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Programming with PC

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  • Member since
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  • From: Portsmouth, VA
  • 372 posts
Programming with PC
Posted by jfallon on Saturday, March 15, 2008 4:19 PM

  I belong to a module group that is a part of our NMRA division. I am the DCC guy for the group, meaning that I maintain the division's DCC equipment (Digitrax DCS-100's, DB-150's, throttles, etc.)  We recently purchased a new laptop PC to replace the old one used for division admin work, specifically to allow us to use the computer for programming decoders for members. JMRI's DecoderPro and PanelPro were loaded onto the computer.

  I purchased a USB Locobuffer and loaded its software into the computer. I then connected it to my test/programming track via my Zephyr. The program seems to come up fine, but when I try to read the CVs, it keeps giving a "timed out" message. It flashes "reading CV 1", then almost immediately says "operation timed out". I can read and program decoders with the Zephyr, so I know that things are good up to that point.

     The computer is using Windows Vista, does anyone know if this may be part of the problem?

If everybody is thinking alike, then nobody is really thinking.

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  • From: Portsmouth, VA
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Posted by jfallon on Saturday, March 15, 2008 4:44 PM
  Yes I did.

If everybody is thinking alike, then nobody is really thinking.

http://photobucket.com/tandarailroad/

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Posted by Stevert on Saturday, March 15, 2008 4:54 PM

John,

  Did you go through both the "Sanity Test" and the "Loop Back Test" on page four of the LocoBuffer USB manual?

  If so, and you still have problems, I'd suggest that you post your question on the JMRI list at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/jmriusers/  

  The JMRI developers, as well as the manufacturer of the LocoBuffer USB, hang out there.  It's an active and very helpful place...

HTH,
Steve

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Posted by BlueHillsCPR on Saturday, March 15, 2008 5:32 PM

While I can't say without a doubt that Vista is part of the problem...I would be willing to take bets on it and offer odds that Vista IS the problem. Big Smile [:D]

While you will hear of users who love Vista and have no problems doing what they do with it, there are far more people, IT professionals included who have nothing good to say about the operating system.  If it was me, I would scrap Vista and load XP, but that's something I can do on my own without issue.  Not everyone would be comfortable doing that.  Are you able to try using a different PC to test with?

Check settings for the serial ports to ensure they will work with DecoderPro.  In looking at the information online I see no reference to DecoderPro working with Vista.  They mention Windows operating systems up to Windows2000 and they mention XP but I didn't see any mention of Vista...? 

When setting the protocol in the DecoderPro preferences does one of your computers serial ports appear in the selection box on the right? 

  • Member since
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  • From: Charlotte, NC
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Posted by Phoebe Vet on Saturday, March 15, 2008 6:12 PM

I have 7 PC computers all networked.

2 have XP Pro, 2 have XP Home, 2 have XP Media Center, 1 (This one) has Vista Media Center.

All the computers work together over the network, both the wireless portion and the cat-5 portion. All of them access the cable modem just fine.

The Vista computer is fast, stable, and I like it a lot ... HOWEVER:

There is one annoying bug. The Vista computer can print to a printer attached to it, but cannot print across the network. The XP machines can print to any printer on the network EXCEPT the one attached to the Vista machine.

So there are clearly some issues between the two operating systems. I, however, have loaded software that was written before Vista on the Vista machine and it runs just fine. I would say the question you posted should be directed to tech support at the vendor.

Dave

Lackawanna Route of the Phoebe Snow

  • Member since
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  • From: SE Minnesota
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Posted by jrbernier on Saturday, March 15, 2008 7:41 PM

  This is a USB attached Locobuffer, Right?  Walk through the setup/sanity test again.  If that does not resolve this, you might want to go into the HW config and disable the serial/parallel ports and start over.  I had am 'old' PC that was donated to the club.  I installed a USB card in it and could not get the Locobuffer to work - interrupts.  When I finally got the thing running, we found a thermal issue after about 20-30 minutes running!  I am donating my old 'train computer ' to the club to resolve this(600 mhz/.5GB Ram/80GB disk/USB 2.0).  Should be more than enough horsepower(runs Decoder Pro just fine).

Jim

Modeling BNSF  and Milwaukee Road in SW Wisconsin

  • Member since
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Posted by jfallon on Saturday, March 15, 2008 8:56 PM
  Thank you for the advice, I'll fire it up and try your suggestions tomorrow.

If everybody is thinking alike, then nobody is really thinking.

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Posted by Stevert on Saturday, March 15, 2008 9:14 PM
 Phoebe Vet wrote:

The Vista computer is fast, stable, and I like it a lot ... HOWEVER:

There is one annoying bug. The Vista computer can print to a printer attached to it, but cannot print across the network. The XP machines can print to any printer on the network EXCEPT the one attached to the Vista machine.

  Not to hijack this thread and start an XP vs. Vista thing, but that's not a bug, it's a user/permissions issue on your machines.  

  I have no problems whatsoever using network-attached printers or storage with Vista.  You just have to have your user accounts and permissions set up properly.

  It's no different than the "problems" people had when XP first came out and folks couldn't get their networked W9* and XP computers to work with each other.

Steve

  • Member since
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  • From: Portsmouth, VA
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Posted by jfallon on Sunday, March 16, 2008 10:08 AM

    Thanks for the advice, I finally got it running. It passed the sanity test, no loop back. Preferences had no Locobuffer-USB selection, so I downloaded latest version of Decoderpro from JMRI. Once I reset everything it came up fine.

    BTW - Half the Vista problem may be manufacturers putting it in computers that barely have the capacity to run it. It would be nice if they could customize a version of the OS for laptops that doesn't take ten minutes to boot upBanged Head [banghead]

If everybody is thinking alike, then nobody is really thinking.

http://photobucket.com/tandarailroad/

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  • From: Charlotte, NC
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Posted by Phoebe Vet on Sunday, March 16, 2008 11:38 AM

My Vista Laptop doesn't take 10 minutes to boot.

But then, it has a dual core processor and 2 gig of ram.

Dave

Lackawanna Route of the Phoebe Snow

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