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Problems With Usb To Serial Converter Harware problems. somebody help!!

#1 User is offline   fiaery 

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Posted 30 April 2006 - 04:20 AM

Ok, I own a Garmin etrex and I constructed my own data cable.

Unfortunately, my laptop, fujitsu S6120, does not have a serial port so I have to buy a USB to serial converter.

I was so excited :) when I tried to connect easyGPS for the first time, but it turned out badly. ^_^ Apparently, the computer cannot use the converter. doing a loopback test on the device did not help either. I'm hoping someone who has encountered this would help me out.

How did you guys with lappies with no serial ports do this? same as me?

#2 User is offline   CO-Zman 

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Posted 30 April 2006 - 09:06 AM

View Postfiaery & prappadum, on Apr 30 2006, 06:20 AM, said:

Ok, I own a Garmin etrex and I constructed my own data cable.

Unfortunately, my laptop, fujitsu S6120, does not have a serial port so I have to buy a USB to serial converter.

I was so excited :) when I tried to connect easyGPS for the first time, but it turned out badly. ^_^ Apparently, the computer cannot use the converter. doing a loopback test on the device did not help either. I'm hoping someone who has encountered this would help me out.

How did you guys with lappies with no serial ports do this? same as me?


Others will have more specifics, and I have had to use a Serial-USB converter for other items. Two things come to mind as a potential problem. 1) setting the correct COM port and comm settings w/in your OS (assuming XP ?). and 2) a compatable chipset and driver. I fought with both issues. You should be able to get the computer to "talk" to and recognize the device. First check if it is in the hardware devices profile. Second, does it have the drivers installed? Third, use HyperTerminal to check if you can communicate with it.

Much of this I Googled and worked through. If you need further ideas and more specific instructions, post back.

Z

#3 User is offline   fiaery 

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Posted 30 April 2006 - 11:26 PM

Ok- I have narrowed down the problem. The Data cable is not the problem, so it's down to the usb/serial converter. I have a made-in taiwan model, that uses 'Prolific Technologies' drivers, which have been installed.

Using Hyperterminal I did the loopback test (wired pin 2 and 3 of RS232-DB9 plug together using a paper clip and started typing in Hyperterminal) but no message came back to the screen.

I have bought two usb/serials from 2 separate companies using different drivers (the other using a 'Semitech HID -> USB' driver, and both have the same effect.

clueless now... :mad:

There are 256 com ports, with only 4 in use now. How do I know which COM port to use?

This post has been edited by fiaery & prappadum: 30 April 2006 - 11:28 PM


#4 User is offline   Skeets_de 

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Posted 30 April 2006 - 11:44 PM

View Postfiaery & prappadum, on Apr 30 2006, 11:26 PM, said:

Ok- I have narrowed down the problem. The Data cable is not the problem, so it's down to the usb/serial converter. I have a made-in taiwan model, that uses 'Prolific Technologies' drivers, which have been installed.

Using Hyperterminal I did the loopback test (wired pin 2 and 3 of RS232-DB9 plug together using a paper clip and started typing in Hyperterminal) but no message came back to the screen.

I have bought two usb/serials from 2 separate companies using different drivers (the other using a 'Semitech HID -> USB' driver, and both have the same effect.

clueless now... :mad:

There are 256 com ports, with only 4 in use now. How do I know which COM port to use?


I recommend that you get a Belkin USB to serial adapter and not a noname. The drivers for the Adapter must be installed BEFORE connecting the Adapter. The Adapter drivers will automatically select a COM Port, usually COM 1-4, they normally cannot choose any Port above this range and this may be your problem. :o

#5 User is offline   papatom2 

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Posted 01 May 2006 - 04:31 PM

How do I know which COM port to use? GETR ready for a clicking fest>

Click on each in turn:

MyComputer, Right click and get properties.
hardware tab
Device manager
it should be under universal usb controllers - But you might have to look hard for it.

#6 User is offline   TheConaways 

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Posted 01 May 2006 - 04:47 PM

View Postpapatom2, on May 1 2006, 04:31 PM, said:

How do I know which COM port to use? GETR ready for a clicking fest>

Click on each in turn:

MyComputer, Right click and get properties.
hardware tab
Device manager
it should be under universal usb controllers - But you might have to look hard for it.



In Windows XP, it'll show up under "Ports" with the COM number beside it.

Aaron

#7 User is offline   LadyBee4T 

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Posted 01 May 2006 - 05:06 PM

I had the exact same problem when I bought the SemiTech converter for our garmin etrex yellow. I did a search and after reviews bought a different one on Newegg with the Prolific chipset 2303. I installed the drivers first, plugged it in and away I went. It showed up in the device manager under the ports. I believe I needed to use com 5. Used it with gsak for the etrex, cachenmate for the palm and with Microsoft Streets and Trips with an Acer aspire laptop. If you still don't have it working I'd be happy to give you a hand.

#8 User is offline   Chester1 

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Posted 01 May 2006 - 05:09 PM

I also purchased a converter that came with a driver.

It is located in - Device Manage- Ports (Com & LPT)

Prolific USB-to-Serial Bridge (COM 4)

This post has been edited by Chester1: 01 May 2006 - 05:11 PM


#9 User is offline   Dale_Lynn 

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Posted 02 May 2006 - 07:25 AM

Finding Com Port

It’s quite possible your lap top or desk top machine can not "find" correct COM port!...

Or your computer does not have traditional serial port. (they are slowly going away in favor of USB). A USB/Serial adapter may be the answer for you.

