Issues with Champ Timer to GPRM v13

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Ryan416
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Issues with Champ Timer to GPRM v13

Post by Ryan416 » Sun Feb 02, 2014 8:47 am

Hi everyone,

As a newbie to the forum, I am hoping someone here has run into this before and can help with a resolution. I am starting here, as I don't think this is a software issue, as I will explain below.

We purchased a new 4 lane BestTrack with Champ timer and GPRM v13 this year. Our Derby was last weekend. We are scheduled to host the District Derby in March, so I am hoping to resolve my issue before that.

We sat up our track two weeks before the derby to check everything out. Timer and GPRM worked flawlessly. We tested the setup two more times to help us understand the scoring, etc. before derby day.

We moved the track to the Derby site and setup. This is where things went down hill. Once setup, the Champ timer would not communicate with the laptop. We tried everything possible and get a communications error stating Timer Communications may have been lost. Our setup came with a USB to Serial adaptor. To eliminate this as a possibility, we tried another laptop that actually had a serial port - communication issue.

We also moved to the Champ Timer setup software to identify if this was an issue with the GPRM software. We found we could only get a forced connection in the Champ Timer software (ie. no communications).

We removed all drivers and software and then reinstalled per instructions. Same issue.

The Champ timer loop worked (starter gate switch to finish line) so we were able to score on points by capturing manually in GPRM the finishing order (always have a backup plan!!).

Afterwards, I tried a different short serial cord I have - same problem.

Anyone run into this? Below is my setup:

Windows 7 Home
Manhattan USB to Serial Cable
GPRM v13
Champ Timer

Any help would be appreciated. I will be contacting the manufacturer this week.

Ryan :thinking:



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gpraceman
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Re: Issues with Champ Timer to GPRM v13

Post by gpraceman » Sun Feb 02, 2014 11:18 am

It was good that you had a backup plan, so you could still run your race. Too many people don't think of those "what if" scenarios.

The majority of the time, a communications issue is related to the drivers for a USB to Serial Adapter. Either the drivers didn't get installed or are not fully compatible with the version of Windows they are running on. Did you download the latest drivers from the Best Track website?

Did you try running the communications tests in the software's help file, in the Troubleshooting section? The Paperclip Test can help you see if the port is working or not.

In a small number of cases, some users report that all is fine with communications until they attach a projector to their computer. I think those cases are due to the computer not having the CPU power and/or RAM to handle the load.


Randy Lisano
Romans 5:8

Awana Grand Prix and Pinewood Derby racing - Where a child, an adult and a small block of wood combine for a lot of fun and memories.

Ryan416
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Location: Wake Forest, NC

Re: Issues with Champ Timer to GPRM v13

Post by Ryan416 » Sun Feb 02, 2014 3:00 pm

Thanks for the quick reply.

Based off of your comments, I did the paperclip test for the serial to USB adapter today. I cannot get the adapter to return the command when I type anything. I used the driver removal program and reinstalled the latest drivers from the website. Still no response on commands.

Out of curiosity, I went to an old desktop PC with serial ports and installed the software on that today (Windows XP). I connected the Champ Timer and got the same communications error with straight serial connection (no adapter).

I tried the paperclip test to the other end of the serial cable after I unplugged it from the Champ Timer. All of my commands were returned. No problem with the Serial cable.

Could it be possible I have two issues here? One with the adapter and one with the Timer itself? Seems rather odd.

:scratching:



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Re: Issues with Champ Timer to GPRM v13

Post by gpraceman » Sun Feb 02, 2014 3:58 pm

Ryan416 wrote:Out of curiosity, I went to an old desktop PC with serial ports and installed the software on that today (Windows XP). I connected the Champ Timer and got the same communications error with straight serial connection (no adapter).
What is the specific error message that you are getting?

You can email your HardwareDebug.log file to me at support@grandprix-software-central.com" target="_blank and I can take a look at it. This file logs all communications between the timer and the software and is located in the Documents\Lisano Enterprises\GrandPrix Race Manager folder.


Randy Lisano
Romans 5:8

Awana Grand Prix and Pinewood Derby racing - Where a child, an adult and a small block of wood combine for a lot of fun and memories.

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