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Thread: Problems connecting the Hydra to the PC

  1. #1

    Default Problems connecting the Hydra to the PC

    Got my HYDRA today!

    I connected it to the computer and downloaded a game (xracer) to the eeprom (F11). It worked, I could play the game with video and sound. But now the Hydra can not be found by the propeller tool (It says "No propeller chip found on any COM port.\n Scanned COM4." I'm sure that everything is correctly connected and I use the same USB-port I used when it was working. What can I try to fix this?

    Thats what I have:
    Windows XP 32 bit
    USB 2.0
    drivers from the CD (Windows installed two of them)
    IDE from the CD
    Last edited by ForumTools; 10-01-2010 at 04:54 PM. Reason: Forum Migration

  2. #2

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    Are you still showing a USB to com port in the "Device Manager"? If so, click on the USB to com port and then click on the "Port Setting" tab and then click on the "Advanced" button and change the "Latency Timer" from 16 to 1.

    Dave

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    Dave Andreae

    Parallax Tech Support
    Last edited by ForumTools; 10-01-2010 at 04:54 PM. Reason: Forum Migration

  3. #3

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    I did that and rebooted, but the problem still remains.
    In the device manager the "USB Serial Port (COM4)" still shows up and Windows says that it is working. When I switch the Hydra on I hear that "ding ding"-sound windows makes when it successfully found a USB hardware.

    Here is in detail what I did:
    - Connect the Hydra and try that Asteroid game (worked)
    - Disconnected the Hydra and connected it to the PC
    - Installed the IDE and two drivers (windows installed them automatically when I connected the Hydra to the PC)
    - Loaded XRacer in the Hydras EEPROM
    - disconnected the Hydra and connected it to the TV (game plays, everything okay)
    - rebooted the computer
    Last edited by ForumTools; 10-01-2010 at 04:54 PM. Reason: Forum Migration

  4. #4

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    Also, obviously completely turn the computer off, unplug everything, turn the computer on, then plug everything back in, run the propeller tool. Also, download the latest tool, its like .1 maybe a newer version, shoulnd't matter though. And of course, try it on another computer as well. Seems like a software issue though, if it worked once then it is working, something happening from when you played with 1st and now to the PC.

    Andre'
    Last edited by ForumTools; 10-01-2010 at 04:54 PM. Reason: Forum Migration

  5. #5

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    Hm, it is working sometimes. Not very often. I don't get it. How EXACTLY should I connect it?

    Post Edited (RedNifre) : 4/30/2007 7:16:37 PM GMT
    Last edited by ForumTools; 10-01-2010 at 04:54 PM. Reason: Forum Migration

  6. #6

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    Have you downloaded the latest version of the Propeller Tool? (1.05.5) I seem to recall was something about connectivity improvements in the release notes somewhere.
    Last edited by ForumTools; 10-01-2010 at 04:54 PM. Reason: Forum Migration

  7. #7

    Default

    PC ----------> CABLE -----------> HYDRA

    That's it.

    Try it on another PC, if it works better then its something about your pc. Also, try other USB ports, etc. There's nothing to it really. If you leave the propeller tool running all night, sometimes it will have trouble communicating (I don't know if this problem has ever been fixed), but like I said, make sure to re-boot the computer. Make sure your connection is good. Also, give the Propeller chip and the XTAL above it a really good push into the board to make sure they aren't loose.

    andre'
    Last edited by ForumTools; 10-01-2010 at 04:54 PM. Reason: Forum Migration

  8. #8

    Default

    I find just resetting mine, while connected, often does the trick.

    Try, if it fails:

    reset

    attempt

    another attempt and see if it does not work on the second try.
    Last edited by ForumTools; 10-01-2010 at 04:54 PM. Reason: Forum Migration

  9. #9

    Default

    It is working perfectly on another computer, so the problem is somewhere on my PC. I'll guess I can figure this out by myself. Thank you for your help!
    Last edited by ForumTools; 10-01-2010 at 04:54 PM. Reason: Forum Migration

  10. #10

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    Ok, there are still problems. Here are some details:

    - I don't know why it is so hard to get a connection
    - when I connect the Hydra via USB it stops it current operation (the screen turns black, I guess it goes to wait mode). But the SPIN IDE says that there is no propeller connected (Instead of no COM found, which is the case when nothing is connected)
    - I don't know how, but sometimes the Hydra continues its operation (demo still on the screen). Then I can load programs to it. During transfer the screen is black but when the transfer is completed the newly transfered program shows up on the screen
    - After the first successful transfer no more transfer errors occur, but only as long as the Hydra is connected and switched on. When I turn it off an on, or remove and reconnect the cable the problem is back.

