Com port assignments

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Re: USB to Serial Re: Com port assignments

Unread postby Stopwatch » Sun Apr 17, 2011 10:47 am

Cristian Conitzer wrote:Hi, seems that the problem is the USB to Serial adapter.

Try another one.
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Re: USB to Serial Re: Com port assignments

Unread postby T-Rex » Wed Apr 27, 2011 2:33 am

Cristian Conitzer wrote:Hi, seems that the problem is the USB to Serial adapter.

I have been trying with every port and every other combination to try to make it work on a new laptop with only usb ports and xp OS but failed.

I had to take a very old laptop with 150MHZ to be happy. :)

Has anyone succesful tested an USB to Serial adapter to make the externa control work? Will be pleased to know.

Another solution might be a PCMCIA card with serial com port

Cristian


I am currently testing external control through USB to Serial adaptors, and have been able to get it to work, but it has been lots of trial and error. What I have figured out is as follows:

I am using XP Pro, and a Prolific based USB to Serial adaptor. Initially I couldn't get it to work using the driver that was on the CD which was sold with the adaptor, I had to download a driver from Prolific's web site. I also tried another really cheap ($5) USB to Serial adaptor off Ebay, it didn't work at all.

I have also had the problem with what looks like a COM Port confilct, with XNote saying "Com port error". I had to manually assign the Prolific driver to the port I wanted to use (COM Port 3), ie not using plug and play, so that the driver was sitting on that port when the laptop booted up. However, when I did that, if I booted the PC with the USB to Serial adaptor plugged in, then started XNote with external control enabled, it immediately gave the "Com port error" message.

So to get the external control working the procedure I have figured out is as follows:

1. Boot the laptop WITHOUT the USB to Serial adaptor plugged in
2. Start XNote, but don't start the stopwatch
3. Plug in the USB to Serial adaptor
4. Wait a few seconds
5. Start the stopwatch
6. Stop the stopwatch, and reset it
7. Unplug the USB to Serial adaptor
8. wait a few seconds
9. Plug the USB to Serial adaptor back in
10. External control then works

Basically, this is a pretty tedious process, and I am still not 100% sure that it works the same every time, so I am hesitating to use XNote in the field.

I think this is something that XNote needs to look at, it maybe a "probem with the USB to Serial adaptor, but frankly it's uncommon to find laptops with serial ports on them these days. Maybe time to get XNote working via the USB Port? Or provide some definitave guidance on getting it to work with the Prolific based USB to Serial adaptor, which seems to be common the world over.
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Re: USB to Serial Re: Com port assignments

Unread postby Stopwatch » Thu Apr 28, 2011 11:21 am

T-Rex wrote:I had to manually assign the Prolific driver to the port I wanted to use (COM Port 3),

What if COM5..COM9? COM1..COM4 are historically on-board so this CAN cause conflicts.

T-Rex wrote:5. Start the stopwatch
6. Stop the stopwatch, and reset it

It is very amusing. XNote tries to own port only when:
  • You close configuration box with Enabled option on
  • You launch the software with External Control previously enabled
  • Timer timeouts with Raise a signal on port option on
Apparently a simple start/stop of stopwatch does not impact. Quite possible that something else in the system just releases the port with the lapse of time.

T-Rex wrote:Maybe time to get XNote working via the USB Port?

USB doesn't allow direct manipulations of wires.
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Re: USB to Serial Re: Com port assignments

Unread postby T-Rex » Fri Apr 29, 2011 12:59 am

Stopwatch wrote:
T-Rex wrote:I had to manually assign the Prolific driver to the port I wanted to use (COM Port 3),

What if COM5..COM9? COM1..COM4 are historically on-board so this CAN cause conflicts.

True - initially I was working with COM 7, but it didn't seem to make any difference to XNote's behaviour.

T-Rex wrote:5. Start the stopwatch
6. Stop the stopwatch, and reset it

It is very amusing. XNote tries to own port only when:
  • You close configuration box with Enabled option on
  • You launch the software with External Control previously enabled
  • Timer timeouts with Raise a signal on port option on
Apparently a simple start/stop of stopwatch does not impact. Quite possible that something else in the system just releases the port with the lapse of time.

Possibly, I'm not 100% convinced that I can get it to work following the same steps every time.

T-Rex wrote:Maybe time to get XNote working via the USB Port?

USB doesn't allow direct manipulations of wires.


I've ordered a PCMCIA to Serial adaptor, apparently these are more robust than USB to Serial. I will report my findings back to this forum.

I've spent a lot of time and money on designing and building this timing system (for my bike club), and XNote is the heart of the system. I haven't found anything anywhere as good as XNote, from a functional point of view XNote is perfect for what I want, so I'm going to get this COM port issue sorted out one way or another.
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Re: Com port assignments

Unread postby pie8man » Fri Apr 29, 2011 9:22 pm

I am on an ACER laptop with Windows 7 and am using a TRENDnet TU-S9 USB to RS-232 adapter and so far on the desk it works all the time every time. It assigned itself as COM3 and worked with the driver it came with circa 2007 as well as the updated 2011 driver windows located for me. It says it is a prolific chipset. It took a little trial and error as the pin designation from the dialog box did not match how it worked but it has the added feature of remote reset as well. It was a bit pricey compared to others at $13.00 Little joke there. The first one I bought for under $3.00 never worked, I tried it on a windows 7 and xp laptop as well as a windows 2000 desktop to no avail.
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Update

Unread postby T-Rex » Tue May 24, 2011 2:40 am

My PCMCIA serial card is still on back order (after a month), so I have revived an 8 year old Toshiba which has built in serial ports, and is running XP Pro 2002.

And it worked first go! I just plugged my photo cells in using the serial cable, and Xnote put the time stamps into Excel, just the way it is supposed to. My device sat on Com1, Xnote defaulted to Com1, all I had to to was enable external control, and it worked.

So, now to find a couple more old lap tops.......
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Re: Update

Unread postby Stopwatch » Wed May 25, 2011 9:27 am

T-Rex wrote:So, now to find a couple more old lap tops.......

Unless you can find functional USB2COM it's a good idea since XNote "has low system resource requirements".
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