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SimplyPats Portable Appliance Testing Software
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2008 3:21 pm 
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Common Download Issues/Problems

A lot of the support calls we receive are when people are having problems downloading from their PAT. There are lots of reasons why you may be having problems downloading from your PAT, some of which are listed below.

There are lots of things you can check yourself, before calling us for Support. There are also some things that may be best left to a professional person, however before doing this you may want to eliminate some of the more obvious reasons.

Of course, if you are at all unsure, you are welcome to give us a call or post a question on the forum. Please be aware that we do charge an annual fee for Telephone, Email and Remote Assistance Support.

No COM port available on your PC or Laptop.

Modern PC’s or Laptops will most likely not have any native RS232 (COM) Ports installed and instead will rely on communication via USB ports. If this is the case, you will need to buy and install a USB to Serial Converter on your PC or Laptop.

USB to Serial Converters can be purchased quite cheaply from most High Street Computer Stores, Online or from ourselves Not all USB to Serial Converters available today are compatible, we have experienced problems with certain makes in the past.

Selected PAT Tester, Baud Rate, Download Format and COM Port

Make sure you have the correct PAT Tester selected under the System Settings in SimplyPats, on the File Menu click on Settings System Settings and check that the PAT Tester shown is the one you are trying to download from. While on this screen, check also the Baud Rate and COM Port

The Baud Rate (the speed at which the PAT Tester and Computer Communicate with each other) must be set identical on both SimplyPats and your PAT Tester. If these are different, you need to change one or the other.

We recommend that you set the Baud Rate to 9600 in SimplyPats and on your PAT Tester if you are experiencing download issues of any kind.

Depending on which PAT Tester you are using, you will either have a COM Port listed or a button, which when clicked will look for available Free COM Ports.

If you have more than one COM Port listed, check that your PAT Tester is plugged into that COM Port.

Check that you are sending the data from the PAT Tester in the correct format, please refer to the SimplyPats Help file under Downloading from Your PAT for information relating to your particular PAT Tester.

Faulty or incorrectly configured COM Port.

It is possible that the COM Port on your Computer may be faulty, check for broken or bent pins or any other damage. The chipset that controls the COM Port may also be faulty, however you may need the services of an I.T. Professional to test this.

If the COM Port has been used for another device, the configuration settings may have been changed, again, you may want to contact an I.T. Professional to check if this is the case.

Faulty COM port on your PAT.

The COM Port on your PAT Tester may be faulty. You will need to consult your PAT Tester Supplier/Manufacturer for further assistance.

Download cable faulty or wired incorrectly.

Check that you are using the correct cable, if using different PAT Testers, check that the cables have not been mixed up.

Check the cable and terminating ends for damage.

Check the cable is wired correctly, the wiring diagrams for most of the supported Pat Testers are available in the SimplyPats Help file. All you need is a Multi Meter to check that the Pin Configuration is correct.

Other installed Software is using the COM port or constantly Pinging the COM Port.

It is quite possible that other installed software may be interfering with, or using some of the available COM Ports. Mobile Phones, MP3 players, PDA’s, Speed Camera Detectors and GPS units to name a few, all use software to connect to your PC. Some of this software may be constantly “Hunting” for the device or in extreme cases may even block a COM Port for exclusive use.

You may want to try unplugging any devices attached or stopping/disabling the software while downloading from your PAT Tester.

If using an optional USB to Serial Converter, the drivers are not installed or the drivers are installed but the COM Port has been set too high.

Your Serial to USB Converter will normally come with some software, this is generally a CD containing the Drivers needed to install the Converter. If you have installed the USB to Serial Converter correctly, you should now have a number of COM Ports available.

To check that the USB to Serial Converter has been installed correctly, go to Device Manager. Right Click on My Computer choose Properties, click on the Hardware Tab and choose Device Manager.

Device Manager can also be found by going to the Control Panel and double clicking on the System Icon.

Under Device Manager look down the list and find Ports (COM & LPT), you may need to click on the small + icon to expand the list, your USB to Serial Converter should be listed here and if installed correctly, will not be showing any red or yellow exclamation icons.

Once you are happy that your converter has been installed correctly, you may want to check which COM Port it is using. As above, find the USB to Serial Converter under the list in Device Manager, the COM Port will be shown in brackets after the device name i.e. Prolific USB-to-Serial Bridge (COM3).

We would recommend that the COM Port is set below COM5. If you need to change the COM Port that the USB to Serial Converter uses Right Click on its Name under Device Manager and choose Properties, next choose the Port Settings Tab and click Advanced. You will now be able to set the COM Port manually using the pull down menu, set it to the lowest COM Port available that is not in use.

Note ** If you disconnect and reconnect the USB to Serial Converter, Windows may re-install the device and allocate a different COM Port. If you have had to setup your device manually, we suggest that once installed you leave the USB to Serial Converter plugged in.

Try installing SimplyPats on another computer

Install and Licence SimplyPats on another computer and try downloading.

Try downloading from your PAT Tester using HyperTerminal

Most versions of Windows Prior to Windows Vista come with a program called HyperTerminal, this can be a good way of testing download issues without using SimplyPats.

For a guide on using HyperTerminal, visit the following page

If you are still having problems

As mentioned above, you can always Post a Question on the forums or call us for support. Currently (as of July 2010) telephone support is free and has been for the last couple of years (Note, Offering free telephone support is reviewed periodically)

SimplyPats Support

Last edited by richard on Mon Jul 19, 2010 7:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Edited to update terms of support. 19th July 2010

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