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RobotC connecting to NXT through Samantha
http://www.robotc.net/forums/viewtopic.php?f=52&t=7054
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Author:  BrianEh [ Wed Oct 23, 2013 12:05 pm ]
Post subject:  RobotC connecting to NXT through Samantha

I am trying to better understand a chronic issue that we have with connecting to our NXT via Samantha with RobotC.

I have a wireless network all setup that is optimized for the Samantha, 802.11b only, and some other tweaks. Samantha connects to it perfectly, gets an IP and all is well. I can open the FCS and also connect right up.

But, when I open RobotC, and set the configuration - I may have to scan 3, 5, 20 times before I can get it to connect to the Samantha. It works one day, not the next. I close and open RobotC. I make sure the IP address is set and connected to the correct AP prior to opening RobotC, I reboot. Everything I can think of without knowing how the discovery process works (other than the RobotC computer has to be on the same subnet as the Samantha).

One thing that I notice is that the scan period is set to 30 seconds, but fails instantly. One try, about 1 second. This might be a symptom of something else happening which is a key to understanding and unraveling what is going on.

1) I would like to understand what is happening during the discovery process. (to see if there is something I can do to 'help' discovery be more successful)
2) I have some laptops that always have problems and others that don't (I assume there is some relation to #1).

I worked in corporate IT for 10 years and now test and develop windows solutions. So, I am not clueless about all the layers.
I am just looking for some guidance.

Author:  Ernest3.14 [ Wed Oct 23, 2013 9:39 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: RobotC connecting to NXT through Samantha

Interesting thing is, if you tell it to scan for Bluetooth (or any of the options which include that) it always takes the full time allotted.

Author:  BrianEh [ Tue Oct 29, 2013 11:35 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: RobotC connecting to NXT through Samantha

I have one student who runs windows in parallels (on a Mac) who we can only seem to get connected over wireless once in a blue moon.

The behavior is the same, the wireless search happens over a count of one regardless of the time searching that is set - essentially it appears to be one try at doing something and then it fails.

It would be helpful to understand what is not working.

Author:  Ernest3.14 [ Wed Oct 30, 2013 11:09 am ]
Post subject:  Re: RobotC connecting to NXT through Samantha

I think it does that anyway. Whenever we scan, it takes a few seconds, regardless of whether or not it finds NXT brick(s) or not.

Author:  BrianEh [ Wed Oct 30, 2013 11:46 am ]
Post subject:  Re: RobotC connecting to NXT through Samantha

If I only choose USB and WiFi it completes almost instantly, no consideration of the time spend drop down.
If I choose Bluetooth it sits and scans for about 30 seconds, no matter the selection of the drop down.

All I know is that the behavior does not follow the GUI at this point.

Author:  tfriez [ Wed Oct 30, 2013 11:53 am ]
Post subject:  Re: RobotC connecting to NXT through Samantha

I'll have to give this another pass on my end and see if I can replicated the reported issue.

ROBOTC uses the upgraded Fantom DLL (National Instrument's developed driver for communicating with the NXT) to do all Wifi,Bluetooth and USB communication. The fact that it's returning almost instantly seems like it's either a) Erring out because of a version mismatch or b) Fantom thinks it doesn't have access to the network to look for Wifi devices (firewall, Symantec, or other could be blocking it)

Unfortunately it's kind of black magic for us to debug because we only have release version of the Fantom DLL and a header file... no source code to see what it's actually doing.

Author:  tfriez [ Wed Oct 30, 2013 12:41 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: RobotC connecting to NXT through Samantha

Sent directly via e-mail, but posting here for general public:

One thing I would recommend is enabling debug tracing in ROBOTC to maybe help diagnose the issue:
1. Set Menu Level to "Super User" (Window - Menu Level - Super User)
2. Open Detailed Preferences - http://i.imgur.com/FNuSoly.png
3. In the "Internal" tab, set the radio button for "Message Tracing" to "Character Level"

Now try to connect via Samantha and send us the debug trace that is generated. This will help us investigate the issue.

Author:  faustus123 [ Wed Jan 22, 2014 8:36 am ]
Post subject:  Re: RobotC connecting to NXT through Samantha

I know it has been a few months since this post, but I was wondering if any resolutions were found. I have a similar problem with RobotC suddenly refusing to acknowledge that the Samantha module is talking to the NXT. When I point a web browser to the Samantha module IP address, I get back a page with lots of information including that the NXT brick is connected and even what files are on it and what the battery voltage is. The blue "NXT" light on the Samantha is also on. I am able to control the robot via the FCS using wireless just fine. I have tried uninstalling and reinstalling RobotC (v3.62) and it still keeps saying the NXT is not connected and I should try powering it on.

I should note that I did think I was having a similar problem with the quick timeout, but from what it looks like now it is actually talking to the Samantha module and gets back a response very quickly. At least I see the Samantha IP address show up in the WiFi window. It just seems to think the NXT isn't connected. I'm responding to this post because I'm suspicious my problem is related to the one originally described. Any advice?

Author:  lucien.gaitskell [ Sun Jan 18, 2015 10:16 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: RobotC connecting to NXT through Samantha

I have been getting the same problems too (I have Windows 8 ). I can get into the website of the Module, so I know it’s on the network. I have completely disabled the firewall on McAfee, but still no luck.

Here's a log output from Message Tracing (Character Level):
Code:
335.470 'CController' Constructor called for link type 'USB-HID Cable/Cortex USB-to-Serial/Game Ctrl USB-to-Serial/VEX Programming Cable/Prolific USB-to-Serial/Vex IQ USB-to-Serial/Vex IQ DFU/FTDI USB-to-Serial/Arduino UNO USB-to-Serial/Arduino 2560 USB-to-Serial/Arduino Leonardo USB CDC/Arduino Due USB Pgm Port/Atmel OEM Test USB CDC/Bluetooth Serial/NXT USB Cable/NXT Bluetooth/NXT WiFi/NXT Bootload Mode/NXT Emulation'; name 'NXT-Real'

335.499 Searching for any NXT bricks in boot mode

335.510 Check for NXT in SAMBA Mode (None found)
335.511 Searching for any NXT bricks connected via USB
335.518 Searching for NXT bricks in 'boot' mode

335.520 Check for NXT in SAMBA Mode (None found)

335.520 Start 'USB' search for create NXT Iterator (0 seconds)
335.521 create NXT Iterator FAILED (xFFFDD53F/-142017) 'Fantom Err: 'No More Items Found''
335.536 Searching for any NXT bricks connected via USB or WiFi

335.554 Start 'WiFi' search for create NXT Iterator (10 seconds)
335.569 create NXT Iterator FAILED (xFFFDD53F/-142017) 'Fantom Err: 'No More Items Found''
335.591 No NXT bricks found via Wireless
375.190 Destructor called for 'CCommLinkHandler' port 'NXT-Real'
375.205 Destroying window


As can be seen, it decides to give up only 15 ms later
It looks like the Phantom Search is just crashing!

Any ideas?

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