This FAQ section deals with pump to computer connectivity issues. Many commonly reported issues and how to fix them are covered here.
Can you make your own pump cables?
YES! – you can and this page contains the instructions on how to do it. To most people reading this page I’d like to say – don’t make your own cables. Read the section below Why not just buy them.
This page contains instructions and diagrams to show you how to make:
- CBL-PC connects your computer to your first pump and
- CBL-NET which connects between pumps. You will need 1 less than the number of pumps you plan to connect.
Why not just buy them?
The total cost of a set of cables for one pump is approximately $US25 for one pump and for multiple pumps it’s $US25 plus $US2 for each extra pump. If you order them today – you will have them in a few days as a general rule. They will work. You will be finished in minutes. So why not just buy them?
How hard is it to make your own pump cables?
I find it rather easy – I have all the parts and an electronics background and all the tools. I used to solder for a living. I have seen photos of cables people make. A lot of them are nice and very serviceable, but some of them – enough said.
- It will take you time, you will need to purchase parts – the correct parts, and the correct cable. You will probably do this for about $10US There is a list of parts on this page.
- You need to be able to solder and have a soldering iron and general electronics skills, wire striping, reading diagrams.
- You need a special crimp tool for the RJ11 connectors and possibly some instruction on how to use it. A crimping tools will cost say $US20.
- If you make a mistake and it doesn’t work – then you have to diagnose your issue and rework your cable.
I help a lot of folks making their own cables – possibly half of them give up after a week or two of emails and frustration and just buy the cables.
What cables do you need? One CBL-PC and how many CBL-NET?
First stop is to learn about wiring your pumps up. Take a look at this page on to build a pump network, work out what cables you will need.
There are two kinds of cables
- Pump-to-PC Primary Network Cable – you need exactly one of these. It’s part number is CBL-PC. It connects your computer to your first pump.
- Pump-to-Pump Secondary Network Cable – you need one to go between each pair of pumps you have. (One less than the number of pumps to be connected). It’s part number is CBL-NET.
Pump-to-PC Primary Network Cable and RJ11-Db9 Adapter – CBL-PC
To make one set of these – an adapter and a cable, you will need
- 2 off RJ11 crimp connectors – 4 connector, they come in 4 and 6 connector styles. You need the 6 position style but with only 4 connectors fitted. A 6P4C. Look closely at the pump connector picture and you can see 6 position but only the middle 4 have gold connectors.
- You will need the special crimping tool- they are cheap. There is a photo on this page of this tool in action crimping a connector. The connector is not particularly visible as it is inside the tool.
- a length of 4 conductor telephone cable.
- A DB9 female to RJ11 female adapter kit – they are a few dollars. I get mine from ebay. This device is a rectangular plastic shell with a mounting for the DB9 plug, a few wires and the RJ11 socket. You have to insert the wires into the shell. There’s a picture below showing the correct colors and holes being used. You don’t have to have the adapter kit – you can solder to straight to a female solder type DB9F if you wish.
NOTE Think about buying a spare or two of each component – by the time you purchase this gear and wait for it to arrive …. Please consider the cost of a cable and adapter from your pump distributor – then it’s just plug and play – your not saving any? money really by making your own.
Here’s the wiring diagram for the adapter.
There are Two Styles of DB9F
Note the adapter kit may come with wires and pins. The pins are inserted into the plastic block. Or it may come with a solder type of DB9F where the pins are already inserted into the plastic block and you need to solder the wires yourself. They both work the same.
Wiring it – CBL-PC
We have two components to make:
- The adapter shell assembly– which includes wiring the DB9F to the shell’s RJ11 socket
- The “telephone cable” Which connects the adapter to your first pumps To Computer socket
Assembling the Adapter Shell
The DB9F connector on the left is a female, and is illustrated from the Socket side – the side that receives the USB-RS232 connector.
