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Thread: 34970A through RS-232 to a Laptop with Windows XP SP3 - SWEET SUCCESS!


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jrevefel

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34970A through RS-232 to a Laptop with Windows XP SP3 - SWEET SUCCESS!
Posted: Apr 3, 2012 7:27 AM
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I am proficient with computers and electronics but I am new to the 34970A. I've read the notice about using RS-232 with a Windows OS and searched and read and much as possible on this forum, the manuals, and otherwise about the 34970A and the Benchlink Data Logger 3 software.

From what I've read, it certainly seems possible to operate all of this equipment together - I just need some help getting through this proecess. At this point, the Connection Expert recognizes that the 34970A is on COM3, but throws a warning that 'Some of the device information did not match the previous setting' which I have no idea what this means or how to move forward.

I have currently installed the following:
Data Logger 3 v4.2.00
IO Library Suite 16_2_15823

When I currently run Benchlink Data Logger and search for the 34970A under 'Add Instruments' and 'Find' a message is returned in the 'Find Instrument Status' window that '5. Communicating with <ASRL3::INSTR>' and '6. Error occurred during interaction with instrument at address: ASRL3::INSTR reason in (Communication error occurred.)'. While taking the same action in a previous installation, I would receive a time-out error but I had some other drivers (IVISharedComponents and VisaSharedComponents) installed that I have since deleted in order to start out fresh and have a complete understanding of what's required to get this thing to work since it has not been so straight-forward thus far.

So, I assume that I need to begin by trouble-shooting the connection within Connection Expert in order to get the laptop to recognize the 34970A. How do I move forward?

Edited by: jrevefel on Apr 25, 2012 1:28 PM
tomc

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Re: 34970A through RS-232 to a Laptop with Windows XP SP3 beginner help needed
Posted: Apr 3, 2012 12:50 PM   in response to: jrevefel in response to: jrevefel
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I've not seen this 'Some of the device information did not match the previous setting' before, but it sounds like the 34970A is set to power up in the last state it was in before it was powered down and not all the same cards are installed. In any case, it should be set to power up in the default reset condition. You can set that from the front panel, by pressing Shift > Utility, press the Utility 3 times and you should see "POWER ON LAST". Rotate the knob to change LAST ro RESET and press the Utility key again.

The communication error could be cause by the instrument and the computer RS-232 settings not matching or it could possibly be the Laptop RS-232 hardware implementation as described in the attached file. I hope it's not that. There's a bit of a gotcha with ACE in that you have to run it as an administrator to make changes in the RS-232 settings take effect. Go to Agilent connection Expert in c:\program\Agilent, and open properties and check for run as administrator.
jrevefel

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Registered: 04/02/12
Re: 34970A through RS-232 to a Laptop with Windows XP SP3 beginner help needed
Posted: Apr 3, 2012 1:11 PM   in response to: tomc in response to: tomc
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tomc wrote:
I've not seen this 'Some of the device information did not match the previous setting' before, but it sounds like the 34970A is set to power up in the last state it was in before it was powered down and not all the same cards are installed. In any case, it should be set to power up in the default reset condition. You can set that from the front panel, by pressing Shift > Utility, press the Utility 3 times and you should see "POWER ON LAST". Rotate the knob to change LAST ro RESET and press the Utility key again.

The communication error could be cause by the instrument and the computer RS-232 settings not matching or it could possibly be the Laptop RS-232 hardware implementation as described in the attached file. I hope it's not that. There's a bit of a gotcha with ACE in that you have to run it as an administrator to make changes in the RS-232 settings take effect. Go to Agilent connection Expert in c:\program\Agilent, and open properties and check for run as administrator.


