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 Post subject: Newbie problem with Fishbowl / ND-6530
PostPosted: Sat Sep 20, 2003 6:19 pm GMT EthGMT 
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Minnow
Minnow

Joined: Mon Aug 18, 2003 1:01 am GMT EthGMT
Posts: 10
Location: Oakland, California
Hi gang,

Well, I got an ND-6530 and wired it to my STXR as shown in the excellent FishBowl manual. I really appreciate those photos!

Connected the other end of the ND-6530 to my Windows XP computer through the USB port.

Windows XP immediately discovered the usb connection, and downloaded the ND-6530 driver. After a reboot, it recognizes the ND-6530. So far, so good.

When I fire up FishBowl 1.3, it shows "offline".

A few questions:

First, I set the switches on the ND-6530 for RS-232 (that is, switch 1 down and switch 2 up). I assume that this is what it should be (can't find any documentation about it!) Is this right?

2) Which of the 8 Comm ports should I check (I thought that a USB didn't know about comm ports)

3) Is there any way to test if data is arriving into the ND-6530?

4) Is there a simple way to tell if the ND-6530 is sending data to the computer?

Thanks for any help!
-Cliff


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 Post subject: Newbie problem with Fishbowl / ND-6530
PostPosted: Sat Sep 20, 2003 6:37 pm GMT EthGMT 
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Minnow
Minnow

Joined: Mon Aug 18, 2003 1:01 am GMT EthGMT
Posts: 10
Location: Oakland, California
A little progress in the past 15 minutes:

The System Properties > Device Manager shows Ports (COM & LPT) to have ADLink USB-to-Serial Converter (COM6)

So I guess that FishBowl should be set to use port Com6.

But when I select port 6, FishBowl still reports "offline".

Within the USB-to-Serial COnverter Properties is a menu for Port settings. What speed should I select (1200 baud/2400/9600 etc)? Databits 8? Parity None...

Also, the ND-6530 seems to have driver version 1.5.0.0 dated 4/9/2002. Is that what others show?

Thanks for any help -- I'm stuck on this one.


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 Post subject: Newbie problem with Fishbowl / ND-6530
PostPosted: Sat Sep 20, 2003 7:08 pm GMT EthGMT 
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Minnow
Minnow

Joined: Mon Aug 18, 2003 1:01 am GMT EthGMT
Posts: 10
Location: Oakland, California
More understanding, no progress:

Under the ND-6530's (well, ADLink USB-toSerial Converter Properties) Port Settings, there is an "Advanced" settings button.

This lets you select the size of the receive buffer and also choose the COM Port Number. Apparently, the driver automatically chooses the lowest port number that's not already in use.

I hung an oscilloscope on the data output of the Suntie ST-XR and see that the data is coming out at 9600 baud (or at least the packets are about 1 millisecond long).

So data is getting into the ND-6530. But FishBowl is still offline.

Next, I'll start looking at the USB output....


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 Post subject: Newbie problem with Fishbowl / ND-6530
PostPosted: Sat Sep 20, 2003 7:20 pm GMT EthGMT 
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Minnow
Minnow

Joined: Mon Aug 18, 2003 1:01 am GMT EthGMT
Posts: 10
Location: Oakland, California
Solved!

Problem was in the FishBowl Options: "XR-GP (UPG)" was checked. I'm using a Trace ST-XR.

Looks like it's working now. Big thanks to the FishBowl makers!


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 Post subject: Newbie problem with Fishbowl / ND-6530
PostPosted: Sun Sep 21, 2003 2:45 pm GMT EstGMT 
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Red Cobra Delta Guppy
Red Cobra Delta Guppy
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Joined: Sun Jun 02, 2002 1:01 am GMT EndGMT
Posts: 1158
Location: Lakeland Florida
Hi,

Glad you figured it out and since you responded with how you debugged it , this will help others , Thanks !

You don't need to set the baud rate or the fifo setting , the program sets the baud rate up when it is launched

And why do your have an XR ? and not an Upgraded unit ?

The Upgrade was free and even now for I hear 400 bucks you can get a new (refurb) inverter. Better yet , if your XR is under warrenty and "needs" to be repaired , they will NOT send you an XR but a UPG.


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 Post subject: Newbie problem with Fishbowl / ND-6530
PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2003 1:03 pm GMT EndGMT 
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Minnow
Minnow

Joined: Mon Aug 18, 2003 1:01 am GMT EthGMT
Posts: 10
Location: Oakland, California
Hey - thanks for the note!

Funny you should mention the upgrade. Yes, I *did* have my ST/XR upgraded in June (took Xantrex two days to do a complete upgrade - wow!). And the unit is clearly upgraded, with the new controller board, exactly like the one in the photo in the Fishbowl manual.