This photo shows the rear of that female Db9 plug with the wires inserted. These wires are the internal cables for the shell. The end you can’t see is wired into the RJ11 socket in the shell. These wires come from the factory connected to the RJ11 and with the female pins already soldered on.They are from the left 2(black), 3(green) and 5(red).
If you look closely you can see the pin numbers are on the black plastic which holds the pins – the writing is very small and very hard to see. Use the photograph to guide you.
Your 4 connector cable will have black, red, green and yellow wires.
On the RJ11 end use – these are most likely already connected in the shell for you.
- black for pin 1
- red for pin 2
- green for pin 3
- Yellow is not used. Crimp it in the RJ11
On the DB9 female (pictured)
- black to pin 2
- green to pin 3
- red to pin 5
- yellow cut off. Yellow should be cut short it’s not used. Cut it off at the db9 end.
Simply push the pins into the rear of the socket as shown in the photograph. Assemble the plastic shell.
Making the “Telephone” Cable
- You will need:
- 2 off RJ11 crimp connectors
A length of “telephone cable” – this can safely be up to 25ft long (7 metres)
Crimp both connectors to the cable – make sure the order of the wires is the same in both connectors
Pump-to-Pump Secondary Network Cable CBL-NET
This is the cable that connects the first pump to the second, and then the second pump to the third etc. You will need
- 2 off RJ11 4 contact 6 position connectors
- a length of 4 conductor telephone cable
Let’s make the cable
This cable has what’s known as a twist. This is where the wires in the cable connect to opposite pins. Don’t be confused by this diagram – you don’t do anything other than reverse (twist the cable) when your crimp your second connector.
There are 4 wires in the cable coloured Black,Red, Green Yellow – they lay in that order.
- Crimp the first RJ11 connector on one end of the cable – black wire to pin 2 just like in the diagram left hand connector.
- Reverse the wire orientation in the second connector. i.e. make the green wire pin 2 instead of the black wire.
- Reverse the wire orientation in the second connector. i.e. make the black wire pin 4, Red pin 3, green, pin 2.”
Test Your New Pump Cable(s)
What you need next is a piece of software you know will work, and is free. Your in luck! The trial version of SyringePumpPro can be downloaded from this website for free. Once installed it will ALWAYS detect any correctly connected pumps, even after the trial period times out. So go ahead, download SyringePumpPro and test your cable. If you have problems getting a connection to your pump, I have a heap of information on trouble-shooting in my FAQ-Connections section, and by all means please contact me and I will help you get your pumps up and running with SyringePumpPro.
Continuous Infusion Cable
I have included a photo of the continuous infusion cable. If you look closely at the image above, you will see the wire colors in each plug – this will let you make your own cable. If you compare the CBL-DUAL-3 Continuous infusion cable to a CBL-NET Pump-to-Pump Secondary Network Cable – you can see that they are wired the same. Really study that photo first! Then build yourself and CBL-NET!
How Do You Change The Pump Address?
Each pump has to be assigned a unique bus address on a multi-pump network. These addresses are between 0 and 99 inclusive. These addresses do not need to be in order on the wire physically, nor do they need to be numerically sequential. That said it’s normal to configure your pumps from address 0 to x incrementally, and we usually do put them in order on the wire.
Hint: Your pump network will perform better if you:
- Start your pump address range at 0
- Address the physically cabled pumps sequentially. By default SyringePumpPro products scan the first 10 addresses (0-9) and then if no pumps are located expand the search range to 99. Scanning all 99 addresses takes notably longer as the software must wait for 90+ non existent pumps to respond.
How Often Do You Need To Set The Pump Address?
Pump address assignments are stored in the pump’s memory and will persist when the pump is powered off. and on again. So if you keep a group of pumps together on a network – you should only ever need to set the pump’s addresses once.
Address Setting Methods
There are two ways to set a pump’s address:
- From the front panel buttons (not a method appropriate for OEM pumps) and
- By sending commands
Set The Pump Address From The Front Panel
Set The Pump Address Using SyringePumpPro Issued Commands
This procedure will work with buttoned and OEM pumps.
