieces (as you have more than one set)


Robert
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Re:Tasc R30... incomplete
« Reply #16 on: June 10, 2005, 03:29AM »
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Hi Robert!

Yes, no matter what I try I can't get to the menu
I was up late last night playing with it and I found out that it seems the Tasc is in some kind of play mode! I kept trying to move pieces until it did recognize a move as acceptable (not only legal but apparently a good move?) and then I saw blacks clock ticking! So I kept playing with white and waiting for Tasc to play back, which it did!

I saw the countdown on the two clocks then.
I played white until black came with a check mate but that's it! I still can't reset it or get to the menu no matter what I try!

Ismenio
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Re:New pictures - with the pieces (HELLP!)
« Reply #17 on: June 10, 2005, 01:57AM »
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Hello Ismenio,


You can't enter the menu?

No matter, which keys you press, you only get this screen?


Robert
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Ismenio
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New pictures - with the pieces (HELLP!)
« Reply #18 on: June 9, 2005, 07:00PM »
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Additional pictures. Not sure if they will help somehow.
Here's everything together:



Here you can see the damage to the two rooks. Any suggestions on how to handle this? I'm thinking of using some combination of glue + {something?}



Here you can see the piece recognition working (I think). Here's a white rook on d1, matching the diagram on the screen. Notice we have no LEDs flashing:



Now, if I place a knight there, you can see the LEDs start flashing:



HELP!


Ismenio
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Ismenio
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I got the pieces!
« Reply #19 on: June 9, 2005, 03:41PM »
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I got the pieces today! The only problem is that two of the rooks have some damage to the top but that's only cosmetic. The electronics inside seem to be fine.

I don't have pictures yet. However, I'm still stuck on this screen:



It's been like that since I started playing with the debug mode. There must be a way to "hard reset" it!
Powering it on while pressing [Back] doesn't work

When I first put the pieces on the board it kept flashing like it was before but, when I put the pieces in the same configuration that you see on this screen it stopped flashing! So I think it recognizes these pieces!

If I switch pieces around or put one in the wrong square, the original square keeps flashing along with the one where I put the piece at! Additional proof, I believe that the board sees the pieces. But that's about it. If I try to continue this  "debug game" I get a beep and the flashing indicating I'm making a wrong move. It doesn't matter if I try to move any black or white pieces.

I feel that I'm so close!!!

Any suggestions?

Ismenio
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