TRX2a Serial Problem

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TRX2a Serial Problem

Postby AA4PB » 14 Jun 2012 14:20

My TRX2a is having problems with the boot loader firmware upgrade server - I think. The computer is an XP laptop using a USB-Serial converter (with a FTDI chip). Using HyperTerm I see the log on messages when the TRX2 is powered up. The RS232 test mode is working correctly. When I run the upgrade program on the PC and power up the TRX2 while holding the VFO button, the LCD displays boot loader message correctly but the PC and the TRX2 never seem to communicate and both ends eventually time out. Has anyone had a problem with using a USB-Serial converter? I'm wondering if perhaps the upgrade program is looking for active control signals on the serial port and I need to add jumpers to the 9-pin connector (DTR and CTS). It appears like HyperTerm is okay with the converter but the boot loader server is not.
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Re: TRX2a Serial Problem

Postby WI3CK » 14 Jun 2012 16:58

First: Did you replace the ibl_dspiclist.xml file according to the JUMA-TRX2 Boot loader documentation?

Second: I have similar problems here using a Syba 34mm ExpressCard, which basically is a USB->Serial based on a Prolific chip set.

On the first try the Ingenia boot loader usually responds with error code -5, whatever that may mean. If i leave the radio sitting in the flash writer mode for a while, make sure the plug is well seated and try again ... and again, eventually it connects on 38400 or 56000, never on 115200. Which of the two speeds works seems to depend on the phase of the moon and the current tide, but I wasn't able to discover a predictable pattern yet. Once a connection is made, I can repeatedly connect again and again.


Hope this helps and 73,
Jan WI3CK.
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Re: TRX2a Serial Problem

Postby AA4PB » 14 Jun 2012 17:12

Yes, I did replace the XML file. I can't leave the TRX2 in "boot loader" for more than a few seconds because it times out and goes to the normal radio mode. I looked at the Ingenia documentation on their web page and see that the software should start by sending "U" characters to the TRX2 so that it can measure the baud rate. My next step will be to look at the data and see if that is happening. I expect that it is not, which is probably why the boot loader client in the TRX2 times out. I also have another brand of USB-Serial converter that I can try. Unfortunately my only computer with a real serial port runs Windows7 which is not compatible with the Ingenia host, according to their documentation.

Given that others appear to be using the Ingenia software okay, I assume that this is a USB-serial related issue.
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Re: TRX2a Serial Problem

Postby WI3CK » 14 Jun 2012 17:26

That is interesting. If I hold VFO and turn on the TRX2 while the host boot loader is trying to connect, the TRX2 stays in the Flash Writer mode even after the host boot loader would report that Error -5 and I have terminated it. It stays there until I disconnect power. It only times out if the host boot loader isn't trying to connect when I power up.

Have you tried to establish a connection at 9600? It won't be much fun to watch the glacial speed of the progress bar at 9600, but if you only want to flash a new firmware release and aren't actually modifying the code yourself, it would still be OK for it to take a couple of minutes.


Regards,
Jan WI3CK
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Re: TRX2a Serial Problem

Postby AA4PB » 14 Jun 2012 18:18

"It only times out if the host boot loader isn't trying to connect when I power up."

Thanks - good info. That confirms what I was thinking, that the host is somehow not communicating with the USB-Serial adapter even though HyperTerm does.
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Re: TRX2a Serial Problem

Postby WI3CK » 14 Jun 2012 19:14

AA4PB wrote:"It only times out if the host boot loader isn't trying to connect when I power up."

Thanks - good info. That confirms what I was thinking, that the host is somehow not communicating with the USB-Serial adapter even though HyperTerm does.


That could well be.

The Ingenia boot loader does not like my Belkin F5U409 USB-Serial converter either. It simply doesn't recognize the virtual com port at all.

Have you tried reassigning the virtual COM port of the USB adapter to COM1 or COM2? That can be done by first removing the original COM1/COM2 in the hardware manager, then reassigning the virtual COM port and finally doing a scan for changes, which usually assigns the original COM1/COM2 to COM3.

If I find some time later tonight I may try to run the Ingenia boot loader in a Linux VM using Wine. If that works I could prepare a complete VM image that you can run in VMware Player (free) on the Win7 host and use the real COM port there.


