USB to Serial Adapter works with some but not other uses?????

Discussion in 'Windows Vista General Discussion' started by Jarredsdad, Mar 10, 2008.

  1. Jarredsdad

    Jarredsdad Guest

    Hello Windows World!

    I'm an HVAC Tech who is pretty computer savy and carry a laptop with me on
    the job to "talk" to various HVAC systems.

    I have a Dynex DX-UBDB9 USB to Serial adapter. All drivers are up to date,
    even got a new one from windows update not long ago.

    When I had an XP laptop everything worked fine. Now, I have a Vista laptop
    and everything is not fine.

    Here's the problem. I use a program to get information from several types
    of Trane equipment. It's called LitePort, and it basically translates the
    blinks of an LED on a circuit board into real information I can use for
    troubleshooting. This worked under XP and works under Vista.

    Well that's really not a problem as it works. Info comes in from the serial
    device is translated.

    However, I also have programs to talk to and program devices from Johnson
    Controls. These are basically computers controlling HVAC equipment. It's
    kind of an opposite internet connection, in that you Upload from and Download
    to the component.

    There is some info I can get from the controller (other computer) but I cant
    open up full communications, which basically screws me.

    Why doesn't this work?

    Could it be because Vista doesn't come with Seriaal Keys?

    Might something like SKeys help?
     
    Jarredsdad, Mar 10, 2008
    #1
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  2. Jarredsdad

    Not Me Guest

    I'd be tempted to ask Johnson Controls what their criteria is, they may have
    a patch.
     
    Not Me, Mar 10, 2008
    #2
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  3. I worked a couple of summers at a control systems engineering company when I
    was a student, a decade ago. I mostly worked at the 'bureau' where we
    controlled (mostly Trend outstations) through the internet. I did have to
    go on site a couple of times to dial in directly using a laptop with serial
    connection a couple of times, but that was the job of the field engineers.
    A lot the work that the company was doing those days was replacing older
    outstations in fear of the millennium bug, lol. The company was booming, so
    they were in desperate need of people who knew about computer networks.

    Well, anyway. Did your old XP laptop have a proper serial port? Those USB
    ss.
     
    Synapse Syndrome, Mar 10, 2008
    #3
  4. Yeah, maybe the software is designed to work with XP's built in serial
    support, and not third party support that you would have to use with Vista.

    ss.
     
    Synapse Syndrome, Mar 10, 2008
    #4
  5. I also use a laptop to talk to serial devices. USB-Serial adaptors
    are a crapshoot. Most are designed to support ONLY PDA's or ONLY modems
    and don't really pass a full range of signals. Some work perfectly with
    one pc and not at all with another.

    My solution was to pick up an old Thinkpad T23 for 200 bucks. It's
    got a real serial port and is very thin and light. Also if it walks away I
    won't be heartbroken. Any old laptop of similar vintage would do, a dell
    600 or whatever.
     
    the wharf rat, Mar 10, 2008
    #5
  6. Ha. I was going to suggest that too, but a ThinkPad X31 (or X32)
    ultracompact. I have one, and an X40 (which does not have a serial port).
    They are small enough to carry everywhere you go.

    ss.
     
    Synapse Syndrome, Mar 10, 2008
    #6

  7. Oh, and of course run XP on that older laptop, as Vista will be a dog, and
    has no standard serial support.

    ss.
     
    Synapse Syndrome, Mar 10, 2008
    #7
  8. Jarredsdad

    V Green Guest

    Exactly right. They often seem not to adhere
    100% to the RS-232 spec, which states that signal
    levels need to swing both positive AND negative from
    0 Volts. They often just go from 0 to +5, which
    is not spec.

    The most reliable I have used are based on the Prolific
    PL-2303 chip, like this one:

    http://www.cyberguys.com/templates/SearchDetail.asp?productID=2066

    I used this on a Vista laptop to connect to my cell
    phone and Globalstar sat phone with no problems.

    I guess you will just have to try multiple adapters until:

    a) you get one that works
    or
    b) you try them all and none of them work.
     
