Home dbx User Forum dbx Archive Threads Zone Pro 1260/1261 Zone Pro 1260/1261 Connectivity

Unable to Connect via RS-232 or Ethernet

SMDSMD Posts: 8
We experienced very similar problems connecting to a Zone Pro 1260 as the original poster in this thread viewtopic.php?f=40&t=1201, receiving the same exact error message in Vista SP2. However, our situation is a bit more involved since we first tried connecting with a laptop running XP Pro SP3 using both ethernet and RS-232. Before I lay out an enormous amount of detail, I need the answer to a couple of questions, which may allow me to solve the connectivity issue on my own:

1) Does the DBX null modem cable use a proprietary pin-out or will any null modem cable work? (we did not have access to a DBX cable)
2) Is the DBX ethernet crossover cable a proprietary pin-out?
3) If these cables are proprietary, could someone provide the correct pin-out for each?

We experienced a number of connectivity problems with a single Zone Pro 1260 using SW version 2a-1.100, HW version 02. We tried both Zone Pro Designer 3.0 and 2.2 in both Win XP Pro SP3 and Vista, using an ethernet crossover cable (T568A-T568B) and a "standard" Female to Female null modem cable. The unit in question is not connected to a network, so connectivity is needed to flash the firmware and then to make basic software adjustments.

Thanks in advance.


  • DennisDennis Posts: 801
    It's a standard null modem cable. Since most current laptops don't have serial connectors, what adapter are you using?

  • SMDSMD Posts: 8
    edited December 2009
    We aren't using an adapter, although we are very aware of the USB-to-Serial adapter issues with DBX hardware. We tried one laptop running XP Pro SP3 with both RS-232 serial and ethernet and a second laptop running Vista SP2 via ethernet only. Never could get either version of the Designer software to find the ZP 1260 via RS-232 or ethernet on the Win XP machine, and we received the same exact error message as documented in the other thread when attempting to connect via ethernet in Vista.

    I will stand corrected, but my research has revealed there is actually no standard for DB9 null modem cables. We have located at least 3 different pin-outs for null modem cables to this point. Can you shed some light on this?
  • GadgetGadget Posts: 4,915
    The FAQ section has a bunch of different stuff including this:

    Are you using designer GUI 3.0 ... you will need to use the RS232 using the above pin configs to run the GUI... a list of compatible USB to serial converters is available but I personally found an el-cheapo on New egg for $12 and it works fine...


    The Ethernet (J45 protocol) is for zone controllers it looks like...although I'll get tech service to look at this thread also to get a definitive answer...

    Seems to me that the DB9 uses a crossover... here is a document we use to connect the GUI through a snake using XLR connectors..
  • SMDSMD Posts: 8
    We tried versions 3.0 and 2.2 of ZonePRO Designer, with only the latter being compatible with the version 2a-1.100 of the firmware, which is what this unit has currently.

    We had Jason at DBX tech support on the phone while attempting to connect and he indicated that Vista with ethernet was a valid way to interface the unit. Let me clarify some information about our computer setups since it seems like some info is getting lost in translation.

    1) Laptop #1 = Windows XP Pro SP3, RS-232 serial port, ethernet port, with Female to Female DB9 null modem cable and ethernet crossover cable ("A" convention on one end and "B" convention on the other), ZonePRO Designer versions 3.0 and 2.2.

    2) Laptop #2 = Windows Vista SP2, ethernet port, with the same crossover cable, ZonePRO Designer versions 3.0 and 2.2.

    When attempting to connect using RS-232, the "use Ethernet" box was left unchecked. When attempting to connect using ethernet, the "use serialports" box was left unchecked.
  • Hi SMD,

    Only ZonePRO Designer v3.0 is compatible with Vista and Windows 7. Either ZonePRO Designer v2.2 or 3.0 will work on the XP machine however.

    Here are the cable pinouts for null modem and crossover cables.

    dbx Null Modem (female to female 9pin):
    6--Not Connected--6
    9--Not Connected--9

    Crossover (RJ45):

    568A End
    1. White-Green
    2. Green
    3. White-Orange
    4. Blue
    5. White-Blue
    6. Orange
    7. White-Brown
    8. Brown

    568B End
    1. White-Orange
    2. Orange
    3. White-Green
    4. Blue
    5. White-Blue
    6. Green
    7. White-Brown
    8. Brown

    Note: If a cable has 568A color wiring on one end and 568B color coded wiring on the other end, then it's a crossover cable.

