communications problem

General Topics for configuring, operating and tuning the Megajolt. Also see the <a href="http://www.autosportlabs.net/MJLJ_V4_Operation_Guide">Operation Guide</a>

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cwollen
Posts: 11
Joined: Tue Jun 03, 2008 9:57 am

communications problem

Post by cwollen »

Am using a lapton hp nc6000 with straight serial lead but this fails, have also used a usb adapter but this also fails. Have taken the mjlj v3 to work using a 9volt battery with a straight serial lead and it works fine. I need to get it working on my laptop but as yet cant. The usb adapter has had the drivers loaded and works with my home router using com 5.

brentp
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Post by brentp »

Hello,

What errors are you seeing in the configuration software when you try to get it to work? Look for an error message at the bottom of the screen.
Brent Picasso
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cwollen
Posts: 11
Joined: Tue Jun 03, 2008 9:57 am

Post by cwollen »

time out reading runtime data

brentp
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Post by brentp »

Ok-

It's good you had a different machine to compare against your laptop- good troubleshooting so far.

Since it's working on the computer at work, you should eliminate all variables to narrow down the problem.

On your laptop, first focus on using the in-built serial port.

Double check which com port this is configured to and make sure the configuration software is set to use this. Also ensure there are no other programs set to use this serial port.

If possible, use the same serial lead as you did with your work computer.

When testing with your laptop, is the MJLJ installed in the vehicle or on the bench? In any case, try powering the MJLJ in the exact same way as you did on your work computer- use a fresh 9V battery

Ensure you're using the 3.2.1 configuration software- not V4.

Let us know what you find out-
Brent Picasso
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cwollen
Posts: 11
Joined: Tue Jun 03, 2008 9:57 am

Post by cwollen »

I have now removed the megajolt from the car and tested again at work, I can load and save map configs ok via com 1 and my serial cable at work I can even load dual configs. But if I use the same lead with my laptop it dosent work. I can use the laptop and serial cable and it communicates with my home router so their are no com port conflicts. It just will not work with the megajolt. My IT department say I may need a crossed cable???

david jenkins
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Post by david jenkins »

Do you have any other software on the laptop that may use COM ports?

I'm thinking specifically of PDA synchronisation tools (Palm, etc) - these have been found to monopolise the COM ports, blocking other software (this has happened to people trying to communicate with Megasquirt, MegaJolt Lt and JAW AFR).

Just a shot in the dark!

David

cwollen
Posts: 11
Joined: Tue Jun 03, 2008 9:57 am

Post by cwollen »

the only apps loaded on my laptop is microsoft office, and I can use hyper terminal and com 1 with the serial cable to communicate with my router so I know the com port works. It just won't with the megajolt.

brentp
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Post by brentp »

Hi,

A couple more things to check.

As mentioned before, check to make sure your laptop is running the 3.2.1 software - not the V4 software- I didn't see you confirming either way on this.

Also, try these troubleshooting steps using HyperTerminal:
http://www.autosportlabs.net/Troublesho ... erterminal
Brent Picasso
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cwollen
Posts: 11
Joined: Tue Jun 03, 2008 9:57 am

Post by cwollen »

yes it is running 3.2.1 on both my office desk top pc and my laptop.
I have now cut my serial lead in half and wired back together using a connector block with all lines 1 to 9 connected straight through and the other option with 2 and 3 crossed it still does not work on my laptop. I have altered the port settings from 300 up to 9600 with 8data bits 1 stop but and no parity also have changed flow controll but still it will not work. My laptop com 1 port does work with other hardware.???

what cable pin outs should I use
what port speed should I use
what data and stopp bits should I use

the windows default is 9600 8/1/none with no flow control

cant seem to find this info can you help

cwollen
Posts: 11
Joined: Tue Jun 03, 2008 9:57 am

update

Post by cwollen »

have found info on setting up hyperterminal which I have done

comm 1
speed 4800
8/1/none
no flow control

using the serial lead and hyperterminal powered up the megajolt and got a funny charachter used shift s no effect. The only response i can get is on powering up the megajolt i get this funny charachter.

Was hoping to sort this out today.

The megajolt seems to work ok as I have used a strobe light and the ignition advances as rpm rises but the damm config software wont communicate with the megajolt. All versions match 3.2.1 what do I do now apart from throw it in the bin.

brentp
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Post by brentp »

The cable required is a standard, straight through serial cable - the same one you were able to use successfully on your office PC.

In the 2nd to the last post- what you're setting (presumably in device manager?) will have no effect, as the configuration software sets the serial port parameters it needs. Same goes with Hyperterminal- you set the baud rate settings, etc. in that software.

At this point there are two things I can recommend:

1. Only as a test, find/borrow a different laptop, preferably with an in-built serial port to test and compare against- ideally hook it up while the engine is running to verify communications- observing changing runtime data, etc.

2. Alternatively- bench test it again with a 9V battery on a different desktop PC- ideally with your laptop side-by-side for comparison and debugging, with the same serial cable.

3. (long shot, but worth doing) start Windows in safe mode and try testing again with the Configuration software and Hyperterminal.

With Hyperterminal, the commands that yield responses from the controller are (case sensitive):

"C" - Retrieves Configuration
"S" - Retrieves runtime state
"$" - retrieve extended runtime state (3.2.1 feature)
"V" - Retrieves controller version

All of the responses are in binary data, so when you do see a response, it will appear as garbage on the screen.

And try debugging using Hyper Terminal on a PC that does work, so you're familiar with how it behaves.

Keep plugging away- the good thing is that you've verified it works on a different PC. It's worth reinforcing the importance of verifying the system works on different machines- ideally with a different laptop on the spot, to verify everything is working. If you can indeed verify this, then you can figure out why your particular laptop isn't working!

keep us posted,
Brent Picasso
CEO and Founder, Autosport Labs
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cwollen
Posts: 11
Joined: Tue Jun 03, 2008 9:57 am

update

Post by cwollen »

have now borrowed my desktop pc from work , using comm1 straight away it works. have spent a couple of hours testing and checking system all ok.

now setup using my usb to serial adapter to my desktop pc but this fails even after loading the latest drivers. maybe it was not such a good thing getting one from ebay.

my hp nc6000 laptop that has a serial port still does not work, again I can communicate via comm 1 on this to my home router although it only uses tx/rx/grd.

Does anyone no of a usb serial adapter that will work

brentp
Site Admin
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Joined: Wed Jan 24, 2007 6:36 am

Post by brentp »

Hi,

Have you tried using your laptop using windows 'safe mode'? Safe mode prevents many of the background programs from starting up- there's an off-chance something might be interfering with the built in serial port.

A USB-serial adapter that is known to work is one based on the prolific chipset.

You can also try a PCMCIA card that adds an extra serial port.
Brent Picasso
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DannyP
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Joined: Sun Apr 09, 2006 3:48 pm

Post by DannyP »

Don't buy the cheapest one you can find on the internet. I bought mine at Radio Shack, $35, pricey but worked right off the bat.

cwollen
Posts: 11
Joined: Tue Jun 03, 2008 9:57 am

Post by cwollen »

Purchased another serial usb adapter with the prolific chip set, This does not work either, Loaded the latest drivers for the adapter still no go. Used another laptop still same.
I have removed magajolt again from the car powered up using external battery and connected to it via comm 1 on my desktop pc all ok.
Used my laptop via usb and comm 6 will not work . Have tested in windows safe mode only loading the drivers for the adapter still no go.

Am at a total loss

my usb serial workes fine with other devices

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