USB to Serial Line interface for OpenVMS Itanium/VMS 8.3 - VMS

This is a discussion on USB to Serial Line interface for OpenVMS Itanium/VMS 8.3 - VMS ; What USB to RS-232 serial line adapters work with OpenVMS? I've been chasing a problem that has finally been traced to a port on a Digiboard 16 line interface randomly dropping characters. In addition, other Digiboards won't even configure properly ...

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Thread: USB to Serial Line interface for OpenVMS Itanium/VMS 8.3

  1. USB to Serial Line interface for OpenVMS Itanium/VMS 8.3

    What USB to RS-232 serial line adapters work with OpenVMS? I've been
    chasing a problem that has finally been traced to a port on a Digiboard 16
    line interface randomly dropping characters. In addition, other Digiboards
    won't even configure properly on VMS. I finally was able to do the USB
    commands Forrest mentioned earlier so I can file a problem report
    regarding the nonconfiguration.

    I vaguely remembered reading that a Radio Shack adaptor supposedly worked
    with VMS but a quick trip showed that not true (doesn't even show up).

  2. Re: USB to Serial Line interface for OpenVMS Itanium/VMS 8.3

    In article , moroney@world.std.spaamtrap.com (Michael Moroney) writes:
    >What USB to RS-232 serial line adapters work with OpenVMS? I've been
    >chasing a problem that has finally been traced to a port on a Digiboard 16
    >line interface randomly dropping characters. In addition, other Digiboards
    >won't even configure properly on VMS. I finally was able to do the USB
    >commands Forrest mentioned earlier so I can file a problem report
    >regarding the nonconfiguration.
    >
    >I vaguely remembered reading that a Radio Shack adaptor supposedly worked
    >with VMS but a quick trip showed that not true (doesn't even show up).


    I have a USB/serial I use on Linux and OS X. It's a KeySpan USA19HS. I
    have never tried it with VMS but it seems to work well everywhere else I
    have used it.

    I suppose I could see if I can get it to function on the Itanium.

    --
    VAXman- A Bored Certified VMS Kernel Mode Hacker VAXman(at)TMESIS(dot)COM

    .... pejorative statements of opinion are entitled to constitutional protection
    no matter how extreme, vituperous, or vigorously expressed they may be. (NJSC)

    Copr. 2008 Brian Schenkenberger. Publication of _this_ usenet article outside
    of usenet _must_ include its contents in its entirety including this copyright
    notice, disclaimer and quotations.

  3. Re: USB to Serial Line interface for OpenVMS Itanium/VMS 8.3

    There is a Radio shack one that works and some that do not. The one
    with a 6' cable should work it has a PL2303. I know that the keyspan
    one does not work.

    Do you have the latest USB patchs for V8.3 Digi changed out the
    electronics in their controllers to meet RHOS rules. But in their infinite
    wisdom did not change the oerder number for it. We issued a kit with
    drivers for these newer Digi controllers. Sorry I don't have the kit name
    handy.

    We have support for FTDI232 and PL2303 controllers. Go to USBSTUFF
    and pick up on that says it has either chip in it.


    Forrest


    "Michael Moroney" wrote in message
    news:geanij$fb9$1@pcls6.std.com...
    > What USB to RS-232 serial line adapters work with OpenVMS? I've been
    > chasing a problem that has finally been traced to a port on a Digiboard 16
    > line interface randomly dropping characters. In addition, other
    > Digiboards
    > won't even configure properly on VMS. I finally was able to do the USB
    > commands Forrest mentioned earlier so I can file a problem report
    > regarding the nonconfiguration.
    >
    > I vaguely remembered reading that a Radio Shack adaptor supposedly worked
    > with VMS but a quick trip showed that not true (doesn't even show up).




  4. Re: USB to Serial Line interface for OpenVMS Itanium/VMS 8.3


    "Michael Moroney" wrote in message
    news:geanij$fb9$1@pcls6.std.com...
    > What USB to RS-232 serial line adapters work with OpenVMS? I've been
    > chasing a problem that has finally been traced to a port on a Digiboard 16
    > line interface randomly dropping characters. In addition, other

    Digiboards
    > won't even configure properly on VMS. I finally was able to do the USB
    > commands Forrest mentioned earlier so I can file a problem report
    > regarding the nonconfiguration.
    >
    > I vaguely remembered reading that a Radio Shack adaptor supposedly worked
    > with VMS but a quick trip showed that not true (doesn't even show up).


    USB to serial adapters can be quite "fun" (if you like that kind of thing).
    I haven't been following what Forrest's been up to, and my recent experience
    on this subject hasn't been VMS-specific, but a lot of the fun is
    OS-independent anyway. Apologies if what follows is already known to you.

    The core innards of many of the smaller adapters likely come from a company
    called ftdi (see www.ftdichip.com). In fact some of the bigger USB->serial
    adapters consist of a USB hub and multiple FTDI chips - why not take the lid
    off your Digiboard and see what's inside?

