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Hlp with newbie hardware problem

 
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TomintheVan



Joined: 04 Dec 2003
Posts: 8
Location: Near Ottawa (you know, north of New York State)

PostPosted: Thu Dec 04, 2003 2:57 pm    Post subject: Hlp with newbie hardware problem Reply with quote

My apologies for the length of this post. I simply wanted to tell you what I have done to date, just to shortcut any suggestions to do things I've already done. Of course, if I've missed something obvious, suggest away - I'm desperate (and frustrated )

Here's the situation

1. I built the simple remote from a kit I purchased from filebug and Tommy Tylers excellent instructions. I've also followed TT's instructions for debugging as far as I can.
2. I tested it on my laptop (accessing IR.EXE from a folder on my home network - i.e. not on the laptop hard drive). I consistently got the "Always reading 1..." diagnostic. Even with no remote (or even cable) connected.
2. Visual inspection of cable looked OK.
3. I tested the remote on my desktop (and server) and got the "always reading 0..." message - a small improvement .
4. went back to laptop and noticed that when I tried to set the parallel port device address it always seemed to be set to 278, even after I changed it to 378. Curious , so I copied the IR.EXE utility to the laptop hard drive. After that I could change the remote address OK.
5. On the laptop, after setting the port address to 378, the interface test now gives the "Always reading 0..." message when the interface cable is plugged in (still no remote connected)
6. Next, I tried the paper clip test. With the clip connecting pins 2 and 11 the interface check no longer gave the "Always reading ..." error and gave the "No response" error. More progress ...
7. Last, I tried to measure the impedance of the diode. It is about 750 ohms in one direction and in the other direction the reading dances around so I cant measure it. Actually, if I measure the reverse impedance with my ancient Heathkit VOM with almost dead batteries, it comes out as infinite.
SO now my questions...
1. what do I do next.
2. does it sound like the diode is faulty?
3. does the fact that the IR.EXE not behave properly when run from a shared folder (i.e. network) indicate a minor bug?

Any help from you guys would be appreciated - a lot...
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The Robman
Site Owner


Joined: 01 Aug 2003
Posts: 18551
Location: Chicago, IL

PostPosted: Thu Dec 04, 2003 5:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Do you know if Tom gave you 10k or 1k resistors and do you know if the diode is a signal (1N4148) or Schottky (1N5818) diode?

For laptop use, the correct answers should be 1k and Schottky.
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Rob
www.hifi-remote.com
Please don't PM me with remote questions, post them in the forums so all the experts can help!
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jamesgammel
Exile Island Resident


Joined: 03 Aug 2003
Posts: 394
Location: Gillette, Wyoming

PostPosted: Thu Dec 04, 2003 5:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If that doesn't fix it, try the ultra in one of it's various forms.

Jim
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TomintheVan



Joined: 04 Dec 2003
Posts: 8
Location: Near Ottawa (you know, north of New York State)

PostPosted: Thu Dec 04, 2003 5:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Robman wrote:
Do you know if Tom gave you 10k or 1k resistors and do you know if the diode is a signal (1N4148) or Schottky (1N5818) diode? Rob

The resistors are 1k and the diode is the 5818.

Tom (intheVan)
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Mark Pierson
Expert


Joined: 03 Aug 2003
Posts: 3006
Location: Connecticut, USA

PostPosted: Fri Dec 05, 2003 7:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

1k and the 5818 is the hot setup these days. Wink

The problem you're having isn't easily fixed (if it were, the interface design would have been changed so it wouldn't happen at all). There's a complex relationship between the voltages at the LPT port, the interface itself, and the remote. The problem lies in the fact that most LPT ports vary widely in the output voltages. Laptops can be especially finicky, since they tend to provide less power on their pins. Here's some things you can try.

Turn off IR's Auto Check on the Interface menu and try a download. It may work without error. Be sure to check the remote to see if it "resets" after the download (usually 2 blinks of the LED)

Try various combinations of batteries. I don't see where you mention which remote you have, but if it uses 4 batteries, try it with 3 or 2 (using a dead battery or shunt to complete the circuit); if it uses 2, try 1, etc. Sometimes, the Simple interface will work with NO batteries.

As for IR not running from a network location, I think if you copy the file gwiopm.sys to a local system directory, it will. I know we've heard from someone who did it, but as usual, I can't find it when I need it.
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TomintheVan



Joined: 04 Dec 2003
Posts: 8
Location: Near Ottawa (you know, north of New York State)

PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2004 8:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very Happy I tried the suggestions, to no avail. So I went back to first principles, checking all the joints and wiring connections. Finally, I realized I had the diode in backwards. Jeeeeezzz I hate hardware.

Now the hardware works, what the hell are all these numbers??? LOL.
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TomintheVan (83 Vanagon Westy)
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jetstar52



Joined: 16 Oct 2003
Posts: 153
Location: Sacramento, CA

PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2004 1:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Like the wise man said, if you don't pay attention to the stripe, you have a fifty-fifty chance of getting the diode's priority right. If you do look at the stripe, your chances of success decrease slightly.
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I used to have 5 remotes that controlled one thing each. Now I have 6 remotes that each control everything!
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