My daughter is starting to have lots of fun with the crates of lego I had stored in the cupboard, so I thought I would dig the original (9717-1) Mindstorms set out and make a robot for her. After spending three days looking for the cable (71793--Electric Serial Cable 9-Pin D-Sub F/F 2.17m) to run from the com port to the IR Transmitter, I finally gave up and just brought a new female to female 9-pin cable from a computer shop, and hooked it all up. After installing the software on my comp running XP, it would just freeze at the initial " Loading..." screen when starting it up, hiding any other programs that were opened up behind a black screen. The only way out was to open the Trouble Shooter that installs with the software, close it, and then the RIS program would close. However, while the Trouble Shooter was open, I could test the IR Transmitter, and I would get was a message saying " The IR Transmitter is not working". It was connected to the com port according to the troubleshooter. The green light inside the Transmitter would shine when it was being tested. The solution to the problem, according the Troubleshooter program, was to replace the battery in the Transmitter, which I already had, but did again with another new battery. Same result. They also suggested to reduce the ambient light in the room. I brought in a heavy blanket, and covered the Tranmitter and the RCX brick, but still had the same result. I started looking for forum posts with people that may have had the same problem, and saw some posts suggesting that it doesnt work with XP, and to try running programs using the Win 95 emulator-type setting in XP. I tried that with no change. I then dug out an old comp from the cupboard ( did I mention I hoard stuff?) , installed Win 95 on it, hooked up the IR Transmitter, installed the Mindstorms software, and tried again. Whilst this time the Mindstorms software would start up cleanly, and run, the IR Transmitter returned the same errors. The green light would still come on during testing, but returned same " The IR Transmitter is not working" message. Is it possible the non-standard cable I'm using is the problem? That the cable provided with the set had unique wiring or something? I'm obviously grasping at straws here as to why it won't return a working signal, or comunicate with the RCX brick, which seem to br working fine ( graphics showing in LCD window, motors responding to the switches while all connected, etc).
Anyone else have similar problems and work thru a solution? Any help or suggestions would be much appreciated.