    If you have multiple ports active at the same time, you might want to make
    sure its intermal USB hub chip (if applicable) is a true USB2 hub and not a
    lower-throughput USB1 hub pretending to be a USB2 device, whilst actually
    being unable to keep up the throughput.

    FTDI have been mentioned previously in comp.os.vms but unfortunately I'm not
    aware of working VMS drivers for FTDI USB->serial hardware (doesn't mean
    they don't exist).

    FTDI make a selection of similar USB->serial chips which have a few
    relatively minor differences among the families. One of the capabilities
    these chips have is to work with a dirt cheap SROM which contains the PCI
    vendor ID and device ID and a handful of other customisation options, so
    that otherwise-identical USB->serial adapters based on the same electronics
    can be made to look like different bits of kit as far as the PCI autoconfig
    software (which loads drivers etc) are concerned. So there are lots of
    apparently different USB->serial adapters on the market which are to all
    intents and purposes identical inside apart from the vendor and device ID in
    the SROM. And the reverse may also apply - two identically-badged adapters
    may have different device and vendor IDs inside, based on whatever the
    Chinese factory had on the shelf at the time of order... that may well apply
    with badges like Radio Shack or even Belkin. That leaves the OS (or the
    driver provider) to sort out the different IDs using the same driver.

    FTDI's website contains lots of useful info, including some on the pitfalls
    of USB->serial adapters, which are legion, especially when used in "more
    demanding" applications. For example, applications which use short message
    packets and "ping pong" acknowledgement protocols may well take a
    substantial performance hit when moving from a conventional serial port (low
    latency) to a USB->serial setup (more latency).

    Depending on your needs, you may find a LAN->serial device may be more
    appropriate, but you'll have to pay a *lot* more for one of those than for a
    simple USB->serial adapter, However, for a multiport adapter the prices are
    likely to be more comparable. The programmer's view of the device may be
    different than a conventional VMS terminal device (I've no idea how the Digi
    USB boxes are presented to VMS).

    For much of this year I've been using a four port Moxa Nport 6450
    serial->LAN box with considerable success (and a few limitations) in a high
    speed serial data acquisition application where the data is presented on IP
    sockets. Worth a look. More recently I've been using a Moxa Universal
    Communicator 7420 which is conceptually similar to the 6450 but comes with a
    user-programmable embedded Linux inside so you can do protocol handling and
    time-critical stuff like that in the 7420 rather than on the host system. It
    seems to be doing the job, so far, although the Linux OS is perfectly
    capable of obstructing as well as helping.

    Various folk make PCI->serial cards (obviously including Digi). In some
    cases they can be a more sensible alternative to these trendy new LAN and
    USB things; don't rule them out too quickly.



  5. Re: USB to Serial Line interface for OpenVMS Itanium/VMS 8.3

    "forrret.kenney@hp.com_nospam" writes:

    > There is a Radio shack one that works and some that do not. The one
    >with a 6' cable should work it has a PL2303. I know that the keyspan
    >one does not work.


    Radio Shack now stocks Gigaware devices. I remember seeing a different
    package in the past and I actually checked 3 RS's looking to see if any
    had a different kind. I checked their web site and they have at least 5
    different kinds, the Gigaware, two Cables to Go and two others. I don't
    know which of these they stocked in the past.

    > Do you have the latest USB patchs for V8.3


    Yes, if the latest is the VMS83I USB V1.0 kit (only one on HP's V8.3 I64
    patch page)

    > We have support for FTDI232 and PL2303 controllers. Go to USBSTUFF
    >and pick up on that says it has either chip in it.


    OK. Thanks.

  6. Re: USB to Serial Line interface for OpenVMS Itanium/VMS 8.3

    "John Wallace" writes:

    >The core innards of many of the smaller adapters likely come from a company
    >called ftdi (see www.ftdichip.com). In fact some of the bigger USB->serial
    >adapters consist of a USB hub and multiple FTDI chips - why not take the lid
    >off your Digiboard and see what's inside?


    The Digiboards we have are 2 8 line devices internally. They also seem to
    make one with 8 2 line cards with the same part number, but we don't seem
    to have them.

    >If you have multiple ports active at the same time, you might want to make
    >sure its intermal USB hub chip (if applicable) is a true USB2 hub and not a
    >lower-throughput USB1 hub pretending to be a USB2 device, whilst actually
    >being unable to keep up the throughput.


    Dunno about that. There are additional expansion USB out jacks so there's
    definitely a hub of some sort in there.

    There's not a lot of throughput. The Digi cards are dropping characters
    from someone hitting return on a terminal.

    >FTDI have been mentioned previously in comp.os.vms but unfortunately I'm not
    >aware of working VMS drivers for FTDI USB->serial hardware (doesn't mean
    >they don't exist).


    Forrest has mentioned FDTI parts.

