Focbox firmware error on first startup (SOLVED!)

So there I am, finally ready to power up the focboxes I bought back in mid-June which I’m now trying unsuccessfully to connect to the bldc tool for the first time. It gives an error saying “no firmware read response”. I tried this guy’s solution:

…no change in status. So then I looked at this guy: …still nothing, though I do have a two wire voltmeter, which is showing 0.0 percentage while volts are 34.4v. I have the focbox securely connected to the battery and the receiver, which is powered on properly. Leds on the focbox indicate power (blue) and signal (green) but I still get no response other than that error. I though maybe I had to connect both focboxes (unlikely, but what the hell), still the same. Also tried downloading the bldc tool again from enertion. Anybody have any ideas? Please, I’m so close to finishing!

Four days later…SOLVED! It turns out that the usb cable wasn’t pushed in all the way, partly because the opening FOCbox cover is quite narrow and the socket is set a little too far inside. You may need to remove the cover and enlarge the hole (see @yaca’s photo). Sometimes it really is the simplest things…

Are you choosing the right COM port?

All I have is COM5.

I’d also give the vesc-tool a shot (available on OSX in case you use that, you’d have to search the thread for that build). Running my dual focbox using their firmware/no issues.

Does it show up after you plug it in, are you hitting the refresh button?

@telnoi Ordinary pc here. I figured I’d start with the most basic one, but okay. here goes… @scepterr it connects for about five seconds and then goes to error. refresh does nothing.

Oh well that’s the first mention that it does connect and then fails…that’s different issue

Does anything happen in device manager when it errors in bldc tool, like is the device disconnecting/reconnecting?

Did you try the (ackmaniac version of) vesc tool that has the connect feature that searches through available com ports? Did st driver install successfully?

Not that I can see. All I can see is the COM5 and I’m not sure that’s where it is. where would it appear in the manager?

It installed fine, but doesn’t seem to have made a difference. I’m trying to avoid ackmaniac’s since I wanted to start as simply as possible, without firmware updates or anything extra.

Alright, vesc-tool says “Could not autoconnect. Make sure that the USB cable is plugged in and that the VESC is powered.” Done and done. Granted, my USB cable is kind of old, but I’ve never had problems with it before. I’m also not sure now whether it’s really the firmware or just an old cable.

If all goes well, it should tell you that your firmware is out of date/not compatible. Since you have intermittent connection issues on two(?) vescs, I would try a new cable first…different usb port, or even another pc.

Have you used that cable for data before or only charging

Yes, both vescs have the same problem. I guess I’m buying a new cable… @scepterr I bought it second-hand because I needed a long one for an arduino project. It worked well enough for data transfer there, though it’s certainly not 3.0.

additional note. The usb cable might not be plugged in all the way. Some mentioned that the ‘‘new’’ focbox design makes it impossible for some usb cables to connect properly/they are too thick.

I was using two of those adapter ports, so I wouldn’t have to open my enclosure every time I needed to work on the vescs. I just tried a USB phone cable which definitely works for data transfer and plugged it in directly. Still getting the same error. What do you mean by too thick?

I had to cut a bit from the casing of the focbox for to have a connection with the usb phone cable. The cable didn’t go in completely. Or you cut a bit from the cable plug if this is the problem.

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Could you send me a picture?

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Let’s see… So far Iv’e removed all usb devices from my pc (including COM5), used a different cord, rebooted multiple times, scanned for plug&play devices in my device manager- which freezes my pc, which then needs yet another reboot. Tried it on another laptop, turns out that one doesn’t have COM5, couldn’t even find any device. Nothing has worked yet. A big shout out to Eric from Enertion support who connected remotely to my pc to try and help me with all this. Thanks man! The vescs still definitely work, they just don’t connect for some reason.