Use this space to cheer the creator along, and talk to your fellow backers.
Have a question?
PLEASE POST ALL QUESTIONS AND COMMENTS ON THE CHOOSATRON COMMUNITY SITE
@dennis: Hey Dennis, I'd like to recommend going to the Choosatron forum (http://community.choosatron.com/) for questions so that it is easier to answer, and others can find answers to the same or similar questions. Green blinking is if the Choosatron has WiFi credentials, and is trying to connect to WiFi. Nothing is wrong.
just quick question. I left mine powered on overnight and when I went to kitchen for a drink at around 1:40am I noticed the green LED was blinking as mad? Is this normal behaviour?
For all future commenters, I'd like to encourage you to head over to the community website for Choosatron where it is MUCH easier for me to answer questions / help, as well as get help from your fellows! Here is the link: http://community.choosatron.com/
@Lindsay O'Gorman: Yes, I am. It got pushed way down the priority list with all the hardware related issues, but I can happily report that progress has started in earnest over the last month. I organized the complete list of existing stories, prepped them for editing, got an editor who is currently working her way through the stories, got a sketch of the cover design, and possibly have someone for doing the layout. I wish I had been able to start this long ago, but I'm glad it's happening, especially since much of the current work doesn't require my intervention for a while, so my hectic schedule won't impede it! Thanks for asking, and thanks for the support!
@Jerry Congrats on all the progress! QQ - Are you still planning on sending out the Choosatron Adventure Book to backers? I haven't received mine and haven't seen any updates (apologies if I missed it...). Thanks
Was planning to bring my Chhosatron to our kids school open day but the replacement case arrived bit late. :) Still my kids love to play it now it's in the secure and very cool looking case.
@spyramid You have just made my day. :) :) :)
@dennis Yeah, like I said in the update, I wouldn't use the bars AT ALL. The case is WAY higher tension than it was supposed to be, so the bars have no functional purpose, and may just make it worse.
While pulling out the secure bar I broke two of them leaving just three to use. ^^ Good thing the panels have such high tolerance they can hold together without those.
Choosatron was a smash hit at my daughter's 10th birthday/slumber party. They went through two rolls of paper and in the morning it looked like a ticker tape parade had gone through our living room. Well done!
All the kids want one for their birthday or Christmas, whichever comes sooner.
Let's hope not. If the current occupant wasn't so kind I'd left with no replacement case and the package could've ended up in their bin.
@dennis Thanks for the heads up. Strange as far as the shipping goes, I hope they aren't universally using old addresses. :/
by the way even though I changed/updated my address China did ship to my old address. it's lucky chance that I came across the current occupant who handed the package over to me.
update: the new replacement clear Acrylic panels are designed with high tolerance and as such one should be very careful which way and which panel to go with the other. if it does not go in try to flip sideway and then reverse. also try another same shape panel. it seems each set of holes and tabs are somehow designed/cut for each other.
go slow and do not exert any due force and you should be able to up and running in new case in +/- 5 min. :)
Just received the package from China and inside I found the clear(?) Acrylics cases assembly set. :)
We shall see how it goes tonight when I will attempt to move the core from the old broken case to this newer one.
@dennis @ Sean, you're probably best off asking on the actual forums. http://community.choosatron.com/
There's a better chance of reply there, than there would be here.
If you need help with the set up Sean, let me know. If you're using Windows, I should be able to step you through pretty easy.
our kids beg me to put the Choosatron at their school open day as part of HSIE activity stools. And I'd love to do that - except the brittle Acrylic case panels broke off the taps and now the Scotch tape holding them all together is unstuck forcing me to use large rubber band which looks hideous to say the least...
When the new case will be ready? Guess no such lock before mid May?
Hi Jerry, hope you are doing well. Is there any time estimate for when the simplified setup will be finished? Thanks.
Thanks for the quick update mate!
Also impatiently waiting for the case resolution coz my kids want to bring it to their school Bumper Day.
@Jerry, I wasn't expecting a full blown update, but I did get a bit worried about the complete silence for the past month. I don't exactly have the best track record with Kickstarter over the past 18 months, and admittedly started to think the worst. I don't mind the delays (Ok, I don't like them, but they happen), but the silence got me worried. Glad to hear that things are still progressing, and we'll see some action in the next few days. Good luck, and here's to moving to a better message board solution.