It's true that the data logger was set to POWER ON LAST and it has now been set to POWER ON RESET but that has not changed the response from the Connection Expert. I have contacted our IT department about getting administrator rights to the laptop and I am going to do another clean install of all software as administrator and report back.
hognala

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Re: 34970A through RS-232 to a Laptop with Windows XP SP3 beginner help needed
Posted: Apr 3, 2012 2:03 PM   in response to: jrevefel in response to: jrevefel
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A couple of thoughts for you:

1) Are you sure that your 34970A is connected on COM3 and not COM1? That would be to a good thing to verify

2) Do your COM settings match between Connection Expert and the instrument? To check you need to select the COM3 (ASRL3) node, NOT the ASRL3::INSTR node ( see attachment for example ). Then verify that the settings for the COM port are the same as on the 34970 (you can find out how to check the 34970's COM settings in the User's Guide at http://cp.literature.agilent.com/litweb/pdf/34970-90003.pdf, on PDF page 153).

DO NOTE that if you have to change the settings for the serial port, you will have to be logged in as an Administrative user. This is a bug in IO Libraries Suite 16.x, and will hopefully be fixed in IO Libraries Suite 16.3.

3) If you still can't connect to the box after verifying the above 2 things, you might want to try connecting a different PC to the 34970A. We've noticed that a lot of USB/RS-232 adapters don't work very well either.
jrevefel

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Registered: 04/02/12
Re: 34970A through RS-232 to a Laptop with Windows XP SP3 beginner help needed
Posted: Apr 12, 2012 6:33 AM   in response to: hognala in response to: hognala
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Hognala,

1) You are correct that our 34970A was connected to COM1 and not COM3. The reason why I was originally lead to believe that it was connected to COM3 was because when I added it through the Connection Expert, COM3 actually showed an instrument connected, but with a warning, while COM1 showed a complete error. So, I incorrectly suspected that it was located on COM3.

2) Once we had everything on COM1 established, we did verify that all settings were the same between the laptop / program and the 34970A.

3) We did try another laptop which was running Win98 and already had the Data Logger software already installed. With this one we also had no luck with the RS-232 cable. So, we brought in another 34970A used from one of our other divisions and had no luck with it, either. Our IT guru has had some experience setting this hardware and software up with other WinXP laptops with success so we stuck with it for quite some time before giving up.

However, we were fortunate in that our other division did have an 82357B USB / GPIB interface cable to try and it worked right away. So, we are assuming that ours was the standard Windows / RS-232 issue as published. We are also fortunate in that our other division does not use this cable for any of their work (seems as though they only use their 34970A for read-outs) so, for now, our problem has been solved. We were not able to trouble-shoot the original RS-232 issue but tested our system overnight last night and we are now off and running.

Thank you to all for your input and wishing you success with your work!

Edited by: jrevefel on Apr 12, 2012 6:34 AM

Edited by: jrevefel on Jun 22, 2012 8:55 AM
Frenky77

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Registered: 04/16/12
Re: 34970A through RS-232 to a Laptop with Windows XP SP3 beginner help needed
Posted: Apr 16, 2012 5:13 AM   in response to: jrevefel in response to: jrevefel
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jrevefel

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Re: 34970A through RS-232 to a Laptop with Windows XP SP3 beginner help needed
Posted: Apr 23, 2012 6:46 AM   in response to: Frenky77 in response to: Frenky77
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Attachment RS-232 Pinout.png (44.3 KB)
Yes, I was aware of the statement made by Agilent concerning the RS-232 connection but I was not willing to let this issue go without a fight.

And the fight goes on.....

Upon reviewing the manual for the RS-232 connection, I found on page 273 (see the attachment), which depicts the RS-232 cable wiring. What I take from it is that the PC and Instrument pins match each other for pins 1 through 9. But then it shows that the cable wiring is different than just being straight from one pin on the instrument to another on the PC (instead of pin 2 on the instrument going to pin 2 on the PC, pin 2 goes to 3, 4 to 6, 7 to 8, and vice versa).

I tested our aftermarket cable (not purchased through Agilent) and found that the cable is wired straight through, contrary to what is explained in the manual. So, I am going to cut up my cable and re-wire it per what is depicted in the manual to see if that will enable us to use the RS-232 connection.

It certainly may be a special case since Agilent already recognizes the RS-232 issue, but maybe ours is more of a cable issue and not an interface issue. I will respond with results.

