Author Topic: Dongle and Lynx are conspiring against me! Solved: dongle faulty.  (Read 15553 times)

Offline tuppet

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yesterday (the problem):
lynx+dongle combination cause errors in vixen.
Reprogramming the dongle resulted in a new set of errors, which seem to imply that the problem now lies with the Lynx units.
I have 4 brand new Lynxes (which I'm calling A, B, C and D), each set up for 240 V on the Board and low voltage lights(appendices B and C done), and 1 brand new Dongle, so I have no previously tested equipment to compare with. To start with, I downloaded a clean version of Vixen, which I have not allowed to update. NONE of the add-ins are selected. I have set up a profile which has 64 channels, and which uses the Entec DMX USB Pro, set up for COM8.

my day so far (attempt at troubleshooting):
1. Restart computer
2. Redownload Driver for dongle (202.04.06 from ftdichip.com/Drivers/VCP.htm) to run on Windows XP
3. Attach Dongle
4. Check port number through device manager/ports : USB Serial Port (COM8)
5. Startup Vixen. open test sequence (10 seconds long, using the profile mentioned above). Profiles/manage - home2008/output plugins. select Adjustable Preview and Entec DMX USB PRO. COM8, baud rate 115200, 8 data bits, no parity, one stop bit.
6. Test Channels (DONGLE): NO ERRORS!
7. Plug in standard CAT5 cable to dongle. Test Channels(DONGLE + CAT5 CABLE): NO ERRORS!
8. Plug in Lynx (B) unit. Terminate, set to operate. Connect board to power supply: fan starts up, no magic smoke.
9. Test Channels (DONGLE + LYNX B): ERROR: (Router- plugins) An output plugin caused the following exception: A device attached to the system is not functioning. Execution has been stopped.
Select all: ERROR: (Router - plugins) An output plugin caused the following exception: access to the port is denied. execution has been stopped.
Done: ERROR: (Router)An output plugin caused the following exception: (Router-plugins) An output plugin caused the follwoing exception: Access to the port is denied. Execution has been stopped.
10. Disconnect Lynx.
11. Test Channels (DONGLE+CABLE): ERROR: Enttec DMX USB Pro: Access to the port 'COM8' is denied.
Done: ERROR: (Router)An output plugin caused the following exception: (Router-plugins) An output plugin caused the follwoing exception: Access to the port is denied. Execution has been stopped.
12. Close Vixen. ERROR: Vixen has encountered a problem and needs to close. We are sorry for the inconvenience. Send error report to Microsoft? don't send.
13. Restart Vixen. Open test sequence, check settings in Profile manager for output plugins. They are as set above.
14. Test Channels (DONGLE + CABLE): ERROR: Enttec DMX USB Pro: Access to the port 'COM8' is denied. (Router-plugins) An output plugin caused the following exception: Access to the port 'COM8' is denied. Execution has been stopped.
15. Close Vixen. Reboot Computer
16. Restart Vixen. Open test sequence. Check plugin setup (as before)
17. Test Channels (DONGLE + CABLE): no errors!
18. connect Lynx A to dongle, set to terminate and operate. connect power to board. Test Channels(DONGLE + LYNX A): no errors!
19. Disconnect lynx A.
20. Connect Lynx D to dongle, set to terminate and operate. connect power to board. Test Channels (DONGLE+ LYNX D): ERROR: (Router-plugins) An output plugin caused the following exception: A device attached to the system is not functioning. execution has been stopped.
Select all: ERROR: (Router - plugins) An output plugin caused the following exception: access to the port is denied. execution has been stopped.
Done: ERROR: (Router)An output plugin caused the following exception: (Router-plugins) An output plugin caused the follwoing exception: Access to the port is denied. Execution has been stopped.
21. Disconnect Lynx D. Close Vixen. ERROR: Vicen has encountered a problem and needs to close. we are sorry for the inconvenience.
22. Reboot Computer.
23. Restart Vixen. Open test sequence, check output plugin settings. All as set before.
24. Test Channels (DONGLE+CABLE): no errors!
25. Connect lynx C. Set to terminate, operate. power to board. Test Channels(DONGLE +LYNX C): no errors!
26. Close Vixen: no errors! Restart Vixen. open test sequence, test Channels (DONGLE + LYNX C): no errors!
27. repeat 26. no errors! also, when moving the slider up and down the frequency of the fan noise changes accordingly.
28. Check soldering on lynx D. resolder some joints. found no bridges, and no joints which were obviously not connecting enough, but resoldered anything that was even a tiny bit cloudy.
29. Connect lynx D to dongle. terminate, operate. power to board.
30. Test channels (DONGLE + LYNX D): ERROR: (Router-plugins) An output plugin caused the following exception: a device attached to the system is not functioning. Execution has been stopped.
Select all: ERROR: (Router - plugins) An output plugin caused the following exception: access to the port is denied. execution has been stopped.
Done: ERROR: (Router)An output plugin caused the following exception: (Router-plugins) An output plugin caused the follwoing exception: Access to the port is denied. Execution has been stopped.
31. Disconnect Lynx D. Close Vixen. ERROR: Vixen has encountered a problem and needs to close. We are sorry for the inconvenience.
32. Restart Computer.
33. Restart Vixen. ... where to now?


