Scribbler S3 - Can not set port COM9's options - DTR: false

As written in another topic, my school purchased a couple S3's to try out, and they arrived today after only 3 days!
Unfortunately I do have two issues when trying to program them through BlocklyProp (Solo). Both issues seem to have something to do with failing communication between my computers and S3's.

Issue 1: Unable to upload programs
The first time I upload a program to S3, the upload is successful and the program runs.
But, after that the upload fails with below messages. Reinserting the USB-cable is sometimes helping, but it's a hit or miss.
Compile... Succeeded.
Download...Failed!

-------- loader messages --------
Scanning port COM9
Can not set port COM9's options - DTR: false
Error: Download failed!
Added screenshot from BlocklyProp Launcher with verbose output


Issue 2: Terminal screen empty
When the program sometimes uploads correctly, the terminal window is empty even if my program should output a text there. The only block I have is a "Terminal send text", see attachment. The C-code produced is below. Only once I've been able to see text in the terminal window.
Other blocks are working though.
// ------ Libraries and Definitions ------
#include "simpletools.h"
#include "s3.h"


// ------ Main Program ------
int main() {
  s3_setup();pause(100);
  simpleterm_reopen(31,30,0,9600);
  print("Hello world, S3 calling...!");

}

Same issues on two different computers and with both S3's, using Chrome (version 84.0.4147.135 (Official Build) (64-bit) on Win10.

Comments

  • @John Kauffman & @Whit : have you ever experienced similar? BTW, I'm using the original USB-cable shipped with the S3's.

    Have also mailed Parallax support to hopefully experience same great support as I've seen others receive, but not heard anything yet from them, not easy to call them with 10 hours time difference.

    In the meantime, I've continued troubleshooting myself.
    Tried SimpleIde:
    Issue 1: Repetitively downloading and running the same program in SimpleIde is working ok
    Issue 2: I need to change the terminal window baud value to 9600 to see anything in it.

    Is it possible to change the terminal window baud value through BlocklyProp Solo?

    Reinserting the USB-cable in the computer seems to solve Issue 1 as a workaround, but we can't really use the S3's as intended with this, it feels shaky and unprofessional.
  • WhitWhit Posts: 4,138
    edited 2020-08-23 - 01:36:15
    Have you updated the USB drivers? See - https://www.parallax.com/downloads/parallax-ftdi-usb-drivers-windows

    You will get great support from Parallax - they are limited a bit now by some folks working from home.

    Let's keep at this until we get you working!

  • banjobanjo Posts: 338
    edited 2020-08-23 - 08:20:20
    Whit wrote: »
    Have you updated the USB drivers? See - https://www.parallax.com/downloads/parallax-ftdi-usb-drivers-windows

    You will get great support from Parallax - they are limited a bit now by some folks working from home.

    Let's keep at this until we get you working!

    @Whit, thx for jumping in!
    Updated the USB drivers now, unfortunately did not help. Also restarted my computer, just in case.
    Also tried to use https://solo.parallax.com/ directly, instead of clicking the blue "BlocklyProp Solo" button in the launcher. Same issues.
    When using the old, to be depreciated, BlocklyProp site, everything works ok.

    I've attached a screenshot from the log.
    Right before the error message "...DTR: false..." is thrown (Issue 1), a reset signal is generated. Is the reset perhaps not successful?
    The text "Connected terminal to COM9 at 115200 baud" might be the reason for why nothing is printed in the terminal window (Issue 2) as the C-code clearly shows the S3 is trying to communicate at 9600 baud. This goes hand in hand with my findings running from SimpleIde.
    simpleterm_reopen(31,30,0,9600);
    

    Edit: When using https://solo.parallax.com/ directly, and by using the Inspect option in Chrome, I tried to find traces from the communication between BlocklyProp and S3. The console gives some information, but less than the BlocklyProp launcher gives. Don't know if the lower communication details are available in Chrome for troubleshooting.
    1010 x 890 - 245K
  • Found a 14-day demo of a COM port monitor (Serial Port Monitor), does not really provide any additional info to me in this case. Anyway, this is how it looks like when the upload is failing:
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 
    [23/08/2020 15:07:24] 
    753 IRP_MJ_DEVICE_CONTROL - Request operates a serial port (COM9) 
        STATUS_CANCELLED 
            IOCTL_SERIAL_CLR_DTR - Request clears the DTR control signal.  
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 
    
  • Further troubleshooting with Propeller Activity Board shows following:
    Issue 1 not happening, i.e. repetitively uploading programs from BlocklyProp is working alright
    Issue 2, i.e. terminal window empty, is only happening the first time after launching BlocklyProp, next times the expected text is shown.

