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PTCIIe won't talk to Winlink/Airmail or update

Radio/Satellite/Phone/E-mail

Re: PTCIIe won't talk to Winlink/Airmail or update

by Skip Gundlach » Thu Jul 09, 2015 7:36 am

Thanks, Brian!

Back to the boat again today and I'll check that out.

I'm a bit nervous about doing that, as my GPS puck (for the computer, strictly backup at the nav) is also the Prolific chipset, but if it's merely washing the decks, and I can reload a clean driver, it's certainly worth a try.

My computer is new hardware, but there are so many older programs I use, I'm sure there have been potential errors creeping in.

L8R, y'all.

Skip
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Re: PTCIIe won't talk to Winlink/Airmail or update

by Skip Gundlach » Thu Jul 09, 2015 8:56 am

I have a license code from Pactor today; when I get back to the boat, I'll try that, too, while I wait for the new cable.

L8R, y'all

Skip
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Re: PTCIIe won't talk to Winlink/Airmail or update

by aa1gj » Thu Jul 09, 2015 9:03 am

FTDI adapters work well with Windows XP/Windows7/Windows 8.1, and will work with Windows 10 when it ships. As a data-point, FTDI is used as the USB interface on the PTC-IIusb/PTC-IIIusb/DR-7400, and DR-7800.

73's,

Gary
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Re: PTCIIe won't talk to Winlink/Airmail or update

by Skip Gundlach » Fri Jul 17, 2015 2:15 pm

Scott Berg wrote:I keep saying this... throw away the prolific stuff... the ONLY serial to USB adapter I've found that ALWAYS works is the KeySpan from Triplitte. Not cheap but very well supported and works every time; just that change has solved many problems.

http://www.tripplite.com/high-speed-usb ... n~USA19HS/


Well, I'm back on the boat and trying to test this device.

I have at least two problems. One is probably trivial, and the other may also be, but:

I need a longer cable. It came with an A-B USB cable, 3'. It looks about like any other A-B cable other than perhaps not as robust as some.

The unit has no screw-down stem attachments. Instead it has female mounts, like the one on the modem. Which means it won't seat.

Reading the instructions makes me think of the early days with modems, and all the technical stuff which had to be done to make them work. I'm trustful it won't be that exciting once I solve those two problems.

The instructions are silent (at least in my first read) about resolution of both issues. I can't imagine some other A-B USB cable wouldn't work as well, and the real key is the end at the modem. Perhaps someone here has done what I need to do and can say that it works. Looking again at the package says that any USB cable will work, but they use the term " up to 80' " - which is the standard limit for active USB cables; would I need an active cable to extend this pigtail, or can I use a standard, say, 6' A-B USB cable?

On the other hand, I don't know if the female parts are actually holding that plate/DB9 male into the housing. I'm not thrilled about not being able to secure it, but I'm more worried about whether I can unscrew those female-ended posts without negative repercussions. And, whether I have to disassemble the modem to get the converter to stay on the receiver end at the modem, if they can't be removed (I.E. remove the same on the modem and use some internal means to secure against the female receivers in the adapter).

Until I solve those issues I can't move forward to determine whether the modem needs restoring the password (I have that means from Pactor) to restore the P3, or if there's some other issue (perhaps the capacitor cure they have, of which a photo was also sent to me from Pactor).

Thanks in advance for any illumination...

L8R

Skip
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Re: PTCIIe won't talk to Winlink/Airmail or update

by SailRN » Fri Jul 17, 2015 3:19 pm

Hi Skip,

I have the PTC-IIpro with RS-232C interface. I use a serial-USB converter on mine: a short 14 cm USB cable to converter, then a RS-232 M-F cable about 2 m long to connect to the Pactor modem. My modem came with the RS-232 cable.
Fair winds,

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Re: PTCIIe won't talk to Winlink/Airmail or update

by Skip Gundlach » Fri Jul 17, 2015 3:40 pm

PS the reason there is an adapter in the first place is what I have to do for a cable run. I can't get a DB9 through the area between the modem and the computer. My old computer, after one of its upgrades, had 6 actual COM ports - but my cabling run wouldn't allow it.

BTW that computer is now available inexpensively in Vero Beach, with a factory XP3 load...
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Re: PTCIIe won't talk to Winlink/Airmail or update

by Skip Gundlach » Thu Jul 23, 2015 2:07 pm

Well.

I got the new serial adapter. Tripp-Lite told me that I could safely take off the studs (mine were hex, and screwed to something inside the case; apparently they were strictly to attach to and not integral to the housing.

I went through the setup process and then connected it.. I configured the speed to the fastest that the modem would support - 4800 at the moment..

Connected it to the modem. Did passthrough test, passed.

Tried to use HT, and the modem could not be found. No solutions anywhere in configuration, baud rate or otherwise tried.

