Toniebox not recgonizing Tonies anymore


our Toniesbox is not playing any Tonies placed on the top anymore. I opened up the box, but I did not see anything obvious. I will try to measure the connections between the RFID Antenna and the main PCB with a multimeter once I get one.

All other features seem ok, a full reset did not help.

Just wondering if you guys got any leads or any ideas what I could do. We bought a new one for the kids already. So its more my urge to try to fix it before throwing it out.

I was thinking about buying a new antenna. But not sure if that even helps.

So if you have any ideas, any suggestions how to further debug it this is highly appreciated and will avoid another one to be brought to my local electronic waste site.



Are you sure the the box is not recognizing the figurines? Maybe the box has a broken audio socket and disables the speaker? (The audio output through the socket should still work then.)

sometimes my Toniebox starts to play the “start-up jingle”, but stops after ~0.5sec.
every other sound (e.g. volume adjustment) for the next ~5-10 seconds isn’t played as well.
sometimes I don’t even hear anything of the “start-up jingle”.
This may not be related to your problem.

However, what you could try is to remove all directories from sd://content/ (except 00000000 and 00000001) and place a tonie on the box. If it blinks blue for a short time, it downloads the Tonie’s content again.
This way, you could verify that your antenna works properly.

Did you install the bootloader or modified anything else on your Toniebox?

This really sounds like a audio jack problem. The box thinks, headphones are plugged in.

but after a few seconds it does work every time. Maybe there’s a stray capacitance that makes the controller think, that something’s plugged in.
I have the first hardware revision, maybe it’s related to that.

i personally had cold solder joints on the audio jack

it does play the startup sound entirely, it also plays the sounds when increasing or decreasing the volume. it also played the usual sounds while doing the factory reset. So I am sure the speaker works perfectly fine.

The SD card currently is exactly empty except the 00000000 and 00000001 directories. I did factory reset it a few times.

When I put a Tonie on the box, nothing happens. No blue light for the data transfer or anything unfortunately.

I did not modify any bootloader or anything. In fact I stumbled over the talk at CCC when I learned there is a hacking community around this box. So I had new hopes that there is some way to still make use of that thing and maybe its not yet electronic waste after all.

In any case, my theory still is that the antenna or anything controlling the antenna is faulty. As there is zero reaction if a Tonie is put on top.

If it is a cc3200 box, you may install the custom bootloader and load the custom firmware and test the RFID component / check the logs. You’ll be able to check if the RFID chip can be initialized and if RFID tags can be read.
We already had the case that the crystal of the RFID reader was defect.

A broken nfc antenna is unlikely, but to be sure you could inspect it visually and measure the resistance between the pins.
The resistance between the marked pins should be just over 0 Ohms (my 10€ multimeter says 0.5 Ohms).

The resistance between the corresponding pins on the main pcb is about 1.2 kOhms (when the antenna is not connected).

the pins 1+3+4+6 of the 2x3 pin header in the upper right corner are connected, as well as pins 2+5 (in regard to the pinout below). So you just have to measure between one middle and one outer pin.

pinout 2x3 pin header
║ 6  5  4 ║
║ 1  2  3 ║

all infos only for CC3200 version.

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if you have a scope and a 10x probe, you can check if the crystal is oscillating.
had one box with a broken one.

yes, the chip says CC3200R1. Will try to read through the docs to see if I can get the firmware running and check the logs. thanks!

ok, will test on Monday when Amazon is going to delivery my multimeter :).

Indeed I get 1.2kOhms on the pins you pointed out on the main PCB.

When measuring the solder points on the NFC antenna (with the antenna connected), I get 0.6 ohms. Not sure, though if that is good or bad.

That sounds right.
maybe there’s something wrong with the nfc ic, but I can’t think of a way to test this (except of the suggestions g3gg0 and badbee made).