ADTPro with a USB Serial port?

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Joined: Jul 30 2011
Posts: 86

Hi,

I would like to run ADTPro from my laptop but it does not have a serial port. I have a USB to serial adapter and wonder if it can be used. When I start ADTPro and select the serial config option, no port numbers are shown in the drop down menu.

Can this combination work?

Thanks,

Richard.

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Offline
Joined: Apr 11 2006
Posts: 1013
Re: ADTPro with a USB Serial port?

retroaudio wrote:

I would like to run ADTPro from my laptop but it does not have a serial port. I have a USB to serial adapter and wonder if it can be used.

Yes indeed. It is relevant what operating system your laptop is running. It is easier to forget to install device drivers in OSX since it doesn't do that for you if you just plug the adapter in.

retroaudio wrote:

When I start ADTPro and select the serial config option, no port numbers are shown in the drop down menu.

Most likely, the driver is missing. Is it a brand name one, or is it a no-name cheapie from China? Do you know which chipset the adapter uses?

One other possibility... version 1.1.3 and earlier didn't dynamically pick up new USB ports that came online after it started, but that's pretty old now.

Offline
Joined: Jul 30 2011
Posts: 86
Re: ADTPro with a USB Serial port?

Hi David,

The laptop is running Windows 7 Home Premium (64bit). The adapter is installed as COM1 and visible in device manager.

This port works ok through an SIO2PC adapter to an Atari 1050 Drive.

It is of Chinese origin but I don't have any other info.

Thanks,

Richard.

Offline
Joined: Apr 11 2006
Posts: 1013
Re: ADTPro with a USB Serial port?

Ok, then it's looking more like a Java communication port problem. Does the console window that comes up with ADTPro have any complaints in it?

Offline
Joined: Jul 30 2011
Posts: 86
Re: ADTPro with a USB Serial port?

Hi David,

I have realised that I did not edit the batch file correctly. I edited it to:

@echo off
REM
REM ADTPro - Windows startup batch file

REM

SET ADTPRO_HOME=%CD%\

REM You can set two variables here:

REM 1. %JAVA_HOME% - to pick a particular java to run under

REM 2. %ADTPRO_HOME% - to say where you installed ADTPro

REM
REM e.g. uncomment (remove the "REM" from in front of) and

REM customize the following SET statements.

REM Note: They must have a trailing backslash as in the examples!

SET ADTPRO_HOME=C:\ADTPro\ADTPro-1.19\
SET MY_JAVA_HOME=C:\Java\jre6\bin\ RXTX_PATH=rxtx-2.1-7-bins-r2
set RXTX_ARCH=%RXTX_PATH%\Windows\i368-mingw32

IF "%PROCESSOR_ARCHITECTURE%"=="x86" goto add_classpath

:bit64

Assume 64 bit Windows if not x86
set RXTX_PATH=rxtx-2.2pre2-local
set RXTX_ARCH=%RXTX_PATH%\win64

:add_classpath
SET CWD=%CD%
if "%ADTPRO_CLASSPATH_SET%" == "1" goto start
set ADTPRO_CLASSPATH_SET=1
PATH=%PATH%;%ADTPRO_HOME%lib\rxtx\%RXTX_ARCH%

:start
CD "%ADTPRO_HOME%disks"
start /min %MY_JAVA_HOME%java -Xms128m -Xmx256m %ADTPRO_EXTRA_JAVA_PARMS% -cp "%ADTPRO_HOME%lib\ADTPro-1.1.9.jar";"%ADTPRO_HOME%lib\rxtx\%RXTX_PATH%\RXTXcomm.jar" org.adtpro.ADTPro
CD "%CWD%"

I had to copy the Java directory to the root of C: and the batch file could not recognize the Program Files (x86) directory (I don't think it likes the spaces)

I also copied RXTXcomm.jar to \Java\jre6\lib\ext\ and rxtxserial.dll to \Java\jre6\bin.

When I run the batch file, a command box appears briefly then closes, ADTPro does not start.

Am I missing somthing obvious?

Many thanks for your help,

Richard.

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Joined: Apr 11 2006
Posts: 1013
Re: ADTPro with a USB Serial port?

retroaudio wrote:

SET ADTPRO_HOME=C:\ADTPro\ADTPro-1.19\
SET MY_JAVA_HOME=C:\Java\jre6\bin\ RXTX_PATH=rxtx-2.1-7-bins-r2
set RXTX_ARCH=%RXTX_PATH%\Windows\i368-mingw32

This looks bad. The RXTX_PATH got combined with MY_JAVA_HOME. It should be:

SET ADTPRO_HOME=C:\ADTPro\ADTPro-1.19\
SET MY_JAVA_HOME=C:\Java\jre6\bin\
set RXTX_PATH=rxtx-2.1-7-bins-r2
set RXTX_ARCH=%RXTX_PATH%\Windows\i368-mingw32

Ideally, you should not need to change the batch file at all. If you run it from the place you installed/copied it to, it should just run, as long as Java is in your default path (which it should be). But you can fix that by setting MY_JAVA_HOME, using double-quotes if necessary to overcome spaces in the pathnames. I'd start over with a clean batch file and see what progress you can make from just that.