Put back on the previously thought wonky (I still think so, but this time it came right up) serial adapter, reconfigured AirMail to look for that com port, and tried again.

Modem failed a few times, and then succeeded - but said I had V.2 and "I promised to upgrade" (I already have, twice, but the modem is sick, somewhere) and went on.

Tried several stations (the control cable turned on the radio and made the frequency change), and no response. Also, the modem, based on the lights, made some defined number of attempts and then quit trying. But no disconnect was sent; I had to manually do a dirty disconnect to get to my next connection/try.

I also tried to get into dumb terminal to update the license (recall that Germany sent me the unlock code); no keystrokes appeared, so I couldn't try that.

So, regardless, I think, of whether the serial adapter is the problem, it seems we have problems in the modem.

Other ideas?

Thanks.

L8R

Skip
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Re: PTCIIe won't talk to Winlink/Airmail or update

by aa1gj » Sat Jul 25, 2015 4:14 pm

Hello Skip,

Please use the 57600 default baud rate as set in the Airmail program.

If you're still having problems not caused by "pilot error", ship the modem back to Farallon Electronics and have Gary Wood take a look at it. The PTC-IIe is a really old piece of equipment, and there are several electrolytic capacitors on the 5v line that might be failing due to age. These can be replaced.

Regards,

Gary
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Re: PTCIIe won't talk to Winlink/Airmail or update

by Skip Gundlach » Sat Jul 25, 2015 7:51 pm

aa1gj wrote:Hello Skip,

Please use the 57600 default baud rate as set in the Airmail program.


I couldn't - the choices didn't go that high - presumed because the modem thought it was V.2...

aa1gj wrote:If you're still having problems not caused by "pilot error", ship the modem back to Farallon Electronics and have Gary Wood take a look at it. The PTC-IIe is a really old piece of equipment, and there are several electrolytic capacitors on the 5v line that might be failing due to age. These can be replaced.


It's on the way. Gary has been in touch throughout the testing process 8)

aa1gj wrote:Regards,

Gary
AA1GJ
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http://www.docksideradio.com



Thanks for the efforts. More when we get it back (which will be many weeks - we're heading to the Bahamas).

L8R

Skip
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Re: PTCIIe won't talk to Winlink/Airmail or update

by mickle clarck » Sun Jul 26, 2015 11:49 am

I am just here to say thanks all of you! Because the topic you describe above was really helpful for me. For update I have used yours suggestions. first I uninstall the program from my pc then re-install. It's works now properly! Thanks to all of you.


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Re: PTCIIe won't talk to Winlink/Airmail or update

by ajchan » Mon Jul 27, 2015 5:51 pm

Skip

If you want, you can bring your pactor over to the boat and we can plug it into my radio and pc. If it works then you have eliminated the modem itself as the problem. We are in the Abacos currently but expect to be back in Harbortown, FP in a couple of weeks.

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Re: PTCIIe won't talk to Winlink/Airmail or update

by Skip Gundlach » Mon Jul 27, 2015 6:43 pm

ajchan wrote:Skip

If you want, you can bring your pactor over to the boat and we can plug it into my radio and pc. If it works then you have eliminated the modem itself as the problem. We are in the Abacos currently but expect to be back in Harbortown, FP in a couple of weeks.

Addison


Hi, Addison!

We're about to get under way to the Bahamas, tomorrow AM. The radio's en route to Farallon...

Thanks for the offer.

L8R

Skip and Lydia
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Re: PTCIIe won't talk to Winlink/Airmail or update

by Skip Gundlach » Mon Aug 03, 2015 1:33 pm

This was on Friday:

Hi Skip,
Your modem arrived this morning. The technician is working his way through
the repairs and should be able to have a look at your unit by early next
week.
Regards,
Gary

Gary Wood garywood@farallon.us
Farallon Electronics
55 Belvedere St.
San Rafael, CA 94901 USA
+415 331 1924 x112
+415 331 2063 / fax


Thanks!

As mentioned, we'll not be back in the US for some time, so no rush.
However, thanks for keeping me in the loop.

L8R

Skip, off Grand Cay in the Bahamas
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Re: PTCIIe won't talk to Winlink/Airmail or update

by Skip Gundlach » Wed Jan 13, 2016 3:37 pm

Just a quick update:

I sent it back to Farallon and put it all back together as original.

It now works just fine. I have, now, a surplus Belkin serial-usb adapter, as the time elapsed is far longer than would allow a return.

Anyone need one? Be aware that that unit has screw-down female receivers which would hit the ones in the Pactor; Belkin assures me that they can be removed...

L8R

Skip
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Re: PTCIIe won't talk to Winlink/Airmail or update

by Skip Gundlach » Wed Jan 13, 2016 3:39 pm

Edit, dangit; don't see a means to do that to the above.

Substitute Tripp-Lite for Belkin!

L8R

Skip
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