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Topic-icon AX3500 Motor Controller Serial Connection Failure

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1 year 8 months ago #29533564 by rwbot
Aloha!

I’m from Jamaica/Hawaii and studying as an electrical engineering sophomore at Trinity college, Hartford, Connecticut, USA. I'm using the Roboteq AX3500 Motor controller to build an autonomous vehicle for the IGVC competition. All the parts (including motor controller and motors) are from the teams of previous years. There was no documentation left over, so I had to figure out how to use it from scratch.

I followed the quick start guide and successfully ran the Self Test, where the motors were separately engaged frontwards and backwards until shut off.

I’m now trying to connect it to a PC running Windows 7 to use the Roborun software, but nothing happens. In Roborun, when I leave the port selection on Auto, it cycles through “COM1 closed, COM3 closed” over and over and says Disconnected. When I manually select COM3, it says Connected, but nothing changes. I’ve attached a log from the session. In the console, I just get stuff like:
??\x04
?”?
\x12A
E?
*

Since the Self Check verifies the motor is capable of running correctly, I’m assuming the problem lies in the RS232 cable. The cable I’m currently using was modified by previous teams. Following the manual, which said only Pins 2, 3 and 5 were needed for basic communication, I disconnected all the wires on both the male and female, except those in pins 2, 3 and 5, and insulated the disconnected with electrical tape.

I’m not sure what to do from here, so any help will be appreciated!

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(860) 994-2072
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  • Gabriel_Isko
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1 year 7 months ago #29533633 by Gabriel_Isko
Replied by Gabriel_Isko on topic AX3500 Motor Controller Serial Connection Failure
Hello Chris,

I believe we spoke on the phone, but I am going through forum posts and thought I would respond.

For RS232 communication it is important to ensure that your cable is correctly mapping the RX pin on your controller to the TX pin on your computer or adapter, and vice versa. The fact that you have a modified cable makes me think that this got switched somehow.

I have also explained that we no longer support the AX3500 unfortunately. The modern replacement will probably be an HDC controller.

Good Luck! I'm actually from the Hartford area and used to participate in the robotic fire fighting competition at Trinity, so I'm rooting for you.

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