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Comm Port and Other Set-Up Problems


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#1 Lisa Kennedy

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Posted 28 September 2009 - 09:35 AM

I am working with a new laptop and the new LOR 2 Advanced software this year (only my second year with LOR) and I cannot seem to get the Hardware Utility to recognize the controller I have hooked up. I am using a USB485 adapter with the CAT5 cable connected from the adapter to the controller and the USB hooked up to my laptop. I was able to download the new driver for the adapter that works with Windows Vista with no problem.

Now when I hit 'Auto Configure' on what should be Unit 1, it goes through several Comm Ports very, very slowly and never seems to land on one. There are no controllers listed in the 'Select Unit' box either and the Comm Port selectors start at Comm 3, which makes no sense to me.

The red light on my controller keeps flashing and not connecting. I have read through every forum I can find and can't seem to find anything that helps me get this problem resolved. This is one of my two controllers that I used last year connected to my old desktop, but now I need to connect these two along with my five new controllers.

Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated as my stress level is climbing!!

Thanks,

Lisa

#2 DownTown

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Posted 28 September 2009 - 10:19 AM

Hi Lisa -

The first thing to come to mind is, did you install the driver for the USB485 adapter on the new laptop?

D.T.
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#3 Lisa Kennedy

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Posted 28 September 2009 - 10:27 AM

D.T.,

Thanks for the quick reply. I did install the new driver from www.ftdichip.com for Windows Vista. It downloaded CDM 2.04.16 with no problem. I also just went through the adaptor troubleshooting piece from LOR again and identified my Comm port as Comm21, but then when I press the refresh button, the scanning network box comes up and is very, very, very slow to run through.

Thanks for any help,

Lisa

#4 cmoore60

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Posted 28 September 2009 - 10:47 AM

Lisa,

You can manually plug in the comm port into the box. Since you know it is comm 21 manually put that in the box instead of doing the auto config.

Some time in the past. LOR did have a problem with finding comm ports above a certain range. I think that was resolved, but you still might be out of the new range.

Chuck

#5 Lisa Kennedy

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Posted 28 September 2009 - 10:52 AM

Chuck,

I was able to manually put Comm21 in the box, but there are still no units being found in the 'select units' box and the box just to the left of the refresh button says 'found 0 units.' When I hit the refresh button, it just scans the network very slowly -- took over 30 minutes last time.

Not sure what to do now...

Thanks,

Lisa

#6 cmoore60

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Posted 28 September 2009 - 10:57 AM

Have you rebooted the computer since installing the drivers? Since it is scanning the network does sound like it is at least seeing the controller(s).

How many controllers do you have? Is this the first time you have hooked things up this year?

Could you modify your profile to fill in your location. Helps the rest of us to plug in and maybe get you hands on help.

Chuck

#7 -klb-

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Posted 28 September 2009 - 11:00 AM

Is it possible to get Windows to assign a lower com port number?

Are you doing this with a controller that you used last year, or a new one?

#8 cmoore60

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Posted 28 September 2009 - 11:01 AM

I am not sure how to do it in Vista. However I know that on XP I can go in and change the comm port for the USB through the device manager.

Chuck

#9 Lisa Kennedy

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Posted 28 September 2009 - 11:05 AM

Sorry about the profile part -- just updated things there. I am located in Mooresville, North Carolina.

I have rebooted the computer a couple times with the same reaction. The controller I am using right now or trying to use is one from last year. I have not plugged any of the new ones in yet. But this is the first time that I am trying to plug things in this year. I have been working on my song sequences in LOR 2 and decided that I wanted to get the boxes functioning in order to test some of the new custom pieces for this year.

Not sure how to get Windows to assign a new Comm Port number, but Comm21 was in the drop down list under manual select -- it's just that the controller is not being seen now.

Thanks again for any and all suggestions.

Lisa

#10 cmoore60

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Posted 28 September 2009 - 11:19 AM

Have you tried a reset on the controller?

#11 Lisa Kennedy

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Posted 28 September 2009 - 11:50 AM

Not sure how to physically reset the controller??

#12 cmoore60

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Posted 28 September 2009 - 12:17 PM

Unplug the power from the controller, disconnect the comm cable. Remove the jumper on the 18 pin header. Plug the controller in. The LED should flash quickly. After about 15 seconds, unplug. Replace the jumper on the second row of pins from the top. Connect the comm cable and plug back in the AC cord.