    So, at least in my case, S3's are behaving differently than a PAB when using BlocklyProp Solo.
  • Cluso99Cluso99 Posts: 16,570
    edited 2020-08-23 - 20:46:07
    I have no experience with Blockley, but...
    I think the problem with seeing the output message may be because you need a delay after starting the serial routine and sending the message. Try repeating the message and you will see if this is the problem - you will overrun the pc output but you will see data.
  • Cluso99 wrote: »
    I have no experience with Blockley, but...
    I think the problem with seeing the output message may be because you need a delay after starting the serial routine and sending the message. Try repeating the message and you will see if this is the problem - you will overrun the pc output but you will see data.
    Thx, have tried this but did not help. Not sure if this has something to do with that S3 looks to communicate at 9600 baud, while BlocklyProp seems to communicate at 115200 baud?
  • My boss is getting a bit desperate... Is it just me having these issues, can anyone with a S3 try to replicate this with BlocklyProp Solo on Windows 10?
  • Jeff MartinJeff Martin Posts: 638
    edited 2020-08-24 - 16:10:53
    banjo wrote: »
    Issue 1: Unable to upload programs
    The first time I upload a program to S3, the upload is successful and the program runs.
    But, after that the upload fails with below messages. Reinserting the USB-cable is sometimes helping, but it's a hit or miss.
    Compile... Succeeded.
    Download...Failed!
    
    -------- loader messages --------
    Scanning port COM9
    Can not set port COM9's options - DTR: false
    Error: Download failed!
    
    Added screenshot from BlocklyProp Launcher with verbose output

    Same issues on two different computers and with both S3's, using Chrome (version 84.0.4147.135 (Official Build) (64-bit) on Win10.

    I've seen this happen on occasion with user's computers but have been unable to duplicate it to solve it. Thanks for all the info you've provided in this thread... I will review now. Perhaps it's happening with S3s a lot (I've been using Propeller Activity Boards)"
  • banjo wrote: »
    Issue 2: Terminal screen empty
    When the program sometimes uploads correctly, the terminal window is empty even if my program should output a text there. The only block I have is a "Terminal send text", see attachment. The C-code produced is below. Only once I've been able to see text in the terminal window.
    Other blocks are working though.
    // ------ Libraries and Definitions ------
    #include "simpletools.h"
    #include "s3.h"
    
    
    // ------ Main Program ------
    int main() {
      s3_setup();pause(100);
      simpleterm_reopen(31,30,0,9600);
      print("Hello world, S3 calling...!");
    
    }
    

    That definitely seems like Solo is requesting the wrong baud rate for the terminal. I'll look into this today.
  • banjo wrote: »
    Have also mailed Parallax support to hopefully experience same great support as I've seen others receive, but not heard anything yet from them, not easy to call them with 10 hours time difference.

    In the meantime, I've continued troubleshooting myself.
    Tried SimpleIde:
    Issue 1: Repetitively downloading and running the same program in SimpleIde is working ok
    Issue 2: I need to change the terminal window baud value to 9600 to see anything in it.

    Is it possible to change the terminal window baud value through BlocklyProp Solo?

    Reinserting the USB-cable in the computer seems to solve Issue 1 as a workaround, but we can't really use the S3's as intended with this, it feels shaky and unprofessional.

    Strangely, we do not seem to have your messages in our support system.

    Issue 1: Good news, and that's what I'd expect to see too... the problem seems to be with our Chrome-based access to the serial port with BlocklyProp Launcher.

    Issue 2: No, Solo should automatically open it at 9600 baud. This is probably an oversight when we rewrote the system. Will review.
  • banjo wrote: »
    When using the old, to be depreciated, BlocklyProp site, everything works ok.

    Please elaborate... what does "everything works ok" mean? No download problems, even after multiple attempts (with same S3, Cable, Computer)?
  • banjo wrote: »
    I've attached a screenshot from the log.
    Right before the error message "...DTR: false..." is thrown (Issue 1), a reset signal is generated. Is the reset perhaps not successful?

    Edit: When using https://solo.parallax.com/ directly, and by using the Inspect option in Chrome, I tried to find traces from the communication between BlocklyProp and S3. The console gives some information, but less than the BlocklyProp launcher gives. Don't know if the lower communication details are available in Chrome for troubleshooting.

    Yes, likely the reset signal failed to generate because the error is indicating that the operating system told it that it could not set the DTR signal to false. I've been unable to duplicate this reliably and have only seen a couple users with this problem (sometimes it's constant, sometimes infrequent).

