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Support Forum » Incompatible instructions?

June 07, 2011
by Ballaw
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I'm trying to start programming my micro-controller and I've hit a snag. On page 42 it says to go to Device Manager and expand Ports. My device manager doesn't have this option. What should I do? I use Windows 7 OS.

While we're at it, can someone explain to me what this business with COM port is anyway, as in what does it mean and why am I changing this information in a the makefile? I appreciate the help.

June 07, 2011
by Noter
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If you would take a moment and search for "what is a com port on a computer" or "what is com1" via google or your favorite search engine and you'll get thousands of references. Read a few of them and you'll know what a com port is. Then it should make sense to you why to have to specify which one is to be used by the makefile or any other software that will need it.

June 07, 2011
by Ballaw
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Gee, can I really use google? I would have never guessed...My question was about the missing port option under device manager. The COM question was just an add on in case someone was willing to explain.

June 07, 2011
by Ballaw
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Just to justify my stupid questions I'm going to, despite the rules of the forum, say that I am a n00b, in case that wasn't obvious.

June 07, 2011
by bretm
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Device Manager does has a "Ports" section even on Windows 7. The sections that my computer shows are Computer, Disk drives, Display adapters, etc. Ports comes after Network adapters and before Processors.

What sections does yours list? Perhaps it's under a different name.

June 07, 2011
by Rick_S
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Are you sure you loaded Device Manager? My Windows 7 Device manager shows a Ports Section:

Photo

COM is short for Communication - Many modern PC's don't have accessable COMmunication ports thus the need for a USB to COM port adapter. Windows can assign this adapter any port number it wants. Due to this fact, you need to find what your computer assigned it so it can find your micro-controller to talk to it. Since this number varies PC to PC, the makefile must be modified to what your specific PC is.

Hope that clears it up a bit for you... and don't be angry at Noter, we all have bad days from time to time and if you follow his posts here, you can learn a lot... I know I have. BigGrin

Oh, one more thing,

Welcome Sign

Rick

June 07, 2011
by hevans
(NerdKits Staff)

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Hi Ballaw,

Just to make one thing clear, the Ports section won't appear unless you have something that it recognizes as a COM or LPT port connected to your computer. Make sure the driver is installed, and the cable is connected before you look at the device manager. If the driver is installed correctly, it should come right up.

Humberto

June 07, 2011
by Noter
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Sorry Ballaw, I don't think your question is stupid and I didn't mean to offend you. I figure you can find better explainations about com ports than what I can give in a few sentences.

June 07, 2011
by missle3944
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Hi Ballaw,

When I first got my nerdkit I had the same problem. I'm running on win 7 32bit and for some reason the driver they supplied me with wouldn't work but in my old thread here I asked the same question and Mrobbins supplied me with a quick response and an alternate win7 driver that worked perfectly.

Just click the blue link and scroll down to Mrobbins' post and click on "here" in his post.

Then once you get it installed just plug your nerdkit in and go to device manager and you should see the Ports icon open similar to Rick's picture above.

Hope this Helps :)

-missle3944

June 09, 2011
by Ballaw
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Wow. Thanks for all the help everybody! I downloaded the driver at missle3944's link but what made the Ports option show up was plugging the USB into my computer like hevans said. After that it was smooth sailing.

Don't worry Noter. Sometimes I just get tired of people telling me to RTFM. I usually ask simple questions on forums to help me get a working man's definition of something.

Two more questions: do I have to turn off the power before I switch back and forth between between programming and display modes? Also, from what I understand a serial port sends data a bit at a time. What's the relation/difference between the serial ports like this one: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serial_port

June 09, 2011
by Ballaw
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Oh, and what's the .hex file for? I never saw one when I compiled stuff through my IDE.

June 09, 2011
by bretm
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The .hex file contains the actual binary image that gets transferred to the chip. It might also be called and .elf file. Depends on the compiler and linker. The extension doesn't affect the outcome.

June 09, 2011
by Ralphxyz
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Ballaw asked? [quote] do I have to turn off the power before I switch back and forth between between programming and display modes? [/quote]

Not if you use a 10k resistor and NO momentary contact switch on pin one. Here is

Rick's thread

Word of warning I tried using a toggle switch not a momentary contact switch and I do not know what I actually did but I ended up blowing my mcu.

Since that time using a momentary contact switch I have not had any problem.

You also might find having a switch on the yellow USB wire helps also.


The referenced "PC" Serial Port

[quote] the term "serial port" usually identifies hardware more or less compliant to the RS-232 standard, [/quote]

A mcu serial communications will still be one bit at a time but it will not necessarily conform to the RS-232 standard.

It will still be serial communications by definition.

Ralph

June 10, 2011
by bretm
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You might point out the NO doesn't always mean no. In this case it means Normally Open.

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