Testing the COM ports for ActiveHome

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Question

How can I make sure my COM ports are set up correctly for ActiveHome?

Answer

COMTEST will monitor the data sent from the computer interface (CM11A) to the computer. This program runs outside of the Windows environment and is an excellent tool when you are experiencing possible conflicts with other drivers or programs. This is only a test to see which COM port ActiveHome will work with.

Before starting, remove the batteries from the computer interface. Plug your transceiver (the module with the antenna) into the pass-through outlet of the computer interface. Follow these steps:

  1. Place the ActiveHome CDROM in the CD tray.
  2. Autorun will start.
  3. Press EXIT.
  4. Go to My Computer.
  5. Right mouse click on the CDROM icon (it should have the ActiveHome icon).
  6. Select OPEN.
  7. Open UTILS and then COMTEST.
  8. Hold CTRL and drag the COMTEST program icon (not the folder!) to the desktop.
  9. If you do not have the ActiveHome CDROM, go to ftp://ftp.x10.com/pub/applications/activehome/comtest.exe (the address is case sensitive) and download COMTEST to your desktop. It is listed in the Utilities section as DOS TEST UTILITY.
  10. Go to My Computer then open the C drive.
  11. Hold CTRL and drag the COMTEST program icon from the desktop to the C drive.
  12. Click Start, select Run, type cmd, and hit Enter.
  13. The screen should display C:\.
  14. Type COMTEST 1 1 and hit Enter (to test COM port 1)
  15. The screen should turn blue and CM11A should be displayed in the upper right hand corner (if CM11A is not, press F10 until it is).
  16. With a remote, make your transceiver click on/off.
  17. Wait about 5 seconds. If you are using the correct COM port and the hardware is functioning correctly, you should see the screen fill with hexadecimal codes (A4, 3D, 28, CF, etc.) followed by a translation of the code you just transmitted, i.e. A1 A ON. If the codes appear, Com1 is the port you should assign to ActiveHome. If numbers do not display, continue with the next step.
  18. Press the ESC button.
  19. Type COMTEST 2 1 (to test COM port 2).
  20. Go back to step 15.
  21. If necessary, and you know you have COM ports 3 and/or 4, test COM 3 (COMTEST 3 1) and COM 4 (COMTEST 4 1).

If you have tried all four comports and none of them have displayed the hexadecimal codes on the computer screen, there is either a problem with one or more serial connections or the interface is defective. Run a search on you hard drive and/or your Windows CDROM for MSD.EXE (Microsoft Diagnostic). If you can't locate this file, go to www.microsoft.com and run a search for Microsoft Diagnostic. Run this program in MSDOS mode in order to get an accurate diagnostic. This program will tell you what hardware your computer sees versus what you think you have connected. It may display one available serial port when you know you have two, for example. If this is the case, contact your PC support for assistance.