DIY Guides networking retro serial

Serial Servers on ethernet – Virtual COM port mapping

Serial over Ethernet?

This article goes to go into the world of old-fashioned and obscure. That earlier than we had the internet. Before we even had such a thing as RJ-45 jack to network with. There was solely two value effective ways of transferring knowledge from one gadget to another in the course of the 80’s and a lot of the 90’s. Parallel and Serial transfers. This allowed for computer systems to make a really primitive ‘network’ of types by pairing a number of serial connectors collectively to effectively speak to a program resembling a BBS (Bulletin Board Methods). With the introduction of USB the need for some of these adapters is enormously decreased through the years. The requirement of a serial port nonetheless arises every now and then each time you’re doing with older CNC Equipment, Thermal Printers, Solar energy monitoring stations, Industrial PLCs, and most importantly to us hooking as much as previous machines like Commodores and Amigas to do file transfers.

Perhaps you need to hook your excessive velocity network as much as a 56okay modem so you’ll be able to re-live the times of dial-up? It seems a bit masochistic to us however there are people who actually dig the entire “Nostalgia” theme. There you go!

At the present time where you possibly can convert anything to anything there certainly have to be an effective means of virtualization serial over Ethernet
proper? Let’s find out!

Video mirrors:

In case you’ve got no-script enabled or for some purpose can’t see the title video on this website. I have offered direct links for these movies.

  • WebM – Hyperlink – That is the most recent video normal, works great on Opera, Firefox, Chrome, and newer android phones, not good for Safari, IE, Apple.
  • MP4 – Hyperlink – Probably the most suitable codec but in addition fairly giant in file measurement. Make take some time to obtain.
  • OGV – Link – the fallback codec for older PC’s and Linux USB stick OS’s. 1st era net video streaming based mostly on Ogg-Vorbis encoding.

Our check topics.

We went over to the I.O.T. Workshop which then resolves to Hi-Flying.com which sells several types of serial solutions for industrial environments. Additionally they had an Ebay shop to where we bought ours from. This took virtually a month for us to get as a result of there was some confusion concerning the inventory of the DTU-H100. Despite the fact that there’s been YouTube movies displaying off the DTU-H100 it’s apparently being phased out of stock and the alternative will be the adapter under which is the HF2211.  After telling hi-flying that we’ll take the brand new model we received the models in a few weeks time.

WHAT’S IN THE BOX?!?!?!?

In the DTU-H100 field you get all the things you seen pictured above:

  • 5vdc 1amp energy provide
  • DB9 Feminine – DB9 Female twine permitting you to hook up to a serial port of a PC.
  • RJ45 Cat5e cable for hooking it to your wired community.
  • 3db wi-fi antenna for hooking to a wireless network.

This gadget we paid approximately $37(USD) on by way of Ebay direct from the Hello-Flying reseller.

The HF2211 goes to be a very comparable record of hardware items:

  • 5vdc 1amp energy provide
  • DB9 Female – DB9 Feminine twine allowing you to hook as much as a serial port of a PC.
  • RJ45 Cat5e cable for hooking it to your wired community.
  • 3db wi-fi antenna for hooking to a wi-fi community.

This gadget we paid roughly $42(USD) on by way of Ebay direct from the Hi-Flying reseller.

Addressing the Raspberry Pi in the room.

Whereas we might do another article about the way to make a Raspberry Pi do exactly what these models are doing. The query needs to be addressed:

Why would you even purchase this stuff S? The Raspberry Pi can do Sooooo rather more!

To which we agree with you! However plenty of clients are in search of a plug and play fashion hardware answer. Once you start wanting on the prices of these models the place the maximum being $42 dollars. After you get your FTDI USB cable, your case, the Raspberry Pi itself. To not mention the time for configuration. The price financial savings simply doesn’t add up. It all comes to down the two questions you ought to be asking about any piece of know-how:

What does it do?

and:

How properly does it do it?

To which we might be diving into that subsequent.

