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Smart Shelf Book Project Problems

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FTEDT View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote FTEDT Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 May 2011 at 2:50pm
HI Amal!!

Thank you for the responses!! OK, I'll try to give a little better information this go around.

I borrowed a "better" multi-meter and I have continuity through the inductor, and all lines that have been connected to the reader.
My voltage readings are as follows.
Antenna - 4.9 - 5.3 volts. Is that too high for the antenna?? You had mentioned 5 volts max in your book.
RX Pin - 5.1 - 5.3 volts.
TX Pin - 5.3 - 5.5 volts.

Still not the greatest MM, but better than the one I had.

From what I can gather the reader seems to be OK.

My guess is something with the software and my computer or a tag issue.
I'm going to run to radio shack and see if they have any other 13.56 MHz to try.

I'm all ears at this point. Thanks for the responses and I hope you and your readers all had a great weekend!!

DT
Not so wise one trying to be wiser!! :-)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote amal Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 May 2011 at 3:00pm
I would try taking the external antenna out of the loop and just use the internal M1 antenna. It won't have good range but it will be good enough to test with.

The RX/TX pins, if truly RS232, should fluctuate between -12v and +12v when signaling. The multimeter may not be quick enough though to catch those fluctuations. Do you know anyone with an oscilloscope? If the RX/TX lines are actually using 0v to +5v for signaling, then they are functioning in a TTL capacity and connecting them to a PC port will not result in any data flowing through. Worse though, the PC RS232 port may output far too much voltage for the TTL pins and could damage your M1.

I've heard that the M1's pin behavior can be changed by changing the firmware, but that is unlikely and the fact that the M1 board has TX232 and RX232 silkscreened on it tells me the original firmware supported RS232 serial communication.

You might consider getting your hands on an RS232 tester. It is a handy device that goes in-line between serial devices and shows you RS232 signal levels on the line. It might not work that well for the M1 though because the M1 only has TX/RX pins, and does not use the CTS/RTS/CD signaling lines typical to RS232 communications.

Something else just occurred to me... do you have your grounds connected? Three conductors are the minimum required for serial communication - TX, RX, and GND. Make sure you have a ground wire from the negative/ground of the M1 to the GND pin on the RS232 cable coming from your PC.
Amal ;)

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote FTEDT Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 May 2011 at 3:54pm
HI Amal!

Thanks for the quick response!! :)

yes, the ground is also connected and checked good for continuity as well. I will try removing the antenna and see what happens.

Thanks again!!

DT
Not so wise one trying to be wiser!! :-)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote amal Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 May 2011 at 4:01pm
Ok cool. Just to be sure, removing the antenna is only half way there. You then have to jumper to the internal antenna to activate it.
Amal ;)

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote FTEDT Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 May 2011 at 4:22pm
OK, I jumped the INT to the GRD and still have nothing. Just to clarify, the rate at 5, 30, and 60 is in seconds correct? So if I have the rate at 5 it is cycling every 5 seconds?

The COMM port from the computer tower is reading  (from both the TX and RX ports to ground , i.e., 2 & 3 to 5) 5.2-5.3 volts for both.  Should these be reading 12 volts or am I misunderstanding you?

Thanks!!

DT
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote amal Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 May 2011 at 4:42pm
Actually, I believe you must jumper INT to ANT, not INT to GND. The GND pin is there for convenience when using an external antenna, but the ANT pin is the "active" signal coming from the M1. The INT pin is one end of the internal antenna loop, and it is internally grounded on the other side - hence no GND pin needed for the internal antenna.

When you say you're getting a reading from the PC COMM port of only 5v, are you measuring it as it's hooked up to the M1, or are you disconnecting it and measuring it directly from TX to GND on the PC port? If you are disconnecting and directly measuring it, you should see spurts of -12v to +12v between the TX and GND pins on the PC port, and nothing between the RX and GND ports (as this signal will be coming from the remote device).

Even if you are measuring it when it is connected to the M1, you should still see something upwards of 12v. It sounds to me though like your multimeter is not "quick" enough to catch the real values. An oscilloscope is more suited for this kind of data signal analysis, but they are typically much more expensive. However, there are some cheap Chinese made o-scopes out now that I've seen which should be able to capture, process, and display 9600 baud data signals. I just bought a benchtop tektronics knock off for only $225. Works great. Here are some cheap options I found which should work well for you (double check specs before buying though):

Handheld O-Scope

PC based USB O-Scope

Amal ;)

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote FTEDT Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 May 2011 at 5:05pm
I tired both.  Still didn't get anything.

Yes, I was disconnected and checking the COMM directly off the tower when I got those numbers.
Actually the numbers were the same whether off of the M1 or the tower comm directly.

I'll do some more precision measuring and report back. Can't thank ya enough for your time!!

DT


Edited by FTEDT - 02 May 2011 at 5:18pm
Not so wise one trying to be wiser!! :-)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote FTEDT Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 May 2011 at 5:20pm
Well I have to boogie. Thanks so much for your input Amal, it is greatly appreciated. I have tomorrow off as well so I will be back in the morning. Have a great evening!!

DT
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote FTEDT Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 May 2011 at 9:45am
Any epiphanies over the evening??  I didn't have any. Confused
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote amal Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 May 2011 at 9:58am
Nope, sorry man. You may have to break everything down and start testing each individual component. By that I mean things like using the internal antenna of the M1 (you did change your pin soldering didn't you?) and individually testing the RS232 communications channels. Connect the PC running the software to another PC or laptop or COM port connected to hyperterminal to ensure commands are making it from software to COM port on the control PC. Try manually sending data back to the control PC. Try downloading the Skyetek documentation and test software package and checking out the CommandBuilder software.

Other than those troubleshooting tips, without an o-scope it's hard to tell what's going on between reader and PC.
Amal ;)

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