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No Data Appears in the Analyze Window

The Analyze Window always presents data exactly as it is received from the device. If no data appears, it must be due to one or more of the following:

The device is improperly configured, prompted or operated, is malfunctioning or lacks power.

Some devices must be configured to output their data via the serial port. Typically these devices have built in printers or some other output device to which the data is sent by default.

In many cases the device will not continuously send the data, but instead must be prompted either with a command sent to through the serial port from your PC or by pushing a button (often marked "Print") on the device itself. If this is the case the Analyze window will remain empty until push the button or send the command to transmit the data.

You should check the user manual for the device or contact the manufacturer to be sure that the device is properly configured, prompted and is not malfunctioning. Usually it is easy to tell if the device is switched off or lacks power, but double check anyway!

Port Settings are improperly set in WinWedge.

The communication parameters for your device (Baud Rate, Parity, Data bits , stop bits, flow control) should be listed in the user's manual for your serial device. WinWedge must be configured to match these parameters exactly. You can set up WinWedge by selecting the SETTINGS option from the PORT menu. If you do not know the parameters used by your device you will need to contact its manufacturer for this information. You can also try checking our sample configuration files page which not only displays information we have about devices we are familiar with here at TALtech, but also has many ready to use WinWedge configuration files with excel spreadsheets available for download.

If the manufacturer of your device has gone out of business and your user manual is long gone you may have to use trial and error to configure Winwedge. Most devices use one of these combinations:

  • even parity, 7 data bits, 1 stop bit (use this if any doubt)
  • no parity, 8 data bits, 1 stop bit (may result in every other character being garbled if actual data is 7 bits)

Beeps in the Port Analyze window signify parity or other communications errors in the received data, or a serial buffer overrun. You may receive fewer characters than expected if the Baud rate is set too high in the WinWedge, or more characters than expected if it is set too low; in either case, the characters are likely to be garbled.

Note: The combination of 8 data bits and any parity other than none, which may be used by some devices, might not be supported by all UARTs.

The connection between the device and COM port is loose or improper.

Verify that no body tripped on the cable since you last looked and pulled it out of the device or the PC. If everything is connected, you are sure you have the right port settings and that the device is tranmitting data, but you are not getting any data at all into the analyze window then you may need a "NUL Modem Adapter". A NUL modem adapter is a small plug that connects between the serial cable from your device and serial port on your PC. Its purpose is essentially to cross the transmit and receive lines in the cable so that the transmit line from your serial device is connected to the receive line on your PC and vice versa. If you normally connect your serial device to a printer and you can successfully print to the printer, then you definitely need a NUL Modem Adapter. You can pick one up at any Radio Shack or computer supply store for about five dollars. If possible take the device or the cable to the store with you so that you can match the adapter to the cable.

Some devices - such as Sartorius balances - require a special proprietary cable. Check with the manufacturer of your device to be sure that the cable you are using is compatible. If it is compatible, see if you can test it on another PC or with another device to be sure that this cable is not faulty.

The COM port is malfunctioning, or in conflict with another piece of hardware or software.

Make sure that the PC you are using is equipped with the serial port selected in the Port > Settings Dialog box. If you do not have the chosen serial port or if your serial port is configured improperly then you must correct the problem and try again. Removing the COM port through the Windows Control Panel then restarting the PC will allow Windows to reinstall it. If it still does not work then try contacting the manufacturer of the port (especially if it is not part of your motherboard but an add on serial port that you purchased seperately). They may have updated drivers that you can download and install that will fix the problem.

Make sure that the Port Address and IRQ number in the Advanced section of the PORTS dialog box in the Windows Control Panel are correctly specified for your serial adapter hardware. The standard values for COM1 through COM4 are shown below:

Connector

Port Address

IRQ

COM1

03F8

4

COM2

02F8

3

COM3

03E8

4

COM4

02E8

3

If possible, try connecting your device to another COM port on this PC or to another PC and run Terminal (Windows 3.x) or HyperTerminal (Windows 95 and later) to see if you can establish communications.

While the manufacturer of your serial device may not be familiar with WinWedge they will more than likely be familiar with either Terminal or HyperTerminal. A good course of action at this point would be to contact the manufacturer of your serial device and have one of their technical support representatives walk you through the process of connecting the device to the Terminal or HyperTerminal program. Once you are able to get data into Terminal or HyperTerminal you should have no trouble doing the same thing with WinWedge.


Categories: Troubleshooting

Last Updated: 2011.07.05

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