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Author Topic: CM11A on Win XP with a USB->Serial adapter.  (Read 52768 times)
Charles Sullivan
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« on: September 03, 2006, 12:46:10 PM »

Has anyone experiencing a problem with running the old ActiveHome and CM11A under Windows XP tried connecting it with a USB->Serial adapter?

I can run the old ActiveHome on a serial port  on my system if I first disable x10net.dll, but have never left it connected long enough to know whether a problem would show up.  (Some users have reported that there's a disconnect after a few hours.)

As an experiment the other day I tried connecting the CM11A to the PC with a USB->Serial adapter.  The old ActiveHome seemed to work fine even with x10net.dll enabled, and interestingly enough I could _simultaneously_ run ActiveHome Pro  on the same PC.  But again I wasn't able to let it run long enough to see if there'd be a problem.


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Yesterday it worked.
Today it doesn't work.
X10 on Windows is like that.

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Dan Lawrence
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« Reply #1 on: September 03, 2006, 03:09:35 PM »

Charles,

What is a  USB->Serial adapter?   I've never heard of one before you post. Where did you get one?
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JimC
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« Reply #2 on: September 03, 2006, 03:42:29 PM »

Dan Lawrence,

As the name implies it is a device that plugs into a USB port and give you a serial port in return. I have one that converts one USB port into 4 serial ports. I have never tried it with the CM11A.

Charles Sullivan,

That sounds interesting. Please let us know how it works in the long run once you get more time. I would try it here but I have all 4 serial ports in use with other equipment.

Jim
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Charles Sullivan
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« Reply #3 on: September 03, 2006, 03:53:34 PM »

Charles,

What is a  USB->Serial adapter?   I've never heard of one before you post. Where did you get one?

It's a cable with a USB plug at one end and a 9-pin serial port at the other end and some electronics in between.   They're fairly widely available.  I have a no-name model which cost about $18 and a fancier Keyspan model which was about $40 as I recall.
For examples, see: http://www.sewelldirect.com, http://www.byterunner.com, http://www.keyspan.com

Marmitek bundles the 230V, 50Hz  CM11e  with a USB->Serial adapter cable for the international market.
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Yesterday it worked.
Today it doesn't work.
X10 on Windows is like that.

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Charles Sullivan
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« Reply #4 on: September 04, 2006, 05:31:01 AM »

That sounds interesting. Please let us know how it works in the long run once you get more time. I would try it here but I have all 4 serial ports in use with other equipment.

Update:

The old ActiveHome 1.42 with CM11A connected via USB->Serial adapter has been running now for about 15 hours under Windows XP with no evidence of disconnection or other problem.  It was left on overnight so the PC may have been "sleeping" for most  of that time.

My testing has been limited to clicking the icon for a lamp module and observing that the lamp connected to the physical module turns  On and Off, and verifying that I can reset the interface clock.

The PC used is an IBM ThinkPad laptop running Win XP Pro SP2.  This PC has no RS232 serial port so there's no way of knowing whether there would have been a problem with direct serial port connection.

I used the no-name USB->Serial adapter I had purchased from Sewell (http:www.sewelldirect.com) in early 2004 which has a Prolific chipset.  I understand the unit they currently stock has a Prolific chipset which has been upgraded from my model.  According to Device Manager, Windows assigned the serial port as COM4.

Note: ActiveHome's Configuration>Preferences shows COM4 selected, however all ports except COM3 are greyed out.  If I clicked on COM3 I don't know if I would be able to get back to COM4.



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Yesterday it worked.
Today it doesn't work.
X10 on Windows is like that.

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JimC
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« Reply #5 on: September 04, 2006, 05:43:51 AM »

Charles,

Thanks for the update. The unit I have also has the Prolific chipset. I got mine last year,. I don't recall the manufacturer. It came with software for setting up the serial ports. If you are comfortable working with the Windows registry you can set up the serial ports that way also.  Smiley
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Charles Sullivan
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« Reply #6 on: September 04, 2006, 06:25:13 AM »

Charles,

Thanks for the update. The unit I have also has the Prolific chipset. I got mine last year,. I don't recall the manufacturer. It came with software for setting up the serial ports. If you are comfortable working with the Windows registry you can set up the serial ports that way also.  Smiley

I've never been comfortable with Windows at all - that's why my primary OS is Linux.  Smiley

I only installed the driver from the CD which accompanied the adapter.  I'll have to look again to see if there's other software on the CD for tweaking the port assignment.

