Tuesday, September 27, 2011

A Possible Solution

I have been looking through the FDTI site and I may have identified my problem.  There are two types of drivers for the chip on the Techzone board - VCP drivers and D2XX drivers.  The VCP drivers set up a virtual COM port and those are the ones that I installed.  The D2XX drivers allow the software to access the USB connection directly using a DLL.

It seems possible that I should have  been using the D2XX drivers instead of the VCP ones that I installed on my workstation.  It is certainly worth a try anyway.  I will install the other set of drivers tonight and see what happens.

The Continuing Story....

I now have Repsnapper installed and working.  Unfortunately it has made no difference in my ability to connect to the Mendel.  Although Pronterface was telling me that the port was unavailable, Repsnapper tells me that it is timing out while trying to connect but has no further information.  This happens whether I attempt to connect using the original COM! port on the machine or the virtual COM3 port created by the USB/TTY interface

I am wondering if the whole problem lies with the drivers that I installed for the FTDI USB/TTY chip that is used on the Techzone board.  I am going to see if there are older versions available.

This worked so easily under Linux.  It is very frustrating to be this close to a working machine and be stopped once again.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Connect Problem

I have tried several times to get Pronterface to talk to the Mendel but I get a message stating that it "cannot open port COM3, access is denied".  I believe that this is due to a problem in the pronterface code.  The Reprap Host Software on my Linux machine had no problem connecting.  I think that it is something to do with the communications between the PC and the USB/TTY adapter that leads Pronterface to believe that the COM port has already been opened by another application.  I have not been able to find any resolution for this in the various forums.

I am going to install Repsnapper tonight and see if it is able to connect.  Good thing that there are a number of options out there for host software.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Back Again!

Well, after another extensive period of procrastination I am finally back to work on the RepRap.  I have been at it for a couple of nights and have managed to finish all the wiring so I am back to fighting with the software.

I installed the reprap host on my new/old desktop but I can't seem to get it to run.  It is probably due to version conflicts with Java but, after messing with it for a while, I decided to switch over to using Pronterface and Sfact as my toolchain.  They both installed easily and run fine under windows.

I initially had some problems loading the firmware from the Windows machine until I realized that I had to load a set of drivers for the Techzone USB/Serial board.  I guess they were already available on the Linux OS that I was using on my tablet because I am sure that I didn't have to manually install them there.  (I am sticking to WinXP on the desktop, not because I like it but because I don't have Linux drivers for the wireless card I have on it).  Once the desktop was able to talk to the Arduino I had no problem installing the firmware on the main board and the extruder.

That was where I left off last night.  I was not able to get the steppers running  but I think that was due to my ignorance of Pronterface.  I will go through some documentation today and give it another try when I know what I am doing.

I expect that there may still be some adjustments to the firmware but I will have to get things running in order to know for sure.

Perhaps I will finally extrude.