Bluetooth FAQ: Installing the BluePlug with the Toshiba drivers and Discovering a Firefly, BluePort, or Blueport XP.

Jan 4, 2016 8:48:02 AM / by Brittney Borowicz posted in BluePlug, Blueport XP, Bluetooth, FireFly, General, Technical Support, toshiba, windos

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Browse the Bluetooth CD and navigate to \BU2073J\Toshiba XP,2K,ME,98SE V3.03.06\setup.exe. This will bring up the Toshiba Bluetooth stack for Windows setup screen. Click "Install" Navigate through the prompts, including the EULA. The software will prompt you to insert your Bluetooth device. Insert the BluePlug. Let the software finish installing. When it is done you will be prompted to restart your computer.

After restarting, you should see a Bluetooth icon in your task bar. Double clicking this icon brings you to the "Bluetooth Settings" screen. This is your main point of reference for anything Bluetooth on your computer. The main window displays all of your currently installed remote Bluetooth devices, such as a Firefly or Blueport XP. You can double click on a device pictured in this window to connect to it, or you can view its properties by clicking the detail button. You can also remove and uninstall the device by clicking the delete button.

To install your Firefly, BluePlug, or any other bluetooth device, click on the "New Connection" button. You will be presented with two choices, express mode or custom mode. In custom mode you can change the port number that you will use to connect to your Firefly or Bluetooth device. You will also be prompted to ensure your devices are discoverable. This is important. If you are installing a Firefly or Blueport XP, set the switches on the outside to match the settings below. Make sure the power is off while you do this, and that you turn the power back on after. Switches changed while the power is on will not take effect. The switches are usually labeled. If they are not, consult the manuals on the CD for diagrams.

Factory Defaults: OFF
Baud Rate: 9600
Auto Master: OFF
Auto Discover: ON

Once you have set your device to be discoverable, select either custom or express install and click next. Your BluePlug will begin to search for devices and a list of discovered devices will appear. If you have a Bluetooth enabled phone with its Bluetooth capability turned on and in range, your phone and BluePlug should be discovered by each other as well. Select which device you want to connect to and click next. The BluePlug will attempt to connect to the device. If prompted, enter the passkey 1234 for the Firefly or Blueport XP.

The next screen will prompt you to select which service of the device to use when connecting to a Firefly or Blueport XP. SPP will be the only option and is the serial port profile. Click next.

When in custom mode, you can now select which Com port to assign to the device. Click next. Your setup is now complete.
On the next screen is the opportunity to name the connection to this device and change the icon for it. Make your selections. Congratulations! You're Done! Now you can connect to your Firefly or BluePort in Hyperterminal or the Teraterm emulator included on the CD.

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Bluetooth FAQ: Installing the BluePlug with Windows drivers and Discovering a Firefly, BluePort, or BluePort XP.

Dec 14, 2015 1:45:45 PM / by Brittney Borowicz posted in BluePlug, Blueport XP, Bluetooth, bluetooth network connection, bluetooth network device, bluetooth radios, drivers, FireFly, General, Technical Support, Teraterm Emulator, toshiba, Windows

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On a Windows computer, the BluePlug drivers should install automatically in most cases. If it does not, you can direct Windows to search for the drivers. If this also does not work, use the Toshiba software found on the included CD under\BU2073J\Toshiba XP,2K,ME,98SE V3.03.06\setup.exe and see the instructions below for installing with the Toshiba drivers.

After installing with Windows drivers, confirm that it has installed correctly by making sure the BluePlug is listed in device manager. It should be listed on the top of the installed devices list under the Bluetooth Radios. To discover a Firefly or BluePort XP with your BluePlug, go to start -> control panel -> network connections. Here you should see your "Bluetooth Network Connection". Right click the icon and select "view Bluetooth Network Devices". Click the add button. This will start the "Add Bluetooth Device Wizard". Click "My device is set up and ready to be found". Alternatively, your BluePlug could also appear in your system tray, as a Bluetooth icon. You can right click this icon, and then click "add a Bluetooth device".

