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Old 08-18-2017, 08:13 PM   #21
GovGeek
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twvette View Post
Got mine FIXED !!!!

Still had BCM connection message when got it out of storage after week of hard power down. Moving the antenna wire was the fix essentially. Here is a summary of troubleshooting stuff I put together based on all the conversations with ASA I had to help with "BCM Connecting" issues beyond the various normal power resets that have already been discussed:

1. Verify your issue is a signal issue. Go into the Setup menu on the DC control panel. Code for access should be 5391. Click on the BCM device at top of list, hit scan, and within a minute or so you should see the BCM found and it will list what the signal strength is. You want to see something like -80db. If -90db to about -95db you will have intermittent connection issues and/or complete loss of connection. I was getting at best -92db with intermittent connection and when -95 to -98db was down hard and sometimes the scan in Setup menu would not even pickup the BCM signal.

2. To start narrowing down if a BCM or DC issue, download a bluetooth scanning app to your phone. I used the free BLE Scanner app for my iPhone. Open your cover to the BCM main board just to ensure nothing is blocking signal and open the app with your phone next to the open circuit board. When using these apps they typically only find a bluetooth ID when the system is broadcasting and not when connected. So, press the small bluetooth reset button on the BCM board after you hit the "Scan" button in the BLE app. When you release the button and see the blue light on the BCM come on and off, the app will then pick up the broadcasted device signal and show what strength it is. Mine showed "Jensen ..." with a whole lot of other characters. What is dB number it is showing? Mine showed -68db after I fixed it below which is really good. This just proves that the bluetooth transmitter seems to be working well and thus likely not a problem with the BCM or its bluetooth circuit/antenna. FYI, I also tested signal in my Fuzion 420 where the DC is installed with the app and was getting -78 to -84db in multiple scans and the DC later showed similar numbers.

2. If your signal is weak in step one, locate the antenna wire which is a black wire at upper left of board close to the rocker switches manual operation of stuff like slides, etc. This wire connects to the main board with a micro RCA like connection and it will even rotate on its very small connector if there is any slack in the wire. The other end of the wire goes to a small circuit board which is mounted to the surrounding plastic case of the main board. The bluetooth antenna connection is a very small gold colored connector on the main board. Push on it from the top down towards the board to make sure it is fully seated and/or wiggle or rotate it a little to ensure has a clean contact. The problem on mine was the wire was wrapped behind the board and pinched between the board and a plastic extrusion in the surrounding plastic. Luckily it did not cut the wire or its insulation. I believe this occurred when they installed the main board as they slid it in, putting tension on the wire causing it to not make good contact with the connector on the main board. I say this as there was nothing visibly wrong so this is my theory. I was able to loosen the 10 or so screws that mount the board to the plastic housing and used a couple flat edge screwdrivers to carefully "dig out" the antenna wire while prying a little on the main board to free the pinched portion of the wire. It now has an inch or so of slack and lies naturally across the top of the rocker switches. I never touched the actual transmitter board on other end of wire. When I retested after doing this with the BLE Scanner is when I started seeing good -db numbers from the app.

3. If still no luck, the problem is likely with the DC reception of the bluetooth signal. It does not have an external antenna unfortunately. That would be nice so could move it closer to BCM board if any issues. Remove the bezel around the DC to expose the four mounting screws. A butter knife works well. Just carefully pry at the bottom edges to slowly work it loose. One side of my DC actually ripped out of the very thin particle board the DC was screwed into so be careful ... another sign of less than quality work in these rigs and will make a backing plate to fix this as should have originally been used. Remove the four screws that hold the DC in to access the wiring. It only has a 12V connection for power and ground. Mine actually had two wires crimped into a single terminal connector for each so four wires total, but this is just poor wiring/using cheap wire instead of good single heavy gauge wire to each. Use a voltmeter and make sure getting something a bit above 12V. I had 13.8V as batteries fully charged. If not getting about same voltage as what your batteries are currently at there is probably a wiring issue that could cause all kinds of weird problems and bluetooth signal is one of them.

4. If not an obvious DC problem with voltage supply, disconnect the power wires from the DC controller. Take it and place it next to the open BCM board like did earlier with the phone app. Use a battery jump pack, jumpers from your rig battery or whatever you are comfortable with for a 12V power source. Once again go into the Setup menu and select the BCM and Scan to see what signal you are now getting the with DC next to the BCM board/bluetooth antenna. This takes anything that might be blocking signal in the rig out of play. If get good signal now might move it around in rig to see if better place to mount it but that will likely not be fun/convenient for use. Might also unscrew the BCM plastic housing that holds the main board so can get some separation between it and the mounting surface, especially if a metal plate is being used. This gap could allow bluetooth signal to now transmit into the rig better so take the DC back inside to verify. If still no luck, would probably be best to take to dealer and describe problem and what you found to make them deal with this.

This event really sucked but I learned a lot. I am not too scared of this system now that I fully understand it. Would still prefer the wired Pro Plus version.

It also seems strange they make the phone app connect through DC rather than directly to the BCM as the phone app could be a backup if the DC were to fail.

I could not get any pricing info for any of the systems out of ASA as they are on an exclusive manufacturer only sales program. I was told that a retail version will likely be coming out and sounded like fairly soon so hopefully these will not be off the charts expensive for those of us who might want upgrade or repair on own.

As a final step I was able to get the BCM firmware also updated now that had reliable connection. Be patient with this one, it will show the old firmware version on the screen after it downloads and no signs of anything going on but after a couple minutes it will then show the new version and then power itself off/turn screen off. Just turn it back on and I was back up running again with no issues.

I am now showing latest versions on DC, BCM, and App along with good bluetooth signal so will now get to see truly how reliable this system is.
That's great work. On point #3, I'll bet that the other two wires that attach to the DC power are just jumper wires to some other 12v source downstream. I have a similar setup.



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Old 08-19-2017, 04:30 PM   #22
twvette
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Well, got a little too excited . I did'nt realize exactly how sensitive these signals are. I got the initial good signal with the DC sitting on the countertop. When I moved it two feet to the mounting location it immediatley dropped signal. Found even if you move it a few inches or turn the direction of the DC controller the signal can be much different in my rig. Dropped it off at dealership and got to speak to tech who was very knowledgeable and listened to all the troubleshooting done so far so hoping for the best ...
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Old 08-19-2017, 10:11 PM   #23
twvette
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Had one more idea that came up with that never got a chance to research that I think is worth mentioning if someone is interested in a "hack".

Been doing some research now and fairly confident the board that the antenna wire is connected to appears to be a typical "stick on" 2.4GHz antenna. The other end is a U.FL connector which is just a mini coax cable that connects to the BCM board. This connector can unplug from the BCM board by carefully using small needle nose pliers to grab it, rotate it back and forth a little, and pull out on it a bit to get the snap type fitting to release. I was able to find up to 42in U.FL extension cables that could plug into it and then connect that either a new antenna board, see if could remove the existing board to use it, or seems going to a more standard SMA type antenna (like you see on wireless cameras, routers, etc.) with as high of db signal gain as can find (9db seems about the highest). Could then experiment with this long antenna to see if can find new location to get much better signal at DC. The ideal situation would be to run it to behind the DC but not sure of practical limits of an extension. Not putting specifics in this as will let anyone wanting to do this research and choose parts they are confident with. This is a common hack for other wireless devices that most have had great luck with if do some searching on the internet. I am thinking even for those who just have occasional BCM connecting issues that its due to a brief loss of signal strength due to some form of interference and likely could be prevented with better antenna placement.
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