USB to Serial converter for controller

I know there are bunches of threads like this one, but I could not find what I was looking for.

when I plug the converter in, XP finds it and installs the drivers. but I can not find it in the list of hardware using device manager. so I hook it to the RC and I Verify the controller, works fine, finds it and talks to it. then I try and load the code, takes a few min, then tells me it can not find the controller.

Any ideas?

Try some code that you know for certain works, then report back. Also, make sure the backup battery is fully charged.

we had the same problem. The only way we got around it was to transfer the code to a computer with a serial port and load it with that.

Not all usb->Serial stuff work the way they should. It could be the cable was designed for one thing, and won’t work nice with the rest. Or it could be drivers. I haven’t had much experiance with them, but I’m about to go test one out with my laptop

Like Brian said, and what has been posted on here many times is almost all usb to serial converters that you can buy dont seem to work with the IFI equiptment and FIRST software. Dr. Joe Johnson found one last year that worked very well and was recently reccommended by IFI to use. You can find the IFI thread below along with the specs for the converter.

BF-810 from Bafo Technologies

I just bought a Radioshack USB to Serial converter and it works fine. Maybe just a few seconds slower than a true serial when loading files.

You’re very lucky, saman. I tried using one to program the edurobot, and what took 10 seconds through a normal serial cable now took over thirty minutes. That was the first and last time I ever used my converter.

I have a Prolific USB-to-serial adapter and I have never had any issues with it. I have programmed the 2003 RC, the 2004 EDU RC, and the 2004 full-size controller many times, with no speed issues at all. I have even used this adapter with QBASIC programs which use the serial port, and have no issues at all.

I have also heard very good things about the keyspan USB-to-Serial adapter, and its compatibility.

And if you are having issues with your USB-to-serial converter, try these things:

  1. Assign the USB COM port the address COM2: (or COM4). I like to stay away from COM1, since some systems without serial ports still claim that they have a serial port at COM1. This includes the entire IBM thinkpad series and a few older toshiba models I have played with. And don’t go beyond COM4 - very little software reliably supports more than COM4 on the PC.

  2. Remember on most PCs, COM1 and COM3 are set to share IRQs (as COM2 and COM4). You can’t have both ports in a pair active and expect good luck.

  3. Test at low data rates - I haven’t ever seen the Keyspan adapter work well at rates greater than 64Kbps. My Prolific (its a generic blue one, i got for $10) can go up to 56Kbps with the EDU RC and up to 231Kbps with my camera.

  4. Especially when programming the full-size controller, putting the controller in “PROGRAM RECEIVE” mode tends to help. There is a prog button for that purpose. Use it.

And if you can’t get it to work at all, ever, you might just be unlucky. Too bad. Find another serial converter or get a PC with a serial port.

Good luck.

I have been very happy with the Bafo Technologies* USB-Serial converter running under XP and Win2000Pro. I like, but there are 100’s of sights that sell them.
No problems downloading code, or really with ANY RS-232 thing I have tried to use - Stamp2, various radios, the IFI programming port, some instruments at work that need an RS-232 interface, this and that odd single board computer. Never had the least problem.

Highly recommended – and only something like 15 bucks as I recall – I’ve paid that much for a USB cable when my back was to the wall! Ironically enough, the Bafo converter actually comes just the kind of cable I was raked over the coals for :wink:

Joe J.

*By the way, I like all the Bafo stuff I have bought – Bluetooth Dongles, converters, and various other bits and pieces of stuff that make life easier. Cheap but functional. Anyone else have a similar experience with Bafo’s stuff?

We just got a Prolific USB to serial convert from newegg, it works great you just have to change the IFI Loader to COM5. Look in Device Manager->Ports to see what port yours is on. This is what we got :smiley:

I just bought a new Prolific convertor and it works just fine now. thankyou for all the help