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Data Logger troubleshooting guide

Supplier: Campbell Scientific Australia By: Steve Bailey
15 May, 2009

If you are having trouble connecting to a Campbell Scientific Data Logger over a direct connection (a single serial cable between a PC and the data logger) here are some procedures to help troubleshoot the problem.

  • Use Device Configuration Utility
    • If communication to a site is failing using PC200W, PC400 or Loggernet, use Device Configuration Utility as your troubleshooting tool. DevConfig has a much simpler interface than the other packages and requires fewer settings to be correct in order to connect to a data logger
      Open DevConfig from the Loggernet / PC400 / PC200W folder in the Start Menu. Choose the data logger type from the device list and select the correct COM port for your computer (this is the name of the physical comport at the back of the computer or the name of the USB to serial converter being used).
      The only setting which may not be known is the baud rate. Try 115200 for the CR800, CR1000 and CR3000. Try 9600 for the CR200, CR510 and CR10X. Press Connect.

    • If the connection fails quickly (less than 2 seconds) then the problem lies on the PC end. Another application on the computer is using the COM port and is not allowing DevConfig to use it. Make sure Loggernet is closed, if the problem persists, have a look for any SCADA software, sensor configuration software etc. which may be using the COM port.

    • If the connection takes some time to fail, try another baud rate, most of our data loggers have a configurable baud rate for communication and this may have been changed from the default. If the problem persists at all baud rates, read through the sections below to continue troubleshooting.

    • If you are able to make a connection using DevConfig, make a note of the baud rate at which you have connected, as well as the pakbus address of the data logger. Close DevConfig and ensure Loggernet / PC400 / PC200W uses these same settings. If the problem persists, there may be a more technical problem with your Loggernet / PC400 / PC200W setup, call one of our Application Engineers and describe the tests you have already performed.

  • Check Power Supply
    Use a multi-meter to make sure that the power supply for the data logger is supplying at least 12V. Some of the data loggers can operate at voltages below this, however communications over a serial link requires more current than normal data logger operation which the battery may not be able to supply at voltages below 12V.

  • Check Cable
    The most common cause for lack of communication on a direct link is an incorrect or faulty cable. First make sure the correct cable is being used.
    It is generally a good idea to carry around a spare SC12 /RS232 cable when visiting sites as cables have been known to fail. If you have a spare cable, try the DevConfig procedure above using the spare cable.

  • Check Program Specifics
    The RS232 port on the new generation of data loggers can be used under program control to communicate with a variety of serial devices such as modems, serial sensors and SCADA systems. Depending on the specifics of the program, this may interfere with Loggernet communications, if all other tests have failed, double check this with the program author (which may be Campbell Scientific).

  • Contact Campbell Scientific
    If none of the above steps have helped with the problem, please don't hesitate to give one of our Application Engineers a call about the problem. Let us know what steps you have already performed as this is the procedure we use ourselves to troubleshoot over the phone.