Then try to communicate to the controller.

Chuck

#13 Lisa Kennedy

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Posted 28 September 2009 - 01:03 PM

Just went through the complete reboot process for the controller, uninstalled and reinstalled my LOR software and waited through another complete 'refresh' process that took almost 30 minutes with no controller found again.

Should I have anything in the Unit ID boxes down the left side? I have tried both ways setting it to 01 and also made old ID 'any' and new ID '01'.

I just don't know what else to do to make it work...feeling stressed and lost. But I so appreciate everyone's suggestions and am still wanting to try anything you can send my way.

Thanks,

Lisa

#14 DownTown

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Posted 28 September 2009 - 01:21 PM

Lisa... let's see if we can prove the controller you are working with is still good. Do you still have the machine you ran LOR on last year? If so, set up the controller over on that machine, and verify that it can see the controller. If you can't see the controller from last year's machine, then you may have a bad cable or a bad controller. Try to prove one piece at a time... controller, cable, USB485... one step at a time to isolate the problem. Also, I know that an email to support at LOR will have someone working on your issue in short order.

D.T.
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#15 rwertz

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Posted 28 September 2009 - 01:35 PM

Here are my (brief) notes on changing the COM port number for the USB485 Adapter in XP:

Control Panel / System / Hardware / Device Manager
Ports (COM & LPT) / USB Serial Port (COM__)
Right Click / Properties / Port Settings / Advanced
Set COM Port Number: COM__
Press OK



Attached files


#16 -klb-

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Posted 28 September 2009 - 03:10 PM

I did a little testing on a Vista box here, that has never had the USB adapter installed before. Just plugging it in, Vista found the FTDI drivers, version 2.4.16.0 on its own. I think it originally came up as com2. I used the device manager to change it to com21, and while I could select it, I could not get the hardware utility to scan for adapters, as I would get an error opening the port. For all com port numbers over 16, I would get an error. Any open com port number up to 16 worked for me.

Also, do check what your max ID is set to when scanning. F0 will take a while. For testing like this, you can turn it down to like 5, if you think your controller was set lower than that.

#17 cmoore60

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Posted 28 September 2009 - 03:30 PM

Good information.

Sounds like comm 21 is not liked by LOR. Might just be that it is not programmed to look for it.

Chuck

#18 vipzach

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Posted 29 September 2009 - 12:45 AM

Which controller are you using?

What is the unit id set too?

IIRC, the unit ID on the first controller has to be 0 or 1.

I could easily be wrong, but just trying to throw out some ideas.

#19 cmoore60

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Posted 29 September 2009 - 01:08 AM

Zack,

address 0 is invalid. and to be all honest the controllers can be any number from 01hex (1) to F0hex (240) it is the users choice.

Chuck

#20 cmoore60

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Posted 29 September 2009 - 01:16 AM

Lisa,

I re-read the post today. One person had the idea, can you connect up to the same computer as you did last year? If so, does it find the controller?

I would also suggest that you try another controller, you mentioned that you used 2 last year.

I would also look at changing the comm port to a lower number such as was mentioned by klb.

The reset procedure I sited would have worked for the PC of the CTB16. If it was a deluxe board with the selector switches, then you just set them to 00.

I would be more than happy to try and walk you through this on the phone. If that sounds good to you, then forward your contact info in PM to me.

Chuck

#21 LightORamaDan

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Posted 29 September 2009 - 01:45 AM

The Hardware Utility only supports COM1 thru COM16... This is an unfortunate limit on the Microsoft MSCOM control used by that particular program.

The rest of the system ( Sequence Editor and Show Editor ) are not limited to 16. So if COM21 is the correct port that can be verified in the Sequence Editor by setting the port to COM21. This is done by clicking Edit->Preferences->Network Preferences.

You will need to change the port to a value of COM21 or less. This can be done via the (right click)MyComputer->Properties->Hardware(tab)->Device Manager->(expand Ports(COM & LPT)->USB Serial Port (COM21)->(port Settings(tab)->Advanced then set the COM Port Number: to a value less or equal to COM17...

There is little chance that there is actually anything use all the ports below COM16 but if they are listed as in use you will need to pick on and COM16 is probably a good choice.

#22 Lisa Kennedy

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Posted 29 September 2009 - 05:11 AM

Thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone!!! I was able to change my COM port to COM1 and now it has recognized the controller and I have been able to test lights on this first one.