If you have Serial/USB adapter and are not getting it to work, suggest you delve into what COM ports or USB/adapter ports your "systems" have available or are configured for....

Major problem is usually identifying what COM port number the USB/RS-232 (serial) adapter was assigned by WINDOWS system. This is also valid for locating available hard wired serial ports. Port numbers can be verified in the "control panel" under "system" under "hardware" under "device manager". Scroll down to “ports” and it will tell you the port number and at what speed (baud) port is configured at. You can actually plug in and unplug adapter and see the "port" appear and disappear. Right clicking on "port" and selecting "properties" will tell you everything you need to know about port. This info is necessary to get EasyGPS and GSAK and “other” programs to communicate with GPS unit. Yes you do need to set baud rate on GPS to match computer COM port which may be set with whatever software computer is running.

Most software applications and hardware (modems) like to work with COM 1 ... Also if you have any "synchronize” software running for a Palm or other hand held, it grabs COM 1 and will not let any other applications use it. You may need to disable any synchronization software it you have it as a running application to release COM 1 if you have to use that specific COM port.

Also just plugging in a USB/Serial adapter to USB port may not trigger system to assign COM port number. In some cases you must have a valid device (GPS) on end of data cable from USB/Serial adapter and the device must be turned on for system to respond and assign a COM port number. Also having a loop back plug in USB/Serial adapter will trigger adapter/system to assign com port number if serial adapter requires a "valid" device on end of cable.


Hyper Link Test

Here is procedure to test COM/SERIAL/USB port. It will work with both hard wired serial port (COM) on older computers or with USB/SERIAL adapters if proper drivers are loaded. This test will require a “loop back” plug for serial connector that has pins 2 and 3 connected (shorted) back to each other.

1. Determine COM port number using the process above to find the port number (Finding Com Port).

2. Open HYPER-TERM the communications terminal program that is standard part of Windows supplied utilities. If installed it may be found under “Communications” on main menus. (or any other terminal program you are familiar with)

3. Establish a “new connection” file name something like “serialtest” or “loopbacktest”. Specifying the specific COM port number (found in above procedure). Set ASCII options to NOT echo characters locally (Uncheck – Echo Characters Locally).

4. Plug in USB/SERIAL adapter and install “loop back” plug on serial connector plug ( if using hard wired port on computer that is where loop back plug goes also) . IF you can now type characters on key board and see them appear on screen the com port and path (and USB adapter) are good. If you unplug loop back plug and then type and characters do not appear on screen this further verifies port is working properly and adapter is working. If you type and get double characters (aa-bb-cc) for each key stroke with loop back plug in place it means “local echo” is turned on. If you only get single characters when loop back plug is removed then it still proves serial path is good.

Hyper Terminal setup.

Start Hyper Terminal and when “New Connection” window box is presented enter your file name (“looptest” or whatever) Click ok.

Next box should say “Connect To:”
In this box, at bottom it should say “Connect Using“and there should be a com port number ( mine comes up COM 4 – Yours may be different). Click OK.
Note: Hyper Terminal should only show you any valid COM ports available by system. IF you don’t see and COM ports your adapter is not configured ( drivers?). Your computers MODEM should also be listed if computer is so equipped and modem is “active”.

With loop back plug in place try typing. Do you get characters? Answer should be yes.
Remove loop back plug, do you get characters? Answer should be no.

If you need to change “echo” settings. Go to File drop down menu and click on Properties. In properties box, click on Settings Tab. In setting box select ASCII Setup. Either check or uncheck “ Echo typed characters locally” (what ever you prefer).


USB-PARAMETERS

I think if you will fine that if you set up port parameters in GPS and Software (GSAK-EasyGPS) to same as "default" parameters found in "properties" for USB/Serial adapter you will not have any connection problems.

Did you even know that there is a properties setting for COM port on control panel. Try right clicking 'Port" once you have hot swap - plugged in USB/Serial adapter.

By default mine are:

Baud =9600
DataBits = 8
Parity = None
Stop Bits = 1
Flow Control = None

The driver "defaults" set in port parameters (Properties) in "hardware" can be adjusted and saved so every time you plug in adapter it will default to desired setting... You have to have software and GPS unit set to match.

I still believe most of the "problems" is not having "port defaults" at (initialization- plug-in time), software, GPS all set to same parameters.... And boot up has nothing or very little to do with it.

Though RS-232 Serial Ports are on way out, it would probably be a little beneficial for one to look up how they function and what parameters do.

http://www.arcelect.com/rs232.htm

FINDING – PORT

Here is how I find my USB/SERIAL adapter...

Easiest solution to find COM port is to go into "Control Panel" >> Select "System " icon >> Select "Hardware" >> Select "Device Manager" >> Scroll down to "PORTS" (COM & LPT) and see what new "port" pops up when you plug in USB/SERIAL adapter cable

Mine comes up as "Prolific USB to Serial Comm Port (COM5) "

What ever Comm port number USB port is assigned by "system" (COM5 in my case) is Comm port number you need to use when setting up parameters/properties in your software used to communicate with GPS unit through USB/SERIAL adapter cable.

Be sure USB drivers for adapter cable are loaded from CD FIRST (or off I-net) before trying to plug in USB/Serial adapter cable.

Pretty much like other user described in previous responses.

In this cases you probably to clean out drivers and reinstall them BEFORE you attempt to plug in adapter cable.... Even though BELKIN is brand name, Prolific makes about 90% of USB/serial adapters on market today...


Dale

This post has been edited by Dale_Lynn: 02 May 2006 - 07:30 AM


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