Update:
There's no other software on the CD, but there are instructions for changing the comm port assignment from the Win XP Device Manager.  However when I try this,  COM1, COM2, and COM3 are marked "In use".   I don't know why ActiveHome thinks COM3 is a valid port  while COM4 isn't, but figure I'd better not fiddle with  anything since it's been working OK.

Haiku:
  Yesterday it worked.
  Today it's not working.
  Windows is like that.








« Last Edit: September 04, 2006, 08:42:41 AM by Charles Sullivan » Logged

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ralex17
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« Reply #7 on: October 13, 2006, 02:00:25 PM »

I tried a USB-serial adapter but could never get it to work with the CM11A.  What com port should I use with the adapter?
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Dan Lawrence
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« Reply #8 on: October 13, 2006, 02:41:39 PM »

I tried a USB-serial adapter but could never get it to work with the CM11A.  What com port should I use with the adapter?

I seem to remember the CM11a defauted to com 2.   The setup routine had com 2 defaulting, but you could change it to another com port.
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Charles Sullivan
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« Reply #9 on: October 13, 2006, 03:12:23 PM »

I tried a USB-serial adapter but could never get it to work with the CM11A.  What com port should I use with the adapter?

The Windows Device Manager will show you the serial port assigned to the USB->Serial adapter.  If it shows up as an unknown USB device, you haven't installed the driver correctly (or else the driver's no good).

[Note added 10/24]
One potential problem is if Windows has already assigned other I/O devices to COM1-4 since ActiveHome is limited to using ports in that range.  I ran into this on a laptop when testing different brands of USB->Serial adapters.  There was only one comm port in that range available and I had to uninstall the first USB->Serial adapter driver to free up that port for the second adapter.
« Last Edit: October 24, 2006, 07:15:15 AM by Charles Sullivan » Logged

Yesterday it worked.
Today it doesn't work.
X10 on Windows is like that.

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vhoang
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« Reply #10 on: October 23, 2006, 10:52:06 PM »

USB->Serial...? That's not trendy...
Get one of these baby:  RS232 to Bluetooth
http://www.sensorsandmore.com/?mod=product&cat_id=15&product_id=25

hehe, just kidding.  too pricy.  $18 vs $122 solution  Roll Eyes

Although if I jam a firecracker on that thing and toss it up in the attic, I'd probably get
excellent range to a house full of tm751s.
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Charles Sullivan
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« Reply #11 on: October 24, 2006, 07:38:27 AM »

USB->Serial...? That's not trendy...
Get one of these baby:  RS232 to Bluetooth
http://www.sensorsandmore.com/?mod=product&cat_id=15&product_id=25

hehe, just kidding.  too pricy.  $18 vs $122 solution  Roll Eyes

For a fixed direct connection, sure.  But It could be useful if you have a Bluetooth-equipped laptop and want the ability to control the CM11A from different locations.  Somebody ought to try this out!   Shocked

Quote
Although if I jam a firecracker on that thing and toss it up in the attic, I'd probably get excellent range to a house full of tm751s.

Now that's a clever idea, although if you have clean power lines you'd probably need more than one TM751 only if you're using multiple housecodes or have no coupling between the phases of your power lines.

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Yesterday it worked.
Today it doesn't work.
X10 on Windows is like that.

HEYU - X10 Automation for Linux, Unix, and Mac OS X     http://www.heyu.org
bubbah
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« Reply #12 on: July 08, 2009, 11:15:43 AM »

I am interested in discovering what items amongst my big collection of x10 devices in the USA 110v60Hz will work in the EU where the current is 220v50Hz?  My take is this: wireless devices (remotes, cm17a serial thing, etc.) will work, but anything that actually plugs in an outlet or wired in will not work. Head Banging  That is to say, a transformer or converter (different things; former produces "full" and latter produces "modified" sine wave interfering with x10 signaling) will NOT as far as I know Beat Dead Horse allow ANY 110v50Hz x10 device to operate through it.  So, if I am correct, I can take all my remotes (anything that goes "over the air") and then get connected devices like at www.x10europe.com sold through various vendors in the EU, right? Idea
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bubbah
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« Reply #13 on: July 08, 2009, 11:30:36 AM »

by the way, I do have a cm11a and never was able to get it to work properly (windows XP)...
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Brian H
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« Reply #14 on: July 08, 2009, 12:17:28 PM »

The US remotes and RF devices use a different operating frequency for their transmissions.
So they will not talk to European RF Receivers.
There are modifications that some have done to use 120 volt 60 Cycle X10 power line modules on 220 Volts 50 Cycles. That said you are on your own if it doesn't work and if the modules are recent. X10 changed their designs and many of the mods don't match the newer modules.

http://www.idobartana.com/hakb/index.htm

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