    >Depending on your needs, you may find a LAN->serial device may be more
    >appropriate, but you'll have to pay a *lot* more for one of those than for a
    >simple USB->serial adapter, However, for a multiport adapter the prices are
    >likely to be more comparable. The programmer's view of the device may be
    >different than a conventional VMS terminal device (I've no idea how the Digi
    >USB boxes are presented to VMS).


    They show up as TXDn:. I think the third letter indicates which driver
    (ultimately which chip) is being used.

    Unfortunately, the customer doesn't want to use a terminal server for some
    reason.

    >Various folk make PCI->serial cards (obviously including Digi). In some
    >cases they can be a more sensible alternative to these trendy new LAN and
    >USB things; don't rule them out too quickly.


    Ones that work with VMS I64?

  7. Re: USB to Serial Line interface for OpenVMS Itanium/VMS 8.3

    On Oct 30, 4:25 am, moro...@world.std.spaamtrap.com (Michael Moroney)
    wrote:
    > "John Wallace" writes:
    > >The core innards of many of the smaller adapters likely come from a company
    > >called ftdi (seewww.ftdichip.com). In fact some of the bigger USB->serial
    > >adapters consist of a USB hub and multiple FTDI chips - why not take the lid
    > >off your Digiboard and see what's inside?

    >
    > The Digiboards we have are 2 8 line devices internally. They also seem to
    > make one with 8 2 line cards with the same part number, but we don't seem
    > to have them.
    >
    > >If you have multiple ports active at the same time, you might want to make
    > >sure its intermal USB hub chip (if applicable) is a true USB2 hub and not a
    > >lower-throughput USB1 hub pretending to be a USB2 device, whilst actually
    > >being unable to keep up the throughput.

    >
    > Dunno about that. There are additional expansion USB out jacks so there's
    > definitely a hub of some sort in there.
    >
    > There's not a lot of throughput. The Digi cards are dropping characters
    > from someone hitting return on a terminal.
    >
    > >FTDI have been mentioned previously in comp.os.vms but unfortunately I'm not
    > >aware of working VMS drivers for FTDI USB->serial hardware (doesn't mean
    > >they don't exist).

    >
    > Forrest has mentioned FDTI parts.
    >
    > >Depending on your needs, you may find a LAN->serial device may be more
    > >appropriate, but you'll have to pay a *lot* more for one of those than for a
    > >simple USB->serial adapter, However, for a multiport adapter the prices are
    > >likely to be more comparable. The programmer's view of the device may be
    > >different than a conventional VMS terminal device (I've no idea how the Digi
    > >USB boxes are presented to VMS).

    >
    > They show up as TXDn:. I think the third letter indicates which driver
    > (ultimately which chip) is being used.
    >
    > Unfortunately, the customer doesn't want to use a terminal server for some
    > reason.
    >
    > >Various folk make PCI->serial cards (obviously including Digi). In some
    > >cases they can be a more sensible alternative to these trendy new LAN and
    > >USB things; don't rule them out too quickly.

    >
    > Ones that work with VMS I64?


    Can't comment specifically on the VMS I64-specific bit (but I know
    what I'd bet on in terms of volume commercial kit). Many mainstream
    PCI serial cards are based on 16550 UARTs or close relatives.
    Supporting one of those on (any) VMS would presumably be an exercise
    in kernel mode hackery for the hardware-specific bits, and as it turns
    out from a quick search of t'Internerd, VMS on IA64 appears to have
    SRdriver for 16550-based serial consoles. It may not be quite what you
    need (console drivers rarely are) but combined with the generic VMS
    terminal stuff and the trillions of bits of (non-VMS) 16550-based
    code, there's a few things to look at.

    Dropping characters from someone hitting return on a terminal doesn't
    at first glance sound like a particularly demanding application in
    hardware terms, but USB in the middle does add to the complexity and
    make it trickier to see what's happening where and when.

  8. Re: USB to Serial Line interface for OpenVMS Itanium/VMS 8.3


    The Radio Shack page show the older one with the PL2303.

    The mapping is.

    TXA - USB modems that conform to modem specification
    there were some a Compaq model, a USB that I know of
    TXB - PL2303
    TXC - FTDI 232
    TXD - Digiboard

    If you do the following and post it here I can see it faster than
    through the support channels. But for an official answer you need
    to log a case.

    1) UCM SET LOG/NEW
    2) Plug in device that does not configure
    3) UCM sho event/type=all

    I will pass that to the person who did the digiboard driver. Also
    the same data for the failing digiboard would help. There are debugging
    hooks for the digi ones that write data into the log that can be enabled
    when it gets to that point. I did not do the drivers for Digi so I have
    to dig some to help.

    So if I read all this you have some digi controllers that work but drop
    characters on a single line. Then some others that don't configure at all.
    The dropping characters on only one line is likely going to be hard to
    find. We did heavy load loop back testing on the controllers before we
    shipped them and the test tool detects lost characters. We did not see
    that problem in our testing.


    Forrest



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