DriveRack 260 USB to Serial interface

Creative Commons LicenseDocument by: David Pierron © 2005
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.
v1.0 :: Tue May 17 03:44:24 EST 2005
This document covers using a laptop with the DR260

Objective

This document covers being able to access the DR260 through the RS-232 interface using a laptop and a USB to Serial adapter.

Requirements

The null modem cable that came with the DR260
A Laptop computer with a USB port
A USB to Serial adapter (IOGear: GUC232A)
DriveRack DriveWare GUI Interface Software

My Story

I bought a cheap USB to Serial adapter off of eBay and figured it would work. It didn't at all. The unit didn't have any sort of branding on it, but when the drivers went in, it was identified as a Prolific ... I then went to the DriveRack User's Group and saw the new RS-232 document that suggested a PCMCIA RS-232 port card ... I had been planning USB to RS-232 adapter all along so I decided I should get one of the three that were listed as working ...

The only one that I found on a shelf somewhere was the IOGear GUC232A at BestBuy ... I picked that up and brought it home and installed it and it was reading that it was an Aten USB Serial Bridge ... I figured this was wrong since Windows went over the 'net and got the drivers even after using the IOGear setup software ... I then tried to replace the drivers with the ones stuck at C:/IOGEAR GUC232A ... When this was attempted it said there was no new driver suitable, so I guess I had the right drivers ... I looked in the drivers in C:\IOGEAR GUC232A INF files and it did in fact say "Aten" within the INF file ... So I figured I was ready to go ...

I had the same exact results as described on the DRUG ... DriveWare would just sit there ... This would happen when the COM ports were matched in the Driveware software and the Aten driver ... You can change the COM port the driver uses by going through Control Panel -> System -> Ports -> Aten Serial Bridge -> Properties -> Advanced ... It had defaulted to COM3 but I set it and the Driveware software to COM2 ... I tried simply waiting and that didn't work ... no matter what, Driveware just sat there until I stopped the task in task manager ...

Then I went to the DRUG and read and read ... and came to the conclusion that I should roll back the driver to the one I downloaded from the DRUG ... or the one provided by the other Driveware user in another thread ... After renaming the current driver file (7/2003) and putting in the new (old) one (4/2002) ... restarted Windows, Driveware popped right up and communication was possible ...

Now I have to build my RS-232 to XLR adapters so communication through the snake is possible ... I have got those specs from the DRUG long ago in preparation for this ... I think I am going to leave the cable that came with the DR260 intact and build these adapters from scratch ... I am unclear if each end is built exactly the same ... I'm assuming if they're not I only have to flip the two connections ...

Anyway, I just wanted to share my Aten USB to RS-232 Serial connection using a Toshiba laptop and Windows XP experience ... When I read the DRUG before trying this connection myself I assumed that I knew more than the people trying this with their computers ... I figured any USB to RS-232 would work, but when I got what was documented on the site and followed the troubleshooting directions in the DRUG, everything is working now ...

Old driver : SER2PL.zip

The file lives in C:\WINDOWS\system32\drivers