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Old 29-11-2011, 14:39   #1
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OpenCPN Loses GPS Puck After Standby

This may be more of a Windows XP issue than OpenCPN, or perhaps there is something that can be done in OpenCPN.

Sometimes when Windows XP SP3 is restarted using OpenCPN 2.5 the GPS com port number changes, or the baud rate is switched back from 4800 to window's default 9600.

Is there some way for me to force windows to recognize my rs232 to USB cable as having a specific com port and port settings?

As it is, it's too techy for me to expect any of my crew to reconfigure the PC after its pauses to save power. I'd love to lock the PC with the correct settings.
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Old 29-11-2011, 16:47   #2
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Re: OpenCPN loses GPS puck after Stand By

I've found that COM port assignments change when a new device is connected or when a different USB port is used. Could either of those have anything to do with the changing COM port numbers you're experiencing? I'm running Widows Vista and Windows 7 so my experience may not be of much use to you.

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Old 29-11-2011, 17:12   #3
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Re: OpenCPN loses GPS puck after Stand By

Quote:
Originally Posted by StanL View Post
This may be more of a Windows XP issue than OpenCPN, or perhaps there is something that can be done in OpenCPN.

Sometimes when Windows XP SP3 is restarted using OpenCPN 2.5 the GPS com port number changes, or the baud rate is switched back from 4800 to window's default 9600.

Is there some way for me to force windows to recognize my rs232 to USB cable as having a specific com port and port settings?

As it is, it's too techy for me to expect any of my crew to reconfigure the PC after its pauses to save power. I'd love to lock the PC with the correct settings.
I've only gotSP2 but as a checklist,because I don't know what you've tried already...
First:
You must be sure to plug the device into the same slot every time.Especially important where anybody is plugging in or installing new devices.You should plug them in in the same order,same places!because any of These tend to change the ports.

2nd if that doesn't work on a reboot,you could set it's port number manually in device manager-it might stick that way. Everything you normally use with it must be plugged in too, to do a good job.

3rd)USB ports don't wake up on their own in XP after standby..(lid closed to save power,I mean).see below Xport below.It'll reawaken usb.

simpler maybe...and always useful to me:
I'd try "Xport" a freebie and no installation needed.It has a feature to scan for a gps that's lost-not sure if it'll spot EVERY NMEA output if that's what you're after but there are other tools that might.Xport will autostart with windows AND it will re-awaken usb ports when machine awakes(you call it "Pausing"?) from standby but you must checkmark the usb hub boxes.. as in picture.some experimenting might be needed.
Click image for larger version

Name:	xport.png
Views:	123
Size:	8.0 KB
ID:	34245

Ps xport is also a serial port emulator that's on the right side of the picture.This way,you can set OpenCPN up for a port and never worry again.Xport will send a changed port it finds to that port with a mouse click or two if you still are losing the port number.Xport only autoruns from bootup when the emulation is "engaged"
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Old 29-11-2011, 17:25   #4
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Re: OpenCPN Loses GPS Puck After Standby

Quote:
Originally Posted by StanL View Post

Is there some way for me to force windows to recognize my rs232 to USB cable as having a specific com port and port settings?
Although I wrote this when using MaxSea it applies generally to com port settings. Please note that you can teach your machine to assign the desired com port number to all of your USB inputs on the computer.

Changing GPS Com Ports in MaxSea

Terry
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Old 30-11-2011, 10:43   #5
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Re: OpenCPN Loses GPS Puck After Standby

Hi Terry,
That's an excellent collection of information on your site, very generous.

I've followed that approach for configuring a com port. Unfortunately, that setting gets lost often after the laptop reboots, or sometimes recovering from "sleep" mode. These problems also occur when no other USB ports are used and when the puck is left plugged into the same USB port.

Maybe there is a particular registry entry which can reserve a port for a GPS plug. I'm trying to eliminate things that can go wrong when having a crew and I wouldn't want to expect them to know how to reset the baud rate or com port for my nav laptop.
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Old 30-11-2011, 10:44   #6
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Re: OpenCPN loses GPS puck after Stand By

I'm checking out XPort right now. It looks like it might be just what I'm looking for.
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Old 30-11-2011, 11:27   #7
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Re: OpenCPN loses GPS puck after Stand By

I had the same problem as you when using Maxsea. I think it is an xp problem. The only guaranteed solution I found was to prevent the laptop going to sleep. Bit of a power drain but guaranteed to work.
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Old 07-12-2011, 01:35   #8
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Re: OpenCPN Loses GPS Puck After Standby

I recently emailed the following to a friend so will paste it here.....