@Rodney N & All: Yes, I'm very sorry for the quiet. Some personal life explosion right into the Game Developers Conference (probably the most important conference of the year as a game designer) ate me alive. Lots of progress, but wasn't in a position to get things out there. Monday is set for putting up a Discourse Community (FINALLY), with special thanks to some community member sponsors! I'm currently working on sorting / submitting the support forms to the manufacturer so that can be done. I will then be focusing next week (after Discourse is up) entirely on testing / packaging the setup & writing app, followed by source code repositories for the major aspects of the project to start. I promise silence isn't idleness! No excuse to lack of an update, I know.
It's been a month since the website was updated and the last update. Am I the only one curious to know how things are progressing ?
@Josh - good news, glad you've gotten it up and running! Apologies for the mixed up slashes; I work with both Macs and Windows based PCs so I'm always getting my forward and back slashes mixed up ;-)
I'm sure your second core will present you with no trouble at all!
OK I didi it!! Thanks@ Tim!
Some things I learnt:
The two .bin files need to be in the downloads folder itself rather in a folder that is in the downloads folder. Obviously the command line could be changed to wherever you want.
Tim your command didn't work for me so i reversed the slashes and it worked - cd /users/Your_User_Name/Downloads
I have 2 spark cores to do so fingers crossed for the next one.
Thanks again Tim, I certainly couldn't have done it without your help.
forgot to mention if you are familiar with arcane art of DOS command it should be dead easy. Problem is nowadays no many of us are still using those arcane sorcery :p
It's always easier to unzip at your desktop with WinPC.
Hang in there! If you've gotten the Spark to the flashing yellow stage that's most of the battle I think.
From what you've written, you're correct about Step 4 being the stumbling block. By "navigate to where you downloaded the firmware" the instructions simply mean to change directory to the download location before running the dfu command.
So, within the Terminal window simply type the command "cd " followed by the path to where you downloaded the firmware. For example if it is saved under Downloads the command should be:
Then the dfu command from Step 7 should work for you. You should also be able to successfully run the command at Step 9 to install the sample stories (ensure you are in flashing yellow mode again as per Step 8). Let me know how you get on!
Hi @Tim. Thanks for the offer. I have calmed down a bit now. I sat down tonight to have another go. Still no luck. I am obviously doing something wrong.
I can get the Spark chip flashing yellow in DFU mode
Homebrew is installed in the Terminal.
I then paste the line from instruction number 7. which is "dfu-util -d 1d50:607f -a 0 -s 0x08005000:leave -D choosatron-core-v100.bin"
And then i get this message in the Terminal
"dfu-util: Could not open file choosatron-core-v100.bin for reading: No such file or directory"
My thoughts are that I am getting instruction number 4 wrong. Which is
4.Navigate to where you downloaded and unzipped the firmware and flash files
Why do I have to navigate to there? And do what? Nothing? There are no instructions on what to do when i navigate to there.
The instructions are all messed up but i would REALLY appreciate some help.
So again thanks Tim for offering.
@Josh - I got mine set up on a Mac following those same instructions. It all worked OK for me; where in the process did you run into problems? Maybe I can help.
@Davis, here are some links I found earlier for replacement keypads.
Ebay: http://bit.ly/1zJ5xj4 (one unit)
Ebay: http://bit.ly/1CZuxlJ (Five units)
DX: http://bit.ly/1wOSQvr (Five units)
I haven't checked the ebay links recently to see if they're still working. The DX link should be fine and I picked up a pack of 5 from them. They work well and are identical to the ones supplied with the Choosatron.
My button strip doesn't seem to be fully operational. Has anybody else run into this?
Now anxiously waiting for the case issue resolution.
I'd love to let my kids to take it to their school on the bumper day fair but as it is the case is too fragile - touch at wrong spot and the whole thing disassemble itself... :0
With the first couple of stories I tried the ending was kind of murky as to whether I had done the right action. I was expecting a "you got the jewel from the idol and have completed your quest" ending. Instead I found more of a "hey you found a jewel" ending without the "you did it right" confirmation. I'm sure following some other paths will clear it up but I'd prefer some story loops that bring you back for a different answer later in the story eventually leading you to the "win".
