Hidden Hidden Hidden Hidden


Things to Try

  1. CAUTION: If one physically attaches instruNet devices while power is applied, it is possible for the incorrect voltages to be applied to the circuitry for very short periods of time, causing damage. Also, plugging non-instruNet equipment into instruNet Db25 Connectors can cause damage.
  2. If an i2x0 Controller is not seen by instruNet software, click here.
  3. If an i4xx Card or i4xx Card Cage is not seen by instruNet software, click here.
  4. Power the computer Off and then On, and note that only one instruNet program can run at a time.
  5. Upgrade to the latest iNet32.dll, per the instructions here (this is free).
  6. Make sure the DB25 cables are secured properly to their mating connectors.
  7. Make sure the instruNet DB25 Terminator is installed, as described here.
  8. If you consistently or erradically receive an i100 "Vout ... " error alert when the instruNet software starts up, then the i100 is trying to move the Vout channel to -5V, 0V and +5V; and then read it back with the a/d to calibrate the d/a that drives the vout channel. Having trouble here means the Vout channel is broken, or it is excessively loaded resistively or capacitively:

    A. Vout is Broken
    To see if a Vout channel is broken, disconnect the wire to that channel (or attach a 10K resistor from that channel to GND) and if the alert continues, the i100 output amplifier IC is broken (one 0.05" pitch between leads surface mount IC on the pcb) and in need of replacing. These IC's are 5cm from the Ch24 Vout screw and are available from www.digikey.com.

    i100 and i100B Vout Ch3/6/9/12: U62, TLC274CD
    i100 and i100B Vout Ch15/18/21/24: U63, TLC274CD
    i100HC Vout Ch3/6/9/12: U62, LT1356cs
    i100HC Vout Ch15/18/21/24: U63, LT1356cs

    B. Vout is Excessively Loaded
    In this case the excessive loading may only be occuring during calibration, in which case, turning off vout calibration will solve your problem at the expense of loosing ±40mV of Vout output accuracy. In most cases, the ±40mV is not an issue since the a/d is used to readback the Vout voltage very accurately, and it is the readback voltage that is used to calculate sensor values. To see if turning off vout calibration fixes your problem, try it and if your measurement is correct w/o error alerts, then you fixed it!
  9. Check +5V/+12V/-12V power supply voltages at the instruNet device screw terminals with a handheld volt meter. Place meter leads between GND and 5/12/-12V screw terminals to measure each of these 3 voltages. You should see at least 4.5V, and ±11V. Typically, power comes from the i200 PCI card directly, or from an external power supply if working with the i230 or i240. If you don't see power, please see Cabling and make sure you are connecting power to your i100 boxes. Also, if you are working with i100 or i200 hardware manufactured before January of 1998, please click here.
  10. Try another DB25 male to DB25 female cable. These are 25 wire pin N to pin N cables (where N varies from 1 to 25), available from most computer stores.
  11. Try the i100 box with another computer or another i2x0 controller, or try another i100 box to determine if the problem is the computer, i2x0 controller, or i100 box.
  12. To identify if this is related to a buggy mechanical connection within wiring/cables: Run instruNet World, press the TEST tab at the bottom of the window, press the BIG TEST button to test continuously until you mouse down or an error is seen (in which case, an alert appears), and then pull / wiggle wires and connectors while looking for that alert. If poking at a specific place consistently produces an alert, you have a bad connection at that place.
  13. To identify if this is related to temperature (heat expands materials causing buggy connections to be Intermittent), blow heat or cold (e.g. hair dryer, heat gun, place in fridge for 20 minutes, cold spray), while running Big Test (described above) and looking for an alert.
  14. The instruNet chain involves 25 wires which travel from the controller card to the terminator at the end of the chain. These are straight thru on all connector pins, except for pins 7 and 20. In other words, one can use an ohm meter to see close to < 1 ohm between pin X at the male DB25 connector that attaches to the i2x0 controller card, and pin X at the female DB25 outgoing connector at the last instruNet box (except for pins 7 and 20). Therefore, one can check their cable with an ohm meter. If < 1 ohm is not seen on a pin (other than 7 and 20), there is a problem. If one wiggles the wires/connectors and a resistance fluctates, there is a problem.
  15. If your instruNet Db25 cable is long (e.g. > 50meters), try removing terminator (which might excessively load down data signals).
  16. If your network appears to have an intermittant problem, then one can debug the cable chain with an ohm meter, as described here.
  17. If you have multiple instruNet devices with > 30 meters between each, and far devices are not seen by computer, then upgrade to iNet32.dll version ≥
  18. If you have many i100 boxes (e.g. > 4) attached to one i2x0 controller, and these i100 boxes are physically close to each other, consider placing a 0.3meter DB25male-to-DB25female cable between each i100 box, instead of the standard 3meter cable.
  19. Identify which version of instruNet software you are running by selecting "About instruNet" under the Help menu. If you are runnining version ≥ 3.0; then press SCRIPT tab at bottom of window, enter debug cable in text window, press EXECUTE button, and email resulting text to instruNet Supplier. Otherwise, implement the list of steps described here.

Further Reading

Known software problems & bug fixes
Working with i100 and i200 hardware manufactured before January 1998
Debugging Intermittant Db25 Cable Chain with Ohm Meter