mac can't see com port

I downloaded the drivers to communicate with the activity board. I was then able to send programs to my activity bot, but after I exited the program and restarted my macbook pro with el capitan 10.11.2 I could not find the com port within SimpleIDE. I then went back to the parallax website to once again download the drivers. I was again able to communicate with the activity bot, but when I restarted my mac and then went back into SimpleIDE and tried to run a program the Hammer at the bottom right said "Building" and then "Serial Port not available, connect a USB propel" Any ideas?


  • Chris SavageChris Savage Parallax Engineering Posts: 14,406
    I've asked around here what might cause this, but we can't duplicate it. On our Macs when we reconnect a board with SimpleIDE running the COM port appears in the box in the top-right corner.

    We're wondering if your USB serial port service is running at startup or if something else may be causing the driver to be removed such as a roll-back on the O/S.
    Chris Savage | Engineering Tech | Main Office: (916) 624-8333 | Direct to Tech Support: (888) 997-8267 | Website | Twitter | Google+
  • Hello mbait,

    Please verify that you downloaded the drivers from this page:

    ...and that they were this version:

    Mac OS X 10.9 and above 2015-04-15 - 2.3

    A few questions:

    When you run SimpleIDE after restarting your MacBook, click the top-left COM port dropdown. Do you see an empty list even when your Propeller board is connected? If that's the case, what happens if you unplug your board, count to 10, and plug it back in? What happens if you unplug the board, shut down SimpleIDE, and then plug back in, then restart SimpleIDE? Any difference when you click the COM dropdown?

    Also, we have some software in development, and I'd be interested to find out if if it resolves the issue. Please send me a PM if you'd like to test this.

    Thanks, Andy
  • I'm having the same issue. I've downloaded the latest driver. Empty list after restarting; Empty list after unplugging Propeller board; Empty list after unplugging board, shutting down SimpleIDE, plugging back in and restarting SimpleIDE
  • Never mind. I got it to work after restarting again.
  • If the problem recurs, please be aware that Apple now supplies their own driver for FTDI serial ports, and if you have both the Apple driver and FTDI's own driver installed, strange things will happen. One symptom is that you can use a certain USB port once, but if you unplug and replug your FTDI device, or if you unplug one and try another, it won't be recognized until you restart. The solution is to disable one or the other of the drivers.

    These issues started with OS10.9 Mavericks. The Apple drivers in OS9, 10 and 11 are considered very buggy, but they finally got it more or less right in OS12 Sierra. So if you are using Sierra, take your pick. Earlier OS versions, you are probably better off with the FTDI driver. My opinion is that the virtual serial port implementation on the Mac is still buggy no matter which driver.

    I'm not sure how this issue is handled in the Mac installation for SimpleIDE from Parallax.

    More discussion here.
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