Start with only the pump you wish to set the address connected. Put any other pumps to one side.
To set the pump Address:
- Connect the single pump to the computer.
- Start SyringePumpPro – it should detect your pump – if not check your cabling.
- You should see a pump appear in the Pump Worksheet – most likely with the address/name of “0”.
- Select that pump in the Pump Worksheet so it is highlighted.
- In the command text box type “*ADRXX”. This tells the pump to set it’s address to #XX. There must not be a pump that is already assigned to address X on the wire.
- You will now see two pumps in the Pump Worksheet. Only the newly set address is valid.
- Exit SyringePumpPro and restart it. Your pump should appear at the new address.
- Repeat until you have readdressed all of your pumps.
- Connect all of your pumps together on your pump network.
- Start SyringePumpPro – all of your pumps should be detected at their new addresses.
- If you see garbled information displayed in any row of the Pump Worksheet – you have an address collision. You will need to choose the offending pump and changes it’s address.
Example Sequence – Adding a new pump to a number of connected pumps
In this example I am assuming that you have say 2 pumps connected and functioning, and you have a new third pump to add.
- Disconnect the new pump’s data cable
- Run SyringePumpPro
- Check that your pumps are detected and record the addresses they are using – I would expect 0 and 1
- Close SyringePumpPro
- Connect the new pump as a single pump – take the computer lead from your first pump and connect it to the new pump.
- Start SyringePumpPro – and see the the new pump is detected – and probably has an address of 0.
- Read the instructions on this page and follow them with only the new pump connected to your computer.
- Set the new pumps address to 1 more than the largest in step 3 ( probably address 2)
- Close SyringePumpPro
- connect all three pumps
- Run SyringePumpPro – 3 pumps detected?
It is possible to connect as many pumps as you wish and set all of them to a single address. I use this ability from time to time.
If you enter a command using * or star addressing all connected pumps will accept the address change. The command *ADR4 will cause ALL connected pumps to take the address 4. Which means that your next step is to disconnect all but one pump and manually set the pumps address using the command
where # is the pump address from 0 to 99.
If you have got a pump and a PC you will need cables to connect them. Have you got cables?
A lot of folks either expect the cables to come with a new pump or they have come to a place where the cables have been lost – I mean put in a special place for safety :-}
This page will take you to other pages which will help you get cables through purchasing information or DIY cables information.
PS If you are trialing SyringePumpPro, dont worry! Relax the trial period starts after your first pump is detected.
Where to buy cables?
The quick answer is from your pump distributor. Find your pump distributor.
Hey tell ’em SyringePumpPro sent you.
Don’t know what to order?
Thinking of simply buying some generic RS-232 cables?
Don’t. Take care I regularly see folks struggling with bought cables and then purchasing the pump manufacturer cables in the end. I have photos of a the handy-work of one frustrated general serial cable purchaser – it reveals hacksaw cutting on a cable end – ugly!
Bought cables are inexpensive and will save you time, simply because they will work properly and leave you in no doubt that the cables are the correct ones.
However a lot of people like to build their own. Here’s how…
What are all the different cables/ what are they used for?
Do you need a power supply for your pump?
Often pumps and the computer controlling them need to be separated by some distance. This is found in a lot of applications where operator safety is a concern and the operators have to be remotely located.
The standard RS-232 connection trades communication rates for length of cable. The RS-232 connection is technically capable of 50ft, but that’s with one device and low baud rates. SyringePumpPro will operate at low bauds rates – but it’s painful watching the data update slowly. Pumps come from the factory set to 19200 baud. As soon as you have more than one pump and a reasonable amount of traffic on the wire – your 50 ft starts shortening.
The pump manufacturer offers 2 lengths of cables – 7ft (2.1meters) and 25ft (7.6 meters). If you only have the one pump you could try making your own cables and seeing what happens.
