A Technical Support FAQ: Testing serial ports in RS-232 mode

Question:   How do I go about testing serial ports in RS-232 mode?

Testing Serial PortsAnswer:   For DeviceMaster® products:

Test the serial ports using the Test Terminal application in PortVision® DX (or PortVision Plus) and the Loopback plug provided with the DeviceMaster.

If you need to create a loopback plug, you may download the instructions HERE.

Instructions for testing serial ports:

Stop all applications that may be accessing the ports such as RAS, RRAS or any faxing or production software.  See the appropriate manuals for instructions on stopping these services or applications.  If another application is controlling the port, or if the driver had not been properly configured, then Test Terminal will be unable to open the port and you will receive an error message.

Remember to restart the application once testing of the ports has been completed.

Testing serial ports – the Comtrol ports:

  1. Place the Comtrol supplied loopback plug onto the first port of the Comtrol product
  2. From the ‘Tools’ dropdown menu in PortVision, select Applications > Test Terminal (WCOM2)
  3. From the ‘File’ dropdown menu in Test Terminal, select openport > com3 (default starting com port – yours may be different)
  4. From the ‘Port’ dropdown menu, select ‘Send and Receive Test Data’
  5. You should see the alphabet scrolling across the port.  If so, then the port installed properly and is operational
  6. From the ‘Port’ dropdown menu, remove the check on ‘Send and Receive Test Data’ (data should stop)
  7. From the ‘Port’ dropdown menus, select ‘Loopback Test’ (This is a pass/fail test and will take a second or two to complete.  NOTE: If the port is configured for use as either RS-422 or RS-485, this test will fail as RS-422 and RS-485 do not have the modem control signals that this test is designed for.)
  8. Repeat for each port that needs testing
  9. Close test terminal

If both of these tests successfully complete, then the port is operational as expected.  Restart your application.

Testing Serial PortsFor RocketPort® products: 
In some Windows XP and Windows 2000 systems you may not have a Comtrol Program group from the start menu when using the RocketPort PCI adapter.  If you do not have the Comtrol Program group, you may download the utility apps from the provided link below.  The file downloaded is a self-extracting zip file that once the file has been extracted will automatically begin an installation procedure.  It will not be necessary to reboot the PC once the installation of the utilities has completed. 

Comtrol Utilities for RocketPort adapters
If you need to create a loopback plug, you may download the instructions HERE

Instructions for testing serial ports:

Stop all applications that may be accessing the ports such as RAS, RRAS or any faxing or production software.  See the appropriate manuals for instructions on stopping these services or applications.  If another application is controlling the port, or if the driver has not been properly configured, then Test Terminal will be unable to open the port and you will receive an error message. 

Remember to restart the application once testing of the ports has been completed. 

Testing the Comtrol ports:

  1. Place the Comtrol supplied loopback plug onto the first port of the Comtrol product
  2. From the Start menu, select Programs > Comtrol > Utilities > Test Terminal (WCOM2)
  3. From the ‘File’ dropdown menu in Test Terminal > Open Port > COM3 (default starting com port – yours may be different)
  4. From the ‘Port’ dropdown menu, select ‘Send and Receive Test Data’
  5. You should see the alphabet scrolling across the port.  If so, then the port installed properly and is operational
  6. From the ‘Port’ dropdown menu, remove the check on ‘Send and Receive Test Data’ (data should stop)
  7. From the ‘Port’ dropdown menus, select ‘Loopback Test’ (This is a pass/fail test and will take a second or two to complete)
  8. Repeat for each port that needs testing
  9. Close test terminal

If both of these tests successfully complete, then the port is operational as expected.  Restart your application.

If you have any questions or need more information, please contact our support team at 763.957.6000 


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