HyperDuino Technical Support

Technical Support

Most problems that you may encounter with the HyperDuino are easily solved and have simple causes. The list below can help you quickly identify potential issues. Also feel free to Contact Us.

Project Questions

There are labels on the HyperDuino board itself, but all the wires count right-to-left. Once the cable has flipped around somewhat it might seem that you can no longer tell left from right, but if you look at the rainbow cable, you will notice that the “left” (pin 13) always has brown on the outside edge of the cable, and “right” is always red on the outside edge. For the rainbow cable connected to the box labeled LED-1 (pins 2-7 for LEDs), brown on the outside is always LED 7 and red on the outside is LED 2. For the rainbow cable connected to the box labeled LED-2 (pins 8-13 for LEDs), brown on the outside is always LED 13 and red on the outside is LED 8.

First, make sure that your HyperDuino is plugged into the Arduino board with all of the pins properly inserted, and also make sure that the Arduino is plugged in using either the USB cable or a 9V battery.

If you are using the ribbon cable with the individual sockets, it’s possible that you plugged in the LED with the wrong legs. The short leg of the LED should be inserted into the socket with the small triangle. When viewed from the side where you can see the metal, that will always be the socket on the left, connected to the brown, orange, green purple, or white wire of the pair of wires going to your LED.

Also check the wires of the LEDS, photocells, or any other component to make sure that they’re not crossed or twisted together. You can also try taking out the LED and plugging in a different one. Failures of LEDs are rare, but it can happen.

Media Linker Questions

When you set the serial port with the Settings menu, in the list you should see a choice for where the board is connected. On Mac, this will usually be something like “dev/tty.usbmodem1411”, on Windows “COM7”, and on Chromebooks, “dev/ttyACM0”. If you do not see “dev/tty…” in the list, or if the COM choices that you make aren’t connecting, try quitting the Media Linker app, unplug and re-plug your board, and restart the app. Also, check to see if there is an LED light that you can see on the micro:bit. If you don’t see a light, it’s possible that the board isn’t getting power from the USB cable.

For Chromebooks in a school setting, it may be necessary for your system administrator to grant permissions for your device to access the USB port.

Most likely cause: When the HyperDuino is not attached to a computer, the LEDs turn on with the touch sensors. However, when the board is attached to a computer using the Media Linker, then the board waits for an instruction (media list item with check-marks for the LEDs on/off). This is the normal behavior of the system. With no computer attached, it is on “auto-pilot”. When you attach your computer, it waits for your instructions in the form of the media list items.

Also, be aware that when you plug in the touch cables, or any time you significantly change the arrangement of the touchpoints and their cables, it will probably work better with a re-calibration. To re-calibrate, try unplugging then re-plug the battery or USB cable.

For interacting with touch sensors, with or without the computer, make sure you’ve installed the HyperDuino program. The HyperDuino comes preinstalled with the program, but if you’ve used your HyperDuino with any block programming websites, you’ll need to re-install the program using the Media Linker application.

If you’re experience erratic behavior of touch sensors and LEDs, just note that if you’re holding the rainbow cable in your hands, that can be picked up as a “touch”.  Also, when the cable is just laying on the table, it’s easy for the touch sensors to touch one another. Another thing that can cause erratic behavior is a low voltage on the battery – in this case just replace the battery.

If you have selected the serial port, but the Media Linker app still shows touchpoint pins grayed out, the first thing to check is to make sure the rainbow ribbon cable is plugged into the white box on the HyperDuino.  When this isn’t plugged in, the app grays out the touch pin selections.

There may also be a temporary problem with the USB (serial) communications between the Media Linker and the board.

You can re-initialize the USB connection by doing the following:

  • Save your media list. Name it before saving if it’s “untitled”.
  • Quit the Media Linker app
  • Unplug and then re-connect the USB cable
  • Re-open the Media Linker
  • Re-set the serial port in “Settings” of the Media Linker
  • Open your media list file

Google Drive videos must be set up with “shared” set to “anyone with link can view”.

If you are in a school environment where the default sharing is “only those at can view”, use the “more” option in sharing to set sharing to “anyone with the link can view”. Your videos are still private (unless you send the link to someone), but this allows the Media Linker app to access the video.

Note that only .mp4 videos less than 25mb in size can be played back. If you upload other video file types, for example .mov files from an iPhone or Mac, they will have to be converted to .mp4 to play back in the app. To convert a video from .mov or other format to .mp4, one way is to upload it as a private video to YouTube, and then use the “Download as .mp4” option in Studio Creator.

Another Google playback problem you may encounter is “Unable to play this video at this time. The number of allowed playbacks has been exceeded. Please try again later.” This is a limitation imposed by Google, and to avoid this, use “play offline” (in the Start/End configuration window) for your Google Drive videos.

f an LED doesn’t turn off at the end of a video, or when you change web-pages, make sure that the “End of Media” checkbox is checked, and that the correct LED is set to “LOW” in your media list item. If it looks like you have configured everything correctly, the problem may just be that the Media Linker is not communicating with the micro-controller via the USB connection. In this case use the reset instructions up above in Touch sensor pins grayed out.

If you get this alert when trying to add a YouTube video, it is because there is more than one (or none at all) YouTube videos displayed in the web-view window of the Media Linker. To add a YouTube video, bring up the display of a single YouTube video in the web-view window, and then click on the “+” button.

If you get this alert when trying to set the serial port for the HyperDuino, it may be because you have uploaded custom programs to the Arduino, or are getting this message for some unknown reason. Use the following steps to totally reset both your USB connection and the firmware on the board.

  1. Before opening the Media Linker, unplug the USB cable if it’s plugged in, and re-plug for a fresh USB connection.
  2. Open the app.  On a Chromebook the “Now is: Active/Idle” message at the upper-right corner of the screen might already be green.  If so, the USB connection is probably working and the correct firmware is on the board.  If not, then,
  3. In the Settings menu, choose “serial port…”
  4. In the Programs menu, click on the HyperDuino image to start the download.
  5. Quit the Media Linker app
  6. Re-open the Media Linker
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