If your working in an electrically noisy environment – this will affect the length of your possible cables. Electrically noisy? Factories, heavy machinery, lots of electrical and electronic gear in the area, all of these will have an effect.
What about wireless?
Everything is wireless these days. So why not pumps? I have a pair of wireless RS-232 adapters here which I have spent some time testing. In the beginning with a single pump connected every thing seems to set up and connect. But once you have say 6 pumps and hit the Run button – the delay with the RS232 over wireless starts causing problems.
Commands sent to pumps don’t arrive at the time intended and neither do the replies. It’s like you and a friend taking a series of questions and answers and randomly shouting them across a paddock at each other. – If you have more than one pump, then think of more than one friend.
It can work – but it’s not reliable. There are some communications settings you can tune in SyringePumpPro designed to help make this work. Contact me and I will help you with those settings.
One pump seems possible, but I don’t want to encourage you to rush out and use these things.
I did have a customer attempt to wireless-ly connect with one of these Wireless RS232 devices. Her pump was in a sealed glove box that was filled with nitrogen – to stop the experiment bursting into flames. In the end the wireless connection sort of worked – but wasn’t considered reliable enough considering the possible fire danger caused by unpredictable pump operations, generating the need to constantly open and close the glove box.
Solution – a rubber gasket and a wired trapped under the closed glove box door. Reliable pump operations and safe operator.
RS232 range extension tricks
And here’s a couple of tricks to squeeze some more range out of RS232:
- Make yourself a longer cable and try it first.
- Try shielding your longer cable with braid that is earthed to the pump chassis and your computer chassis. This will really help exclude electrical noise. You will need a copper braid that can open up and pass the connectors through.
- It’s worth making sure you route your cable as far away from other electrical devices as possible.
- Try to locate an interfering machine by turning electrical items off and testing your pump connection. If your lucky and it does happen, you might find a device you can simply leave turned off.
- Slower baud will give some extra noise resistance. Setting your pump and SyringePumpPro to 9600 baud will give you much slower updates in my software – which can get frustrating to operate because of the delay. If your only using a single pump – this might be quite satisfactory, after all if you need the separation between pump and PC – you really need it.
- Get a long USB extension lead and put it on the USB-RS232 adapter first – that will easily and cheaply buy you a couple more meters.
The Best Extension Trick I Know
Now for my all time favorite range extension trick – use the remote desktop facility in your computer’s operating system to control the pump connected computer from anywhere – in the world!
What cables and things do your need to connect your pumps to your computer? Here’s the items you need.
When one or more pumps are connected to your computer, we refer to the interconnecting cabling and USB-RS232 adapter as a pump network.
- Are you trying to figure out what cables you need to connect your pumps to your PC?
- Are you looking to make your own pump cables?
- Are you an electro spinner or electro sprayer? See my post on High Voltage setups.
- Want to buy cables but don’t know where?
What parts do you need to build your pump network?
Study this diagram:
- If you have a single pump, you only need the parts from the computer to the first pump. CBL-USB232 and a CBL-PC-PUMP-7
- If you have multiple pumps, you need to buy all the parts up to the first pump and then a CBL-NET-7 Pump-to-Pump Secondary Network Cable for the number of pumps you have minus 1. You already have connected the first pump with the CBL-NET-7.
- Remember you can mix models and brands of compatible pumps.
Print this diagram for reference whilst you order cables and leave it with your pumps as documentation on how to make your pump network.
Table of Cables
RS-232 to USB Converter
Pump-to-PC RS-232 Primary Network Cable
CBL-PC-PUMP-7 (7 ft. cable)
CBL-PC-PUMP-25 (25 ft. cable)
Where to Buy Cables?
These parts are available from your pump distributor. If you don’t know who your distributor is you can search our distributors by country they serve here. Or you can go to the manufacturer New Era Pump Systems cables page and then on to their order form.