    Is there anyone who has similiar problems? I tried it on two computers, it seems that only my computer has this problem :-(
    Last edited by ForumTools; 10-01-2010 at 04:54 PM. Reason: Forum Migration

  11. #11

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    I have exactly the problem you describe. I wasn't going to post about it until I'd been able to chase down some cause and effect, but so far I haven't discovered a definitive reason for the problem.

    The only thing that seems to work for me is picking up the Hydra and handling the area around the oscillator on the bottom of the board. I work on an anti-static table which I discharge to first so I'm not worried about static there. I haven't yet found the "magic" thing that sets it free, but like you once it starts working it works for hours and hours and never fails again until I shutdown the PC or disconnect the USB.

    I've got a scope here and figured I'd go trying to trace the problem down one of these days but I haven't yet. I also have access to a USB analyzer, so I could try that one of these days too.

    Changing USB pots, cycling power, resetting, plugging/unplugging all don't particularly seem to help.

    For the moment I'm mystified.
    Last edited by ForumTools; 10-01-2010 at 04:54 PM. Reason: Forum Migration

  12. #12
    Parallax Engineering

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    Default

    Rednifre,

    Unless I’m misreading something most of what you posted sounds like normal operation. That is, when you connect the Hydra the USB chip is enumerated by the PC. When this happens it can cause the Hydra to reset numerous times until the chip has been enumerated and the VCP registered. This can take a few seconds. If you’re trying to do anything immediately after plugging in the cable it won’t work. You need to wait a few seconds. Once you disconnect it and reconnect it the same thing applies. Is there something else I am missing from your issue?

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    Chris Savage
    Parallax Tech Support
    Last edited by ForumTools; 10-01-2010 at 04:54 PM. Reason: Forum Migration

  13. #13

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    "This can take a few seconds"
    I waited one minute, not working.

    However, I found out that you can activate the Hydra by plugin things in or out! The expansion card has the best success-rate (worked 4 of 4 times), the controller is not that helpful (2 of 5 times).

    So, this is how I activate my Hydra
    Method A (card is already in)
    1. connect everything and switch the hydra on
    2. wait for the windows bell sound (hardware found)
    3. remove the card
    the screen should turn on now, the hydra should play the current software and you should be able to transfer something. If you want to transfer to the card you can just plug it in again

    Method B (no card inserted)
    1. connect everything and switch the hydra on
    2. wait for the windows bell sound (hardware found)
    3. insert the card
    the screen should turn on now, the hydra should play the current software and you should be able to transfer something. If you want to transfer on the eeprom you can just remove the card.

    epmoyer, does this technique work for you?
    Last edited by ForumTools; 10-01-2010 at 04:54 PM. Reason: Forum Migration

  14. #14

    Default

    The USB-serial adapter built into the Hydra is powered by the USB connection. You should leave the USB cable connected or plug it into the Hydra when the Hydra is off (or not being used ... because of the resets that will occur). Allow the Hydra to be recognized by the the PC, then turn the Hydra on. If there's a program in the on-board EEPROM (with no card inserted) or a program in an inserted memory card, it should start.
    Last edited by ForumTools; 10-01-2010 at 04:54 PM. Reason: Forum Migration

  15. #15

    Default

    Have you got bluetooth device? if so, disable it, and try again. I had trouble with the protoboard where if the board wasn't on at the time, then the prop tool would scan for it on another port, and hang, this port being 4, not 6 where the board was. port 4 was my laptop's bluetooth port.

    hope this helps if it all.

    it's probably a totally different issue, but with you saying port 4, it rang alarm bells :)

    Baggers.
    Last edited by ForumTools; 10-01-2010 at 04:54 PM. Reason: Forum Migration

  16. #16

    Default

    epmoyer has found a solution if you still need one.

    http://forums.parallax.com/showthread.php?p=660221

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    Check out my robot using the propeller robot.tmcp.com.au
    If you offer cheap PCB fabrication, perl programming or any other helpful services please email me at.
    anthonybmyatt@yahoo.com.au
    Last edited by ForumTools; 10-01-2010 at 04:54 PM. Reason: Forum Migration

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