The online interfaces.

Lets begin off with the first Ethernet to Serial adapter. the DTU-H100

DTU-H100 Ethernet to Serial adapter.

First up is the older DTU-H100 Serial to Ethernet adapter. It’s net interface is fairly primary and proper off of the bat there’s some things that it shouldn’t do corresponding to present your Wi-Fi Password in plain textual content the second you login. That’s just a little obnoxious. But never the less all the things is here so that you can change the baud fee of the serial port. Change the TCP Port of the adapter. And allowing us to modify between Access Level Wi-Fi modes and Normal Modes for hooking as much as a prexisting community which is implausible.

There’s one neat function on the DTU-H100 which did not exist on the HF2211 which is underneath the advanced tab you possibly can do port mapping. Which means that in case you are hooked to a wi-fi router on one community. and that network needs to entry something on the bodily RJ-45 port. It may possibly do this with out having to hyperlink each networks to the WAN. This is useful if in case you have as PLC truly does have a website online and also you need to see if your modifications by way of serial are affecting it. You may map port 80 to 10.10.100.101 in your PLC’s website for instance and it will work.

HF2211 Ethernet to Serial adapter.

The very first thing that we favored once we logged into the HF2211 is its standing web page. As in, it truly tells us what the Wi-Fi Connection is doing versus just throwing in our SSID and password crossing our fingers and hoping for one of the best.

Inside the HF2211 system settings we truly bumped into some issues. You see, once we first received our adapter from Hi-Flying for some cause the Ethernew Port Mode was switched to “WAN” as an alternative of “LAN”. This meant that once we plugged in our RJ-45 cable from our laptop computer into this unit it did nothing. It responded to nothing on the 10.10.100.x IP addressing. The only approach we have been capable of get into this unit is through the open AP mode throughout initial boot up and alter it to LAN Ethernet Port mode and enable the DHCP. Then and solely then did it begin to behave like the DTU-H100. That is problematic because what if I changed the Wireless from Access Point mode to Commonplace Mode and misconfigured my SSID or password? We might be utterly locked out!

Nothing too much of notice on the Serial Port settings as all the mandatory options are there to vary your Baud charges and settings for no matter gadget that you’re hooking as much as .

Custom settings was clean and missing any port forwarding in contrast to the DTU-H100. However a nice thing within the OTHERS second is the fact that you’ll be able to improve the firmware by way of the online page as an alternative of relying on any utilities which is an effective factor.

General, the website on the HF2211 is method nicer and the Wi-Fi Connection is secure once related to an office surroundings.

WPA2 Woes with the DTU-H100 = No extra updates.

Unfortunately as of three/10/2019 the DTU-H100 is a discontinued router and thus no more updates can be out there for this little field. This is unfortunete as a result of there’s a bug coping with sustained serial connections over the WPA2 Wi-Fi where after a couple of seconds the Wi-Fi card simply shuts down. This does not happen in AP mode the place you’re controller the WPA or open connection. Just in WPA2 when connecting to a modern community the DTU-H100 shouldn’t be an excellent match.

I suppose the excellent news is High-Flying did update it sufficient the place the website truly works and thus there was no need to enter serial command mode and hammer a ton of AT+ commands like what we have been seeing a few of the Chinese language YouTubers doing. So bonus factors there.

The dangerous news is the DTU-H100 and even the HD2211 adapters haven’t any arduous reset button on the surface of the box. You need to go inside and both bridge some wires and press a button inside if you wish to manufacturing unit default this gadget. That’s a critical engineering flaw as a result of a consumer can simply mis-configure the community connectivity of these packing containers loosing all connection each serial , Wi-Fi , and ethernet. Leaving the consumer to void the warranty to get their field again online.

The software.

In all probability one of the problematic issues with working with Ethernet to serial ports particularly in a Home windows surroundings is getting port virtualization to work properly. And boy did we attempt plenty of totally different pieces of software program.

  • com0com – This software program was tremendous promising as a result of it was open supply it had a library for com2tcp . However we simply were not capable of understand tips on how to get com2tcp working inside the com0com setting.
  • Superior Virtual Com Port – This one seemed promising. But their free model didn’t let you truly map a TCP port. Sorry guys, we’re not paying for software program until you’ll be able to show me that your software program can do the job. Make it time restricted to 15 seconds when you must but as a result of we put any cash down on a software it’s worthwhile to show me it really works.
  • Serial port Re-Director – Similar Story as Advanced Serial Port actually. Except a costlier license.

What about simply going to Hello-Flyings web site! DUH!!!

Oh we went there! Though there’s a number of utilities for debugging over TCP/UDP connections when you navigate the Chinese language only menus. There’s truly no mention of serial port virtualization in both their guide or the software program that they supply on their own website.

Download the information.

In fact this article would actually suck if I didn’t present a solution to this software drawback now wouldn’t it? After heavy digging we discovered some software which did work from another serial chip manufacturer which we’re not even positive continues to be around anymore. We now have not solely the software program packed up in this archive however a TCP/UDP Debug utility and and eventually the manuals in case you need to configure these bins old skool with AT+ instructions. Simply click on the pink download button to start getting our 7-zipped archive.

TCP&UDP Debug device.

The first software we’re going to speak about is the TCP&UDP Debug device. This is incredibly useful when diagnosing if your ports usually are not only open on your Ethernet to serial server adapter. However when you can transmit and receive knowledge. Whereas plugging another pc with a terminal operating on the DB9 end of the serial server. We launch this program . In fact we’ll in all probability need to change our language to english until in fact you possibly can read Chinese.

Then we’re going to click the CreateConnection button and the Create Connection window will pop-up like pictured above. Choose sort for TCP. Select the destination IP for no matter you used to access your server servers web site. In our case it was 11.1.1.138. Choose the port for the default setting of 8899 until in fact you changed that on the serial servers web site as properly. Lastly, Select the LocalPort to Auto and click the create button.

Underneath the brand new shopper mode you just made click on on that Join button within the left-hand column of your shopper.

Once related you need to have the ability to sort in an entire bunch of text in the window above and click the Send button to blast that across the TCP connection to the ethernet to serial server.

Shifting over to your vacation spot terminal. In our case we are using PuTTY hooked to a FTDI USB to Serial chip on COM4. Start typing and you need to have the ability to sort back into it and the info should appear on the receiving finish. If you can do this then we have now verified that your ethernet to serial server is working from a hardware standpoint.

However we nonetheless haven’t really mapped a COM port now have we? Lets repair that subsequent!

AXMR2W Configuration Utility – Virtual com mapping.

Lets install and launch the AXMR2W Configuration Utility. As soon as this system is started click on Virtual Serial Port and click on Add.

The AXMR2W Configuration utility will ask which virtual COM port you want to map to. Select whatever COM2 that isn’t physically put in onto your PC and click on OK to continue, In our case it was COM2.

It ought to give a report again stating that the AXMR2W Configuration utility added a virtual serial port efficiently.

Also, for those who verify your system supervisor you will notice that a new system has been added beneath your Ports (COM & LPT) catagory for ASIX Virtual Serial Port (COMX) indicating that the gadget has been injected into our OS.

We in fact need to configure what our virtual port does now don’t we? Click on on the setting button and then ensure that the connection protocol is about for TCP . The mode is about for shopper. The remote host IP set for no matter our Serial servers web site IP was set for. Lastly, the distant host port set for default 8899 or no matter you set yours for.

You examine examine Join at Home windows Begin if your going to be using this quite a bit. However do not examine the box to Enable VCOM! it’ll add a quantity “2” to every character you sort in.

Lastly press the OK button to save lots of these settings.