Reliability of wjndows becomes the whole issue and I had to work pretty hard to get this. There are 2 primary embedded flaws in windows-
- migration of com ports that occurs potentially every time you boot the GPS from a different USB connection or when another device is plugged in and the machine subsequenty restarted. Windows enters in the sytem registry a new port definition that basically says "here's a new device - connect it to com port (new) - with software driver Y - and call it (mouse)". Note that "COM" port refers to microsoft's embedded techniques not "communication port"
To ensure that you can get the chart -plotter up and running fast you need rapid fixes that don't rely on your memory
I am attaching some small routines that I have found from quite a lot of digging. To enable rapid deployment I have found that the best thing to do is to save these little tidbits on to your "desktop" When you save them this way they will appear as icons on your desktop and one click gets you to them - move them down to the bottom of the screen so thay can show on a reduced sze window when open
Before clicking on com name arbiter, first backup your system registry using all programs-accessories-system tools-system restore if you are on Win XP. When invoked, this routine goes into the registry and for each com port definition it zeros out the values windows has saved, and which cause the migration problem. Note that your mouse might then be disabled. Win then will refind all connected devices and reconnect them to com ports in a nomalized manner IE mouse is 1 or 2 and your GPS should show up as 3 etc.
If your GPS at some future time does not invoke, you simply click on the arbiter icon and corrections will be made automatically and quickly.
- The another major flaw is more serious - your PC can go completely dead and will not reboot. This more frequently occurs when a GPS is connected to the machine. The reason is that energy saving schemes on Win are totally unreliable. For boat power and laptop consumption reasons this gets to the fore front. You must DISABLE all power saving schemes.using control panel- display-alarm response settings. uncheck them. Thats the easy part.
Harder is the actual Com port power settings - go to device manager- scroll down to and open up univ ser bus controllers. Scroll to USB Hub - right click properties - power management - and uncheck "allow computer to turn off this device to save power". When your GPS is first plugged in Win will apply a default setting that says " when you see a GPS - turn it off to save power when it is not in use". You will have a USB Hub for every USB device plugged in - change the setting for all.
This default setting is used every next time you use the GPS, but if you change the setting once, then Win will remember not to do it.
The web is crammed full of people who have dead PC's and can't turn them on after Win has gone into "hibernation" or "sleep" mode. The HP site has pages of models that are aflicted with problems with PC's than will not turn back on.
If you disable all power saving schemes the screen saver can be left working on a blank screen, and you can allow the hard drive to turn off. This will save most of the power that these flawed schemes were intended to provide.
....
The files are"
C:\WINDOWS\system32\devmgmt.msc
USBDeview - google this to find
com name arbiter - dotto

.....
Another win problem is the jerky mouse - This is documented on the microsoft site and on NavMon site and involves the GPS driver being seen as a serial Ballpoint

Richard Burgoyne
burgoynebc@netscape.net
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Old 07-12-2011, 08:36   #9
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Re: OpenCPN loses GPS puck after Stand By

Quote:
Originally Posted by StanL View Post
I'm checking out XPort right now. It looks like it might be just what I'm looking for.
Stan,make sure the little boxes below are checkmarked-the usb hubs seem to be the ones!for my usb gps anyways.I haven't used the usb/serial adapter lately but I'm guessing the same...

It's the "Hubs" that Witch Windows puts in a coma...
Then,just wait awhile for O to refresh herself from her nap and things should be fine.I suspend the laptop a lot and it always comes back for me.
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Old 08-12-2011, 15:43   #10
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Re: OpenCPN Loses GPS Puck After Standby

One of the things I do to stabilize everything is run opencpn in a virtual machine. In this manner the carrier OS lets say windows XP or 7 is not affected by what goes on in the virtual machine, which in many cases is just another copy of windows XP. Once the virtual machine is all setup, maps loaded (from a common directory) GPS working etc etc, take a snapshot at that point. If and when it craps out, just load the snapshot and your good to go again in under 5 minutes provided the carrier OS is stable. For that in most cases I chose to use linux but many dont and stay with a flavor of windows. By seperating the two OS's it seems to run much more reliably.
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Old 08-12-2011, 16:42   #11
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Re: OpenCPN Loses GPS Puck After Standby

burgoynebc...my god,man-Hard to remember all those Windose antidotes,ain't it it-good tip per usb hub power-I'd forgotten that one....it's in my notes somewhere though... you're right-the power schemes mostly turn the computer off at all the wrong moments-just having a nav program running isn't enough to keep windoze awake. But I've not (yet!)had too much trouble with "close lid=suspend" on any machine (excepting the usb wakeup).By the by,in some laptops-just opening the lid doesn't work to wake up .Pushing the power button is needed.... There's a real fix for the serial mouse issue (none of the registry hacks worked!) Google for "pnpblocker" so far so good.
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Old 16-12-2011, 02:21   #12
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Re: OpenCPN Loses GPS Puck After Standby

I posted a lengthly reply on this same issue last week so won't repeat the details here - the problem is windows and you need to turn off ALL power saving shemes including hibernation and standby. - its not just an issue with GPS but if you google this issue you will find that hundreds of people have dead laptops that refuse to restart - HP site have dozens of affected models listed.
Go into device manager - USB HUB - uncheck power option.
Look on web for "com port arbiter" - it zeroes all port settings in the registry automatically for you and corrects the migration of ports.
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Old 16-12-2011, 02:39   #13
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Re: OpenCPN Loses GPS Puck After Standby

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Originally Posted by burgoynebc View Post
I posted a lengthly reply on this same issue last week so won't repeat the details here - the problem is windows and you need to turn off ALL power saving shemes including hibernation and standby. - its not just an issue with GPS but if you google this issue you will find that hundreds of people have dead laptops that refuse to restart - HP site have dozens of affected models listed.
Go into device manager - USB HUB - uncheck power option.
Look on web for "com port arbiter" - it zeroes all port settings in the registry automatically for you and corrects the migration of ports.
This sounds like a proper fix. The powersaving feature on USB devices will cease the polling to the device completely when in standby. Sometimes things get confused when you return to a normal state.

This is for Windows 7, but XP has similar panels.
The device manager panel looks like this in most cases.
The power options for USB look like this.


You might also want to toy with your Bios and see if toggling Legacy USB settings on or off might help out. Some of that is emulated on newer machines as they use more modern USB hardware natively.
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