Edited by: jrevefel on Apr 23, 2012 7:33 AM
jrevefel

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Re: 34970A through RS-232 to a Laptop with Windows XP SP3 - SWEET SUCCESS!
Posted: Apr 25, 2012 1:52 PM   in response to: jrevefel in response to: jrevefel
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Okay, so we already had success with getting the 34970A to the laptop via the Agilent 82357B USB/GPIB Interface cable. But, I was determined to get this RS-232 cable setup to work.

What I found in the manual's Chapter 5 Section on 'RS-232 Interface Configuration' was the clue (see previous post with wiring diagram).

So, ultimately the lesson learned is that, at least in our case, the RS-232 time-out woes were due to using an after-market cable (one that wasn't issued by Agilent) that was wired differently than that of Agilent's doing. I cut up my cable and re-wired it according to Agilent's description and it worked!

Since we were experiencing the same time-out issues with the RS-232 cable prior to the modification, I wonder how many out there with RS-232 time-out issues may have their problem resolved just as easily. If you're having similar problems and are willing to try this out, report back with your success!

Good luck!
Sushil

Posts: 4
Registered: 11/15/12
Re: 34970A through RS-232 to a Laptop with Windows XP SP3 - SWEET SUCCESS!
Posted: Nov 15, 2012 3:15 PM   in response to: jrevefel in response to: jrevefel
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Attachment Capture.JPG (71.4 KB)
Hello guys,

I am a Mechanical Engineer trying my hand with data acquisition systems for the first time. I have installed the data logger software 4.3 and the IO connection expert software for RS 232 to USB connection and the Prolific USB to RS 232 drivers for the cable.
I have done all the connections and run the IO connection expert and it shows a connection on COM3 with ASRL3 which is connected to the data acquisition (Hawlett Packard 34970A). When I try to make a new configuration on data logger and try adding an instrument, the software looks for a GPIB connection and then SERIAL connection and eventually gives an error shown in the picture.

Any help will be highly appreciated.
Sushil

Posts: 4
Registered: 11/15/12
Re: 34970A through RS-232 to a Laptop with Windows XP SP3 - SWEET SUCCESS!
Posted: Nov 15, 2012 3:18 PM   in response to: Sushil in response to: Sushil
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Attachment Capture2.JPG (112.8 KB)
Also, the connection expert shows this
Sushil

Posts: 4
Registered: 11/15/12
Re: 34970A through RS-232 to a Laptop with Windows XP SP3 - SWEET SUCCESS!
Posted: Nov 15, 2012 3:24 PM   in response to: jrevefel in response to: jrevefel
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I have a Windows 7 Ultimate OS on my computer.
Sushil

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Registered: 11/15/12
SUCCESS
Posted: Nov 15, 2012 3:57 PM   in response to: jrevefel in response to: jrevefel
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Attachment Capture4.JPG (139.9 KB)
Attachment Capture3.JPG (69.7 KB)
I finally made it.
Now, I ll have to make up the circuit and configure the channels for the data.
Hi-Z Technology

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Registered: 01/31/14
Re: 34970A through RS-232 to a Laptop with Windows XP SP3 - SWEET SUCCESS!
Posted: Jan 31, 2014 12:53 PM   in response to: jrevefel in response to: jrevefel
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We have a Dell Precision M90 laptop running Windows 7 Professional, 32 bit, Intel Centrino Duo, and USB serial ports.
Our goal is to connect the laptop to the Agilent 34970A with an RS-232 to USB adapter for <$30.

I read the article "Problems Using RS-232 on Agilent Instruments with Laptop PCs running any Microsoft OS". I didn't see Windows 7 mentioned in the post, so I'm holding out hope that this will work.
tomc

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Registered: 01/12/11
Re: 34970A through RS-232 to a Laptop with Windows XP SP3 - SWEET SUCCESS!
Posted: Jan 31, 2014 1:27 PM   in response to: Hi-Z Technology in response to: Hi-Z Technology
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It's not likely that Windows 7 will make any difference. It's the PC hardware/firmware implementation of the RS-232 interface that's the problem. The Benchlink Datalogger software is very IO intensive very intolerant of any IO glitches. On the other hand with my HP EliteBook 8440p laptop and its docking station, I very rarely see any RS-232 problems.

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