Do you have a CBL-DUAL-3?
There are several cables that go with your pumps. The following table is a list of all the cables, their part numbers and their description and usage.
- Are you looking to make your own pump cables?
- Are you trying to figure out what cables you need to connect your pumps to your PC?
- Are you an electo spinner or electro sprayer. See my post on High Voltage setups.
|This is a pump synchronization cable. For use with two pumps only.|
You can use with your own custom pump programs to start and stop another pump
CBL-PC-PUMP-7 (7 ft. cable)
CBL-PC-PUMP-25 (25 ft. cable)
|Used to connect from a USB-RS232 adapter to the first pump in your pump network.|
Pump-to-Pump Secondary Network Cable
|Used to connect second pump and subsequent pumps in a pump network.|
RS-232 to USB Converter
|Connects to your PC via USB and provides modern reliable 9 pin RS232 port with buffering.|
Need your pumps and PC separated by more than 25ft (7.6m)? Thinking of MRI users in particular.
I am often asked
- Can you connect more than one pump?
- Can you mix manufacturers?
- Can you mix pump models?
- Can you mix syringe with peristaltic pumps?
Can you connect more than one pump at a time?
This photo is my answer – yes up to 100 pumps at the same time. There’s only 32 pumps connected in this photo. There is two sets of pumps arranged on the bench as a pair of prototypes of a new device – controlled by a single SyringePumpPro installation. (Update This device has moved on to the manufacture phase)
Can you mix pumps – brands, models and pump type – syringe and peristaltic?
Yes, Yes and Yes you can! Up to 100 pumps, any quantity of syringe or peristaltic and any number of models. If it’s on the compatible list – you can connect it. The limit of 100 pumps is a protocol/hardware limit, not a SyringePumpPro limit.
How do you do it?
Last thing to know – the trial version of SyringePumpPro will detect all correctly connected and configured pumps – FREE – FOREVER! So you don’t have to purchase a license until you know everything is working.
I get asked this regularly – can you mix and match pump models, and manufacturers.
Yes. I do it every day. My pumps have come from all over, they are a wide range of ages – thus software versions in the pump – and I make a point of testing SyringePumpPro with a mix of models and manufacturers. I change them mix of pumps I test with every few weeks.
Let’s talk for a moment about how the pumps are connected. An understanding of this will help you diagnose communications problems with your pumps.
The pumps are connected in a daisy chain to form a network. Each pump listens to all of the commands sent down the wire. All pumps see all the commands at the same time.
Pump network diagram
The pumps only obey commands after they have ‘heard’ their address number come down the line. There is a special address ‘*’ which all pumps obey.
This means that all pumps on a network MUST :
- Be set to the same communications parameters in order for the commands to travel down the network and be understood by all the pumps.
- Be connected into the daisy chain correctly and securely to participate in the network.
- Be set to a unique address. Two pumps set to the same address will answer commands at the same time and cause communications to become garbled for all pumps on the network.
|Location of RS232 connectors on pump rear – NOT the db9 connector|
Communications Check List
Here are the things that you need to do in order to have a pump communicate.
- Configure SyringePumpPro with the correct communications port, See Determining the Com Port
- Configure SyringePumpPro to communicate at the correct baud rate
- Pump needs to be connected with the correct cable, to the correct port on your computer,
- Pump needs to be turned on.
- Each pump in the network needs to be set at a unique pump address (if it is connected with other pumps). All pumps are shipped from the factory set to address 0.
- Pump and SyringePumpPro need to be talking in the same mode – use Basic
- There must be a pump configured with the address 0.
- All pumps on a network/port MUST be set to the same baud in order to work correctly.
- Pumps will be discovered in numerical order of their configured network address.
- Pumps configured with an identical address to another pump on the network will not be detected and will lead to communication problems with all pumps on the network.
