How to troubleshoot NC-3000 and computer connection issues.

Background

When a NucleoCounter NC-3000 and a computer are unable to establish a connection, this can be due to a wide range of issues. Schematically, the connection pathways in the NC-3000 look like (simplified):

So, an NC-3000 instrument that is unable to connect to the attached computer, can be caused by various issues. The issues are interdependent, so that a fault early will trigger faults lower on the list. 

  • Wrong Power supply
  • Wrong Instrument settings files
  • Broken USB port on the computer
  • Broken USB cable
  • Broken USB port on the NC-3000
  • Issues with the USB serial converter driver
  • Issues with the Lumenera camera driver

This guide will describe how to troubleshoot this.

How to troubleshoot connectivity issues.

Background:

When a customer approaches you with this issue. Start by getting hold of the application log “NCPlus_log.txt “. This will enable you to identify the cause.

  1. How to troubleshoot: Wrong power supply

There is a slight chance that they have used an incorrect power supply (e.g. the NC-100 PSU fits). This will give enough power to light up the LED but nothing else.

Identify cause:

  • Get customer to send a picture of the power supply serial number and tech spec.
  • Should have the following specs: 

Input:                100-240V ~1,5A

Output:             24V   3A

Solution

Tell customer to use correct PSU.

  • How to troubleshoot: Wrong Instrument settings files

Identify cause:

Search the NCPlus_log.txt for the string “Polling: No settings file found for instrument” on a day, where the customer had problems.

An example of the search hit is:

Solution

Ask customer to locate the correct USB stick with the NC-3000 software on. Remind that the serial is printed on the back of the stick. If the customer is unable to locate the USB-key, get hold of customer license file, and make new installation package for correct NC-3000 instrument.

  1. How to troubleshoot: Broken USB port on the computer

Identify cause: Search the NCPlus_log.txt for the string “NO DEVICE detected.” on a day, where the customer had problems.

Solution: Connect the NucleoCounter NC-3000 to another USB port on the computer. If this does not work proceed to 4.

  • How to troubleshoot: Broken USB cable, or malfunctioning USB port on NC-3000 

Identify cause: 

Search the NCPlus_log.txt for the string “NO DEVICE detected.” on a day, where the customer had problems.

Ensure the instrument is directly connected to the computer, and not through a USB hub. Troubleshoot by testing if connection is established to instrument (Green LED). Start from the top.

  1. Connect the instrument to another USB port on the computer
  2. Connect the instrument to an alternative computer
  3. Connect instrument with a new USB cable
  4. IF they do not have an alternative computer or cable
    1. Connect the instrument to the computer (they are absent, when the instrument is not connected), Open device manager and look for 
      1. USB serial converter (Located under Universal Serial Bus controllers [Figure 1])
    1. Check Driver: Device status (located under properties)
      1. Should be “The device is working properly”.
      1. If either driver is absent or “shows an error code” (e.g. Figure 2) Go to “How to solve corrupted device drivers“.

Solution

If the issue was solved by:

  1. The issue is most likely a faulty USB port, or a corrupt registry for this port.

2)             The cause is most likely a connectivity issue caused by a corrupted device driver (either the USB serial converter). Go to “How to solve corrupted device drivers“ to solve the issue.

  • Then the USB cable was malfunctioning. Use a new USB cable.

If 1-3 failed, send the instrument for repair (RMA).

How to troubleshoot: Lumenera Camera issues.

Identify cause:

In the NCPlus_log.txt search for the text string “Camera status Error”, on a day the customer had the problem.

An example of a search hit:

This means that the computer is connected to the NC-3000 USB serial converter but cannot connect to the Lumenera camera.

Solution

  1. Connect the instrument to the computer (drivers are absent when the instrument is not connected)
  2. Open device manager
  3. Look for Lumenera camera (Located under Imaging devices). 
    1. Check Driver: Device status (located under properties)
      1. should be “The device is working properly”. -> send instrument for RMA
      1. If either driver is absent or “shows an error code” (e.g. Figure 2) Go to “How to solve corrupted device drivers“. 

How to solve corrupted device drivers

In order to troubleshoot:

  1. Verify that they have the most recent version of NucleoView NC-3000
  2. Update Windows (Check for updates), this ensures that the driver certificates are known. Especially important for Windows 7. 
  3. Uninstall the current version of NucleoView NC-3000
  4. Uninstall malfunctioning drivers via the Device manager (right click on driver, and select uninstall device)
  5. Install NucleoView NC-3000 again
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