Spectacle User's Guide

Contributors: SFUptownMaker
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Sometimes things just don't work out the way we envisioned them working out. Here are some tips for troubleshooting a non-functioning (or malfunctioning) Spectacle project.

Board order is wrong

A limitation of the Spectacle application and system is that the boards must be attached to the Director Board in the same order in which they appear in the application list. This means that a system with a Button Board as the top item in the list and a Sound Board second is different to and incompatible with a Spectacle script which has the Button Board at the bottom. It also means that no Spectacle system can have unused boards in it. All of the boards in the system must be included in the script. It is permissible to have a board in a system with no actions assigned to it, however.

Insufficient power

All Spectacle boards can be powered over the 1/8" (3.5mm) TRRS jack cable which connects them. However, a couple of boards (currently, the Motion and Light boards) have a USB micro B connector on board to provide extra power to the motors or LED strips attached to the board.

How do you know if you need to attach another power supply? Well, the easiest way is to try and see. If your system behaves oddly, or doesn't work at all, you probably need more power than can be provided by the Director Board and should attach a supply at the output board.

If you are attaching more than 20 LEDs or more than one of the smallest size servos (or any of the larger servo motors), you should power the output board locally.

Configuration failed to install properly

Sometimes, the upload just doesn't take properly. Usually this is due to the volume on the programming device having been set too low, or to another sound (a notification tone, for instance) playing on the programming device during the configuration installation process.

The solution here is simple: try installing again. If your volume is all the way up, it's possible that your device can't make a strong enough signal to work with Spectacle. This may be especially true of cellular phones in the EU, where maximum volume output is limited by statute.

Single LED blink on Director Board at power up

This means the system failed to initialize properly. This can be because the board order is wrong, there's an extra board in the system, one of the cables isn't connected firmly, one of the cables has been damaged, or because the installation of the program went badly.

Typically, the best way to fix this is by checking connections and board order, reinstalling the code, and (if possible) swapping out the interboard connection cables with other, known good cables.