USB to serial converter

Discussion in 'General Questions' started by tonydenson, May 4, 2007.

  1. John Purins

    John Purins

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    73
    Which version of the WebUpdater did you download and use? (There are 2 Windows versions and the Mac Beta on the download page).

    As far as the firmware is concerned, evidently Garmin changed the 32MB memory chip of the original eTrex to a higher capacity but kept the model designation the same. The 2.14 firmware is for the original eTrex and version 3.00 or later is for the newer model. You have the newer model so don't go to version 2.14 but you could download version 3.50 and do the test with it.

    Any possibility that you could borrow a Keyspan USB to serial adapter from someone?
     
  2. mikesharp

    mikesharp

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    10
    Iv come to the conclusion there must be a fault either with the etrex or the cable.

    I downloaded the Mac beta version, and this didnt see the etrex (although the cable is recognised in system profiler) and the etrex is drawing power through the cable.

    So, I then got my hands on a PC from the office. I installed the drivers for the cable and MapSource. Fired it up and nothing. So went back to the troubleshooting guide and went through those procedures using HyperTerminal. Still nothing, dead, nada.

    Not good !

    I will be returning the cable for a replacement and hopefully this will do the trick !

    Ill report back soon.

    M
     
  3. mikesharp

    mikesharp

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    10
    OK ... Iv purchased the Keyspan adapter and should receive the replacement serial cable tomorrow. Im guessing it should work they way detailed for the other cable. Ie capture in mac and then bridge with the app you reccomended ??
     
  4. Crackers

    Crackers

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    1
    Just another question, I have another brand of USB to serial converter that I use for C-Bus programing. It was working a few months ago, when I last used it, but now after several updates I seem to have lost the com ports that it requires.

    I thought that by just pluging it in the XP would find it and install the required drivers, like it did last time. Any one have any Idea how I can get it to work again?

    Cheers
     
  5. John Purins

    John Purins

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    73
    Mike,

    You're right... install the Keyspan driver under OS X and then use SerialClient.
     
  6. John Purins

    John Purins

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    73
    Do not install the driver in Windows XP and if it is already installed in Windows, uninstall it. I think that there is a facility in Control Panel to do that. (Remove hardware or something like that.)

    Install the driver for your USB to serial converter under Mac OS X. See the previous portion of this thread on how to get the USB to serial converter set up properly.
     
  7. mikesharp

    mikesharp

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    10

    John ... Amazing ... Worked first time, no messing. Managed to get all my data out.

    Im a happy man. Cant thank you enough for your advice, very much appreciate the time you spent helping out.

    Hope to hear from you soon about your new OSX map. All the best ...

    Mike
     
  8. Harold M

    Harold M Bit Poster

    Messages:
    9
    Re using Keyspan serial adapter with Parallels.
    Many thanks, John, for the details! Finally got my old Magellan Meridian to talk to its MapSend software - for sending data from GPS to the Computer under Parallels 2/Windows 2000. But MapSend cannot send - or even detect - the Meridian. So I can't download tracks or upload waypoints etc. It works with Virtual PC (on a Titanium G4) - although with only about 98% reliability: the connection will eventually be lost, but works long enough to download most tracks. Parallels shows serial port activity when MapSend tries to talk to the GPS, but the software seems never to make a reliable connection. NEMA is OFF for MspSend to Meridian communiction, as it need to be (but ON for Meridian to MapSend track recording). And all is well using the Keyspan USA-19QW with GPSy under Mac 10.4.9. Any suggestions?
     
  9. John Purins

    John Purins

    Messages:
    73
    Harold,

    I'm not quite clear on what you mean; the GPS can talk to the software but the software can't talk to the GPS... am I understanding that correctly?

    I'm not that familiar with Magellan products but it doesn't sound right that it would use two different protocols and which one you use depends upon what the software is doing.

    One other question... Parallels 2; is that 2.5.3188?
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2007
  10. Harold M

    Harold M Bit Poster

    Messages:
    9
    Magellan-Keyspan-Parallels

    John,

    Thanks four your rapid response: "I'm not quite clear on what you mean; the GPS can talk to the software but the software can't talk to the GPS... am I understanding that correctly?