Had a report recently from a customer who said my software constantly crashed. My software shouldn’t’ crash – ever but there will be problems from time to time – I can’t test everything. When I learn of crash behavior – I test and try to duplicate and then resolve the problem.
I asked the customer for a photo to check the cable hook up and some other diagnostic information. He very kindly and quickly got back to me with the items I requested.
There in one of the photos was the rear panel of the pump, with the data cable to his communications port connected to the pumps’ input/output port and NOT the RS232 port of the pump.
I admit I don’t test my software for what it does when the cabling isn’t correct.
This isn’t the first time someone has used the DB9 for communications.
I think the reason is simple – folks with a bit of experience of computers and equipment got used to the DB9 connector as being a communications port in the past.
Sadly, I don’t have access to the customer’s setup, so I can’t test that cable and see if my software crashes because of this hook up – I can’t imagine why it would – but I guess it depends a lot on the signals that were being passed into the communications port.
Update: Customer got the correct cable from his supplier and SyringePumpPro started working immediately!
TTL Pin Out
Can you use wireless RS232 devices to connect to your pumps over greater distances or into areas where it’s difficult to run wiring?
Yes – but there are problems. I have another post How Far Away Can Pumps Be From the Computer. There’s a lot more about wireless issues and some other solutions to the distance issue.
If one of your pumps is configured to be the master pump in a Special Application:Continuous Infusion/Dual Syringe Pump System it wont communicate with SyringePumpPro.
This is because the master pump takes control of the serial connection to the slave pump via a special synchronization cable CBL-DUAL-3. This is intended for situations where the pumps are not going to be used with SyringePumpPro.
If you purchased a dual pump set and you wish to use SyringePumpPro to control both pumps, you need to:
- Disconnect the special dual pump communications cable from both pumps.
- Reset the pump that’s configured to the be master pump – this removes the special communications configuration and returns it to standard.
- Use the standard pump communications cables see this diagram
But how do you retain the dual pump / continuous infusion function?
Use the ttl pump synchronization cable CBL-TTL-1, and code your synchronization into your pump program. This way you get full control of the pumps and SyringePumpPro helping you to monitor and program your pumps.
- The physical cables connecting your computer and the pumps and
- The logical addressing of each pump on the network.
Pump Network Diagram
First thing is to get an over view of how the pumps and computer are physically connected together. This diagram shows you the parts you need to connect 1 or more pumps to your computer.
These parts are available from your pump distributor. They are:
Connecting The Cables
The blue arrow in this picture shows where the two rs232 communications connections are made. RS232 connections go here – not the db9 connector. The D connector to the right is not used for communications – it is the digital input/output port. There are two square holes in the black recess. The hole on the left (viewed from the rear of the pump) labeled To Network is the connection to the next pump in the network and the hole on the right is to connect to the computer or the next pump on the daisy chain closest (electrically) to the computer.
Cabling – First pump
Connect your computer’s COM port or the computer’s connected USB-RS232 adapter to the ‘To Computer’ socket.
Cabling – Second and subsequent pumps.
Connect the network socket of the first pump to the computer socket of the second pump. Connect a new cable into the network socket and then to the next pump’s computer socket. Keep going till you have connected all of your pumps. The last pump should only have one cable in the computer socket.
Now you will need to think about pump addressing. Each pump has to be set to a unique address number (0 through 99) so that it can be differentiated from the others and so it knows which commands are intended for it. The easiest way to do that is to set each pump up individually. Every pump comes set to a factory default address 0 (zero) – so the easiest thing to do is to connect each pump individually to your computer as the only connected pump and set its address. When all pumps have been assigned an address, then they can be connected to the rest of the pump network. SyringePumpPro supports you assigning any address from 0-99, the pumps can be non sequentially addressed and you do not have to have a pump at address 0. The only thing you cannot do is have two pumps set to the same address. Network hookup
Your working with your pumps and everything seems fine. Suddenly or the next day you suddenly lost pump connections, What should you try? What’s likely to be the problem?