    The Inspect options on solo.parallax.com shows you the messages from the solo site, but the download details are occuring from the BlocklyProp Launcher app itself, whose Inspect feature in unavailable; it's the reason why we created the Verbose Logging mode in the Launcher itself. Thanks for posting screenshots of those messages.
  • banjo wrote: »
    Found a 14-day demo of a COM port monitor (Serial Port Monitor), does not really provide any additional info to me in this case. Anyway, this is how it looks like when the upload is failing:
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 
    [23/08/2020 15:07:24] 
    753 IRP_MJ_DEVICE_CONTROL - Request operates a serial port (COM9) 
        STATUS_CANCELLED 
            IOCTL_SERIAL_CLR_DTR - Request clears the DTR control signal.  
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 
    

    Can you post a link to that tool? It may be helpful to me to diagnose; for example the STATUS_CANCELLED message is very curious.
  • banjo wrote: »
    Further troubleshooting with Propeller Activity Board shows following:
    Issue 1 not happening, i.e. repetitively uploading programs from BlocklyProp is working alright
    Issue 2, i.e. terminal window empty, is only happening the first time after launching BlocklyProp, next times the expected text is shown.

    So, at least in my case, S3's are behaving differently than a PAB when using BlocklyProp Solo.

    This is very curious and gives me great insight. The S3 uses slightly different serial circuitry... I'm going to have to check the signals to see what the difference is.
  • banjobanjo Posts: 338
    edited 2020-08-24 - 16:25:06
    banjo wrote: »
    When using the old, to be depreciated, BlocklyProp site, everything works ok.

    Please elaborate... what does "everything works ok" mean? No download problems, even after multiple attempts (with same S3, Cable, Computer)?
    banjo wrote: »
    When using the old, to be depreciated, BlocklyProp site, everything works ok.

    Please elaborate... what does "everything works ok" mean? No download problems, even after multiple attempts (with same S3, Cable, Computer)?

    No download problems, same S3, cable and computer.
  • banjo wrote: »
    My boss is getting a bit desperate... Is it just me having these issues, can anyone with a S3 try to replicate this with BlocklyProp Solo on Windows 10?

    I apologize for the problem. Not sure if this is something we missed in updates on our side or something that occured due to changes in Chrome. The latter is very likely.

    I'm remote from the office, but I will retrieve an S3, hook up logic/scope and see if I can find what's happening.
  • banjo wrote: »
    Found a 14-day demo of a COM port monitor (Serial Port Monitor), does not really provide any additional info to me in this case. Anyway, this is how it looks like when the upload is failing:
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 
    [23/08/2020 15:07:24] 
    753 IRP_MJ_DEVICE_CONTROL - Request operates a serial port (COM9) 
        STATUS_CANCELLED 
            IOCTL_SERIAL_CLR_DTR - Request clears the DTR control signal.  
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 
    

    Can you post a link to that tool? It may be helpful to me to diagnose; for example the STATUS_CANCELLED message is very curious.

    Here's the link: https://www.com-port-monitoring.com/
    Btw, thx for chiming in Jeff! FWIW, the e-mails I've sent last Thursday, Friday and today, went to support@parallax.com. No indication of that the e-mails wouldn't have been sent ok
  • Thanks.

    We're receiving other support emails, but I'll do a test to check our system.
  • banjo, I realize it's getting late in Finland already but I'm wondering if you could hop on a Zoom session with your computer, the robots, and show me what's going on.

    Is that a possibility? E-mail me at kgracey@parallax.com if it is, else we'll continue to work through this on the forums.

    Thanks,

    Ken Gracey
  • Ken Gracey wrote: »
    banjo, I realize it's getting late in Finland already but I'm wondering if you could hop on a Zoom session with your computer, the robots, and show me what's going on.

    Is that a possibility? E-mail me at kgracey@parallax.com if it is, else we'll continue to work through this on the forums.

    Thanks,

    Ken Gracey

    Sure, I'll shoot you an e-mail
  • Note to all: We are working on this issue with Thomas (banjo) offline for the time being and will report updates here when there is something conclusive.
  • Thanks Team Parallax!
  • Yup, the support is really great! Not that often that you get to talk with the CEO in other companies :smile:
  • ercoerco Posts: 19,760
    Ken & Team Parallax never sleep!
  • Ken also impressed me with his Finnish language skills and pronunciation. If my memory serves me correct, he said in Finnish: thank you, you're welcome and counted 'one, two, three'. In Finland you come a long way with these skills, we are not that talkative here :smiley:
  • Interesting, he also speaks German quite well.

    so Ken, what else you speak?

    Mike
  • It's no big deal @banjo. Jeff has the dirty work to do here and I'm glad I was able to help bring some of this to the surface in our Zoom so we could all see it with our eyes.

    You're an experienced Parallax customer and can work through the problems, thankfully. Imagine if you were a first-time middle school robotics teacher. We would have failed miserably in their eyes!

    I know Jeff will solve this problem in due course, like he has with all other technical issues he's handled through the years. The benefits will extend to all of our customers.

    Thanks for your patience.

    Sincerely, Ken Gracey
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