    I'm not that familiar with Magellan products but it doesn't sound right that it would use two different protocols and which one you use depends upon what the software is doing.

    One other question... Parallels 2; is that 2.5.3188?"

    Yes, when the Magellan Meridian is sending NEMA format data continuously to the computer via serial cable/Keyspan USA-19/Mac/Parallels, all seems to work as expected. The data is received by the PC MapSend software and recorded/plotted. The track is also recorded within the GPS unit and normally can be downloaded later using the same MapSend software. But, in order to do this, the continuous stream of NEMA data from the GPS must be turned off at the Magellan/Meridian unit itself. The same action - stop the tream of NEMA data - is required to uploading waypoints, maps etc. But now - for sending data to the GPS unit - the MapSend software reports that it cannot find the GPS unit. It tries via all available serial ports (only one wth this setup, but I've seen it try three different ports on VPC) and at a number of baud rates from 1200 to 119000 (or whatever the number is). I can see that data is being sent: the serial port activity indicator in Parallels flashes appropriately, and the light on the Keyspan unit also, although less that would be normal if everything were working.

    It works with Virtual PC, so I don't believe the problem lies with the Meridian or the USA-19. And it's the same version of the MapSend software.

    And, yes, it is Build 3188 of Parallels that I am using.

    Thanks again!

    - Harold
     
  11. John Purins

    John Purins

    Messages:
    73
    Harold,

    As everything is working properly when the GPS is transmitting NMEA output then we know that the basic serial port configuration is OK on the receive side.

    The intermittent activity you're seeing when MapSend is looking for the GPS is the software sending a NMEA command to the GPS but the GPS is not responding. When this happens, the software probably assumes that there is no GPS on that port and tries a different port.

    You may want to make sure that you're using the current Keyspan driver... I believe it's version 2.4. Use the Keyspan Serial Assistant application to uninstall the old driver and then drag the Keyspan Serial Assistant application itself to the trash. You can then install the new Keyspan driver.

    The other thing to check is the settings of SerialClient. NMEA usually uses 4800 baud. Also check your GPS and MapSend manuals to see what kind of flow control is used and then set SerialClient appropriately. If it isn't documented then try NONE for flow control and see if that does anything.

    Which model of Meridian GPS and which version of the MapSend software are you using?
     
  12. Harold M

    Harold M Bit Poster

    Messages:
    9
    Serial GPS, USB, & Parallel

    John,

    Thanks again for the quick reply. It is the latest Ketspan driver; I downloaded the latest for this task. And the baud rates are all set to 4800: the GPS, the Serial Client and the Windows 2000 serial port driver. So far I have only tried the hardware flow control. I did check again that everything works with Virtual PC (Version 5 on a 400 MHz Titanium PowerBook running System 9.1), but I did not check the port setting in Windows 98 there.

    The GPS unit is the basic Meridian - , not "Marine" and before the "Gold". The Softwre is MapSend Streets and Destinations Canada that came with the GPS. The running software says it's version 4.10k, but I seem to recall that I found several alternatives for the claimed version number (About MapSend, the disk, the box etc.) some years ago when I was specifically looking for an updated version. I was told at the time - but the comment was not that of someone I really trusted - that the software had never been updated.

    - Harold
     
  13. John Purins

    John Purins

    Messages:
    73
    The port settings in Windows aren't necessarily what are being used by MapSend. Serial ports can be reconfigured dynamically by running software so those Windows port settings are just defaults.

    This MapSend FAQ at Magellan's site doesn't really help much but you may want to take a look at it.

    Re Windows 2000; is it at SP4 with all of the Microsoft critical maintenance applied?

    If none of the above is any help then Microsoft has a utility called Portmon that will allow you to monitor all activity on the serial port. Portmon is a good diagnostic tool.
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2007
  14. Harold M

    Harold M Bit Poster

    Messages:
    9
    Magellan GPS, Serial, Keyspan & Parallels

    Re Windows 2000; is it at SP4 with all of the Microsoft critical maintenance applied?

    Hi again John!

