Author Topic: Complete description to set up transparent COM1?  (Read 677 times)

K5WA

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Complete description to set up transparent COM1?
« on: 2018-09-04, 23:28:47 »
I have a PLC on the RADIO end and an HMI Panel on the control side of my RRC pair.  This RRC pair worked perfectly earlier for K3 Twins, CAT (for N1MM) and WinKeyer.  I removed the K3, CAT and WinKey settings so I now simply have one function for this pair; i.e. COM1 transparent RS-232 channel for my PLC.  I cannot find a FULL description in the manual, only bits and pieces with many caveats and dead end instructions.  I've tried all the pinout connections shown in the manual but it still does not communicate. I'm even using a terminal program to watch the ports to see what is happening.  I get the initial 1258 header from the RRC but nothing more.  I get this same result for COM1 and COM2.

Does anyone know where I can find a complete set of setup instructions or a sample .bin file for transparent serial communication that I can follow?

Thanks for any ideas.

Bob K5WA

K5WA

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Re: Complete description to set up transparent COM1? - RESOLVED
« Reply #1 on: 2018-11-23, 06:31:41 »
Well, I see 220 people were attracted to view my post from the description but there were zero answers so I'm assuming others may be interested in my findings.  The guys who already figured this out will find this very basic but for us newbies who don't know up from down, I hope this helps get you over a hurdle so you can use COM1 for "transparent" (my definition - standard RS-232 communication that you normally take for granted when you plug a cable from your computer to an RS-232 device).

In my case, I need to have a transparent RS-232 link to my remote SO2R station which will handle my PLC based control system (128 I/O for antenna switching, rotation and misc. items).  I could not find a simple and direct set of instructions to make this work but here is a check list to do this one job now that I've stumbled on it.

1) Use a null modem cable on the RADIO end between the RRC and the RS-232 device.  (I just used a standard off-the-shelf NULL modem cable but you could make one that just uses 3 pins RX,TX,GND).
2) Under the SERIAL settings of each RRC, use the MODE 3, char timeout setting.  MODE 1 was recommended but it was VERY slow and I found MODE 3 to be great and very fast.
3) Make sure the baud rates match your RS-232 device;i.e. if your device runs at 38,400 8N1, make sure each RRC is set the same way.
4) On the CONTROL RRC, make sure you don't accidentally leave the "Use USB COM Port as 1" turned ON.  It has to be OFF if you want to use the DB9 COM1 port on the CONTROL RRC.
5) Make sure you click the CONNECT button on the status page of the CONTROL RRC before you try to see if serial data is flowing.  The yellow LED on each RRC will light when a solid connection is establish.

All the other setting are fairly unimportant if you ONLY want COM1 communication but this will help you isolate any issues when you test on your home LAN like I'm doing.  I'm open for any questions but remember, I'm a newbie and use the hit or miss technique to figure things out so don't think you will be getting an answer like a PHD in EE would give.  ;-)   My direct email, if needed, is K5WA at arrl dot net.

Good luck!

Bob K5WA


K5WA

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Re: Complete description to set up transparent COM1?
« Reply #2 on: 2018-11-25, 03:37:07 »
One more note after using this connection for a day...
I had to set the port buffer (slider adjustment in Win10 Device Manager for the specific port) to 2 out of 4 rather than 4 out of 4 since the connection was dropping out after 10 minutes randomly.  It is now solid and has been running for hours.  This will handle my needs.
Again, I can't explain why these settings work but after lots of trial and error, they work for me.