Check the Cabling – Power and Data
The first thing to do is to carefully check the wiring. It’s amazing how many of our communication problems in the end turn out to be a wire or plug related issue and not a pump or SyringePumpPro issue. Look for physical damage to the cables and to the connector/cables. Unplug and replug each pump.
Second close SyringePumpPro and then restart it again, open the serial port/network – select Discover all pumps from the menu. It should find the pump.
Alternatively, if you know the pump number you can query it or send commands to it using its address in the command window. For a pump at address 5 the command you would try is 5VER then click send.
Use the Diagnostic Buttons
SyringePumpPro has some communications diagnostics buttons Cable Test and Burst. The cable test button will make all connected pumps beep every few seconds until you turn it off.
If you become desperate enough you can reset the pumps and start setting everything up again. But I would recommend against it. Something has changed and you need to find it.
Most importantly Contact me and I will help you sort it out.
This page will show you how to find the com port number of your USB-RS232 device
|To get your USB-RS232 adaptor working with SyringePumpPro you need to configure the correct com port in the drop down box.|
Different manufacturers USB-RS232 devices and their driver software configure on a range of com ports. They can sometimes change com port when they are inserted or re-inserted.
|You will now need to determine what communications port has been assigned to the device. To do this:||Download WhatComPort and just get the answer!|
|Open an Explorer Window. Use the Windows Key (between Ctrl and ALT) and press E.|
Right click on the grey area and a menu will appear.
|Select Properties at the bottom – left click it.|
|The System Properties Window will appear.|
Up the top of the Window left click on the Hardware Tab
|Click on the plus sign next to the label Ports (COM & LPT)|
|You can see my ATEN device listed here.|
You can see that it says this one is configured on COM6, so you would set the port number in SyringePumpPro to 6.
The log file shows repeated entries like this
Failed to open serial port , .COM1 , Error code: 2 — The system cannot find the file specified.
This entry is made by SyringePumpPro when attempts are made to connect a pump network on a communications port where that doesn’t exist. IE In this case there is no COM1 on your computer.
If you are using a USB-RS232 convertor then your should follow these instructions to identify the port, Please note that unplugging and repluging in the USB-RS232 adaptor can often cause Windows to assign it to a different COM port.
If you are having trouble making a connection to your pumps, here’s a quick list of things to check.
DON’T REINSTALL SyringePumpPro. Software reinstallation is most unlikely to fix your problem unless the installation has become corrupted.
- The pump(s) – powered on (Sorry – it happens) and connections secure?
- The cabling – plugs fully inserted – no damage to the wiring?
- The correct network cabling has been established.
- USB-RS232 inserted fully, driver sofware loaded, Check what com port it is on – this is the com port you need to use in SyringePumpPro
- Reboot Windows. Windows sometimes just needs to reboot.
Still nothing? – let’s dig a little deeper…
- What COM port is the pump connected to?
- In the configuration menu, what COM port is listed? (from the main menu – “Pump Network” | Configuration – then check the COM port list box.
- If you are using a USB-RS232 (they are prefered) you might need help determining which com port your adaptor is assigned. Here’s how to find out.
- What baud rates are the pump and com port set on? Use your pump manually to query the pump from it’s control panel, and check this against the settings in SyringePumpPro.
- What pump number is your pump programmed to? (00, 01, etc) (Placing the asterisk symbol (*) before any command will over-ride the pump address and allow you to communicate with a pump without knowing its address. To reset the pump address to 0, use the following command: *ADR0
- Is your computer able to see other pumps on the COM port?
- If you are using a USB-RS232 convertor- have you installed the driver software correctly? Follow the manufacturers instructions. Unplug/Replug the device to trigger final driver installation.
NOTE: The trial version will detect and control one pump until the trial period expires..
If you still don’t have any communication with one or more pumps, it’s time to consider that a connecting wire or your USB-RS232 has failed. Also, you can check this article for more troubleshooting techniques.
