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 utilite getting a serial connection 
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Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2015 6:03 pm
Posts: 8
Post utilite getting a serial connection
Hi,

I bought the utilite a few weeks ago and it was working fine initially. I tried to install XBMC onto the SSD [1] but it did not work and now I can't boot the utilite.

I've been trying to debug via serial connection [2] but can't get any output. I've attached a screenshot of my setup - no output on serial connection or over HDMI.

I've tried flashing many different images [3,4] and read lots of documentation but I must be missing something..

Could it be a problem with uboot? Either way, a serial connection is required to load the uboot recovery image [5].

Can anyone spot anything wrong with my setup in the image attached?

Thanks for any advice!

Conor

[1] http://stephan-rafin.net/blog/2013/12/2 ... ilite-ssd/
[2] http://compulab.co.il/utilite-computer/ ... connection
[3] http://compulab.co.il/utilite-computer/ ... inux_Image
[4] http://www.compulab.co.il/utilite-compu ... and_Update
[5] http://compulab.co.il/utilite-computer/ ... ery-sd.pdf


Attachments:
File comment: serial connection setup
IMAG0183.jpg
IMAG0183.jpg [ 137.57 KiB | Viewed 4983 times ]
Thu Jan 01, 2015 6:25 pm
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Joined: Mon Jan 09, 2012 3:16 am
Posts: 351
Post Re: utilite getting a serial connection
Are you using a null modem adapter or cable? If both computer's are configured as DTE, a null modem adapter or cable is necessary.

Here's what works for me.
Attachment:
Utilite Serial Connection.JPG
Utilite Serial Connection.JPG [ 53.76 KiB | Viewed 4971 times ]


Last edited by hassellbear on Thu Jan 01, 2015 8:12 pm, edited 2 times in total.



Thu Jan 01, 2015 7:42 pm
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Joined: Wed May 25, 2011 11:05 am
Posts: 521
Post Re: utilite getting a serial connection
Is the grey serial cable (bottom let) a null modem cable, swapping rx/tx? If yes, can the two cables join without that, ie one male, one female?


Thu Jan 01, 2015 7:47 pm
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Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2015 6:03 pm
Posts: 8
Post Re: utilite getting a serial connection
The grey serial cable is female to female, so no the other two leads do not connect without this.

So, I do I just need different leads?


Thu Jan 01, 2015 8:12 pm
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Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2015 6:03 pm
Posts: 8
Post Re: utilite getting a serial connection
Ok so I just need a gender changer and a null modem adapter?


Thu Jan 01, 2015 8:14 pm
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Joined: Wed May 25, 2011 11:05 am
Posts: 521
Post Re: utilite getting a serial connection
Or you get the right USB adapter and nothing else needed
http://www.dabs.com/products/startech-c ... tdi&src=16


Thu Jan 01, 2015 8:21 pm
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Joined: Mon Jan 09, 2012 3:16 am
Posts: 351
Post Re: utilite getting a serial connection
Hello Conor,

Perhaps the following diagrams will clarify things a bit.
Attachment:
Null Modem.gif
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Attachment:
Null Modem2.gif
Null Modem2.gif [ 8.33 KiB | Viewed 4957 times ]

Attachment:
DB( Types.jpg
DB( Types.jpg [ 39.99 KiB | Viewed 4955 times ]


Your Utilite's serial adapter is configured as DTE (Data Terminal Equipment). Your laptop's USB to Serial adapter is probably configured as DTE as well (especially if it male gender).

When connecting a DTE device to another DTE device, you cannot use a "straight thorough" cable. Doing so connects output lines on one device to output lines on the other device. The straight through cable also connects inputs of one device to inputs of the other device. Neither case works.

What does work is to connect the outputs of one DTE device to the correct inputs of the other DTE device, and vice versa. This is what the null modem adapter takes care of.

Unfortunately, we can't tell whether your gray cable is a straight through type or a null modem type. However, if you set up the following cable connections everything should work.

Utilite Serial Cable - Null Modem - Laptop USB to DTE Serial Adapter

or if you obtain a USB to DCE serial adapter like the one Pepedog has recommended you can omit the null modem adapter and connect as follows:

Utilite Serial Cable - Laptop USB to DCE Serial Adapter



Whether or not you need a gender changer depend on the gender of the devices you are using.

Best Regards,

hassellbear


Last edited by hassellbear on Thu Jan 01, 2015 9:18 pm, edited 2 times in total.



Thu Jan 01, 2015 8:55 pm
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Joined: Wed May 25, 2011 11:05 am
Posts: 521
Post Re: utilite getting a serial connection
I know that dce adapter works well.
There are a lot of flaky devices out there that "appear" a lot cheaper. FTDI also works on later windows, search for dce ftdi


Thu Jan 01, 2015 9:17 pm
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Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2015 6:03 pm
Posts: 8
Post Re: utilite getting a serial connection
Thanks for all of the replies guys.

Just one more thing, @hassellbear you said you cannot tell if the grey lead is a null modem cable. This is the original amazon page for the product:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B000 ... ge_o01_s00

This page says it is null modem so I'm not sure what's wrong. Before I go out to buy additional leads, could you clarify this?

Thanks a mill

Conor


Fri Jan 02, 2015 2:18 pm
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Joined: Mon Jan 09, 2012 3:16 am
Posts: 351
Post Re: utilite getting a serial connection
Hi Connor,

The website for your cable indicates it is a null modem type, so the cabling part of your setup would seem to be ok. It's probably time to take a closer look at your laptop's setup. Sometimes one small parameter error can break things.


Windows

1. Navigate to Device Manager - Ports (COM & LPT)
2. Expand the Ports area and make sure your USB-Serial Adapter is listed. On my Win7 computer, my adapter is listed as Prolific USB-to-Serial Comm Port (COM6)
3. Make note of the port - you will need it to configure your teminal emulator.
4. Under ports, select your adapter and a properties window should open. The general tab will tell you if the device is working or not.
5. Once you have confirmed you USB-Serial cable is woking, open your terminal emulator and verify you have set the correct comm parameters (comm port, baud rate, data bits, stop bits, parity, flow control).

For Utilite, the parameters are:

Speed (baud): 115200
Data bits: 8
Stop bits: 1
Parity: none
Flow control: none

6. Possibly try another terminal emulator. For windows, I like Termite. It is free, simple, and easy to configure.


For Linux

1. Open a terminal window and execute lsusb in order to verify your USB-Serial adapter is recognized. My linux system lists the adapter as follows:

Bus 002 Device 004: ID 067b:2303 Prolific Technology, Inc. PL2303 Serial Port

2. Navigate to /dev and find your USB to Serial Adapter's port designation. Mine is listed as ttyUSB0. Make note of your port assignment as you will need it to configure your terminal emulator.

3. Once you have confirmed your adapter is working, configure your terminal emulator with the correct parameters.



Hopefully, there is some small error which is preventing you from connecting to Utilite. Serial communications can be frustrating when things don't go right. If your problems continue, I would suggest you follow Pepedog's advice and get another USB-Serial adapter cable. Cables based of the FTDI or Prolific chipsets should work well.

For reference:

http://www.compulab.co.il/utilite-compu ... connection


Best Regards,

hassellbear


Fri Jan 02, 2015 4:24 pm
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