Now I am going to spend the evening working on adding controllers so I can get them all functional for weekend light testing.

Thanks again to everyone for your help and suggestions -- it is great to have so many other Christmas light folks to get help from.

Lisa

#23 djberry

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Posted 18 October 2009 - 02:19 AM

Hey folks...I'm new to this and I'm having the same problem. I'm trying to reboot the controller and I don't see a jumper on the 18 pin header. Could this be my problem? My comm port is 1 also, and I was able to change my USB to comm 1. It sees it fine, but when I hit the refresh button, it doesn't find the controller.

#24 Guest_wbottomley_*

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Posted 18 October 2009 - 02:28 AM

djberry wrote:

Hey folks...I'm new to this and I'm having the same problem. I'm trying to reboot the controller and I don't see a jumper on the 18 pin header. Could this be my problem? My comm port is 1 also, and I was able to change my USB to comm 1. It sees it fine, but when I hit the refresh button, it doesn't find the controller.


Before resetting the controller, have you set the comm port in the hardware utility? That's more than likely your problem as you described.

If the red led on the controller is blinking, then your comm port or adapter is not functioning properly. If it's solid, that would take on a whole different issue.

#25 -klb-

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Posted 18 October 2009 - 02:31 AM

If you have a ctb16pc controller, you need the jumper. If you have a 1602 controller, you should not have the jumper. Instead turn the controller off, set the ID to 00 and power up the controller. Watch for the fast flashing status light. Turn it off, and set the unit ID back to normal.

#26 Max-Paul

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Posted 18 October 2009 - 02:33 AM

Never mind, Looks like klb got to it first.

#27 djberry

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Posted 18 October 2009 - 02:41 AM

Thanks for the QUICK response !! I have the LOR160xW controller. I reset the ID to 00, led blinked fast, reset to 01 and led is still blinking...normal rate. Yes...my comm port is set to Comm 1 which it says I should be set too. When I hit refresh, it finds 0 units.

#28 -klb-

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Posted 18 October 2009 - 02:59 AM

Sc485 adapter, or one of the USB adapters?

#29 djberry

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Posted 18 October 2009 - 03:01 AM

USB485. I even tried changing the comm numbers....to #2, changed it in the device manager, LOR hardware and the sequence editor. Still nothing. I changed it back to comm 1 and still nothing. The LED is still blinking. Oh...and I did update the driver for vista.

#30 -klb-

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Posted 18 October 2009 - 03:05 AM

Try bringing up the windows device manager list of com ports. Unplug the adapter and see which port goes away. Verify the same one comes back when you plug it back in.

That one will be the one you need.

#31 djberry

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Posted 18 October 2009 - 03:08 AM

OMG......it found it. I didn't do a thing. Well......all I did was plug the USB into all my ports, then plugged it back into the original one. It found it !!!!!!!!!!!! Man......computers are great.....................when they work right. haha

Thanks everyone for your help.

#32 Guest_wbottomley_*

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Posted 18 October 2009 - 03:22 AM

Each usb port on you pc will have a different comm port number. If you disconnect it, try to remember which one you had it connected to.

#33 cmoore60

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Posted 18 October 2009 - 05:56 AM

Was to late, sorry!

#34 djberry

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Posted 18 October 2009 - 06:25 AM

Thank-you everyone. I got it all up and running perfect. Took some "thinking" on my part, but.....I just made the entire schedule work (reset my computer clock to 9pm start time) and had the FM transmitter working also. It started and stopped as it was scheduled too. PERFECT !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

#35 coreycochran

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Posted 22 November 2009 - 06:59 AM

Well, just stumbled across this post, I to am having the same issues. But none of the suggestions work.

I am using a Keyspan USB to Serial adapter and a SC485 Adapter.

The hardware utiliy will not find my unit. After a little waiting on the search the results return 0 units, but sometime the light does go steady on my board and the lights that are plugged in will just start Random flashing etc.

Note: I bought my boards in 2006, but this is the first year I have tried to connect them. (We had a baby in 2006 and needless to say that took more time than my light hobby) BUT now in 2009 he is 3 and want to see the lights back! Daddy too!

Any suggestion? Also, I have tried this on two computers both running XP and sometime during the middle of trying to get it to work, both PC and Laptop will BLUE screen and crash.

Help!