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Support for GC-100 serial ports
#1
Just a heads up. The latest beta (4.2.905) includes directly support within CQC for GC-100 serial ports. You can tell CQC about GC-100s and which ports on them you want it to know about. Once configured, they are available to select just like any other serial port.

To configure them you need to go to the Admin Intf. Go to Administer->Settings->GC-100 Ports. Here you can define which GC-100s you want to make available and enable which ports to make available on them.

Once you save the configuration, you will see these ports when selecting serial ports. You must give each one a short name (max of 8 characters) and that will be part of the port name. If you named a GC-100 "Bubba", COM1 on that GC-100 would have this name:

/GC100/Bubba/COM1

So you can easily figure out which one has the port you are trying to get to. There are issues to consider when using these ports:
  • These ports only support 8 data bits, even or odd or no parity, can't support any of the control lines, and has limited baud rate support (older ones up to 19,200 and newer ones up to 57600. So any device that requires more than that will not work.
  • When you are configuring them, be sure to get the IP address right. The configuration dialog can't test them, because if you are using the GC-100 it's certain you'll have the GC-100 driver loaded, and we can't make another connection to the GC-100 to test for its presence. So we have to just assume the address is correct.
  • Also, because we can't make another connection, we can't set or query the port configuration. The virtual serial port support is way down below device drivers (for obvious reasons.) So there's no way it can be done via the GC-100 driver. So basically you must set up the serial ports via the GC-100's web interface to be correct for the target devices connected to the serial ports. Any port configuration info in the manifest will be ignored because it can't be sent to the GC-100.

You will of course need to unload any existing virtual com port software you have been using to support the GC ports, because this new feature takes the place of that software and they can't both connect.
Dean Roddey
Explorans limites defectum
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#2
I loaded up the new beta and added a GC serial port.

How do I use this with my terminal program for testing a device before connecting permanently to CQC.

This is important because not always do we have the ability to bring the device close enough to the PC when testing/writing a driver and (I personally) use a terminal program to check and test commands and replies (they are not always as they are documented).

I also want to test a blackbox adapter with this (very generic like the GC units) but I have to check what port is used. Would it be hard to add an advanced button to create a custom port number or at least change the prot number through some back door means in the system somewhere.

This is a great addition none the less which I know was asked for quite a long time ago. Global cache make the very nice iTach serial with one model being a serial port only. This will compliment them nicely
Mykel Koblenz
Illawarra Smart Home
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#3
There's no way for us to extend this functionality to a terminal program. We aren't making them look like real Windows com ports, just encapsulating them within our own internal abstraction of COM ports. The only way it would work would be for us to provide our own terminal program that would work in terms of our own com port abstraction.

It's something I've definitely thought of, since it would also allow spelunking over the remote port server as well. But it would be a fair bit of work and hard to justify right now.
Dean Roddey
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#4
Oh, on supporting other types, it might not be worth doing that. The only reason there's no GC-100 specific functionality in this guy right now is that it can't be accessed due to a design issue on the part of GC. If it becomes possible I'd add that (to be able to set/query port configuration like a real port) and then any other types of devices would stop working at that point.

Anyone actually using this stuff yet? It would be nice to know how well it's working.
Dean Roddey
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#5
Dean - I have both ports operational and working very well. No issues to report so far. Configuration was very direct and easy.
Thanks,
Dave Bruner
Cool
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#6
I'll put on in place to test with my TV for a while. I have another one in the theater at the moment but have nothing to connect to it.

I will put another one up with the solar inverter. This is where I had the blackbox unit that I want to use with this option, but I will test with the spare GC100 I have
Mykel Koblenz
Illawarra Smart Home
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#7
znelbok Wrote:How do I use this with my terminal program for testing a device before connecting permanently to CQC.

You can use a "terminal" program (I use DockLight Scripting) that allows specifying a network connection to a device like the GC-100 serial port.
Regards, Frederick C. Wilt
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#8
Dean Roddey Wrote:Oh, on supporting other types, it might not be worth doing that. The only reason there's no GC-100 specific functionality in this guy right now is that it can't be accessed due to a design issue on the part of GC. If it becomes possible I'd add that (to be able to set/query port configuration like a real port) and then any other types of devices would stop working at that point.

You lost me there. What would you like to do that you can't do?
Regards, Frederick C. Wilt
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#9
Dean Roddey Wrote:Just a heads up. The latest beta (4.2.905) includes directly support within CQC for GC-100 serial ports.

This is great news! You should get some kind of an award!
Regards, Frederick C. Wilt
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#10
fcwilt Wrote:You lost me there. What would you like to do that you can't do?

The problem is that there is a single port for all of the non-serial port data. There can only be one connection to it, and anyone who has a GC-100 is going to have our GC-100 driver connected to that. The virtualized serial port stuff is completely separate code, but the commands to set/get port config have to be done via the main port. Since the driver has that connection, the virtual serial port code can't send those commands. Therefore there's no way to have these serial ports set up based on incoming port configuration, right now.

I've pointed this out to them and hopefully they will fix this, then I'll update this GC-100 port stuff to support port configuration.
Dean Roddey
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