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Darlene Pantaleo <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Darlene Pantaleo <[log in to unmask]>
Tue, 19 Oct 2010 08:45:18 -0400
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Patrick, are all of the NXTs fairly new, or have they been "collected" over the past 3 years? Someone asked if there was something being done that has caused all of the LCD displays to die. It is unlikely that 1 would die, let alone 3.

When I ran the FTC program, teams were using NXTs. Some of the teams thought the bricks had died, and then found out there was a setting that caused the NXT to go into a SAMBA mode. Several teams discussing this last year, and I found this explanation:

I had a problem with an NXT Brick, that "DIED". It would not turn on, just do a clicking sound when put bateries. The screen was blank.
I found this in one of the forums. It really helped. Basically, you have to connect your brick using a USB cable and ignore the not found message. Select to upgrade the firmware using the NXT terminal in Labview.
Here is the whole explanation:

 "There are several threads in these forums which describe an NXT in a clicking state. If your NXT is clicking and the menu system no longer functions (i.e., it won't "turn on" when you press the orange button) then your brick is in SAMBA or firmware download mode. How it got there is a bit of a mystery, since nothing in the NXT Explorer should be able to get it there, but that is beside the point. There is an option in the NXT Screen utility which lets you reboot your NXT in SAMBA mode but you can't accidentally execute that option. You can also get your NXT into SAMBA mode by pressing the reset button for more than 5 seconds while you have batteries in it. Removing the USB cable has nothing to do with getting into or out of SAMBA mode. And taking the battery out for more than a minute also has nothing to do with getting into or out of SAMBA mode.

Once you are in SAMBA mode you just need to download a firmware image to the brick in order to get it out of SAMBA mode. You can do that with the LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT software or you can do it with BricxCC. In BricxCC if you try to connect via USB to an NXT in SAMBA mode it will say that it was unable to connect to the brick. Just click through that message and ignore it. Choose the Download firmware... option from the Tools menu. Browse to a firmware image. The one that came with the LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT software is usually at C:\Program Files\LEGO Software\LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT\engine\Firmware\. The test release zip of BricxCC includes the enhanced NBC/NXC firmware image. Both end with a .rfw file extension. You can also grab a copy of the NXT 2.0 1.28 firmware image from the LEGO Engineering website:

After you browse to a firmware image just click OK and BricxCC should quickly download it to your NXT and the clicking should stop. Sometimes I have had issues where BricxCC fails to complete the download successfully due to Windows popping up a Found New Hardware dialog in the middle of the download. If this happens I have just repeated the download and it worked the second time. If the brick is already in SAMBA mode I have never had the download fail the first try.

On a Mac running Leopard or Snow Leopard you need to make sure you have the latest Fantom driver patch which can be downloaded from the LEGO MINDSTORMS support website. It fixes a bug in the Fantom drivers that made it impossible to successfully download the firmware on a Mac.

Darlene Pantaleo
FLL Judge Advisor
Maggie Walker
P/F: 804.745.2493

On Oct 18, 2010, at 4:05 PM, Patrick Angel wrote:

> Hello all,
> I am in my fourth year of FLL and our team is in a desperate need of an NXT.  All three of our NXTs died this year.  I have contacted Lego Education and the Tech support people confirmed they all have a dead LCD display.  I have sent all three off to be repaired at no charge.  However, the turn over time is 3 - 4 weeks.  If any team has an extra NXT that we can barrow for the season it would be greatly appreciated by my kids.  I reside in the West Point area and teach in Middlesex.  I will travel to pick-up if one is available.  Hopefully Richmond or Tidewater. 
> Thank You
> -- 
> Mr. Patrick Angel
> Technology Education
> TSA - Advisor
> St. Clare Walker Middle School
> [log in to unmask]
> Ph: 804-758-2561 
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