Set the switches on the outside of the Firefly or BluePort to match the settings below. Make sure the power is off while you do this, and that you turn the power back on after. Switches changed while the power is on will not take effect.The switches are usually labeled. If they are not, consult the manuals on the CD for diagrams.

Factory Defaults: OFF
Baud Rate: 9600
Auto Master: OFF
Auto Discover: ON

If you have a Bluetooth enabled phone with its Bluetooth capability turned on and in range, your phone and BluePlug should be discovered by each other as well.

Upon discovery of your BluePort or Firefly, there should be a window that tells you the BluePlug has found a device, listed in the form of "Firefly-xxxx", or "BluePort-xxx" where xxxx can be any alphanumeric string. This is the name of the Firefly or BluePort.

If prompted at any time, enter the passkey 1234 to connect. Now the Firefly will be installed on two virtual Com ports on your machine. One will be labeled outgoing, and the other incoming. Connect to the outgoing. Use a terminal emulator, such as Hyperterminal, set to;9600,8,n,1, vt100 to connect to the Firefly or Blueport. You can also use the Teraterm Emulator supplied on the CD located under \Teraterm\setup.exe. When you type data in the terminal window, you should see the amber data light flash on the Firefly or BluePort. This will verify that it is correctly installed and communication to it is occurring.

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Bluetooth FAQ: Bluetooth Product Comparison

Dec 7, 2015 7:41:33 AM / by Brittney Borowicz posted in BLE, BluePlug, Blueport XP, Bluetooth, FireFly, Fireplug, General, Technical Support

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Firefly
The Firefly is a Bluetooth class 1 Serial device with a db9 connector. It has 4 switches on the outside and 10 jumper pins on the inside for configuration. It can be connected to most serial devices and supports RX, TX, RTS, CTS, and GND. Power can come from the serial port, a standard wall adapter, or a usb port. It is available with a male or female DB9 connector.
BluePort XP
The BluePort XP is very much like the Firefly but it has a rechargeable battery. You can get 24 to 30 hours of continuous connection and transfer of data on a single charge. It supports the same serial signals and is configured mostly the same way as the Firefly. Power can come from the internal battery, a wall supply, or a usb port. It is available with a male DB9 connector.
BluePlug
The BluePlug is also a class 1 bluetooth device which attaches to a host computers' USB port. It installs as a bluetooth device and usually installs automatically with Windows. There are drivers on the included CD that will install it as well. Since it needs drivers to run, it cannot be installed on devices that aren't computers or that don't have some means of installing software.
FirePlug
The FirePlug is like the BluePlug, however it installs as a serial port instead of a bluetooth device. It can also be set to pair with another bluetooth device, such as a Firefly or BluePort XP upon power up automatically. There are more features on the FirePlug product page.
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CAN FD – The Next Big (Fast) Thing

Oct 26, 2015 8:52:30 AM / by Brittney Borowicz posted in arbitration process, automotive, automotive industry, CAN, CAN 2.0, CAN FD, CAN protocol, CANbus, CANopen, Classic CAN, DeviceNet, engines, factory automation, Fast Data, Flexible Data, General, Germany, hardware, in-vehicle communication, internal machine communication, ISO 11898, J1939, PEAK, Peak-System, Products, protocol, software, Technical Support, vehicle, White Papers

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The CAN protocol (ISO 11898) has remained relatively unchanged since it was introduced in 1993 as CAN 2.0 A/B. In the last few years, CAN FD (for Flexible Data rate or “Fast Data” as we like to call it) was introduced and is now defined as ISO 11898-1. The CAN FD protocol is backward compatible. Any CAN FD device can understand CAN 2.0 frames (now known as “Classic CAN”). However, the opposite is not true. If a Classic CAN node encounters a CAN FD frame, it will destroy the packet with an error frame.

Classic CAN has been the de facto standard for in-vehicle communication for the automotive industry since the 90s. CAN has also been used as the lower-layer protocol for a number of other “higher-layer” protocols such as CANopen, J1939, DeviceNet and more. This has resulted in the CAN protocol being widely deployed in factory automation, heavy-duty vehicles and engines, and internal machine communication – such as elevators and medical equipment.

The automotive industry is the main driver behind the adaptation of CAN FD. The complexity of software in automobiles has increased over time, and the number of systems that communicate with each other via CAN bus has also increased. Between 1990 and 2000, the number of in-vehicle bus nodes went from about 10 nodes to more than 40 systems. This trend has continued into the 21st century, as in-vehicle communication demands have put further and further strain on vehicle design, causing an ever increasing number of CAN bus networks in the vehicle. Through the adaption of CAN FD, in-vehicle communication architectures will be able to accomplish more with less!

The basic idea of CAN FD is to speed up the bit rate during the “payload” part of a CAN frame. In this way up to 8 times more payload (64 bytes vs. 8 bytes) can be delivered in the same amount of time. So the beginning and end of the frame are transmitted at “Classic CAN” speeds, and the CAN transceivers just flip a switch and speed up for the payload part of the message. When you consider that the rest of the frame is at slower speeds, the overall increase in speed is about 6 times faster. Not all messages need 64 bytes of data of course, so the diagram below shows how a CAN FD message of 8 bits and 64 bytes compare to a Classic CAN frame of 8 bytes.

CANFDdiagram

The question is why didn’t CAN FD just speed up the whole message? Why just the payload? The answer requires a slightly deeper understanding of the CAN protocol. A basic element of the CAN protocol is its arbitration process. When two nodes transmit at the same instant, their messages “collide” and they must both “back-off” and retransmit at different intervals according to priority. Another basic element of the protocol is that nodes on a bus must be reached within a “bit time” during this arbitration. The notion of a “bit time” has implications on the length of the bus – the actual cable, since electrical signals have a finite propagation speed. Therefore, a CAN bus running with 1 Mbit/s has a maximum length of 40 meters by rule of thumb. If CAN FD sped up the whole bus, the higher bit rates would shorten the bus cable to unsuitable lengths.

The automotive industry is readying itself to start initial implementation of CAN FD in its designs for 2016, with vehicles hitting the market with CAN FD hardware the following year. As this industry ramps up and more and more ECU’s (in-vehicle “Electronic Control Units) and sensors and actuators also adapt CAN FD, more companies with ties to automotive (suppliers, service companies, dealers, OEMs, etc.) will need CAN FD-capable interfaces. Luckily, Peak-System from Germany is one of the first companies to introduce a CAN-FD interface, (PCAN-USB-FD), and it has been fully tested to the standard. Additional hardware and software supporting CAN FD are on the way. Grid Connect has Peak’s CAN FD products in stock now – we are ready for the next big (fast) thing!

> Click here to download the complete CAN FD White Paper

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Grid Connect is a Distributor of the Best Networking Products

Sep 21, 2015 8:09:05 AM / by Brittney Borowicz posted in AKCP, ales, ATC, distributor, expert support, General, Grid Connect, High-Flying, inventory, Lantronix, manufacturer, marketings, parners, PEAK, PEAK-System Technik, PROCENTEC, Products, profichip, seminars, Technical Support, tradeshows

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WeAre_Banner_Distributor_2

Grid Connect Inc. carries and distributes only the best networking products from top-tier manufacturers throughout the world. Each device from every manufacturer is thoroughly tested to make sure it meets Grid Connect’s high standards of quality while complimenting our own manufactured products.

A major difference between Grid Connect and our competitors is that we are typically the master distributor or exclusive distributor for the products we sell. For our partners, this means that we do all the work: local inventory, marketing, sales, tradeshows, seminars and full technical support. In all cases, we understand and can skillfully support each product just as well as the manufacturer. As a distributor, it is our goal to provide high quality products and expert support to all of our customers.

Some of our outstanding partner companies with the most superior technology in the marketplace include:


To get a full view of the high quality products we distribute, browse the Grid Connect store now.

