AWCII system clock dead

Moderator: MikeM

AWCII system clock dead

Postby hsielemann » Sun Nov 18, 2012 2:10 am


I have an AWCII 040 with V+ 13.1J4 that boots ok but stops at the end with the 'FATAL' system clock dead. Sometimes I can get it to continue and work by pressing CTRL-G.
I can even boot over ethernet / TFTP.
Is it possible that the lithium battery is not ok anymore? Or is there something else that I could check and fix.

On a sidenote: I can not display the NVRAM content in config_c. NVRAM not available is the message there. But I can edit the DIP-settings in config_c. Maybe that tells you something.

Any help would be appreciated.

Thank you!
Posts: 12
Joined: Mon Aug 20, 2012 12:46 am

Re: AWCII system clock dead

Postby Davidm » Mon Nov 19, 2012 7:35 am


I believe you are correct, it is likely a problem with the battery or the board itself. Was the controller functioning and it stopped recently or are you trying to recover it? Is it being used in production or are you trying to use it for development? I recommend calling our Technical Support hotline to see if they have any suggestions. It is possible that you will need a new controller.

Technical Support
Hours: 6:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. (PST)
Monday through Friday
800.232.3378 toll-free hotline
925.245.8182 hotline

Re: AWCII system clock dead

Postby hsielemann » Mon Nov 19, 2012 9:12 am

Thank you for your response.

The controller is for educational purpose. I just got it recently from somebody who claimed it was from a decomissioned system.

I use it in a MV-8 rack with SIO, VGB, VIS, VMI, MI3 and DIO. When it started / booted up after a while by pressing CTRL-G several times, it kept flashing the SF/OK led green and red. I noticed after setting the right time that the real time clock was lagging quite a bit. After an hour operation it was 20 minutes behind.
For testing purpose I replaced the lithium battery with two AA batteries in series to get to the 3V. This did not help much.
I had to initialize this part of the NVRAM / dip switch settings with config_c and set the correct time again. All that makes sense to me.
The next thing is replacing the oscillator and after that the actual DS12885 real time ic.

Since it is an educational project and the controller was a real bargain I am not considering to get a replacement controller for retail costs.

Thank you again and I will post my findings.
Posts: 12
Joined: Mon Aug 20, 2012 12:46 am

Re: AWCII system clock dead

Postby hsielemann » Thu Dec 06, 2012 4:27 pm

Just as a follow up:

I changed the oscillator, the battery and the DS12885Q without any success.

I noticed something else:
It is easier to get the cpu started when I pull the cards that are not necessary. Booting with just the cpu, sio and vgb works almost normal.
I checked the +5V, +12V and -12V with all the boards in the rack and just the 3 mentioned above. Same readings, everything looks fine.

Another intersting thing: While the system is up, the clock seems to be slower, but if I restart the system, the clock is ahead quite a bit.
The error message is 'system clock dead, system clock too fast, clock interrupts not detected' or something similar. Is there a way to narrow it down what causes this message?

Does anybody have a suggestion?

Posts: 12
Joined: Mon Aug 20, 2012 12:46 am

Re: AWCII system clock dead

Postby Davidm » Fri Dec 07, 2012 7:29 am


I am guessing you are seeing the error "System clock is dead or too fast. Clock interrupts are not being received." indicated by the LED display being Off-Off-Red. That error, or the *[Fatal] System Clock Dead* or *[Fatal] System Clock too fast* error messages all indicate that there is still some hardware problem affecting the CPU. I am not sure what else to suggest replacing, I haven't done any MV controller refurbishment myself, but you might have some luck contacting either Steve Roell or Glenn Helmes at Robot Docotor. They do refurbishments on old Adept controllers and may have some suggestions.

Thanks for posting your developments and good luck!


Return to MV Controls

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests