Full Spectrum 40W Hobby Laser from 2011 won't talk to RetinaEngrave software


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Thread: Full Spectrum 40W Hobby Laser from 2011 won't talk to RetinaEngrave software

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    Default Full Spectrum 40W Hobby Laser from 2011 won't talk to RetinaEngrave software

    I have a Full Spectrum Deluxe Hobby Laser from January 2011 with a rev 1.2 c2010 RetinaEngrave USB board. Laser new in box and I just tried to set it up but I can't get RetinaEngrave to connect to it. My guess is that the firmware and desktop software version must match, but Full Spectrum's website only has the very latest software available for download. Maybe the latest software posted on Full Spectrum's website (4.404) is not compatible with the machine's firmware? (Looking through their forum archives, it seems the 3.x software versions were in use in the 2010-2011 time period-- I've been able to find other 4.x versions for download via Google but haven't had any luck with those either).

    When I use this latest software it just says "Attempting to Connect" in the UI and I see the following in c:\output\4.404\debug.txt:
    Hobby 9.5x14
    ConnectRE Loop
    RetinaEngrave.exe Error: 0 : Disconnected from GetStatus due to timeout
    DateTime=2013-12-16T23:49:41.3711743Z
    ConnectRE Loop
    XUSB Connect Failed
    ConnectRE Loop
    XUSB Connect Failed
    ...
    And so on-- it looks like it's looping trying to connect and failing, forever. Tried on Win 7x64 and a Win 8.1 machine with same results with all sorts of network settings (futzing with the firewall, at least according to the log, only seemed to affect the software's ability to get an external IP, contact a time server and look for updates).

    BTW, in case you're wondering why I don't just contact FS Laser, I did but they will not provide me an updated firmware or any other help unless I pay them a few hundred bucks -- I don't want to do that as I haven't been very impressed with them so far.

    OTHER things I've tried:

    I tried using Portmon to sniff COM25 (which the FTDI drivers are using) but there's no traffic at all. I tried connecting to COM25 from Putty to see if it would spit out some diagnostic info on firmware version but I get nothing. The FTDI port is set at 9600,8N1 IIRC in Device Manager.

    Also noticed in the debug.txt that "detailed logging is false" upon startup but I haven't been able to figure out how to enable detailed logging. I tried searching the Windows registry, the various XML config files, and tried a few command line switch guesses-- no luck.

    The machine itself looks to be OK. I get two green LEDs on the power supply, one green led on the USB board. I can test fire the laser and set a piece of paper on fire. The red aiming dot is present and looks in focus.

    Any ideas folks?

    I will likely be able to borrow a Windows XP machine with a parallel port in the next week or two and will try the trial version of Mach 3.


    ----------------------------
    Just for the record, when the firewall is off and I turn off all network interfaces except my wireless, the top of the log looks like this:
    This Retina Engrave executable has run 15 times since 12/15/2013 3:21:48 PM
    IsUpdateAvailable()
    ********************
    binding to 192.168.1.121 retry count: 0
    Logging Started: 12/16/2013 3:49:31 PM
    Detailed logging set to False
    got ext ip response
    ext ip set success= 50.184.73.6
    checking NIST over 192.168.1.121
    binding to 192.168.1.121 retry count: 0
    got NIST time
    internet available check result = True
    ---------------set savedXvalue to 0


    OTHERWISE... I get a bunch of rows like THIS:
    ...
    binding to 192.168.1.121 retry count: 7
    binding to 192.168.1.121 retry count: 8
    binding to 192.168.1.121 retry count: 9
    binding to 192.168.1.121 retry count: 10
    ...

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    try going here and asking FSLUSERS.freeforums.org ? Index page someone there may have a copy of what you need



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    Thanks fixtureman1! Didn't know that forum existed.



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    if you've downloaded the newest version of retina make sure that your setting up for your machine and not the 5 gen. I think if you look in lowewr right hand corner it will say what machine the software is set for if it say gen 5 you have to change it to gen 4.



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    I set it to hobby 14x9. No go

    I got my hands on v4.18 and 4.01 in addition to the latest couple of versions, but it hasn't done any good. The software can't connect.