Beneath the Community space we click the Connect button to bridge our digital driver to our Ethernet serial server. It ought to show a status of related. The moment you see this you need to be able to launch whatever program you want to communicate by way of serial to. The most typical problems that happen after this is not setting your baud price proper between serial server and the system you’re connecting to. However general it works out very properly. In our video we even demonstrated connecting to a historic Zebra Z4000 printer and printing a 90kb file across this gadget without situation.

03/13/2019 – Thanks Windows 10

It seems Home windows 10 has come to the ‘rescue’ of its customers by protecting them from themselves by simply stopping the software from working all together!

Should you tried to make use of AXMR2W on a later model of Windows 10. That is the fantastic display that you’ll be greeted with. Now, you’ll be able to simply move the appliance out of the C:program information folder and onto the desktop to bypass this error. Nevertheless, whenever you try and map a COM port then that is what happens.

Getting the kiss of demise from a more moderen OS just isn’t enjoyable. Fortunately we did discover a answer that works out rather well.

Fortunately, There’s one other software program on the market referred to as HW-VSP3 from the Hardware group. Which makes a digital port mapping software program that does work with home windows 10. And for bonus factors it even works in a VMWare setting as we attempted to make use of ESXI’s v6.7 guide serial port mapping solely to be met with failure. Now why does this firm give out such an awesome piece of software chances are you’ll ask? Because they promote their very own version of a serial server. And for those factories and other people within the business in search of a TCP<->Serial answer you should purchase a server from these guys over the Chinese language adapters we obtained from eBay. Help those who help your corporation.

If you first obtain this program it gained’t allow you to do anything until you login.

So press that login button. Password is admin.

Alright, now before we go map our virtual port we need to present you the settings tab as this is necessary in case you want to use this utility in daily operations. You’ll in all probability need to verify the box to Create VSP Port when HW VSP Start-up in order that it all the time maps a port whenever you launch this program. From there you might add this program as a string value in your registry beneath

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionRun

Just place a worth for the software program into there so it’ll all the time launch the moment you login to your pc.

Now we will go back to the Virtual Serial Port tab and sort in our IP handle and port number. in our case it was 11.1.1.138 and port 8899 identical to the website stated. And press that Create COM button to proceed.

It ought to then grey out and the one thing it’s going to say beneath the VSP standing is Created. Brief, sweet and to the purpose.

Simply to confirm you’ll be able to go into gadget supervisor and you will notice a ELTIMA Virtual Serial Port (COMx) underneath Ports (COM & LPT).

At this level you’re able to launch PuTTY or virtually any home windows software to forward your TCP ports to no matter serial server that you simply select together with the HF2211 that we are using on this blog. the one thing that this program can’t do is mechanically detect our serial server that’s on the network because of course it was not made by this company. Utterly comprehensible! However at the very least the virtual serial port driver for home windows 10 is flawless. Coming from a Freeware piece of software that’s absolutely superb! So much so that I’m leaving all of their ads within the screenshots I’ve made. Critically guys spend just a little extra money and purchase their servers as an alternative of the HF2211 that we obtained! You’ll thank me later.

Remaining thoughts.

These adapters are really cool for many who have to have serial ports in inconvenient places around the house in addition to the office. It’s an amazing answer versus throwing a laptop or desktop in a closet someplace. and although we had some set backs with the DTU-H100 failing on a WPA2 surroundings the HF2211 is a rock strong adapter. In fact it’s not as much fun as diving into shell on a Raspberry Pi and piping tty connections all over and listening to TCP sockets to pipe the info round. It gets the job carried out from a hardware perspective which legitimately it’s the one and neatest thing you possibly can ask for.

Are these serial servers value their worth versus purchasing a costlier brand from say HW-VSP3’s portbox? It appears to us that what you save in cash initially you find yourself loosing in time down the street finding software program that really works with it. If your enterprise setting is predominantly linux anyhow where you’ll be able to port knowledge to a TCP/UDP tackle with just some command strains it’s not the top of the world. But within the Windows OS it turns into an entire nightmare in relation to this and going with name-brand hardware corporations may be a better approach of going.

That is all server has to say.

+++END OF LINE.