RCX IR Tower communication failure

All, I have a RIS 1.5 set installed on windows 98 PC . I have got some trouble with IR Tower and RCX communication . First the IR tower was
not detected : using the bios setup menu from start up I succeeded in setting correctly the serial COM2 (disabling COM1 & LPT ports). It was working fine : I downloaded firmware and a short program. But now it doesnot work : the IR tower is detected and looks fine but does not communicate to the RCX . Here is the log file I got after testing the IR tower and RCX brick: ************************ Start September 21, 2006, 22:20 PM
RIS version: 1.5. OCX Version: 2.90 Release Candidate 1 Probe.exe version: 0, 1, 4, 5 TroubleShooter version: 1, 5, 1, 6 Trouble Shooter Macros Version 1.5.16 (English)
Computer: OEMCOMPUTER User name: Standard Processor Type: 586. (1) Windows 98 v 4.10 build: 2222 A
Registry reports port: COM3 Registry reports port: COM2 Registry reports mouse as PS/2 Scroll Mouse Registry reports mouse as Souris HID
No serial mouse detected
Examining hardware directly: COM1 is in use by another application. COM2 is available. COM3 does not exist. COM4 does not exist.
Shooter retries: 9, 10
Called with error 0.
Command sequence: Test IR Transmitter 1014, 100: OCX registered : OK 1015, 105: OCX working : OK 1041, 110: Closed COM : OK 1009, 115: INI file exists : OK 1003, 120: COM port 2 read from INI file : OK 1010, 125: COM port 2 exists : OK 1011, 130: COM port 2 working : OK 1002, 135: Open COM port 2 : OK 1023, 140: Tower & cable connected : OK 1005, 145: IR Transmitter working : OK
Command sequence: Test RCX 1014, 100: OCX registered : OK 1015, 105: OCX working : OK 1041, 110: Closed COM : OK 1009, 115: INI file exists : OK 1003, 120: COM port 2 read from INI file : OK 1010, 125: COM port 2 exists : OK 1011, 130: COM port 2 working : OK 1013, 132: COM port 2 free : OK 1002, 135: Open COM port 2 : OK 1023, 140: Tower & cable connected : OK 1005, 145: IR Transmitter working : OK 1007, 150: PBAlive : FAIL
Command sequence: Test RCX 1014, 100: OCX registered : OK 1015, 105: OCX working : OK 1041, 110: Closed COM : OK 1009, 115: INI file exists : OK 1003, 120: COM port 2 read from INI file : OK 1010, 125: COM port 2 exists : OK 1011, 130: COM port 2 working : OK 1013, 132: COM port 2 free : OK 1002, 135: Open COM port 2 : OK 1023, 140: Tower & cable connected : OK 1005, 145: IR Transmitter working : OK 1007, 150: PBAlive : FAIL
Help window, RIS TroubleShooter, closed.
End September 21, 2006, 22:21 PM ************************
There is something wrong with the RCX. I made myself the serial cable according to information got from RCX internals pages. I am afraid the IR tower has been damaged !!
Anybody to help me ? Thanks a lot Bruno
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I hate to ask you this, but how is the 9 volt battery in the tower? Is the light turning on when your attempting to transmit?
Bob
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Bob Fay wrote:

... the battery is new ! I made another test and I realized the cable was not safe (wrong contact between pins and wires, I think) that can explain the wrong communication. I have to check the connector welding...hoping the IR tower is not damaged Bruno
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I could make a pin to pin drawing if you need it. Seems that a wire may have come loose to cause this problem. Let me know if you need any information.
Bob
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here is the drawing of my cable ( from http://graphics.stanford.edu/~kekoa/rcx /) : Pin    To    Name    Description 2    3    RD    Receive Data 3    2    TD    Transmit Data 5    5    SG    Signal Ground 7    8    RTS    Ready To Send 8    7    CTS    Clear To Send Pin 4 connects to pin 4 but is unused; pins 1, 6, and 9 have no connection. is it right ? I used HyperTerminal to test the IR tower : if works fine but I don't see the led lighting (according to the lego mindstorm trouble shooting guide, it shoud light while typing !).
Bruno
Bob Fay wrote:

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Plugged in my old serial tower and loaded up the RCX. The green light is on with every download and communication from the tower to the RCX. I tested my factory cable and the connections are as you described. I would try reloading the firmware. Take the batteries out of the RCX and turn it on to clear any information. Watch your tower when you try to reload. If you have no green light under the IR windows you have a power problem. I have had a similar problem with a marginal battery and I would test it or change it to be sure it is OK.
Bob
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I found the issue : as it seemed to be a matter of battery, I opened the IR tower and removed the back . I used hyperTerminal to test the connection to the tower : by pressing the battery , it was working fine and the green led lighted ! Thanks for your help Bruno Bob Fay wrote:

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