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A Quick Rundown of Firefly, Fireplug and Blueport XP

Aug 3, 2015 9:39:46 AM / by Brittney Borowicz posted in Blueport XP, FireFly, Fireplug, General, Products, Tech Support, Technical Support

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Some of our clients have had problems understanding the functionality of our Firefly modules. We want to make sure that our products are used to their full capability so here is a mini users guide to those devices:

  • Switch 1 is used for factory reset. To reset your module to factory settings:
    • Raise switch 1.
    • Power cycle the device
    • Turn off and on twice to factory reset.
  • If you pair two Firefly modules, make sure the master has switches 2 and 3 lifted, and the slave has switch 2 lifted.
    • After the modules have connected, lower switch 2 on both of them and they will auto-lock as a pair.
  • Switch 4 is for baud rate.
    • Having the switch up is 9600 bps.
    • Having the switch down is the custom baud rate.

If you have any other questions about this product, or any of the other products on the Grid Connect website, please contact Matt at +1 (630) 245-1445 or +1 (800) 975-GRID (4743) for USA Toll Free.

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Common Questions about Grid Connect Products

Jul 27, 2015 3:57:46 PM / by Brittney Borowicz posted in CYT-133SC, FAQs, General, Grid Connect, Lantronix, NET232, NET485, Products, Technical Support

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New products can be confusing: directions can sometimes be tricky, or devices may not work the way that they seem. This is why we try to provide as much technical support for our products as possible. We provide clients with the expert support of our engineers to ensure that our products run smoothly in their hands.

Our technical support engineer, Matt, tends to get asked certain questions more often than others. So from time to time, we like to compile these questions for easy access to our customers. Here are a few:

  • I am trying to setup my device using Internet Explorer but it is not working. What can you recommend? Avoid using Internet Explorer to setup devices that use a web configuration page. I recommend Google Chrome.
  • How can I obtain a copy of the product CD for my device?
    All of the CDs we include with our products are available on our website. Visit GridConnect.com, find your product on the website, and the CD as well as other useful materials will be located under "Documentation."

screen_shot_2015-07-28_at_9.07.59_am

  • For the NET232, NET485, NetDirect products, and Lantronix products, where can I find the latest version of Device Installer or Com Port Redirector (CPR)?
    Those are available on the Lantronix website at http://www.lantronix.com/support/downloads/.
  • Where can I find the latest version of VCOM for ATC products? Where can I find the right version for my operating system?
    Those can be found on the product page on the ATC website at http://www.szatc.com/.
  • Where can I find the latest drivers for the PCAN-USB? Where can I find the latest version of PCAN-View?
    All of the software for the PCAN-USB can be found in the PCAN-USB package on the Peak website at http://www.peak-system.com/fileadmin/media/files/usb.zip. All software can be found on the download page at http://www.peak-system.com/Downloads.76.0.html?&L=1.
  • Specific questions for RS232:
    • Why is the signal blocked on my RS232 Module? On the RS232 modules, be sure to use a null modem instead of a gender changer, otherwise it will block the signal.
    • How do I connect my RS485 serial lines to a computer? RS485 requires either an RS485 to USB or RS485 to RS232 adapter to connect to a computer
  • Specific questions for the Chiyu CYT-133SC:
    • Why won't the Peer-to-Peer I/O function work on my device?
      That I/O function requires a firmware update be performed on the CYT-133SC. This can be done pretty easily through the web configuration page. The firmware files and instructions can be obtained by sending an email request tosupport@gridconnect.com or by calling the office.
    • Does each unit control the other in Peer-to-Peer?
      Yes, the I/O control works in both directions.
    • Am I able to transmit serial data in Peer-to-Peermode?

    • Where can I find the latest version of VCOM for my Chiyu device?
      All software and drivers are available from the downloads section of the Chiyu website at http://www.chiyu-t.com.tw/file_list.asp?cat=124.

If you have any other questions about these products, or any of the other products on the Grid Connect website, please contact Matt at +1 (630) 245-1445 or +1 (800) 975-GRID (4743) for USA Toll Free.