Current situation: 2 of the lynxes (A and C) seem to operate, while the other two crash Vixen and require the computer to reboot. I'm off to recheck the soldering on Lynx B, but after that I have no idea what else to try.  
I think I have exhausted the currently available information on this forum, so anyone who can suggest anything, please do!
for managing to read down this far, congratulations  :P
« Last Edit: November 29, 2009, by tuppet »
16000 lights and 240 channels in 2010

Offline RJ

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Re: Dongle and Lynx are conspiring against me!
« Reply #1 on: November 28, 2008, »
Two questions for you to think about that may seem stupid.
Have you tried a different computer?
And what is different about the two lynxs that do not work and the two that do?

RJ
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Offline tuppet

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Re: Dongle and Lynx are conspiring against me!
« Reply #2 on: November 28, 2008, »
no, I'm not really allowed to use the other home computer (mum's unhappy enough about having me steal this one for so much of the last week :P), and my laptop has been less than stable lately. I got it wiped during the week though, so maybe now would be a good time to get vixen on there.

I can't see any differences between the lynxes. They were all purchased through the same Co-op, so the parts were all puchased at the same time. I was the one who soldered all of them, and they all look to be the same. I've checked that the resistors are the same between all 4 -I will check the values again later, but they are all the same so it seems an unlikely cause of this particular problem. All the chips are in the right way around.  my observational skills may however be suffering as a result of staring at these things for 5 hours now, so I will look again tomorrow.

I also think I will need to reprogram the chips at some point (I suspect I have the currupted firmware that was sent out early on anyway, and then I can rule out one more possible reason for the problem).
16000 lights and 240 channels in 2010

Offline ThaiWay

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Re: Dongle and Lynx are conspiring against me!
« Reply #3 on: November 29, 2008, »
I'm having the same problem.

After I got my Lynx working, I did a system restore, dl'd Microsoft .NET Framework, dl'd Vixen 2.0.5, dl'd FTDIChip 2.0.4 Drivers, plugged in the Dongle, went through the driver installation, powered up the Lynx, ran a short 4-ch test sequence for my 4-ch Rope Light. 

It ran for about 40 seconds before the dreaded "A device attached to the system is not functioning..." series of messages.  Same as before I went through all the above.

I don't have another computer to try on... this PC is brand new with nothing else running on it.  I have yet to build my 2nd Lynx but don't think that's an issue.  I have another PIC for the Dongle, but doubt that is a factor either.

What now?  I'm 12 hours ahead of yuze guys on the right coast, and nobody's in chat now.

John
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John

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Offline wbuehler

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Re: Dongle and Lynx are conspiring against me!
« Reply #4 on: November 29, 2008, »
I had this same problem until I changed my cable that runs between the dongle and the Lynx.


Bill


Offline RJ

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Re: Dongle and Lynx are conspiring against me!
« Reply #5 on: November 29, 2008, »
I would look at trying new USB and new cat5 cables. It seems to be a common reason for this.

