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Old Sabrent PL2303 USB-Serial works but not new FTDI-8

 
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toddk63



Joined: 17 Apr 2006
Posts: 8

PostPosted: Tue Mar 17, 2015 12:04 am    Post subject: Old Sabrent PL2303 USB-Serial works but not new FTDI-8 Reply with quote

Maybe there is a simple explanation. I have been using a JP1.x Serial cable with a Sabrent PL2303 USB to Serial adapter to program RS15-100 remotes. I got a new Gearmo FTDI-8 USB to serial adapter because allegedly FTDI is the most compatible and has better drivers. It certainly is for communicating with my alarm panel as the old Sabrent PL2303 would not. But for JP1.x interfacing, the situation is reversed!? The new FTDI-8 just wont pass the jp1xtest.exe. Any ideas?

Thanks,

Todd K.
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Thomas



Joined: 16 Feb 2008
Posts: 83

PostPosted: Tue Mar 17, 2015 12:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

FTDI has several varieties of RS-23x (TTL) chip. The RS15-100 only requires that Gnd/Tx/Rx/RTS be connected to its pins 3/6/4/2, respectively. I know that the FTDI 230/231/232 series all work for my RS15-100 remotes. This Gearmo might have circuitry to convert the output to send RS-232 level (12V) signals, rather than the 5V TTL that the remote expects.

Also, some interfaces seem to have the DTR signal always connected. FTDI chips can be programmed to invert the handshaking signals, and some equipment requires DTR to be active LOW, others need DTR active HIGH. RS15-100 does not need DTR.

From the looks of the unit, you may need to wire in a cable from the TTL level lines to use with the remote. Or have you already done that?

FTDI Rx goes to remote pin 6 = Tx line
FTDI Tx goes to remote pin 4 = Rx line

I found a manual and will see what else I can learn about Gearmo.

*/edit - clarify the tx/rx assignments /*
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Tom Carlson
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toddk63



Joined: 17 Apr 2006
Posts: 8

PostPosted: Wed Mar 18, 2015 7:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Tom,

Can you clarify which additional wire may need to be added? When I "upgraded" the RS15-100, I left pin 5 on the JP1.3 header unconnected. Is this the additional wire you speak of?

I purchased the JP1.3 to serial cable. Looking at it, I thought I might have homebrewed it, but when I opened it up and saw the 3 tiny surface mount IC's, I knew it was not my work.
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Thomas



Joined: 16 Feb 2008
Posts: 83

PostPosted: Wed Mar 18, 2015 10:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Todd,
You are using RS15-100 so I assume you have skills to open it and solder in a 2x3 plug. Flash remotes only need four wires, leave pins 1 and 5 unconnected. Remember, TTL! Some chips will work with 3.3v and that may be a problem with some remotes. RS15-100 should work ok, though.

Look here:
http://www.hifi-remote.com/forums/dload.php?action=file&file_id=10864

I think this product is still available (Digikey or Mouser) and the customizing is pretty simple. There are other examples with different FTDI chips and at least one ready-to-use solution based on UMFT230XB-01 evaluation board.

I would not consider buying an interface from an outside vendor, there's no telling whether you will get a genuine FTDI chip or a workable product.

Also, browse through the Hardware section of the forum, many hints and suggestions, most require some DIY to get a suitable cable from the chip to the remote. I have parted out a number of obsolete computers -- most had a 3-pin female plug for connecting front panel control to the motherboard -- take two of these three-pin jobs and superglue the blank sides together (the other sides have the plastic clip which retains the terminals in their sockets, leave them accessible for possible later modifications).

One post even describes how to get an interface board with a 6-pin inline plug, cut it into two pieces and glue it so the missing socket is located at pin 5. Cost for any of these solutions should be less than $15 with shipping.
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Tom Carlson
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toddk63



Joined: 17 Apr 2006
Posts: 8

PostPosted: Wed Mar 18, 2015 2:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks again Tom,

That sounds like an incredibly easy solution to the USB to JP1.3 interface. I may make me one just to have in my kit. When I first started this whole JP1 thing, many years ago, USB adapters were expensive and hard to find while serial ports where widely available on all the computers I had. The opposite seems true now. Since my PL2303 USB to serial adapter plus my JP1.3 to serial cable works, I am satisfied for now.

This whole question was driven more out of curiosity (and maybe getting away from the buggy PL2303 drivers).

You mentioned, pins 1 & 5 need not be connected on the RS15-100. When I modified my RS15-100, I did connect pin 1 as was shown in the Tommy Tyler tutorial. If I disconnected pin 1 , would it work with my FTDI USB to Serial adapter? If so, an easy solution is to just clip the pin 1 from the remote 2x3 male header.
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toddk63



Joined: 17 Apr 2006
Posts: 8

PostPosted: Wed Mar 18, 2015 8:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just tried with and without pin 1 with jumper wires and alligator clips. On both straight up serial port from back of computer and through the PL2303 USB to serial adapter, pin 1 is definitely needed. Would not work without pin 1 connected. It did not make a difference either way with the FTDI USB to serial adapter, still didn't work.
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Thomas



Joined: 16 Feb 2008
Posts: 83

PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2015 5:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ahh, now you're talking SERIAL, I am still referring to USB. See this:
http://www.hifi-remote.com/forums/dload.php?action=file&file_id=10953

Download the PDF and look at the picture on page 2. Four wires. For USB, nothing more is required to interface a flash remote.

For serial, depending on the circuit design, you may need pin 1, for Vdd or to detect a remote present, or to interface a JP1 EEPROM adapter or for an IRscope widget.

I don't know what the circuit looks like in what you are using, but definitely you do not want to feed 12v from the computer serial port to the remote.

Tom
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