TRECS Frequently Asked Questions

The TRECS system is not designed to be perfect.  

In fact, the opposite is true, it is designed to make you work on your problem solving skills, as Engineers are by trade problem solvers. Engineering can be messy!  Things can break, data can be noisy, code can malfunction, software can update overnight and throw the entire system off! Welcome to the world of Engineering! Below are some common issues that we have found in the past. Please look closely at this and the documentation provided in the manual, and if you are still having issues with your system, send us an email! 

Q: I did not receive a toggle/power/rocker switch, will my TRECS work without it/do I need to add it/do I need a replacement part? 


A: We have updated some components of the system to be less redundant, save money, and (hopefully) improve safety. One of the things we did was remove the on/off switch.  The purpose of this switch was to be able to turn the system off in the case of an emergency, however, we feel that it is safer for the user to unplug the system from the wall rather than reach towards it to turn it off. Without the on/off switch, while plugged in, the circuit is always “closed,” so it is simply always in the “on” position.  The system will work without the switch, there does not need to be a replacement part sent, and nothing needs to be added. 


Q: My TRECS is not doing anything/my TRECS won’t turn on/my TRECS isn’t beeping. 

A: There are a few things to check here: 

  1. Is the TRECS plugged into both power from the wall and is the Arduino plugged into the computer?  These are two separate circuits, and both are necessary. 

  2. THIS IS THE MOST COMMON ISSUE: The wires between the ESC and the motor DO have a specific order, however the wires are not indicated.  The order has to be tried with trial and error.  One method of doing this is to use colored tape or markers to mark the wires to keep track of combinations have already been tried. 


Q: I’m getting an error while uploading. 

A: A couple of troubleshooting tips for this issue: 

  1. This is usually caused by the settings in the Arduino IDE. If you follow the instructions in Part 1, section 4, it'll have you choose an "old bootloader" option.  If this doesn’t work, try this setting instead: In the Arduino application try going to Tools->Options->Programmer->ATmega328P.  Many systems use the settings in the instruction manual, so try those first. 

  2. The limitations of the hardware are that it can only accept input from one software at a time.  Make sure you’re not trying to use serial plot and something else simultaneously. 

  3. On a rare occasion, the cord going to the Arduino itself might be faulty, this can be tested by using another cord. 



Q: The angle output is negative when the arm goes up and positive when it goes down (this can also cause some other odd issues).

A: This is from the arm being mounted backwards on the TRECS relative to the PCB. The simplest solution is to re-assemble the TRECS with the arm oriented in the proper position.  Attempts at changing the code to fix this issue have failed thus far, but if you are able to solve it, please contact us.


Q: The drop test isn’t working properly. 

A: This is often do to friction, this can be solved by adding weight to the arm (taping coins under motor), or sanding the insides of the tower and/or the outsides of the arm.