RJ
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Offline tuppet

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Re: Dongle and Lynx are conspiring against me!
« Reply #6 on: November 29, 2008, »
I am using the same cable and usb port, only changing which lynx is plugged in and having an issue with only 2 of the lynxes (I think), so I don't know that that would be it. It is new cat5 cable, I have a few though so I'll swap them out and see. THe computer randomly opened up a dialog box today while I was doing something else completely unrelated and told me that the usb is 2.0 and high speed, and that apparently there is a device plugged in to this computer via another port which is not high speed, I should consider upgrading. so now I know that it is definitely high speed USB 2.0, but not which device (the dongle wasn't plugged in at the time) it thinks I should upgrade!
16000 lights and 240 channels in 2010

Offline ThaiWay

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Re: Dongle and Lynx are conspiring against me!
« Reply #7 on: November 29, 2008, »
^I got one of those usb msgs too!

I really think this a PC issue rather than dongle/lynx but what do I know?

Ok, off to buy new cables now...

John
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Offline ThaiWay

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Re: Dongle and Lynx are conspiring against me!
« Reply #8 on: November 30, 2008, »
Update:
11:30am... Cat5 cable #2... still get "A device attached to the system..." after 45 seconds

4:00pm... New USB cable... ran for several minutes, then I tried to run a new sequence.  Failure after about 45 seconds

4:30 pm:  Tried new Cat5 cable (#3) and it's been running for 4 hours now with no problem on the very simple 4-ch test sequence.  I'm almost afraid to try a different one.

Ever onward...

John
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Offline ThaiWay

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Re: Dongle and Lynx are conspiring against me!
« Reply #9 on: December 01, 2008, »
More troubleshooting:

My Lynx/Dongle setup with Cat5 cable #3 ran a simple on/off 4-ch looped sequence ran continuously without error for 21 hours.  I stopped it and created a new 4-ch sequence with fades up/down, sparkle and random.  It ran for about 45 seconds before halting at the "A device attached to the system..." message stopped it.  I rebooted and checked the settings for the USB Serial Port (Com3) bitrate 115200/8/1/None/1 and restarted  Vixen and the sequence.  45 seconds again...

I rebooted after disconnecting the Lynx. Checked settings, restarted Vixen, ran for about 2 minutes and stopped.

Try number four:  sequence ran about 15 minutes before I got the Access to the Port has been denied error.

#5:  Swapped the Dongle PIC with a preprogrammed spare.  Checked the FTDI driver 2.4.6.0... ran for about 15 minutes, then access error.

#6:  rebooted , and set bit rate speed in Device Mgr to 15200.  Everytime I reboot it defaults to 9600.  Noticed after about 20 minutes it had stopped and the Access error.

#7:  has been running for about 30 minutes now with no error.  I'll leave it running while I sleep and report again.

Short of taking my Dongle/Lynx/short section of 4-color LED Rope and the Vixen.exe and FTDI driver to the computer repair shop, I'm out of ideas.

John
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Offline wbuehler

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Re: Dongle and Lynx are conspiring against me!
« Reply #10 on: December 01, 2008, »
John

Do you have a Lynx DMX Splitter?
If you have one of these kits can you do me a favor and place the splitter between the Dongle and the Lynx.  I had some odd issues start on my Lynx until I ran it from a splitter.

Bill


Offline bittrix

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Re: Dongle and Lynx are conspiring against me!
« Reply #11 on: December 01, 2008, »
If it's a slower PC, you could be having a timing problem with the port driver. Try doubling the buffer  in the driver's advanced settings (also try halving it). Also try setting your windows scheduling priority to favor "background services". The port driver is an "extra" layer between your USB port hardware, the windows USB system driver and your application...

You may also have better luck with the newest driver. It's not WHQL, but may have better timing...
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« Last Edit: December 01, 2008, by bittrix »
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Offline ThaiWay

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Re: Dongle and Lynx are conspiring against me!
« Reply #12 on: December 01, 2008, »
Bill, you're the one doing me a favor.  Yes, I have a Splitter, so I inserted it between the Dongle and the Lynx.  The sequence has been running for a lucky 7 minutes already.  Keeping my fingers crossed.

The previous run last night lasted about 45 minutes before I got the "Access" error and went to sleep.

bittrix... it's a new PC with an Intel E2180 processor... but thanks.  I'll keep your advice in mind.

Maybe now I can get back to construction and building controllers

John
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Offline ThaiWay

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Re: Dongle and Lynx are conspiring against me!
« Reply #13 on: December 01, 2008, »
Oh well... the sequence ran 14 minutes and then:  "A device attached to the system is not functioning"

John
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Offline wbuehler

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Re: Dongle and Lynx are conspiring against me!
« Reply #14 on: December 01, 2008, »
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