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DATASHUTTLE: Problems With Communications/Device Not Responding

There are several known problems that can occur with the DATAshuttle. Although these are infrequent, it is beneficial to know how to accurately diagnose the problem and fix it, if possible, without returning the unit to the factory.

Note that the DATAshuttle is currently supported by Quicklog (QL), QuickLog for Windows (QLfW), WorkBench PC for DOS (WBPC), WorkBench PC for Windows (WBfW), the Development System for DOS (ACDS) and the Development System for Windows, which allow users to do their own programming in the DOS and Windows environments, respectively.

A Note on IRQs:

All Windows-based software use IRQs (Interrupt Requests) on the DATAshuttle. WBPC, QL and ACDS do not use them. Therefore, it is possible that QL or WBPC will function properly with the DATAshuttle while WBfW will not. This results from hardware interrupt conflicts within the user's computer system when using the Windows driver. See Problem 2 for solutions to IRQ problems with the DATAshuttle.

PROBLEM 1
WBPC, QLPC, QLfW or WBfW cannot find the DATAshuttle. WBfW reports "No board found, please install board, check board number switch and base address."
SOLUTION 1
Make sure that the parallel cable is firmly connected to both the DATAshuttle unit and to the computer's parallel port. Make sure that the AC Adapter is plugged in and that the LED on the DATAshuttle itself is on.

A Note on Laptops
Make sure that the DATAshuttle is connected to the computer and that power is connected before turning on a laptop machine; some laptops disable the parallel port if no connection is found at start-up. Also REM out any lines in the Autoexec.bat and Config.sys lines that relate to a PCMCIA port, such as device drivers. These lines will typically look like this: Device=C:/PCCARD/XXXX. These drivers have been known to cause conflicts.

A Note on Windows:
Some computers automatically load the print manager at Windows boot up. Make sure that the Print Manager is not active in the Windows environment when attempting to use the DATAshuttle as it can interfere with WBfW's ability to communicate with the unit. Printing is possible while using the DATAshuttle, but not during the initial loading of the WBfW software.

If, after the above suggestions have been followed, the DATAshuttle still does not respond, proceed to Solution 2 below.

SOLUTION 2
There are three key areas to check to validate whether or not the DATAshuttle is operational:
  1. If an AC Adapter is being used, then detach it from the DATAshuttle. With the AC Adapter still plugged in to the wall outlet, measure the voltage that it is supplying in this no-load condition. Do this by measuring the voltage between the inside and the outside surfaces of the cyclindrical connector. It should be around 9 volts. If it is not, then the AC Adapter needs to be replaced. If such a replacement AC Adapter is used, make sure that the polarity is correct; the inside of the connector should be negative and the outside should be positive. If the reverse is true then the DATAshuttle will not function and the AC Adapter may be damaged.
  2. After plugging the AC Adapter back in to the DATAshuttle, make sure that the LED is coming on. If the LED is not lighted then there is a problem with the power section of the DATAshuttle. This will require return of the unit to OMEGA ENGINEERING for repairs.
  3. If the DATAshuttle unit has passed steps 1 and 2 above then it is necessary to measure the four voltage terminals on the unit itself. The first two of these voltages are the +5 Volt and Vref (6.9 volt) terminals, found at opposite ends of the terminal strip next to the pass thru connector. The second two voltages, +15 and -12 Volts, can be found on the raised section of the DATAshuttle called the terminal board.

If any or all of these voltages are incorrect, then there is a problem with the DATAshuttle's internal power supply. If you have been installing resistors or capacitors on the analog input auxiliary section then it is necessary to remove the terminal board and re-check the +5 and Vref voltages. If, after removal, these voltages return to normal it is likely that there is a short to ground on the terminal board. Check the resistor/capacitor installations for such a short and re-install the board. If removal does not fix the +5 and -12 voltages then there is a problem with the DATAshuttle's internal power supply. This will require return of the unit to OMEGA ENGINEERING for repair. .


PROBLEM 2
WorkBench PC for Windows gives error message "IRQ not responding, please check IRQ".
SOLUTION
The DATAshuttle communicates via the printer port. All printer ports (Centronics or EPP) are set at IRQ 7, and usually cannot be changed to other IRQs. Therefore, WBfW has no option but to use IRQ 7 to communicate with the DATAshuttle. If there are problems with IRQ 7 then WBfW will indicate this at start-up with an error message. There are only two causes of such an error message - the chip that controls IRQ 7 on the DATAshuttle is damaged, or there is an IRQ 7 conflict in the computer.

The best way to remedy this problem is to try WBfW and the DATAshuttle on one or more alternative computers. If the system operates successfully on one of these alternate computers then there is an IRQ 7 conflict on the original computer. The user must analyze their computer system to check for such a conflict and to then remove it. Such conflicts can be caused by sound cards, CD drives, etc.

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