    V Green, Mar 10, 2008
    #8
  9. Jarredsdad

    Jarredsdad Guest

    No, your missing the point. It worked on XP but only half way on Vista.

    The software works with 95 upto XP. The work Laptop is 98 and has a serial
    port.

    Why does Vista allow minimum funtionality? Why can't the USB to Serial have
    2 way communications.
     
    Jarredsdad, Mar 10, 2008
    #9
  10. Jarredsdad

    Jarredsdad Guest

    Ooops, it also will work on a Vista machine with a serial port.
     
    Jarredsdad, Mar 10, 2008
    #10
  11. From: "Jarredsdad" <>

    | Hello Windows World!
    |
    | I'm an HVAC Tech who is pretty computer savy and carry a laptop with me on
    | the job to "talk" to various HVAC systems.
    |
    | I have a Dynex DX-UBDB9 USB to Serial adapter. All drivers are up to date,
    | even got a new one from windows update not long ago.
    |
    | When I had an XP laptop everything worked fine. Now, I have a Vista laptop
    | and everything is not fine.
    |
    | Here's the problem. I use a program to get information from several types
    | of Trane equipment. It's called LitePort, and it basically translates the
    | blinks of an LED on a circuit board into real information I can use for
    | troubleshooting. This worked under XP and works under Vista.
    |
    | Well that's really not a problem as it works. Info comes in from the serial
    | device is translated.
    |
    | However, I also have programs to talk to and program devices from Johnson
    | Controls. These are basically computers controlling HVAC equipment. It's
    | kind of an opposite internet connection, in that you Upload from and Download
    | to the component.
    |
    | There is some info I can get from the controller (other computer) but I cant
    | open up full communications, which basically screws me.
    |
    | Why doesn't this work?
    |
    | Could it be because Vista doesn't come with Seriaal Keys?
    |
    | Might something like SKeys help?

    It isn't necessarily the OS.

    I have personnel using Dell Latitude D410 notebooks with WinXP and provided them with both
    USB to Serial Adapters and D410 media bays which have a DB9 Serial Port (there is no serial
    ports on Latitude D10 notebooks). They have to use the serial port to program Harris
    Radios. Not unlike what you are doing.

    A few just returned from the office and reported the USB to Serial Adapters did not work.
    They had to use the serial port on the media bays.

    They will soon be upgraded to Dell Latitude D630 notebooks which do have DB9 serial ports
    built-in.

    I suggest something similar. A notebook that has a DB9 serial port built-in.
     
    David H. Lipman, Mar 11, 2008
    #11
  12. How so? Hmmn, maybe you are missing the point, as your following questions
    ahev already been answered.

    What software? So the software does not work with Vista? Isn't that the
    problem then?

    Vista has no built-in serial support.

    You've been told that they do not work very well.
    So what does your powers of reasoning tell you?

    ss.
     
    Synapse Syndrome, Mar 11, 2008
    #12
  13. Well, *I* run linux, of course...
     
    the wharf rat, Mar 11, 2008
    #13
  14. So do I, sometimes. All my apps (CAD, 3D and graphics) are Windows/Mac only
    though.

    ss.
     
    Synapse Syndrome, Mar 11, 2008
    #14
  15. Jarredsdad

    Jarredsdad Guest

    What it tells me is that for some reason Vista does not support the USB to
    Serial in and out. What I want to know is why, and how do I work around it.

    Man, I feel like I'm talking to Microsoft!
     
    Jarredsdad, Mar 11, 2008
    #15
  16. Jarredsdad

    GTS Guest

    GTS, Mar 11, 2008
    #16
  17. Jarredsdad

    Not Me Guest

    MS considers serial port to be 'old' techology and thus didn't build in
    support for it in Vista.
    Most OEMs don't include it on new systems anymore.
     
    Not Me, Mar 11, 2008
    #17
  18. David H. Lipman, Mar 11, 2008
    #18

  19. Which is what you need to use PCMCIA and PC Express cards!

    No, I thought the same thing for a split second, and did not think of this
    solution.

    ss.
     
    Synapse Syndrome, Mar 11, 2008
    #19
  20. the wharf rat, Mar 11, 2008
    #20
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