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Seats are Limited! New PROFIBUS Troubleshooting Classes Available this July!

Jun 16, 2015 8:28:54 AM / by Brittney Borowicz posted in Atlanta, Chicago, class, ComBricks, Events, General, Grid Connect, grounding, OLMs, oscilloscope, PROFIBUS, PROFIBUS/PROFINET, ProfiCaptain 2, ProfiHub, ProfiTrace, ProfiTrace 2, ProfiTrace 2 Analyzer, RS-485, Scopeware, shielding, Technical Support, topology scan, troubleshooting

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Employee Spotlight: Matt Cote, Technical Support Engineer

Jun 12, 2015 9:10:15 AM / by Brittney Borowicz posted in connectsense, Employee Spotlight, General, GridConnect, Technical Support

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Matt is our technical support engineer here at Grid Connect. He holds a degree in img_0562electronics and computer technology from DeVry University. Matt joined our staff about 14 months ago and fit right in. His knowledge of all things computer technology enables him to answer the variety of questions that he receives about the Grid Connect and
ConnectSense products.

During a typical day, Matt gets into the office at around 8am and starts by going through his emails and technical support cases. Matt spends most of his day taking tech support calls and answering emails with occasional work on RMAs (return merchandise authorizations). He has a proficient knowledge of the ConnectSense sensors, and has been able to help many of our customers resolve their product misunderstandings. “My favorite part of the job is that I get to talk to people from all over the world.” Matt says, “I also get to learn new things about tech from my coworkers at Grid Connect. It’s really cool to be able to interact with all the engineers.” Matt’s dedication to customer service is a great representation of what it means to be a part of the Grid Connect team.

            Matt enjoys playing guitar, building custom guitar pedals and hanging out with his two children, Riley (9) and Layne (6).

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Grid Connect Inc. Selected as Exclusive North American Distributor of High-Flying Products

Mar 20, 2014 8:26:56 AM / by Brittney Borowicz posted in Canada, China, consumer electronics, custom engineering, engineer, firmware, General, government, Grid Connect, High-Flying, Industrial, internet, Mexico, networking, North America, Press Releases, product engineering, Products, smart home, smart metering, Technical Support, technology, Wi-Fi modules, Wireless

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NAPERVILLE, IL--(Mar 20, 2014) - Grid Connect (www.gridconnect.com), a distributor and manufacturer of networking technology, has been named the exclusive North American distributor of High-Flying products, a line of low power Wi-Fi modules that enable devices to connect to the Internet.

High-Flying Electronics Technology Corporation (www.hi-flying.com), based in China, is a leader in Internet of Things enabling solutions. High-Flying products are used in industrial, smart metering, smart home, government, consumer and education markets.

As the North American distributor, Grid Connect provides High-Flying customers in the United States, Canada and Mexico technical support, customized product engineering and North American inventory, eliminating the time, expense and resources needed for importing, customs and duties.

With Grid Connect's custom engineering design services, High-Flying modules can be pre-loaded with customers' specific firmware, webpages and setup parameters, making modules production line-ready.

North American technical support is provided by Grid Connect's engineers, who are knowledgeable about wired and wireless technology and are trained by High-Flying to customize the software to customers' exact requirements. Technical support is available by phone, email and on-line chat.

"The High-Flying product line compliments Grid Connect's network technology products and services, and utilizes our experience in developing Cloud applications that solve problems," said Mike Justice, president of Grid Connect.

While Grid Connect carries an inventory of all High-Flying products, first time customers can order small quantities or evaluation kits. Additional information and online ordering is available at www.gridconnect.com.

About Grid Connect Inc.
Grid Connect, an ISO 9001:2008 company, is a leading manufacturer and distributor of products that enable the Internet of Things. The company's custom engineering services and attentive customer support ensure that all networking technology products sold by Grid Connect work to customer specifications. In stock items usually ship the same day, and all products come with a no-risk, 30-day money back guarantee. Online ordering is available at www.gridconnect.com. Grid Connect also can be found on Twitter @GridConnect and on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/company/grid-connect.

 

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