Maybe not for every story but for some the intro should point you towards a goal... Leading to the "you did it right/best" ending.
I'll also be interested in seeing the stories that come out once the write-your-own (twine, etc) program is released.
Thanks again for your help here!
Congratulations David. Glad to know you've got it up and running. Now watch that paper just fly out of the Choosatron.
Lets hope Jerry gets the rest of the Choosatron software up and running. Mine is back in the box at the moment, my daughter and I have gone through the stories as much as she wants too. We've finished almost all of them going through most of the paths.
Hi Dennis and Rodney,
I went back with fresh eyes and followed the Win setup Jerry gave us on the start page.
I found that for a Windows installation he added the step of downloading/using Zadig.
This was my missing step! After following the Zadig instructions, the CMD prompt now allowed me to enter the two commands and updating and loading the stories.
My choosatron is now working!
Thanks for all of your help!
David, Windows doesn't have drivers for the Spark Core (SC) in DFU mode. And from what I can tell, Microsoft doesn't have them either. So when you put the SC in DFU mode, Windows cannot install drivers and then you can't flash the firmware nor the stories.
You will need to download and install Zadig (Driver installer): http://zadig.akeo.ie/
Then you need to follow the instructions on this page: https://community.spark.io/t/tutorial-installing-dfu-driver-on-windows-24-feb-2015/3518
It doesn't take long. I realise it's a headache to do this, but it's the only way to get the Choosatron up and running at the moment. The main part you need to follow is installing the DFU mode driver (the libusbK version may well be different). The rest of the page isn't important.
Once you've got the driver installed open a command prompt and CD to the desktop, make sure your SC is plugged into your computer via USB and in DFU mode (Press on BOTH buttons. Release only the Reset button. Release the Mode button once the core will start blinking yellow).
Run the following commands:
dfu-util -d 1d50:607f -a 0 -s 0x08005000:leave -D choosatron-core-v100.bin
You will get booted from DFU mode. Enter it again and copy/paste the following command in:
dfu-util -d 1d50:607f -a 1 -s 0x80000 -v -D choosatron-flash-09-kids.bin
If you don't have DFU, download it from here: http://dfu-util.sourceforge.net/releases/dfu-util-0.8-binaries/win32-mingw32/
You will want the dfu-util.exe and the libusb.dll files only. Copy or save them to the same place as the firmware files.
A Windows 7 PC.
The .bin files and the .exe files mentioned all unzipped to the desktop and out of folders.
When I first plugged in the already-claimed spark (previously done via wifi and Apple Ipad Spark Core app) windows seemed to do a driver install but the core does not show up anywhere as connected. (Like a usb drive would).
So since the CMD line says no, the util must not be loaded/running properly. Right?
Thanks for your help!
David, are you using a Mac or Windows PC to flash your spark core ?
do I understand correctly that there will be an „easy to install“ update for the software/firmware? If so, is there an ETA when this will happen?
Or are we stuck with the fiddely solution described currently “choosatron.com/start”?
Hi Dennis, thanks for the help!
I need a little more help but at least now it feels like I'm on my way to solve the mystery...
So I downloaded all the files, unzipped to the desktop, put extracted core into DFU...
And when I typed the first command it replied "dfu-util is not recognized as an internal or externl command, operable program or batch file"
The core is flashing yellowish-red with one tiny blue smd steady by the micro usb connection.
In true choosatron fashion do I:
1) give up
2) follow Dennis' next instruction?
2 - Dennis explains the next step in your quest...
P.S. Once setup this doesn't need WiF to playi.
Simply connect the AC adapter, loaded the paper roll and it's ready to go~
You did exactly what I did which was incorrect. :)
You will now have to dismantle the case in order to extract the SparkCore - you need to access two buttons on it in order to put it into DFU.
Once you see Yellow/Amber blinking connect after connecting your SparkCore and your PC you can then run two commands as mentioned below using the CMD on PC with the downloaded firmware and story bin files.
