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RAMCHECK Application Note

RAMCHECK to PC Connection Issues

--Created 8-16-2005

This application note troubleshoots PC connection problems some customers may have while using the RAMCHECK PC Communications Program. After installing the PC Communications Program, some PC's are unable to detect the RAMCHECK using the "FIND" icon, or the user is unable to upload new firmware to the RAMCHECK.

Unable to Detect the RAMCHECK

This is usually caused by COM port conflicts in Windows, due to noise from modems and network connections. Follow these steps to resolve this:
  1. Make sure that the COM Port number in the RAMCHECK PC Communications Software is set to the same COM port number as in Windows. You can check this by going to the "CONTROL PANEL". Click on "SYSTEM", then "HARDWARE", then "DEVICE MANAGER". Expand the "PORTS". Next, right click on the COM port and then click on "PROPERTIES". Check the "Device Status" to make sure that it is working properly. Next, note the COM Port number (usually COM 1).

  2. Start the RAMCHECK Communications software and click on "RAMCHECK", located on the top left. Click on "SETUP SOFTWARE". Then click on "SERIAL COM SETUP", and click on " SET PORT OFF" to check to see that the COM Port number matches the number that Windows displays. If it is different, change it to the COM Port noted from step 1. The BAUD rate is set at 38,400 and can not be changed by the user at this time.

    By default the RAMCHECK Communications program sets these parameters at COM 1 and 38,400.

  3. Close the window and make sure that your RAMCHECK is on and properly connected to your COM Port via the Serial cable included with your RAMCHECK. Click on the "FIND" icon to see if your PC can detect the RAMCHECK.
If the RAMCHECK is still not detected, close the RAMCHECK Communications software. Next you will need to disable Windows Auto detection and manually change the COM port number in Windows. To do this, go back to your PC's "CONTROL PANEL". Click on "SYSTEM", then "HARDWARE", then "DEVICE MANAGER". Expand the "PORTS", right click on the COM port and click on "PROPERTIES". Next, click on "PORT SETTING" and then click on "ADVANCED". Select "COM4" and click on "OK". Click on "RESOURCES" and uncheck "use automatic settings". Click on the arrow to the right of the window labeled "SETTING BASE ON:" and select the right configuration for the I/O range for COM 4.

Please view the following table for reference.
Name I/O Range IRQ
COM 1 03F8-03FF 4
COM 2 02F8-02FF 3
COM 3 03E8-03EF 4
COM 4 02E8-02EF 3

Click on "IRQ" to highlight it and click on the "CHANGE SETTING" tab. Select the appropriate "IRQ" value for COM 4 using the above table for reference and click "OK". Check the conflict information in both the "IRQ" and RESOURCES" windows to make sure there are no conflicts.

Open the RAMCHECK Communications software and go to "SETUP SOFTWARE". Click on "SERIAL COM SETUP", then "SET PORT OFF" to change the COM Port number to COM 4. Click on "SET PORT ON" to save and close the window. Try clicking on the "FIND" icon to see if your PC detects the RAMCHECK.

If you still have problems, try re-starting your computer. After your computer boots up go back to the "DEVICE MANAGER" to make sure the settings you made earlier are unchanged. If it unchanged, open the RAMCHECK PC Communications software and try clicking on the "FIND" icon again. If it still does not detects the RAMCHECK then try a different COM port number, also changing the I/O range and IRQ settings accordingly. Make sure to change the COM port setup in the RAMCHECK PC Communications software each time you change it in Windows.

Another cause for mis-communications between the RAMCHECK and the PC is the serial cable. If you are using the one supplied with the unit, re-insert both ends to rule out any contact issues. If you are using a third-party cable make sure that it is a standard DB9 male to female cable, not a NULL cable. RAMCHECK uses only three of the nine pins. Pins 2 and 3 transmit and receive and pin 5 is GND. If you have a continuity meter it would not hurt to check pins 2, 3 and 5 between the ends to make sure there are no opens.

If you still cannot detect the RAMCHECK through your physical COM port then you have the option of converting one of your USB ports to serial using a USB to RS232/SERIAL cable. This will work with the RAMCHECK PC Communications software after you install the manufacturer's VCP driver which comes with the cable. The cable may be purchased directly from us, or virtually any computer store. Please contact us for pricing.

Unable to upload the firmware to the RAMCHECK

If the RAMCHECK Communications software detected the RAMCHECK but fails during a firmware upload, please make sure there isn't an adapter mounted on the RAMCHECK. Always carefully remove any adapters while the RAMCHECK is turned off before updating the firmware. Also, remove any module inserted into the RAMCHECK's 168-pin test socket. Once you have removed the adapter and/or memory, turn the RAMCHECK back on and try again.

If your RAMCHECK has a very old firmware version (2.17 or below) you must first upload and install version 2.23. Once this is installed you can then upload and install versions 2.24 and higher. Please visit our FTP section and click on the "RAMCHECK Firmware (BIOS) Download" link. After you have registered or logged in, click on "RAMCHECK FIRMWARE". Download version 2.23 which is located in the paragraph below the current version. Once you successfully updated your RAMCHECK's firmware to 2.23 you can download later versions either by the Automated Firmware Download or manually.


For more information, please call us at (281) 879-6226 M-F 9:00-5:00 US Central Time, or send your E-mail to support@innoventions.com, or fax your message to (281) 879-6415. Please remember to include your phone and e-mail.

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