Regards,
Jan WI3CK
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Re: TRX2a Serial Problem

Postby AA4PB » 14 Jun 2012 19:45

I've been doing some playing here with an XP machine with a real serial port - but don't have my TRX2 available at the moment. The boot loader doesn't recognize my Belkin F5U409 at all either. It does recognize a Manhattan dual serial-USB converter. I hooked up a null modem cable, put a serial monitor on the other port and sure enough I see it sending "U"s. With this converter when it times out (because I don't have the TRX2 connected) I get a different error message. I'll borrow this serial-USB converter and give it a try with the receiver. Apparently the Ingenia software is rather sensitive to what serial-SUB converter is used - probably works fine with a real serial port.
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Re: TRX2a Serial Problem

Postby AA4PB » 14 Jun 2012 21:29

Tried the dual usb-serial adapter on my laptop. Software recognizes it and a loopback test shows the software outputting "U"s but still no reponse from the TRX2 bootloader. Tried sending "U"s with HyperTerm and no response there either. But, HyperTerm works with the RS232 test mode.

I noticed that I have software version 1.05 in my TRX2. Is this possibly an issue? I see that version 1.06 is on the Juma web page.

Bob
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Re: TRX2a Serial Problem

Postby WI3CK » 14 Jun 2012 21:56

AA4PB wrote:I noticed that I have software version 1.05 in my TRX2.


My dsPIC still has the 1.05 label on it and I was able to flash it via RS232 to 1.07something right from there, so that can't be the root cause of your problems.

I do know that my serial type JDM style PIC programmer can connect via ICSP and detect the PIC. I didn't actually try to reload the original 1.05 or 1.06 firmware that way (I will try that after screwing up my boot loader).


Regards,
Jan WI3C
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Re: TRX2a Serial Problem

Postby 5B4AIY » 15 Jun 2012 12:13

Gentlemen,
I can confirm that the Belkin F5U409 USB-Serial converter simply will not work. I have tried to use this convertor myself and have had lots of problems with it. The USB to RS232 convertor I use has an FTDI chip in it, and that works under Win-XP/Win-Vista/Win-7. For Vista and 7 you will need to set the compatibility mode for the Ingenia loader to Windows XP/SP3, and will have to set the permission level to 'Run as Administrator'.

Inability to recopgnise via loader.
If you can get it to work at low speeds, then this is usually a symptom of a problem with the serial port on the Juma. I had this when trying to update the PA-100D with my firmware, and although it would work at 38K it would not at 115K. An examination of the data stream with my Tektronix sampling scope showed that the data transitions were very noisy, and not of the correct amplitude. The problem was eventually traced to the charge pump capacitors of the MAX232 chip. I seemed to have been sent an early revision chip which requires 1uF charge pump capacitors rather than the 0.1uF suuplied. I changed the capacitors, and that fixed the problem.

You can also see this if you have accidentally soldered the capacitors at 90 degrees to their correct orientation. I eventually diagnosed this problem with one correspondent who emailed me with similar problems, and it was only after he emailed me a JPEG image of his board that I spotted the mistake. In both cases the serial port will seem to work for terminal mode applications, but will not work for firmware updates.

If you have a scope, check the TRX-2 transmit data line - the data transitions should be abolutely clean with no noise on the tops of the data pulses, and the amplitude should be at least +6V to -6V or so depending upon the load of the receiving serial port. You can also perform a simple verification by plugging a stereo 3.5mm lead into the RS232 port and measuring the DC voltage on the tip, which is the TX data line. It should be about -9V, anything less is cause for suspicion.

It is possible to corrupt the boot loader if the RS232 port is not working correctly, I've done it, and then you have to both fix the problem and reload the complete firmware + boot loader package using the IDC port.

I have also had problems using USB to Dual RS-232 ports - in my case under Win XP and Win-7 I would get very unreliable and flaky operation. Indeed, using several different dual ports none of them have ever worked in an absolutely 'bullet-proof' solid reliable way, especailly under Win-Vista or Win-7. The only chipset that has never given me any trouble is the FTDI, and that can be updated from their website with the latest drivers suitable for Win-7. Using this chip I get solid reliable operation at 115k on Win-XP and Win-7 both 32-bit and 64-bit systems.

Regards,
Adrian, 5B4AIY
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