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Hardware Thread, Promethean serial to USB problem in Technical; I have had to buy a serial/usb convertor to connect a promethean board to a new laptop that has no ...
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    witch's Avatar
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    Promethean serial to USB problem

    I have had to buy a serial/usb convertor to connect a promethean board to a new laptop that has no serial port but I cannot get it working for the life of me.
    It is one of the old prometheans with the power jack in the top of the serial connector.
    The power light comes on on the board. The laptop detects the adaptor and that is as far as I can get. I have installed the latest promethean drivers but this made no difference.
    This is the adaptor I have got:
    TARGUS USB TO SERIAL (RS232) ADAPTER - Misco.co.uk

    Does anyone know what I can do to get the blasted thing working??Do I need a different adaptor?

    My old school had keyspans -is there a difference?

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    tmcd35's Avatar
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    I had this very same problem two days ago. Turns out the board wasn't plugged into the mains Worth a check. Doing some research I found some need plugging into a PS2 port as well as serial for power. Ours was just unplugged from the wall - whoops!

    Also have you checked what COM port the board is trying to communicate on? Check Windows Device Manager for which COM port the USB-Serial adapter is registered as and make sure the Promethean software is trying to connect on that port. Ours (and usually the case) was COM-4.

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    mac_shinobi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tmcd35 View Post
    I had this very same problem two days ago. Turns out the board wasn't plugged into the mains Worth a check. Doing some research I found some need plugging into a PS2 port as well as serial for power. Ours was just unplugged from the wall - whoops!

    Also have you checked what COM port the board is trying to communicate on? Check Windows Device Manager for which COM port the USB-Serial adapter is registered as and make sure the Promethean software is trying to connect on that port. Ours (and usually the case) was COM-4.
    agreed on the above but the adaptor we used was connected via serial on the laptop / computer and went to usb on the board and also if there are any drivers that need loading then make sure that the drivers / services are starting up with windows or at least when the user logs in and that they have relevant rights / permissions to run the drivers / software - normally it installs the software into the usual place ( c:\program files\xxxxxxx ) where xxxxx is the rest of the path obviously.

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    teddybear's Avatar
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    We used keyspan devices which were supplied by promethean for a while to take our older boards from serial to usb, absolute nightmare.

    Our recent refresh means these older boards all need USB connections as there are no serial ports on the laptops.

    We simply bought loads of long USB cable, plugged them in to the back of the board and left the power plugged in to the serial cable (which is now just hanging behind the desks)

    Keyspan devices were a total nightmare, sometimes they would connect fine but most other days the teachers were removing cables, plugging back in, powering off and on again.

    Long USB cable is cheaper than the Targus way.

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    witch's Avatar
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    There isn't a mains connection as far as I can see -only the jack in the top of the serial port - the board works fine on an old serial ported laptop so I don't think that is the problem. Unless I am going mad? The jack into the serial port goes to the activprimary transformer and up behind the board so presumably this is the power?
    As for using a long USB - how does the board get power if the serial with jack isn't plugged in? (given that there doesn't seem to be another mains connection on these boards)
    Even though the laptop registers the targus when plugged in, there is no mention of the adaptor in device manager which is a bit strange.
    I set the board to search all ports anyway and it didnt find anything.
    So..if the drivers for the targus are in correctly, then why isnt the adaptor showing up in device manager?
    The targus instructions tell you to install the software before connecting, but the promethean instructions tell you to do it the other way round.
    I will uninstall the drivers, connect the adaptor and install them again to see where we get to.
    Any other ideas gratefully received.

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    is it connected to the old problem of XP automatically installing board as USB Human Interface Device rather than USB Presenta board?? If so this can be solved as follows;

    Device Manager -> Rt click Human Interface Device -> Update Driver -> etc -> select USB Presenta Board

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    teddybear's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by witch View Post
    The jack into the serial port goes to the activprimary transformer and up behind the board so presumably this is the power?
    If you take the board off the wall (will need two of you, not easy to put back on, a wee bit fiddly) you will see a box in the top right hand corner.

    If you are just using a serial connector you will see one cable, then at the other end of the cable (the one that goes into the PC) is a black power cable with the transformer you have found. You can leave this connected to get power for the board.

    You will see (where the serial cable is plugged in to the board) a USB port, plug in your long cable there then the other end into the PC.

    As you are getting power through one cable (the old serial one) and connectivity from the USB cable that should be you sorted.

    Some of our boards are new, but our older ones have all been fine with the long USB cables being put in.

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    UnknownStuntman's Avatar
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    Check which COM Port the adapter is using.

    From memory had this problem and the ActivDriver only looks in a specific COM range (1-4?) and the adapter had set itself onto COM 10.

    We use the keyspan adapters here and their software allows us to change the COM port that is assinged to it.

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    witch's Avatar
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    Thanks - no, not the usual 'human interface' driver problem - I did think of that. No human interface device is showing at all
    And as I said, although the laptop recognises the adaptor, no com port is registered to the targus either.

    Sorry, still dont get it - how can you get power from the serial cable if the cable isnt connected to anything??

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    tmcd35's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by witch View Post
    no com port is registered to the targus either.
    This sounds like a clue. The Targus *should* show up in Windows Device Manager under Ports (COM & LPT). If it's not then it's likely to be a driver issue. Try reinstalling the Targus driver with the USB/Serial adapter unplugged. Then plug the adapter into a different USB port and see what happens.

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    we have the same board, giving the problem, i phoned promethean and got help. ther sholud be an external power adaptor for the board, after a long search i find it. disconnect the power, the board will stop lit up. after 2 mints reconnect the board after re installing the promethean latest driver. hopfully it will help you to resolve the matter.
    in usb case when you connect it it should find as new hardware and ask for the new driver to be installed. then put the supplied CD and install it and reboot n see.

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    plexer's Avatar
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    On the back of the serial plug there should be a black socket, this is where the power pack plugs in on these older serial boards.

    However plugging the usb serial adapter in should get it installed as a serial port on the machine then when you plug the board in you set the driver to use what ever com port the usb to serial has set up.

    If you're usb to serial converter is not or has not installed thats the first issue.

    If you want to try a keyspan one as supplied by pormethean let me know I have some kicking around.

    Ben

  13. Thanks to plexer from:

    witch (26th March 2009)

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    witch's Avatar
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    Now it's 'row with Misco' time. Out of curiosity I asked them whether the Targus would work and they said 'NO' despite someone there telling me originally that it would. Which they deny, of course.
    Ho hum another 50 down the drain.
    I have ordered another version that Misco promise WILL work and we shall see!
    Thanks for the help guys

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    OverWorked's Avatar
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    Witch,

    Did you get this working? I know it's 2 years ago.

    I have just obtained an old Promethean IWB from another school. It's an old model and is serial only.

    It's powered up - jack plug into back of serial cable, and connected to a Windows 7 machine via Keyspan serial/USB converter.

    ActivManager will not see the board.

    I've disabled the machine's serial port and set the Keyspan and ActivManager to both use COM1. No joy.

    This machine does actually have a serial port, so I'll try that when I get a cable long enough.

    Thanks.

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    witch's Avatar
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    Yes, I did - with a keyspan I'm afraid. Sounds like you might have another issue. Good luck!
    You did check that it isnt seeing it as a human interface device, but not the promethean did you?
    Last edited by witch; 12th October 2011 at 01:59 PM.

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