    I tried removing the print driver several times using "printui" in Windows and then reinstalling but that didn't help either.



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    Registered Bigbird48's Avatar
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    90 % of the time when I try to connect it just sits there and won't connect, I pull the usb out and plug it back in and then it connects, Try that.

    also keep looking at the other fsl forum



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    Bigbird48, well that did produce SOMETHING useful in the log...

    I get the connect loop error with the USB board disconnected. But when I connect the USB, I get this:

    RetinaEngrave.exe Error: 0 : Disconnected from GetStatus due to timeout
    DateTime=2014-01-17T21:19:27.3563663Z

    I can disconnect and reconnect and I get the message again. Now it REALLY seems like the software found the USB board but can't talk to it-- it sends some message, but doesn't get a response.

    v4.18 also "freezes" for a bit every time I plug the board in. It's gotta be that the firmware and software don't match.

    I looked at the last modified dates of the executables in the installer zips to try and determine which version was in use when my laser was built:

    4.404, 5/20/2013
    4.18, 5/2/2012 (firmware updates but only for ProLF)
    4.2, 8/3/2012 (contains firmware updates and a downgrade for 4.01)
    4.173, 2/28/2012 (contains same firmware updates as 4.172)
    4.172, 2/23/2012 (contains firmware updates for hobby and prolf)
    4.01, no date available. This software is really basic and I couldn't even find the log file it generates (if it generates one at all).
    (found later) v3.52, no date available

    By the way, detailed logging can be turned on by going to the menu Options>Log all output. Requires a software restart. Wasn't helpful for my purposes though.

    With v4.172, I get a repeating getStatus timeout error. Since it came with some firmware, I decided, what the hell, lets give it a shot. I chose "Tools>Firmware" and selected the Hobby firmware file that came with the zip. I heard the windows device disconnected/connected sound several times. Then I then disconnected the USB cable and plugged it back in. After a minute I got a modal dialog saying "Firmware update complete".

    The log file didn't look promising, lots of stuff like this:
    RetinaEngrave.exe Error: 0 : No Receive Bytes -> Something Wrong
    DateTime=2014-01-17T21:47:34.4678636Z
    RetinaEngrave.exe Warning: 0 : Reconnect attempt
    DateTime=2014-01-17T21:47:34.4688636Z
    RetinaEngrave.exe Warning: 0 : Cycle Port Success
    DateTime=2014-01-17T21:47:34.4718638Z
    RetinaEngrave.exe Warning: 0 : Reconnect fail
    DateTime=2014-01-17T21:47:35.4729211Z
    RetinaEngrave.exe Error: 0 : Reconnect failure after reload
    DateTime=2014-01-17T21:47:38.4950939Z
    RetinaEngrave.exe Error: 0 : GetRxBytesAvailable ERROR: FT_OTHER_ERROR
    Still not connected. Software and board aren't speaking the same language. Maybe the newer software is smarter about firmware updates and can handle my old board?But actually later versions won't let you load a firmware without a connection it appears. They wont let me choose a file to upload.

    Gotta keep going backwards in versions then!

    After Googling for "RetinaEngrave-3" (seems the format for 3.x filenames was RetinaEngrave-3-XX-OS.exe where OS is WinXP or Vista7), I download v3.52 for Windows XP (note I have Win7, but well, I couldn't find a file for vista).

    I run it and get a bunch of errors from various Windows components like the .net framework during the install. I just cancel out of those and wait for the install of the RetinaEngrave software. Finally that pops up and seems to install, followed by the driver install in a Windows terminal.


    BAM! Connected!!!

    Woot!

    So I'm going to try the laser out before getting cocky and attempting to update the firmware so I can use the 4.xx versions.

    If any of the posters on this thread are ever in San Mateo, CA... PM me I owe you beer

    Shame on you Full Spectrum for being so damn unhelpful and such control freaks.



    FYI-- this was my procedure for REMOVING the printer driver:
    Disconnect the board from USB
    Open up devices and printers
    Right click on the Full Spectrum Engineering Driver and click remove.
    open up a terminal prompt (start>run>cmd.exe)
    type "printui /s /t2"
    Select the Full Spectrum driver and click "remove"
    Select driver and package
    Delete
    Close the Print Server properties window (it won't refresh the list of drivers, have to close it and open again)

    Sometimes I had to try the printui bit twice because the first time Windows would say the driver is in use.