    You can find more info on the Ethernet cable wiring protocol here:

    Please see the below videos for information on making a connection to ZonePRO products.

    You can view all ZonePRO Training Modules at this link:

    The version of firmware you have in that ZonePRO (v1.100) has some problems. After you do get connected, you will want to backup your program (please see the below link if you are not familiar with how to do this).

    You will then want to update the firmware to the latest version (currently v1.110) which can be found here:

    Please let me know if you still have problems.
  • SMDSMD Posts: 8
    Thanks for the in-depth reply. Our CAT-5 crossover cable is correct, but I will need to check our NUL modem cable against the pinout you provided to determine exactly where our problem lies.

    At this point we are relegated to using ZonePRO Designer 2.2 because version 3.0 is not compatible with this firmware version (1.100), and we need connectivity in order to update the firmware. So, we will ascertain that we have the correct NUL modem cable and try connecting with the XP machine.

    Because of the holidays, it may take a few days to report back any successes or failures. Thanks for supplying the requested information and thanks for everyone's attempts to help. Merry Christmas to all.
  • Merry Christmas to you as well. :D
  • SMDSMD Posts: 8
    One of our techs was able to connect to the 1260 using the following:

    Win XP SP 3
    RS-232 using DBX proprietary NUL modem cable
    Designer software version 2.2

    He was able to flash the firmware successfully and make required adjustments very quickly. We did discover that there are at least 3 separate pinouts for NUL modem cables. Our advice is to use the cable supplied with the DBX units to avoid the problems we encountered. Had we had a DBX cable from the outset this would have been a piece of cake.

    Thanks to everyone for his or her input in helping us solve this issue. We gained a wealth of knowledge, however, and will pass it along as appropriate.

  • GadgetGadget Posts: 4,915
    If you would like to put that into an article I will post it in the FAQ section... with credit of course.

  • SMDSMD Posts: 8
    I'd be glad to do a concise synopsis. What type of detail do you have in mind?
  • GadgetGadget Posts: 4,915
    Whatever you have that might help others would be great!
  • xyriumxyrium Posts: 30

    You mentioned "but I personally found an el-cheapo on New egg for $12 and it works fine...". Can you send a link to that cable, because I just ordered one (A Sabrent brand from Newegg) and it doesn't seem to work. Aside from this, all of the USB-Serial cables seem to have Male db9 ends, and the DR 260 requires a female. I also noticed a mention of the baud rate requirement being 38k, any other settings? Thanks!
  • Hi xyrium,

    You need to use a null modem cable between the USB to Serial adapter and the DriveRack. Also, you may have to verify the com port assignemnet of the adapter and set your communication port within DriveWare to match this.

    Please see the below link to learn more.

    http://www.dbxpro.com/Training_Modules/ ... Serial.php

    Hope this helps.
  • xyriumxyrium Posts: 30
    Ok, I just realized that the adapter I have is this:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... -_-Product

    which is a null modem adapter. However, when I start driveware, it hangs. I'll verify settings, but I even connected the null modem cable that came with the unit, and that only works when I use it directly between the 260 and my old laptop. Since this 260 is being installed in a fixed installation, that's not really the setup I had in mind.
  • DennisDennis Posts: 801
    I can't remember where to find the specific information, but I believe that Gadget is about to jump in here with info about rolling back the driver of your USB/Serial adapter. It may or may not be your problem but worth checking out.

  • DraDra Posts: 3,777
    Gadget, Is this the one you got? Would it work?
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... -_-Product
    or this one?
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... -_-Product

    What is is about them that makes some work and some not?

  • GadgetGadget Posts: 4,915
    The second one kind of looks like it but I know the one I have (I've had it for a few years now) went up in price to over $20 so.. I'm not sure.. Sorry...
  • mikejoeydbxmikejoeydbx Posts: 134
    Hello All,

    These are the ones we use:
    http://www.usbgear.com/computer_cable_d ... 1009%2C601

    http://www.tripplite.com/en/products/mo ... delID=3914

    I heard this one works as well:
    http://www.cablesunlimited.com/products ... code=I3595

    This one is from the same manufacturer as the one above, but I'm not sure if it works, but it is highly probable that it will:
    http://www.cablesunlimited.com/products ... code=I3274

    Hope this helps.
  • GillyGilly Posts: 1

    Has anybody have a issue where the ZonePRO1260 just doesn't operate the Ethernet Port? Finished pulling programming from 1 and started another and found the ethernet port doesn't wanna even operate. I can't seem to find directions to enable the ethernet port on the front panel of the unit.

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