The one that always works with pumps is this one known by distributors as CBL-USB232
The one I personally use and love is the one from Plugable. It’s worked with me developing SyringePumpPro for the last 5? years oh yeah – it’s compatible.
You can purchase these from almost any local computer or office supplies store. Mostly they will work fine.
Generally most if not all of the USB-RS232 adapters will work.
- Not all of these devices are of equal quality.
- A cheaper device might cause problems with high serial traffic volume. SyringePumpPro with a single pump connected might work fine but with 5 pumps connected it can become unreliable or fail to cope.
- I have found that these devices can stop working in the event of power disruptions. They simply die for no apparent reason.
- These adapters have a tiny computer in them and they do fail from time to time. However interconnection cables are more likely to fail than the USB-RS232 adapters. Before deciding you need a new USB-RS232 device try disconnecting it from everything for a few minutes for them to completely power down. You can get lucky and have them start working again.
- Driver software can be an issue with some adapters. Often they will ship with old driver disks, you should go to the manufacturers website and update to the latest drivers.
- Some time ago there was an issue with clone devices and Windows delibrately blocked the clones from installing drivers. So if you grab an old one from a drawer that used to work – it might not anymore.
Order it with your pump or buy the plugable.
I am having trouble connecting to my pump. I do see the occasional situation arise like this, and they all end up working.
Try this simple troubleshooting procedure:
|1. Disconnect the pump from the computer, and it’s power source|
|2. Remove the usb rs232 device from the computer – if your using one – you should be.|
|3. Shut the computer down|
|4. If you feel the need open a window and yell|
|5. It’s important that you take a several minute break here – because it takes some of those USB rs232 devices a few minutes to power down properly. Coffee break!|
Take a deep breath and:
- Forget that it was working
- Forget what you have done
- Adopt the artificial point of view that this is the first time you have connected the pump and the computer.
I say this because most of these scenarios seem to include folks saying but I did ….. and in the end clearly they cant have done ….. or it would have worked. It’s a mental block that the hardware doesn’t share with us humans.
Ok – let the rebuild begin.
|1. Power up the pump with power only connected,.|
|2. Issue a reset command to the pump. How to reset your pump.|
|3. Fire up the computer.|
|4. Plug in the USB rs232 device keep an eye out for Windows saying it has detected the hardware (try using a different USB port – it can help – it shouldn’t make a difference – but it does)|
|5. Inspect the pump communications cable carefully – these seem to become unreliable. Some cables are not wired correctly – try to compare the colors and the connections in both of your cables. Wouldn’t be the first time some has bought a new cable and it’s wired wrong for our application, and at the same time the original cable is faulty.|
|6. Connect the cable between the pump and the USB rs232 adapter. Make sure you connect to the socket marked computer on the pump’s rear panel.|
|7. Fire up SyringePumpPro…. it should connect automatically at this point. If it doesn’t you can try the Pump Network -> Discover Pumps – but I suspect that wont work. But I would like to be told I am wrong. 🙂|
If this hasn’t worked you really should contact me and let me help you work this out
Other things to try:
Sometimes it’s a hardware failure with the USBRS232 device, but most often it’s the cable to the pumps or um…. operator being all thumbs. 🙂
- The most common problem is that the wires/cables/connectors are bad or not making good contact. Please check all the cables and connectors.
- If you are using a USB to rs232 device, ensure that the driver is installed on your computer, then restart the program.
- Make sure your pump (or one pump on the pump “network”) is set to address 0. (This is set as the default from the factory)
- Ensure that the pump baud and the program baud rates are the same
- If you have more than one pump on the network, please ensure only one has address 0. It would be better to connect only one pump initially and get that working.
- Will reinstalling SyringePumpPro resolve my issue? No probably not. It won’t hurt anything if you try this, but I have not had anyone fix and installation. You won’t need a new license key either.