But for reasons I don't understand, the Fishbowl program will work only if the Settings Options is *not* checked for the XR-GP(UPG). I'm using version 1.3, and everything seems to work normally when the checkbox is unchecked. When I check that box, the red "offline" flag appears. and everything goes to zeros.

Any ideas?

Cheers from Oakland California, where the politics are nutty!
-Cliff


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 Post subject: Newbie problem with Fishbowl / ND-6530
PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2003 2:30 pm GMT EndGMT 
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Minnow
Minnow

Joined: Mon Aug 18, 2003 1:01 am GMT EthGMT
Posts: 10
Location: Oakland, California
Oh - three fields on FishBowl are zeroed out: MPPT, Amps DC, & Watts DC.

I assume these are blanked because the XR-GP (UPG) box is not checked.

Any ideas/suggestions?


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 Post subject: Newbie problem with Fishbowl / ND-6530
PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2003 5:46 pm GMT EndGMT 
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Red Cobra Delta Guppy
Red Cobra Delta Guppy
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Joined: Sun Jun 02, 2002 1:01 am GMT EndGMT
Posts: 1158
Location: Lakeland Florida
Something isn't right ...

Was does the LCD display show for revision numbers when first powered on ?

You mentioned you modifed the fifo settings , I would try turning them back on which is the default for XP.

What is the computer speed ?

Yes , the XR (non upgrade) has no current circuit as well as the other new varibles , so they are blanked out

[ 09-22-2003: Message edited by: Solar Guppy ]


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 Post subject: Newbie problem with Fishbowl / ND-6530
PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2003 8:10 pm GMT EndGMT 
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Minnow
Minnow

Joined: Mon Aug 18, 2003 1:01 am GMT EthGMT
Posts: 10
Location: Oakland, California
Thanks for the fast response!

On restarting the ST/XR, it says, XR with SunSweep, Rev 03.2

I've reset all the fifo/port settings to default.

Any suggestions?


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 Post subject: Newbie problem with Fishbowl / ND-6530
PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2003 8:11 pm GMT EndGMT 
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Minnow
Minnow

Joined: Mon Aug 18, 2003 1:01 am GMT EthGMT
Posts: 10
Location: Oakland, California
Computer is a 2GHZ generic Pentium 4, running XP with current patches & revisions.


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 Post subject: Newbie problem with Fishbowl / ND-6530
PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2003 10:16 pm GMT EndGMT 
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Red Cobra Delta Guppy
Red Cobra Delta Guppy
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Joined: Sun Jun 02, 2002 1:01 am GMT EndGMT
Posts: 1158
Location: Lakeland Florida
Thats NOT a Suntie XR-UPG

It should read Rev 5.0 , Enhanced with GP Technology if its an upgraded inverter

Time to call Xantrex !

Version 3.2 is the old XR code


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 Post subject: Newbie problem with Fishbowl / ND-6530
PostPosted: Wed Sep 24, 2003 9:17 pm GMT EthGMT 
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Minnow
Minnow

Joined: Mon Aug 18, 2003 1:01 am GMT EthGMT
Posts: 10
Location: Oakland, California
That's it -- you're right.

In June 2003, when I sent the ST-2500 in for refurbishment, I figured that Xantrex would bring it up to date.

They didn't. Instead, they moved it from an ST-2500 to an STXR-2500.

Xantrex wants $400 more to go from STXR-2500 to an STXR-2500 UPG.

If the UPG improved the efficiency by 20 percent, a $400 upgrade would not pay for itself within 10 years. Probably not within 20 years.

*sigh*


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 Post subject: Newbie problem with Fishbowl / ND-6530
PostPosted: Wed Sep 24, 2003 10:20 pm GMT EthGMT 
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Red Cobra Delta Guppy
Red Cobra Delta Guppy
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Joined: Sun Jun 02, 2002 1:01 am GMT EndGMT
Posts: 1158
Location: Lakeland Florida
Him ,

you spend 110 bucks on an opto isolator which gives you zero percent return and use a P4 PC power pig to monitor the inverter (whats the P4 cost) ...

at a dime a kWh , you need to generate an additional 4,000 kWh over the lifetime of the inverter. My system does about 4,000 kWh year so in 5 years it pays for itself

You should consider a used cheap laptop
like this cheap ebay laptop or use a low power motherboard like mini-itx motherboard. The solar-guppy server is a mini-itx , draw 11 watts running disks test (laptop drive). I used a pair of the compaq lte to monitor my arrays for awhile , go cheap low power computers

Just get the upgrade , trust me , you'll be VERY happy with the increased performace


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