Grid Connect ATC-2000


#1

Hello!

We have opto22 factory floor functioning at a site via connection of an RS232 cable. The application moves data back and forth perfectly if the RS232 port is an integrated port in the computer, however with hardware like that phasing out on new PC’s we’d thought we’d try an RS232/Ethernet converter. We have the connection working, however it will (seemingly) randomly drop and spend 15min attempting to reconnect before finally latching on again and working as if nothing happened.

My question is, are there settings I need to change in opto? Do I need to set up the ATC-2000 a certain way? Is this sort of thing even supported?

For those wondering this is an ACT-2000 http://gridconnect.com/rs232-ethernet-converter.html

And I have talked with their support, the device itself is functioning, it passes data without problem when tested.

Current set up for the device running opto22 facroty floor:

Win 7 professional
Opto22 runs in XP mode (virtual Machine), The drivers for the virtual com port do not function well on windows 7.


#2

Gudday HCSI,

Welcome to the forums.

We have used several serial to Ethernet adapters in a past life with Opto gear and never had any problems.

When you say it takes 15 minutes for it to reconnect, which end are you talking about?
The Ethernet end or the serial end?
How do you test each end to know which it is that is dropping and taking so long to come back?
Are you using the virtual com port software that came with it?
(Also, your web link to the device is wrong, I Googled it from your post title since your link description is also wrong).

If I follow, you are using a serial Opto controller to talk over the ATC-2000 device to Opto Display? (And the rest of Factory Floor)
Are you also using Opto Control to download strategy’s to the controller?

Have you set up a ‘ping -t’ and let that run to see if the network is dropping to the ATC when it drops the serial?
How long is the serial cable between the Opto controller and the ATC?

Barrage of questions I know, you don’t have to answer them all, just throwing them out there to try and understand where the drop is and the end goal.

Cheers,

Ben.


#3

The Ethernet side of the ACT-2000 is up 24/7, ran a constant Ping on it over night just to see if it would ever drop. I am forced, due to lack of other equipment, use optoDisp to tell me whether or not the com port is functioning. OptoDisp shows a dropped connection, attempts to reconnect for a while (always roughly 15min) and then reconnects and sails along again for hours at a time.

I’ve since fixed my link, not sure what happened there.

Yes to the opto controller being used to talk to the ATC, and Yes to Opto control being used to download the controller’s strategy.

I am using the drivers GridConnect has told me to use, as the drivers that come with the device do not work for windows XP, and the windows 7 drivers are questionable at best.

Unfortunately I do not know how long the serial cable is. It is worth noting, however, that this works flawlessly when an integrated RS232 port is used, and the ATC-2000 is removed from the picture. That is, unfortunately, not an option as the computers that read from the Opto controller have since been moved out of reach of the serial cable.

Hope this helps you help me.


#4

Hi HCSI,

Just quickly, did the ping drop at all?

Thanks.

Ben


#5

Not once. Nothing special about anything in the logs either, just a normal latency variance of <1ms to maybe 5ms at most.


#6

Converting RS232 to USB might be another option to try out, but I’m not sure that will go any better for you. I found one particular USB driver that seemed to eliminate the dropouts, but it was hard to tell when picking up a random converter at Fry’s what driver it might be using. The problem was not isolated to Opto22, any software interacting with the RS232 device could cause the adapter to hang.

How far away has the computer moved? It might be worth trying an RS232 signal booster. I’ve had good luck with BB-Elec’s devices, and at this point, have wasted enough time fighting with RS232 converters that I no longer think they are worth the aggravation. If you eventually find a converter (of any type) that works reliably, please post it here!


#7

Well, lets see what we know.
We know the network to the ATC is ok. (the ping test).
We know that most of the time, it all works as expected, for hours at a time, so we know the basic signal path is ok.
We know when it breaks, it takes around 15 minutes for it to reconnect.

What don’t we know?
We don’t know if the virtual serial port software is ok. The ping test only checks the network to the ATC, not the TCP/IP communications from the PC to the ATC. This software could be the issue. I had to try 3-4 different virtual com port drivers before I found one that was stable.
We don’t know how stable the link from the ATC to the Opto Controller is. While it works when it works, we don’t know if there is a cable issue, or noise or some sort of configuration issue with the ATC serial port.

Whats the Opto Controller you are connecting to?


#8

Try a lantronix uds-1100. I’ve had no problem with them on other systems connecting serial to a virtual com port. They are easy to set up and the drivers are rock solid in xp.
Ben I’m sure this is what you were using many moons ago to connect serial to Ethernet back at the hospital?

Btw, what is the configuration of the ATC? Tcp server/client or UDP server/client?