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Frequently Asked Questions >> FAQ - Peripherals & Interfacing >> How do I use the CommsLink with a PC?
(Message started by: ForumAdmin on Jan 1st, 2001, 12:00pm)

Title: How do I use the CommsLink with a PC?
Post by ForumAdmin on Jan 1st, 2001, 12:00pm
How do I use the Comms link with a PC?
  • Install the PC software:
    To get the most out of the Psion to PC link, download Psi2Win (http://archive.psion2.org/org2/bgc/psi2win.htm).
    You may also use the CL.EXE program which is part of the PCTools (http://archive.psion2.org/org2/files/cl211.zip) package.
    There is also a Mac package (zip (http://archive.psion2.org/org2/files/clmac.zip)/sit (http://archive.psion2.org/org2/files/clmac.sit)).

  • Connect the CommsLink cable to the PC:
    • Find a free serial port (usually labelled as COM1 or COM2).
    • You may need a plug adapter (see How do I link the organiser to another computer? (http://forum.psion2.org/YaBB.pl?board=faq_CL;action=display;num=118)).
    • If your computer (laptop) doesn't have serial ports, you need to use an USB-to-Serial adapter.
    • CL.EXE won't work on ports 3 or 4 (most PCs don't have them anyways).

  • Turn off the organiser.

  • On the PC either
    • run Psi2Win, click on Setup, select the port and press 'Start', or
    • run the CL program:
      If the CommsLink is connected to COM1, doubleclicking CL.EXE will do.
      Otherwise you need to open a DOS-box ('command prompt'), change to the directory you where you saved CL.EXE (e.g. cd c:\psion), and enter CL 9600,2.

    The organiser should switch on automatically now. If not, the cable is probably connected to the wrong port.

  • Set up the organiser software:
    • Go to the main menu.
    • Press [ON] to make sure the device is booted in.
    • Press [UP], and select COMMS.
    • Choose the SETUP option.
    • Press [DOWN] until you get to the HANDSHAKE parameter.
    • Press [LEFT] until setting reads NONE.
      Other settings may also work, however the Psion protocol doesn't require handshaking.
    • Press [DOWN] once more to get to the PROTOCOL parameter.
    • Press [LEFT] until setting reads PSION.
    • Press [MODE], and choose EXIT.

    The SETUP options are saved in memory, and persist when you remove the CommsLink - they are only reset by a cold boot (e.g. organiser left without battery).

  • Select TRANSMIT, FILE and press [EXE] twice.

    If you don't receive an error now, you have just copied MAIN.ODB (the file used by SAVE/FIND) to your harddisk. A timeout error indicates a cable or port problem.

  • Read the Comms Link Manual (http://archive.psion2.org/org2/mancomm1.htm).

  • Use the TRANSMIT/RECEIVE options of the COMMS menu to send/receive procedures and files to/from the PC.

    If ever the COMMS option is missing from the main menu, just press [ON] to reboot the CommsLink.



    A word on transferring programs:

    Unfortunately, the RECEIVE/PROCEDURE option does not support .OB3 files (executables), 'procedures' can only be .OPL (i.e. source code).
    But, fortunately, the commslink adds a few OPL commands (example below for .OB3 file transfer):

    XTRECV:(pc-name,org2-name,3)
    XTSEND:(pc-name,org2-name,3)

    See What about other files? (http://forum.psion2.org/YaBB.pl?board=faq_CL;action=display;num=125) or tOB3 (http://archive.psion2.org/org2/files/tob3.zip) for an example.

    Hint: you may also enter this in CALC
    XTRECV:("pc-name","org2-name",int(3))


    If all fails, you can still use any terminal program to send/receive.
    In this case, set the protocol to XMODEM on both sides.

  • Title: Re: How do I use the CommsLink with a PC?
    Post by thesourcerer on Feb 6th, 2004, 12:39pm
    One question that seems to crop up frequently is:
  • Can I use a 4-line Comms Link with a CM or XP?, or
  • Can I use a 2-line Comms Link with an LZ or LZ64?

    The answer to both is yes. Either type of Comms Link can be used with any model.
    The main difference is that the 2-line version will only display two lines at a time on the LZ or LZ64, though of course you can scroll down the menu.

    I seem to remember a comment about the 2-line version not supporting diary files on the LZ, but some expert will no doubt confirm this!

  • Title: Re: How do I use the CommsLink with a PC?
    Post by Boris Cornet on Feb 20th, 2004, 1:18pm

    Quote:
    I seem to remember a comment about the 2-line version not supporting diary files on the LZ, but some expert will no doubt confirm this!

    The 2-line version does not offer notepad transfer from the COMMS menu (Notepad option is missing), but supports transferring saved notes files (file type=7) via OPL, just like tansferring .OB3 (see above).

    BTW. There was also a ancestor to the CommsLink: the RS232-Link. As far as I know, it doesn't support the PSION protocol. However this product was not produced in large numbers.

    Title: Re: How do I use the CommsLink with a PC?
    Post by The_Doctor on Apr 2nd, 2004, 1:09am
    Terminal emulators vary...
    TeraTerm Pro works well using Xmodem.

    I prefer the app called CRT, but that has trouble with Organisers and Xmodem, as far as I could tell, and I never found a fix for this, nor did the makers of CRT, yet, unless they did so after we ceased trading mails. :)

    These methods will only work for plain text (bytes of value below 127), but this is not that much of a drawback. It allows most things to be done.



    A question: Is there any way to modify the link to make it do 19200 baud or more?


    Title: Re: How do I use the CommsLink with a PC?
    Post by chiark on Nov 9th, 2004, 3:19pm
    Just a quick note that could help other people: handshaking (HAND in the Setup menu) needs to be set to XON, which is the default setting, or NONE.  The only non-default setting is PROTOCOL, which should be set to Psion.

    I read the CommsLink manual and set it to DSR/RTS, which did not work.  Neither did "ALL"...  I am using a 9 pin to 25 pin adaptor which may explain some of the problems too?

    As an aside, you can set defaults in the Setup menu by pressing the Clear/on key.

    Hope this helps someone,
    Nick.

    Title: Re: How do I use the CommsLink with a PC?
    Post by Zac Schroff on Nov 10th, 2004, 9:21pm

    on 04/02/04 at 01:09:18, The_Doctor wrote:
    A question: Is there any way to modify the link to make it do 19200 baud or more?


    I'd not really be interested in trying too hard.  None of my Org2 machines can keep up with a continuous data stream at 9600 for more than (it seems) a couple hundred characters (a refreshingly large buffer for such a small machine).  After that, they start dropping characters.  The highest rate I've sustained, without loss, over long transfers, doing nothing more than reading input from the comms link, comparing it against a pattern in the main SRAM, and writing it to the screen, is 2400.  This shortcoming isn't obvious with the Psion protocol since the protocol is half-duplex, and this gives the machine a break to catch up.  It's also not obvious when sending since it's the target machine's job to keep up there.  From this, I'd expect even Psion protocol would break down not too far above 9600.

    If you're having problems with XModem or other large block protocol, try slowing the rate down, reducing the block size, disabling sliding windows, and disallowing multiple outstanding blocks, particularly if the other machine is much faster than the Psion (basically anything over a turbo XT).

    If you're really peevish about backup speed, back up to SRAM packs or flash packs and use the parallel port based drive for the PC (aren't these terribly rare, though?)...



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