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USB to Serial Adapter

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RonW

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I have the Perfectflite MAWD altimeter and a Dell Inspiron Laptop. I tried to order the usbgear USB to Serial adapter that is suggested on the Perfectflite website. USBgear is totally unresponsive. I ordered the adapter online in November and have not heard anything from them since. I give up. I'm going to cancel my order in the morning and hope they will credit my credit card.

Can anyone suggest another adapter? I tried the Belkin and it would not talk to the MAWD with my Dell laptop.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Ron
 

KenParker

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Hi, Ron. Welcome to the forum.

I'm kind of in a time crunch right now, so this will be quick. What operating system are you running on your laptop? Did the Belkin adapter have device drivers that you had to install? When you have the usb/serial adapter connected, can you look in your device manager and see the configuration information for the serial port?

I have found that when these devices don't work, it is almost always some setting in the hardware device manager configuration. I have an Adept altimeter that uses the parallel port, and the settings for the parallel port have to be fairly specific or I can't communicate with the altimeter. I also have a PerfectFlite MAWD, and I have found the same to be true for it - the settings for the serial port in the hardware device manager have to be just right.

Now.... the next thing you will want to know is what are the settings for the serial port so that it will talk to the PerfectFlite MAWD.... and that's where I have to leave you hanging for this evening. I don't have the MAWD software on the laptop I am using right now, and I don't have time this evening to get the other one out, boot it up, and check the settings. I'll try to do that for you tomorrow night.

In the meantime, someone else may jump in here ahead of me and provide you with the answer as we have a pretty large knowledge base here on the forum. Sorry to leave you hanging for tonight. I'll do my best to check back tomorrow evening, and if someone else hasn't solved this for you I'll check the settings on my other laptop and post them for you.

Again, sorry to leave you hanging for tonight....
 

RonW

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I have XP Home Edition, Ken. The Belkin did come with drivers and they did seem to load properly. But when I fired up the MAWD software, I kept getting an error message that the software couldn't find the altimeter and wanted me to try different COM port and of course I tried all 4 available with the software. My Palm PDA also could not operate through the Belkin.

And you're right, it most probably is a configuration problem, but I'm just not savvy enough to know where to change something without risking completely messing everything up.

Off topic, I'd like to make an observation, being very new to this forum and very new to rocketry. The folks that post here obviously don't know how to participate in forums. I have not seen any flames, immature name calling or over all bad behavior. Everyone is way too nice, way too knowledgeable, way too informative, way too helpful and especially way too interested in rockets! <grin> If this type of atmosphere continues, you run the risk of corrupting the forums in the news groups and then where would we be?

Keep up the GREAT job. I need all the help I can get!

Ron
 

shockwaveriderz

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I don't know if this applies to your situation, but I own a picoalt altimeter that comes with windows software and a serial port cable so I can program it .....

anyway, the software will install fine on both of the 2 pc's that I own......these are P3 1Ghz and Cel 1Ghz cpu....intel 815E chipsets....perhaps 2 years old at best........ the software could not see the altimeter on either pc....1 pc runs win2kprosp4 while the other pc runs a dual boot of win2kprosp4 and winxpprosp1

so I went next door to a person that has a cheap E-machine running win98 and installed the software and I was then able to program the altimer......

I then installed the software on a friends compaq notebook (rather old 300Mhz cpu) running win2kprosp4 and it communicated fine with the altimeter...

So I then called the maker of my altimeter and was informed that certain serial port UARTS will not work with this cable and software, that I needed a "smart" cable.... perhaps something similar here is the problem?

as far as com ports go, you of course usually have 2 serial ports per pc... they usually have to be enabled in the system bios.....I usually disable both of my serialo ports as I have no serial devices....this allows for me to use the IRQ 3/4 which the serial/com ports usually use. So go into your system bios at bootup(usually press Del Key) and see if you even have com2 enabled...

Standard COM Port Settings

Port I/O Address IRQ
COM1 3F8h 4
COM2 2F8h 3
COM3 3E8h 4
COM4 2E8h 3


as you can see com1 and 3 share irq 4 while com2/4 share 3...perhaps your device driver doesn't share properly.....

heres a place that has some usb/serial port adapters which may help...

good luck


http://www.usbstuff.com/serial.html
 

RonW

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Thanks for the great info, Shockwaveriderz. I will look into my configuration to see if I can adjust some settings.

I've since been contacted by Peter over at Perfectflite and he is working with me to resolve the problem. He contacted me immediately and really has gone out of his way to get me up and running. Nice to have Tech Support like that!

Fair Skies and following winds,
Ron
 

KenParker

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RonW - my sincere apologies, didn't mean to leave you hanging so long on this, but work just ate my lunch (and breakfast and dinner) this week. I wasn't quite sure from your last post, but it sounds like Peter at PerfectFlite may have solved your problem by now and you are up and running. Just in case he hasn't, here is the config info that works for my laptop and my MAWD.

Laptop: IBM ThinkPad 600E, MS Windows 2000 Professional

Config for the serial port:
Serial port: Enabled
COMM PORT (COM1) PROPERTIES:
Bits per second: 9600
Data bits: 8
Parity: None
Stop bits: 1
Flow control: None
RESOURCES:
I/O Range: 03F8-03FF
Interrupt Request: 04

The trick will be getting the serial port on the USB adapter to have similar setup features. I talked to a couple of my techs at work, and they said there should be some way to adjust the config through the USB/serial driver that came with the adapter cable.

Hope you got it working. Again, my apologies for taking so long to get back to you. If you get a chance, please let us know if you did (or didn't) get it working. If you did get it working, if you could post info on what you had to do to get it working, that would be fantastic.
 

RonW

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I'm standing by to receive the adapter from Peter at Perfectflite. I definitely will post my results.

Thanks mucho for getting back to me with the config info. I'm developing a great database of info from all the folks here. Really appreciate it!!

I'm not in a desperate mode right at the moment, so I've got some time before it becomes critical path.

Ron
 

RonW

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I've received the new USB-to-serial adapter and am finally up and running with just a slight tweak in the COMM Port device setup area.

Now it's time to press forward with building electronics bays for several of my rockets. BITCHEN :D Can't wait.

Again, thanks for all the great advice.

Ron
 

KenParker

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Glad you got it working!! I really like my MAWD. Easy to set up, great features for the money, and very tiny in size.

Good luck with the alt bays. Post pics if you can.
 
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