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PerfectFlite StratoLoogerCF/DT4U/DataCap with Mac OSX

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VAXman

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I'm nearing completion of my Madcow Twitch, so I needed electronics for her. I decided to try the PerfectFlite StratoLoggerCF for a couple of reasons — 1. small 2. purported to work with Mac OSX.

The package — from Apogee — arrived yesterday. I've been trying to get the DataCap to talk with the StratoLoggerCF via its DT4U USB interface. The CD which should have had the software and documentation is blank! Both my MacBook Pro and an HP ENvy running Linux say that it's a blank CD. No problem, I went to the PerfectFlite website and found the DataCap software and downloaded it.

The StratoLoggerCF/DT4U appear as 'usbserial-A403O6Z6' when I select the 'CommPort' menu item under the 'Altimeter' tab. I turn the StratoLoggerCF on and then, select the 'Acquire' option under the 'Data' tab. After a few seconds, I get a popup error box stating 'No altimeter found' and to check cables.

Anybody here using this altimeter and interface with Mac OSX?
 

watermelonman

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Worked great for me right away.

Did you power the altimeter with an external battery and short the switch leads? It cannot pull power from the computer interface.
 

aerostadt

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I got the same error at first, but I am familiar with the Mac OSX. Anyways, as I recall I unplugged the connections a few times and I think I moved the USB plug to a different port and all of sudden things started working.

I didn't try until after flight, but sure enough the flight data was there. I think that PerfectFlite says that the StratoLogger can hold up to about 33 flights and the data cannot be erased. The data is just written over after the 33 flights is reached. I think that there is one or two test data flights that are written on the software program to begin with. Once you get past the "altimeter" error. Also, like watermelonman says you need the external battery.
 

mpitfield

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I use it all the time. I have used it on Mavericks, Yosemite, and currently El Capitan for the SL100 and the SLCF. I find it can be picky in the way you connect things, so here is the order I use which works well. Connect DT4U to the altimeter, connected the USB to the Mac, turn the altimeter on, then open DataCap. So long as you open DataCap before the altimeter finishes it's start up diagnostics then you should pick it up when you acquire the altimeter. This is assuming the DT4U is being picked up correctly and using the proper drivers.
 

VAXman

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The FTDI in the DT4U appears. It doesn't matter which one of the three USB ports on the MacBook Pro it's connected to and it really shouldn't since that's just, essentially, a built-in USB hub. I can 'cat /dev' and both cu. and tty. usbserial-A403O6Z6 appear. Also, the system profiler shows 'FT232R USB UART' and the detail shows:

[FONT=LucidaGrande, serif]FT232R USB UART:[/FONT]


[FONT=LucidaGrande, serif]Product ID: 0x6001[/FONT]
[FONT=LucidaGrande, serif]Vendor ID: 0x0403 (Future Technology Devices International Limited)[/FONT]
[FONT=LucidaGrande, serif]Version: 6.00[/FONT]
[FONT=LucidaGrande, serif]Serial Number: A403O6Z6[/FONT]
[FONT=LucidaGrande, serif]Speed: Up to 12 Mb/sec[/FONT]
[FONT=LucidaGrande, serif]Manufacturer: FTDI[/FONT]
[FONT=LucidaGrande, serif]Location ID: 0x04100000[/FONT]
[FONT=LucidaGrande, serif]Current Available (mA): 500[/FONT]
[FONT=LucidaGrande, serif]Current Required (mA): 90[/FONT]

The small connector on the DT4U is properly connected to the StratoLoggerCF — it really can be connected incorrectly. It's perhaps defective or the StratoLoggerCF is defective. I wouldn't doubt either as the software and documentation CD I was shipped with the DT4U was blank — labeled but blank. Grrr... I should have just ordered the MW rrc3!
 

JJSR

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SL100 and the SLCF. I find it can be picky in the way you connect things, so here is the order I use which works well. Connect DT4U to the altimeter, connected the USB to the Mac, turn the altimeter on, then open DataCap. So long as you open DataCap before the altimeter finishes it's start up diagnostics then you should pick it up when you acquire the altimeter.
+1
I also have had a lot of trouble connecting it.
 

VAXman

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Some more observations...

On Linux, when I plug in the DT4U, it appears as /dev/ttyUSBn (in my particular case, n=1). If I short the TX/RX pairs of the DT4U side which would connect to the StratoLoggerCF (ie. the Yellow and Blue cables), I can use the 'cu' command to connect to the DT4U using:

$ cu -s 9600 -l /dev/ttyUSB1

If I then type, the data is echoed back because I've shorted TX/RX.

Doing the same on Mac OSX, where the device is /dev/tty.usbserial-A403O6Z6

$ cu -s 9600 -l /dev/tty.usbserial-A403O6Z6

does not echo anything. There must be some data in the .kext plist for this FTDI device that is not allowing it to be properly seen.

Those with a Mac that have a working StratoLoggerCF with the DT4U, how does your device show up in DataCap and/or in /dev?
 

VAXman

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I have been conversing with Perfectflite as of yesterday. I contacted support on Saturday; however, due to the long weekend, nobody replied until yesterday.
 

VAXman

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All's well that ends well.

Because the CD I received with the DT4U was blank, I downloaded the PerfectFlite DataCap program from the website. As it turns out, the code on the website was OLD — 11-July-2011. The newest code is 13-July-2016! The link on the PerfectFlite website was updated and will now download the newest code. The newest DataCap code works!!! I'd suggest that anybody with a Mac download this newest version.
 

JJSR

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YAY!! Glad you got it working
 

VAXman

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Me too. I bought it for my Madcow Twitch. While I'm sure that its most important features — dual deployment recovery — were working, I got it so that I could also get flight statistics.
 
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