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Scionica

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Reply with quote  #1 
I've started using a USB to 485 adapter (the GmM type) that I bought on eBay.  It's one of the FTDI based adapters that work with Artemis.  Whenever I start sending DMX data to it, be it with Artemis or any other DMX application, it seems to work for maybe 10 seconds before freezing up.  The flashing TX light on the adapter will stop blinking, and the DMX application will stop responding until I unplug the adapter.  It does this on multiple computers, with multiple USB cables and multiple versions of the FTDI drivers.

Am I just missing something here, or do I have a bad adapter?  The thing was only $4 or $5 on eBay so I'm not expecting much.

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MarkBell

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Reply with quote  #2 
Sounds like you've got a bad adapter. If it wasn't responding at all it might be one of those driver issues, but since it starts but then craps out...
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notsabbat

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Reply with quote  #3 
I haven't ever had this problem myself, so I don't know what it takes to correct it. I have seen others have this issue and it was suggested that it may have something to do with the power settings for the USB ports, but I don't really know the specifics of it. I ordered two adapters when I bought mine, but lucked out and only needed one. Sorry I can't be more help. The DMX path can be a trialed one, but it is worth it in the end.

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mwick

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Reply with quote  #4 
I had a similar problem with mine - it would start working and then stop responding after a varying amount of time - usually in the minutes, though, not seconds. I thought it may have been a bad adapter, but switching didn't solve it (I ordered three, since they were so cheap and parts from China can be so hit-or-miss). Only thing that resolved it for me was switching from using a front usb port to a rear usb port on my desktop. Like notsabbat suggested, it may have had to do with the power settings, I'm not too sure. 

Best I could piece together was that the front usb was getting interrupted by something every so often. Other DMX programs (XLights) would reinitialize the connection, but Artemis did not. So control with XLights would stop then start working again (on the order of seconds), while Artemis would stop and then the lights would stay frozen where they were.

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Scionica

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Reply with quote  #5 
Hmm.  Well all the machines I've been trying this on have been various (older) Apple products running Windows 10, perhaps I'll try it on my gaming machine with the high-current USB ports for charging iPads and such.  Thanks for the suggestions!
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Dave Bemrose

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Reply with quote  #6 
There was a reasonably recent update of the FTDI drivers for windows that renders any none genuine chips essentially useless, that could be the issue. If you google it you'll find links to older drivers to roll it back to before the update, if that doesn't work (and assuming that's the issue) then you'll need to find a genuine FTDI adapter. There's a list on the FTDI website of approved retailers as well as an online shop and they're not silly money.

Hope that's of some use to you.
Scionica

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Bemrose
There was a reasonably recent update of the FTDI drivers for windows that renders any none genuine chips essentially useless, that could be the issue. If you google it you'll find links to older drivers to roll it back to before the update, if that doesn't work (and assuming that's the issue) then you'll need to find a genuine FTDI adapter. There's a list on the FTDI website of approved retailers as well as an online shop and they're not silly money. Hope that's of some use to you.


I had run that a couple of times, but that doesn't appear to be affecting mine, it's a legit FTDI chip.  I contacted the seller on eBay and they are sending me a new one, I guess we'll see what the deal is then.  I was doing some experimenting with USB power settings, USB hubs, etc last night and it just does not want to work for more than 10-15 seconds.


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Dave Bemrose

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Reply with quote  #8 
Hi Scionica, have you had any luck with your adapter?
Scionica

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Reply with quote  #9 
I've actually avoided posting a response because it just magically started working again.  It started working again when I downloaded the new Bridge Tools 3.5, but there's nothing in that application that would make a USB device work or not work, so I really don't think that was the fix.  I figure the issue was one of two or three things:

1) There was a bunch of some kind of white residue on the bottom of the board around all of the input/output pins.  I cleaned this up, even though I've seen this kind of junk on a lot of other electronics and it didn't make a difference.

2) There was some kind of intermittent connection on the board, and all of the fussing and fidgeting I did with the board made that connection more solid.

3) Gremlins?  I don't know.  I heated up my soldering iron at it in a threatening manner, maybe it decided to start working before I went about trying to reflow all the connections.

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notsabbat

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Reply with quote  #10 
Ha! Yeah, that does seem to sum up the DMX building experience. "Why isn't it working?" "I don't know..." "Oh it's working now, what did you do?" "I don't know, but I'm not changing anything!"



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Scionica

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Reply with quote  #11 
Wound up replacing the adapter with the replacement one the eBay vendor sent me, since the adapter was still freezing up at random.  Actually that's not true.  The adapter has a very complicated in-built algorithm that determined when it would be the most inconvenient, and chose that moment to freeze.

I don't think the QA on these things are that high.  The original adapter had red LEDs, this new one looks the same but has green LEDs.  I suspect they're just using "whatever" components and slapping it together, which is why it was $7.45 with free shipping, versus $60+ for a legit Enttec Open.

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