    Edit: found the vista7 version here, http://www.fullspectrumengineering.c...-52-Vista7.exe
    Though of course you need the username/password that came with the printer

    Last edited by hybridmojo; 01-17-2014 at 11:18 PM.


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    It just happens that I bought my FSE 40 watt in Jan 2011.
    At the time, the machines came with Version 3.52 of the software.
    For machines running XP, there was a fairly time consuming set of instructions for modifying some XP files (MS Net for example) and if this was not done, the machine could ot connect. Machines running Vista were ok.
    I spent about an hour installing the modified files and then, and only then, was able to load Version 3.52 of the software.
    It worked fine on my computer but several people on the forum had problems connecting due to EMF interference between the computer and the Retina board over the USB cable.
    FSE gave instructions for building a simple shield for those few people that had the problem.
    My machie ran problem free and about a year later version 4.01 of the software became available.
    FSE warned in big bold letters that before attempting to install 4.01firmware and software, to check the Retina board to see if it had a ATMEL chip and not a different chip.
    Those with ATMEL could proceed, but those with something else had to send their Retina board to FSE for a chip upgrade at $75.
    Attempting to do a firmware upgrade to a non ATMEL board could result in bricking the board and then all that could be done was to buy a new Retina board for $500.
    Mine was an ATMEL so I proceeded and all worked well.
    At the time, upgrades were a two part adventure. First the firmware had to be upgraded, then the Reina software.
    Later, it became a one step operation.

    If you are running XP, download the XP mods from the FSE board and follow the instructions exactly.
    Then install version 3.52. Then you can install the later versions if you have a ATMEL board.
    If not, you will have to live with 3.52 which is very good, but it lacks some of the great FSE Retina features such as pause and cancel and one screen power settings plus a bunch more.

    Dennis



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    Registered Bigbird48's Avatar
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    @hybridmojo
    WOW your up and running that's great, lets hope you can upgrade the firmware and stay running.
    Oh and that beer your offering I might take you up on that offer, if you read the post in the off topic area in the other fsl forum, you'll see one of the things on my bucket list is to ride the pacific coast highway. So keep a cold one in the fridg 4 me LOL



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    Dennis, my board has an xcom chip. Do you know the atmel part number on yours? I can get one from digikey and try flashing their firmware to it if I knew what chip they use..

    This is on mine... [url=http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/XCore_XS1-L1]XCore XS1-L1 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia[/ur]
    edit: actually it's the flash chip that matters... See below
    http://www.fullspectrumengineering.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=1056&start=10

    I have the atmel so I'm good. Thanks for the heads up!



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    Dennis, do you know how to push the new firmware to upgrade to 4.01? 3.52 doesn't seem to have anything in the menu to upload new firmware.

    Looks like I need FSELaserFirmwareUpdate.exe and possibly the firmware file... might already edit: have it

    Last edited by hybridmojo; 01-19-2014 at 08:31 PM.


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    Quote Originally Posted by hybridmojo View Post
    Dennis, do you know how to push the new firmware to upgrade to 4.01? 3.52 doesn't seem to have anything in the menu to upload new firmware.

    Looks like I need FSELaserFirmwareUpdate.exe and possibly the firmware file... might already edit: have it
    I took a look through my old computer files and could not locate Version 4.01.
    There was not much reason to keep older copies in that most updates were not reversible.
    Once you flash to Version 4.01, there is no going back.

    I am not sure when the software went from a two operation install to a one operation install.

    Have you e-mailed FSE support and asked for file?
    Cannot imagine that there is a good reason for them to not provide it.
    But then again, they do work in a mysterious manner.

    Version 3.52 cuts just fine and I have not noticed a big difference in engraving.
    Pause and restart, cancel and return to the home position are the two best features.
    3.52 worked reliably for me.



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Full Spectrum 40W Hobby Laser from 2011 won't talk to RetinaEngrave software

Full Spectrum 40W Hobby Laser from 2011 won't talk to RetinaEngrave software