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Joined: Jul 30 2011
Posts: 86
Re: ADTPro with a USB Serial port?

Hi David,

My paths are now:

SET ADTPRO_HOME=C:\ADT\ADTPro-1.1.9\
SET MY_JAVA_HOME="%C:\Program Files (x86)\Java\jre6\bin\%"

but I now get a "Windows cannot find Xms128m" message.

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Joined: Apr 11 2006
Posts: 1013
Re: ADTPro with a USB Serial port?

Wait a minute... you can't use a 32 bit java with a 64 bit Windows. Go back, uninstall your Java, install a 64 bit version (in a path without spaces for good measure...) and go back to the original batch file.

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Joined: Jul 30 2011
Posts: 86
Re: ADTPro with a USB Serial port?

Hi David,

All OK with batch file now. ADTPro starts ok but still does not see USB serial?

Might try to get a PCI serial card for the PC and try that.

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Joined: Apr 11 2006
Posts: 1013
Re: ADTPro with a USB Serial port?

I don't think there's a need for that. We just need to look into why the java serial I/O isn't working. It's a tricky part of the equation because it's a bridge between Java and the hardware, and is sensitive to the machine architecture (bit width) and operating system.

When you start up the server, does the window say anything other than this?

Quote:

ADTPro Server version 1.1.9

Stable Library
=========================================
Native lib Version = RXTX-2.1-7
Java lib Version = RXTX-2.1-7

Offline
Joined: Jul 30 2011
Posts: 86
Re: ADTPro with a USB Serial port?

Hi David,

The window does not stay open long enough to read anything!

But....(hold the front page).. I have discocered that my PC motherboard has an embedded serial port although no physical DB9 connector is fitted. This shows in device manager as COM1, which is the same as my USB Serial. I've changed the USB sertial to COM2 and after a couple of reboots, ADTPro now gives me the option to select COM1 or COM2.

Just getting the IIe setup no for a trial run so fingers crossed!

Thanks for your help, David and I'll let you know the result.

Cheers,

Richard.

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Joined: Apr 11 2006
Posts: 1013
Re: ADTPro with a USB Serial port?

retroaudio wrote:

The window does not stay open long enough to read anything!

It just minimizes to the taskbar, so you can just click on it to bring it back up.

retroaudio wrote:

But....(hold the front page).. I have discocered that my PC motherboard has an embedded serial port although no physical DB9 connector is fitted. This shows in device manager as COM1, which is the same as my USB Serial. I've changed the USB sertial to COM2 and after a couple of reboots, ADTPro now gives me the option to select COM1 or COM2.

Cool. Sounds like you're well on your way.

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Joined: Jul 30 2011
Posts: 86
Re: ADTPro with a USB Serial port?

Started we11.....

Serial connection worked 1st time

PRODos and serial client transferred successfuly and ADTPro started ok

Formatted floppy ok

But.....After trying to receive ADTPRO-1.1.9.DSK the 'waiting for host reply' message just sits on the screen.

So close............!

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Joined: Apr 11 2006
Posts: 1013
Re: ADTPro with a USB Serial port?

retroaudio wrote:

PRODos and serial client transferred successfuly and ADTPro started ok

Formatted floppy ok

But.....After trying to receive ADTPRO-1.1.9.DSK the 'waiting for host reply' message just sits on the screen.

Sorry to say... it's your cable. (He said, hoping it wasn't one I sent to you.) Sounds like the handshaking lines aren't correct, if it's a null modem. Or something else is wrong if it's straight through with an SSC...

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Joined: Jul 30 2011
Posts: 86
Re: ADTPro with a USB Serial port?

Hi David,

I have just bought a new null modem cable but this will not receive prodos to memory (jumper tried on both positions)

My existing cable (jumper set to terminal) will receive prodos and the serial client but not any disk images?

Could you let me have a pinout for a working combunation and I shall make one up.

Thanks.

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Joined: Jul 6 2009
Posts: 44
Re: ADTPro with a USB Serial port?

Try transfering client from older ADT build ...

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Joined: Jul 30 2011
Posts: 86
Re: ADTPro with a USB Serial port?

Same results with 1.1.6 but thanks for the suggestion

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Joined: Apr 11 2006
Posts: 1013
Re: ADTPro with a USB Serial port?

retroaudio wrote:

Could you let me have a pinout for a working combunation and I shall make one up.

A straight-through cable of any stripe should actually work, and you should not need a null modem:
http://adtpro.sourceforge.net/connectionsserial.html#Super_Serial_cabling

If you really wanted to wire one up, the simplest version (typically used for an Apple ///) is here:
http://adtpro.sourceforge.net/connectionsserial.html#Apple3

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Joined: Jul 30 2011
Posts: 86
Re: ADTPro with a USB Serial port?

Thanks,

I may try with another cable at the weekend but I think I will definately get a PC with a 'proper' serial port and try that!