Once the SparkCore was updated and the stories were downloaded you can then disconnect the SparkCore and put the whole thing back together, again. :)
Connect the AC adapter to the Choosatron and you should be now ready to roll!
By the way my 12 and 7 years olds love the Choosatron and 12 years old wants to take to the shcool bumper day fair - reckons $1 per game play should be good business. :p
So here's how far I got, any thoughts for the next step?
I loaded the spark core app on an ipad and was able to register and claim the spark core.
The spark connected to wifi and after a series of green flashes ended as a breathing turquoise led.
I assembled the choosatron with the spark core on the choosatron board.
I put paper in the printer and plugged the choosatron into the power adapter.
The printer button/led now flash red about once a second. The spark core is still a breathing turquoise color. There is also a solid red smd led on the choosatron board which is lit. That led is under the LED label with the marking D3 to it's right. (Back towards where a sim-card would go).
I have unplugged the power, removed and replaced the spark core from the choosatron socket, and pressed the reset button on the spark.
Still same lights, no printer buttons have a response and nothing has printed.
The instructions for a Mac are a joke.
For my detailed reasons click this link, here.
Otherwise just please re write it so a kid could understand and follow it.
For an example go here or there or somewhere else for more detailed reasons and click here for other instructions if you are having trouble understanding this or that.
BTW neither of my kids, 11 and 8, were impressed with the Chooseatron for their birthdays.
Its hard to be impressed when their Dad is carrying on in front of his computer for hours cursing at the screen, mumbling and fumbling away.
Maybe it was my fault for thinking they or I could assemble the Chooseatron themselves.
Obviously I read too much into the pictures of kids in awe of the words scrolling out and thought it would make a good present.
I admit i am no computer programmer but I keep 6 macs going and am not afraid of copying and pasting code into the terminal. My mistake for thinking I could handle it.
Anyway I guess both Choosatrons will sit in the nice brown cardboard boxes until I forget the frustration and have another go in a few months or so...
Well done to those who got theirs working.
Any suggestions for supplementary birthday presents?
THIS LINK. I've been looking for this for two days. http://nodejs.org/download/
you could just connect printer, keypad, MB with SparkCore and see it works without putting them into the case. If successful you will see the printer printing single line and on standby. :)
Is there a way to emulate the Choosatron on our Mac/PC boxes so that those of us who can't claim our cores CAN verify that all the programming as been correctly transferred to the core?
That is, *before* we break the tabs on our cases etc.
I suspect you don't have to sign up/own the SparkCore for the time being.
The reason was in order to OTA update down the track.
For now you should be abl to set it up and running by doing below.
1. Download DFU programs and save them all at your desktop
2. Download cdam-v100-firm&flash.zip and unzip at your desktop
3. Connect your SparkCore to your Win PC using the microUSB cable
4. Put the SparkCore into DFU
5. Open CMD on your PC
6. Type "dfu-util -d 1d50:607f -a 0 -s 0x08005000:leave -D choosatron-core-v100.bin"
7. Type "dfu-util -d 1d50:607f -a 1 -s 0x80000 -v -D choosatron-flash-09-kids.bin"
8. Unplug USB cable
9. Assemble Choosatron
10. Plug in the AC adapter
11. Your Choosatron will power up and print Choose your story
12. You're done! :)
right. not sure you need to own your SparkCore in order to update the firmware and load the stories but the below were what I did with mine to setup.
d/l iOS app and connected my SparkCore to own
after that connect the microUSB on the SparkCore and my Win7 notebook using the spare Nexus 7 USB cable I had hany.
Download DFU programs http://dfu-util.sourceforge.net/releases/dfu-util-0.8-binaries/win32-mingw32/
Enter DFU by by holding down both buttons and release the Reset button. You will see yellow/Amber blinking
Download cdam-v100-firm&flash.zip and unzip
Enter below to update firmware
dfu-util -d 1d50:607f -a 0 -s 0x08005000:leave -D choosatron-core-v100.bin
Enter below to upload stories
dfu-util -d 1d50:607f -a 1 -s 0x80000 -v -D choosatron-flash-09-kids.bin
Unplug the USB cable from SparkCore
Assemble the whole thing and enjoy!