    Yes, it's SP 4. I checked the port settings I was using with Virtual PC/Win 98 etc. All was the same except Flow Control was set to Xon/Xoff. So I changed that with the Parallels set up (Win 2000 and SerialClient) and all seems to work fine now!! So, Problem solved with your help! Many Thanks!! I also found, by error, that I could download tracks while the GPS was sending its current NEMA data - but the results were inconsistent: no error messages, but the wrong number of track points was reported (during the download) and the download stopped prematurely in one of two tries. All position/track data actually downloaded was correct, however.

    I recall finding details of how to set things up for the Magellan many years ago, but I could not re-find the document. All I could find in the two manuals I did find plus the on-disk help was "Use 4800 baud".

    - Harold
     
  15. sparcdr

    sparcdr

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    14
    Not having many problems with the USA-19HS Keyspan USB serial adapter under either Parallels with Windows XP or Mac OS X. Some little quirks are there though.
     
  16. Frank Friedlos

    Frank Friedlos

    Messages:
    15
    I too have tried the keyspan devices with Eudyptes' serial client. In this case the client OS was OS/2 v3.0. I was trying to run a scientific instrument-controlling program that requires two serial ports to talk to an external A/D converter. No luck. I could have either, but not both at once. Has anyone succeeded in setting up two simultaneous serial ports under any circumstances?
     
  17. John Purins

    John Purins

    Messages:
    73
    Mike,

    Just in case the Garmin software is not working for you, I wanted you to know that iGPS has been released and is available at MacUpdate. iGPS is a Mac OS X Universal application and may work better for what you want to do. Maybe or maybe not but here's the link.
     
  18. brauhaus

    brauhaus

    Messages:
    1
    After messing around with a variety of methods - the following seemed to work best for me. I'm using an IoGear GUC232A.

    Found this with Google:

    http://www.ciscoblog.com/archives/2006/05/macbook_pro_usb.html

    Then, this appears to have helped:

    sudo kextunload -b nl.bjaelectronics.driver.PL2303
    kextunload: unload id nl.bjaelectronics.driver.PL2303 succeeded (any personalities also unloaded)

    Note - you may need to use kextstat to find the appropriate bundle ID if you aren't using the same drivers. as shown here.

    After the unload - connect the device into the Virtual machine and load the drivers of your choice inside your guest OS.
     
  19. MarkHolbrook

    MarkHolbrook

    Messages:
    350
    After playing with and becoming frustrated with the Keyspan and having Parallels USB be so flaky in my opinion (knowing what I know of USB I can totally understand why this is so as well)...

    I found a MUCH better solution. Unfortunately this solution is ONLY likely to work if you are developing your own code. It may work if you are using some one else's code assuming they aren't doing anything funny with the serial port.

    I purchased a Moxa (www.moxa.com) NPort 5110. This is a single port ethernet to serial device. When you purchase this device it comes with a suite of windows software.

    There is a virtual COM port driver which installs a "fake" com port into windows. Most applications open and communicate with this port perfectly. I've found one or two that didn't like it but they were custom medical applications and who knows what they were doing with the port. HyperTerminal has no problem with this virtual port.

    In addition on the CD is a DLL and various language include files that allow your application (if you are building one) to talk directly to the NPort device.

    So far in my testing it has been flawless and even on our overloaded company LAN I've seen zero drops/timeouts or any other problems. The device I'm talking to is using 9600 baud and packets are small so there is a lot of back and forth traffic. I've even run this wirelessly and it is beautiful.

    The adapter is not that expensive. It's around $100 US (yes it's more than a keyspan... but it works!)

    Highly recommened!

    M
     
  20. MartynB

    MartynB

    Messages:
    1
    still problems with keyspan USb to serial

    Hi John

    Thanks for the instructions we followed them but still could not get the keyspan USA 19HS USB. we are using parallels 3.0 (build 5582) with windows XP pro on Macbook pro 2.3 GHz Intel core 2 duo. When we run the 'connect' step with serialClient the green light on the Keyspan unit stops flashing (indicating idle) and becomes on constantly (indicating busy). Is this what you get? When our PC software (called Janiro - it controls a chromatography pump) runs it can't connect to the serial port.

    The log function in SerialAssistant comes up with a message something like '.....S/N?' at this point. We know that this is a Keyspan issue as the same software works with another one of our pumps that happens to have a USB interface.Any suggestions?
     

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