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Troubleshooting and FAQ's

Q: I have built my annealer, powered it on for the first time and the OLED doesn't display anything.... HELP!​​

There can be a few possible issues going on here. Work through this list in order to diagnose the fault.

  1. Incorrect OLED chipset or wiring. Double check that the OLED has the correct chipset as specified on the parts list page and that the power and I2C signals are connected correctly.

  2. If the OLED chipset and wiring checks out, then the next thing to do is run a "blind" anneal cycle.

    • Power on the board and wait for 30 seconds for the software to finish initializing

    • press the start/stop button 3 times and the machine should fire a single anneal cycle - the cooling fan and pump should start up and the ZVS LED etc. should show signs of life

    • If the blind anneal is successful, replace the OLED display​

  3. If the blind anneal test fails, next step is to measure the power supplies with a multimeter

    • Measure the input 12V supply at the power input terminals. Anything >11.5V here is OK.

    • Measure the 5V supply at the OLED connector between the + and - terminals. Anything below ~4.8V is a fail

    • If both power supply voltages look good, the Arduino is likely at fault. Try reprogramming following the steps here. If the Arduino cannot be reprogrammed then it likely needs to be replaced

  4. If the 5V power supply reading is low ( <4.8V), this is usually caused by incorrect IO wiring.

    • Disconnect ALL of the peripherals and leave the OLED and power input connected ( disconnect ZVS SSR, fans, pumps, servo. solenoid, buttons, LED's, sensors, Case feeder)

    • Power the board and measure the 5V supply on the OLED connector.

    • If the 5V supply now measures >4.8V and the OLED is functioning, reconnect the IO one at a time and determine the wiring fault. Common issues are incorrectly wired switches, servo plugged in backwards or sensors wired incorrectly.

  5. ​If the 5V supply measures <4.8V after all IO are removed,

    • disconnect the OLED and measure the 5V again.​

    • If the 5V supply is now >4.8V, OLED needs replacement​​

    • If the 5V supply is still <4.8V, most likely the 5V regulator on the Arduino Uno is damaged and the Arduino needs to be replaced.


Q: My annealer operates for a cycle (or more) and then suddenly resets
This usually occurs when using a case feeder and a servo for the drop mechanism. The sudden load on the 5V power supply along with servo stalling can cause the 5V rail to droop and trigger the reset IC installed on the MGNZ board. To diagnose this, the simplest option is to connect a USB phone charger to the USB port on the Arduino while it is operating and see if the resetting stops, alternatively try unplugging the servo and retest. 

Often the servo is being run into an end stop in the drop mechanism causing the servo to stall and draw excessive current. Verify that the drop gate design is not stalling the servo at it's end limits. The Servo end limits and range of motion can be tuned in software if the problem can't be solved mechanically.

A supplementary 5V power supply (like this one) can be added if additional 5V current is required beyond what the Arduino 5V regulator can provide. Wire in the 5V PSU and back-feed it into one of the IO ports - The OLED + and - or the Temp sensor + and - are the best options. Be very careful about the 5V polarity as there is no protection on the MGNZ board from incorrect wiring.

Q: The ZVS board seems to be powered all the time, even when not annealing

The ZVS board is powered through the SSR relay using the control signal from the MGNZ board. If the ZVS is on but the LED on the SSR is off, then the SSR has most likely failed. A few people have had this problem with some SSR's being of questionable quality.

  • Verify that the SSR is not overheating and that the heatsink is appropriate

  • Further electrical protection for the SSR can be added by wiring freewheeling diodes across the SSR terminals and the ZVS board input terminal. See image below.

Q: My annealer runs OK with an empty coil, but when I insert a case I get a fault screen "Fault! Check Coil"

This fault screen occurs when the measured annealing current exceeds the limit set in the software.  (#define PSU_OVERCURRENT 12300 //12.3A for those interested). A number of issues can contribute to this, so please work through this list.

  • Electrical connections need to be of high quality (low resistance), particularly on the work coil. Ensure that the solder joints on the work coil are good and that the electrical connection from the copper tube to the ZVS PCB is good. The brass pillars that come with the ZVS units are not ideal so have a good look to ensure the connections are tight. Some people have even upgraded these posts to something less lossy, or added a copper strap soldered onto the copper tube and down onto the PCB.

  • Make sure the coil windings are not touching and that the coil inductance is in spec. See the guide here for more information.

  • Check that the current sensor is the correct device ACS712-20A - there are lower current variants of this part. 

  • Lower the 48V PSU voltage to 40-42V if possible. This will reduce the resonant tank current and should drop the annealing current. The side effect of this is that the anneal times will increase. Please read over the 48V PSU setup page for more detail.

Q: My case feeder timing seems to be incorrect. It is dropping cases at the wrong time

Ensure that the case feeder is manually moved to the home position before the unit is powered on (You can also move the feeder when not in Auto feed mode). The home position is directly over the drop tube - the 6 o'clock position.

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