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Joined: Jul 2 2011
Posts: 6
Re: ADTPro with a USB Serial port?

Windows 2000-Windows 7 do not allow any process/thread/etc to directly access a hardware device. All access to all devices is handled by the kernel and the HAL. Software that can't deal with that, software that only works when it can access the hardware directly, simply will not work right, no matter what you do.

I doubt that this applies to ADTPro, but this hardware abstraction can cause flaky behavior even for software that's well designed and written. As with all things Microsoft, hardware abstraction doesn't "just work." Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't, sometimes it 'works' but is too flaky to be usable. Add an additional bus into the mix, USB on top of serial bus, and things can get ugly enough that successful troubleshooting is virtually impossible.

I've had the most success with serial bus using an older PC with Windows 95 OSR2. The OSR2 release added USB support that actually works. Win95 allows direct hardware access by programs. Win95 also supports 3.5 disks, 5.25 disks, ISA and EISA. It's perfectly suited to vintage computer serial & parallel port tasks and vintage floppy imaging applications using a Catweasel ISA card or similar solution done in software.

As a general purpose OS, Win95 sucks. As a barebones platform for getting vintage PC freak stuff done, it's great.

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Joined: Jul 30 2011
Posts: 86
Re: ADTPro with a USB Serial port?

I totaly agree,

Sometimes the older technology comes good. I've got an old Pentium 4 PC which I need to bring into service to write 3.5" floppy images for my Atari STE so this might be a good time to bring this forward. Would Windows XP be ok for the Apple?

Thanks,

Richard

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Joined: Jul 2 2011
Posts: 6
Re: ADTPro with a USB Serial port?

Sorry, no. Hardware abstraction started to be a real problem in Win2000, prior to XP. Win98 and Win98SE have their own issues as well. Win98SE dropped support for 5.25 disk drives, won't even boot with one attached, IO.sys error. Windows ME is a total disaster from every perspective. While your mileage may vary, I stick with Win95 OSR2. N.b., if you load it on a newer PC, you'll have to disable hyper-threading or any additional processors in the BIOS. Win95 is Uniprocessor only. Win98 drivers will work on Win95 about 95% of the time, but NOT Win98SE drivers. Win98SE and Windows ME use a newer driver model that is not compatible with Win98 or Win95. Yes, I know, that makes no sense, but we're talking about Microsoft during some of its worst years, in terms of OS's that really, really suck.

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Joined: Jul 30 2011
Posts: 86
Re: ADTPro with a USB Serial port?

It's alive!.....

After dusting off an old P4 PC with a good old 'proper' serial port on it I finally have a working combination.

I guess my USB serial adapter was failing in some way. (I may still try a different one as it would be more practical to use my laptop)

Thanks to all that replied.

Just one last thing, can ADTPro support more than one drive? (could I receive an image to (say) disk 2 while my boot disk sits in drive 1?

Cheers,

Richard

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Joined: Apr 11 2006
Posts: 1013
Re: ADTPro with a USB Serial port?

retroaudio wrote:

Just one last thing, can ADTPro support more than one drive? (could I receive an image to (say) disk 2 while my boot disk sits in drive 1?

Yes, it will show you all volumes that are online at the same time. You can pick any of them to operate on. The only danger is you accidentally overwriting your boot disk. Having a write protect tab over the notch is one way around the problem; not having it in the drive is another. Smile

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Joined: Jul 30 2011
Posts: 86
Re: ADTPro with a USB Serial port?

Thats great, Thanks david.

ericF's picture
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Joined: Sep 22 2013
Posts: 28
Re: ADTPro with a USB Serial port?

I was wiring up a serial cable for the //c, but I think I crossed the DE-9 pins. David's directions are very clear, but I can't decide whether the DE-9 pins are numbered left to right or right to left (looking at the female connector). Help!

speedyG's picture
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Re: ADTPro with a USB Serial port?

ericF wrote:

I was wiring up a serial cable for the //c, but I think I crossed the DE-9 pins. David's directions are very clear, but I can't decide whether the DE-9 pins are numbered left to right or right to left (looking at the female connector). Help!

Just a hint: most manufacturers have placed numbering of the pins to the
plastic carrier material of the plug ! Inspecting the plug with magnifying glass
often permits to see that markups as engraved or embossed numbers ( at least indicating pin 1 )
some manufacturers place the numbers to the solderingside and some place the numbering at pinside.
speedyG

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Joined: Apr 11 2006
Posts: 1013
Re: ADTPro with a USB Serial port?

Speedy's right, just look closely at your plug. This picture is a reasonable 3-D representation, which you will have to rotate around in your head and imagine the other gender. It's incorrectly labeled DB9; it's really a DE-9. But we'll forgive them for that. Wink
http://www.db9-pinout.com/db9-pinout/db9-pinout.gif

ericF's picture
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Joined: Sep 22 2013
Posts: 28
Re: ADTPro with a USB Serial port?

Victory! Thanks for the reassurances, guys. I could've sat here all day second-guessing myself.