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Axcent3 Pro Help

OK, I know the easy answer is insert dynamite, light fuse, enjoy show, but having an issue and am completely stumped.

We have an axcent 3 pro that runs our schools challenger learning center. Yesterday something went haywire in the system and it wouldn't control any RS-232 devices. We have since:

Rebooted system
Reloaded programming
Replaced Controller and loaded original programming on the backup controller
Loaded another program on the backup controller and touch panel
Disconnected all devices and loaded working program on controller and TP

And still, every unit, no RS-232 activity. Oh yeah, and I made sure the firmware was the last release.

The next thing I am thinking is resetting the Axcent 3 to factory defaults. Does anyone know if there is a way to completely reset it? Or have any other ideas, besides the dynamite?

Thanks for reading.


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    ColinColin Posts: 51
    No RS232

    If you have loaded onto another "back up" controller and presuming your baud rate settings are correct then it would appear that the devices or cables have a fault


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    viningvining Posts: 4,368
    In a situation like this with multiple devices not communicating I'd look first at the common denominator which would be the controller. Of course it's possible the cables all run through a common point where a big rat lives and it ate through the cables so I would pull at least one cable off the controller, connect your laptop and verify the cable and end device using terminal. It one works I'd assume they all work and I'd go back to scratching my head trying to figure out why 2 controllers don't work and what else could be the common denominator if not the controller or program.
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    TurnipTruckTurnipTruck Posts: 1,485
    The closest to a factory default that I know of is to send 'Clear Program' via a terminal session.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I317 using Tapatalk 2
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    AuserAuser Posts: 506
    I certainly wouldn't be ruling out hardware failure given the age of both devices. We know that the serial transceiver circuitry on the later Netlinx series controllers are exhibiting a high failure rate now and the Axcent 3 series devices are all 7 or more years old at this point.

    The two questions I would be asking is:

    - What has changed? If a factor influencing the system has changed recently (which may be seemingly unrelated) then there's a good chance that that is causing the issue.

    - What voltage is measured across the power supply terminal while plugged into the frame. If it's lower than 12V then I'd be trying a new power supply.

    - What voltage can be measured between the TX pin and ground on one of the serial ports? If there is less than 3V across these pins then the line driver circuitry may have failed.

    - Is the keypad/touch panel online with the control system? Just because buttons are being pressed doesn't mean that the control system is seeing the events...
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    viningvining Posts: 4,368
    Another thing you could try is removing all the serial connnections and then try each one seperately with no other ones connected. I don't know how these boxes are designed but it may be that a short on one cable or one faulty end device is bringing down the entire serial bus.
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    HedbergHedberg Posts: 671
    It's pretty hard to trouble shoot this problem with the information given. We don't know what the controllers are doing, what lights are flashing, what the status of the power supply is, what the program looks like with respect to SET BAUD, RXON, etc. The Axcent Pro has some card slots in it. We don't know if the serial ports that have a problem are the built in ports or the ports on cards in the card slots.

    Anybody trouble shooting this thing needs to get hold of "Open Access" software from the AMX website. You can't get diagnostics on an Axcent through Studio -- Open Axcess will provide diagnostics. The console can be used, but the diagnostic software makes things easier.

    Need to verify the Axlink bus. First indication is that if everything is wonderful the green Axlink light will be blinking like a heartbeat. If it is flashing but not with a steady interval (like two flashes and then a pause, etc) there is probably a device in the program which is not actually connected. This is a feature that is not included in Netlinx boxes. If the Axlink light is solid and non blinking, or doesn't blink at all, there's a problem either with the wiring of the bus or with the controller. All devices in an Axcent are on the Axlink bus -- if the bus is shorted , it will kill everything.

    If the bus and controller appear to be working, then troubleshooting serial ports is the SOS. Is the transmit light blinking? Is it wired correctly? Are the baud settings proper? If pins 2 and 3 are shorted does the controller perceive a return signal (use open Access to see).

    The old Axcent3 and Axcent3 Pro boxes are pretty robust and didn't have a high failure rate, as far as I know. It seems unlikely that there would be two crapped out boxes, though not impossible, of course. If the first controller blew up, it seems likely that getting the replacement to work may be a setup problem with the serial ports, etc. Or, it could be a power supply problem. The power supply needs to be providing at least 12v to the controller with everything plugged in. Unloaded, the supply should be providing 13 to 14vdc. Checking the idle voltage on the serial ports is also a good idea. I don't recall what was typical for an Axcent3, but RS232 standard says from -5vdc to -15vdc and I've never measured a working AMX serial port that wasn't comfortably in that range.
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