Port closed when using a wireless serial link from Synapse Snap Link

7 years 6 months ago #29527968 by steadirob
I like to use the Roborun application via a wireless rs232 link and have bought the Synapse SnapLink modules for that.
They (shoult be) are able to connect with the 115.200 baudrate and other settings that the Roborun is set to.

However, while their SnapEasy utility connects without any problem via the USB to Serial adapter to the modules, the Roborun application finds closed com-ports.
The same happens when using the mini-USB port that these modules provide instead of the rs232 d-sub connector.

Looking at another post that is related to ttl ports, I wonder if this is a similar case of mis-match, e.g. The pins that the RoboRun appl. uses are not those of other programs?

Using the same USB-to Serial converter cable to connect directly to the Motor driver is OK.

Any hints and tips appreciated!

Rob van Gelder

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7 years 6 months ago #29527969 by roboteq
Try first to communicate using a simple termial emulator program. Send a few querie, like for example ?fid to verify that the communication works.

If it does, then it should also work with roborun. Note however, that roborun exchanges invisible characters 0x05 and 0x06 in order to detect the presence of the controller. Make sure your radio does not block these.

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7 years 6 months ago #29527977 by steadirob
Thanks for the first tips. I was able to get at least the HyperTerminal from Windows working, the ?fid query returns

FID=Roboteq v.1.2 RCB200 03/03/2013

On both Snap Link units the C led is lit, which indicates a data stream connected to the RS232 port.

I had to re-solder the connections on my Dsub9 cable to make that working.

However, the Roborun application still sees closed ports.
As Roborun is testing all ports continuously i can see a short blink in the C led when it is testing the Port 15, which is supposed to be that RS232 connector.

I have no other info at the moment about the blocking of the special invisible characters, but as this serial link is supposed to work with all kinds of automation systems that would be odd.
There is no option to block or unblock certain info in the SnapEasy utility.
I will inquire about that on the Snap Link forum.

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7 years 6 months ago #29527978 by steadirob
Interesting, as I was sending this last reply to the forum, suddenly a notice popped up that Roborun had found a controller! And indeed, it is working now!

Still confused why it needs to scan the ports for minutes before it finds the controller.
And unfortunately I cannot reproduce it again, when I exited the Roboteq app. and restarted it, it could not find any open port anymore.

I can see that there is communication between my laptop and the controller because when in hyperTerminal, if I switch off the controller and back on again it shows: Starting... and then the FID as above.

All advice appreciated!
Thanks,
Rob

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7 years 6 months ago #29528020 by steadirob
Still no solution.

I installed the Roboteq+ software on another laptop, this time a Toshiba Satellite with Windows Vista. (before on a IBMThinkpad, XP)

Results are the same: SnapEasy utility works and connects to the Snap Link modules via the USB-to-Serial cable.

Hyperterminal shows upon startup from the Controller via these Snap Link modules:
Starting:.....
FID-Roboteq v1.2 RCB200 03/03/2013

Roboteq+ application scans and sees all the ports, including the one that Hyper Terminal and SnapEasy connects to (Com 11) but they are all closed.

The port does not become available, even after a long time scanning.

any suggestions?

Thanks,Rob

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7 years 6 months ago #29528031 by Griffin Baker
Edited:

Not sure what else it could e with the wireless communication being jammed.

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7 years 6 months ago #29528033 by roboteq
Roborun sends periodic 0x05 and expects 0x06 to be replied within 50ms. Do you know if the radio adds a latency, or if it treats differently such invisible characters.

This would be the only explanation.

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7 years 6 months ago #29528042 by steadirob
OK, with some hints and tips from the Snap Link Forum I am a bit further now.
I tried the settings on the UART as they proposed,

The PC signal is received on the remote, the controller sends back again as it\'s Snap-C-led is also blinking in tune with the A led of the PC-Snap.

It sometimes works. then all functions seem to work too. however, there are short breaks in the transmission, as I can see from the graphs in the Roborun app. I also hear the motor behaving irregular. and some data fields, like some of the analog inputs and pulse inputs which are constantly scanned are grayed out off and on.
So even when it is working there is still not a steady communication between the controller and PC.

This morning I could establish a connection for one time, when I switched the remote link off and on again. It suddenly connected and i could run the program and the motor. But this is not repeatable, switching either snaplink off and on does not start a connection, so I suspect it was just coincidence.

Then I noticed that when the PC signalled that the communication was lost, the Controller was still sending pulses to the port, probably disabling any recognition procedure initiated from the PC. By switching the controller off and on again, I could make the PC connect again. This does not work always, several start/stops might be needed in order to get the PC/roboteq app. finding the controller again.
Then the PC shows that the controller is lost, the motor coms to a sudden stop (with the brake). But one time it found the controller again after a minute and I could start the motor again.
This is not repeatable.

So why and how this irregular behavior?
It is clear that the Snap Links work, but there might be something with the Roborun utility and/or controller that needs to be adjusted.


Thanks for all the help, so far.
Rob

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7 years 6 months ago #29528043 by roboteq
It looks like the delay between sending the 0x05 and receivng the 0x06 is the problem. There is no easy fix to this. Roborun would need to be modified to allow for longer delays.

Is there any particular reason you must have roborun? You can do almost everything from hyperterm, although it is not as easy or user friendly.

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7 years 6 months ago #29528047 by steadirob
I think I do need the Roborun utility because I want to be able to use limits on the position of the whole construction hanging on the cable.
And as a second option I want to be able to direct the cable cam to pre-defined positions.

The hyperterminal is in my opinion not usuable for that.

It surely hope it will be possible to adjust the response time of Roborun.
Otherwise all the very interesting features of your controller are unusable in such an application.

I know I can control the controller by RC control and in real life that will be used for sure, but in order to set limits on a suspended cable I need to insert those limits first by zeroing at a certain position and then set the limits by moving the cable-cam to either limit by computer control.

At the same time i need to monitor battery voltage as this rig is not connected to any external power supply. Again Roborun is perfect for that.

Any ideas appreciated...

Rob

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