Q: I am getting the error message "Reader is not responding" when I try to set the time on the reader.

Q: I am having a problem uploading/downloading the access control list to the reader.

Q: How can I switch between protocol and non-protocol mode and vice versa?

Q: The LED is not coming on when I scan an ID.

Q: What is the difference between a start/stop bit and a prefix/delimiter?

Q: When I program the LEDs in the reader I get the message ‘Command Acknowledged’ yet the reader is not operating according to the programming commands.

Q: How can I test the communication on the reader?

Q: I changed the reader from J mode to STA mode and now I cannot scan or poll the data.

Q: Which menus set the options in the software and which set the options in the reader? Which options should I set first?

Q: How can I tell which emulation mode the reader is operating in?

Q: When sending a command to the reader, the reader sends back the same command to the response box.

Q: The software is unable to communicate with the reader.


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Q: I am getting the error message "Reader is not responding" when I try to set the time on the reader.

A: There are two reasons for getting this error,

  1. Communication problem - If all other functions in the software return the same or similar error message then the software is not communicating with the reader. Please refer to troubleshooting communication problems for details.
  2. Internal clock in not available – Some readers such as the "J" reader do not have an internal clock. When the software polls data from these readers, it appends the computer’s date and time to it. So trying to set the time on such readers will always fail.

Q: I am having a problem uploading/downloading the access control list to the reader.

A: If the software is communicating with the reader successfully yet it can not upload and download the access control list, then the problem is related to the type of hardware you are using. The access control list can be downloaded and uploaded to and from an SA/STA reader only. If you are having a problem with this type of reader make sure it is not operating in J mode.

Q: How can I switch between protocol and non-protocol mode and vice versa?

A: First, make sure the protocol setting in the software matches the protocol setting in the reader. Second, change the protocol setting on the reader through the Set Serial Options command. Third, change the setting in the software through the Protocol Parameters command.

Turning the protocol off

Case 1. Protocol is turned OFF in the reader, and turned ON in the software.

  • Select the Protocol Parameters command. Then select the Off option to turn the protocol off in the software.

Case 2. Protocol is turned ON in the reader, and turned OFF in the software.

  • Select the Protocol Parameters command. Then select the ON option to turn the protocol on in the software.
  • Select the Set Reader Options command. Then click on the command button next to the ‘Turn Protocol Off’ command after entering the correct reader address.
  • Select the Protocol Parameters command. Then select the OFF option to turn the protocol off in the software.

Case 3. Protocol is turned ON in the reader, and turned ON in the software.

  • Select the Set Reader Options command. Then click on the command button next to the ‘Turn Protocol Off’ command after entering the correct reader address.
  • Select the Protocol Parameters command. Then select the OFF option to turn the protocol off in the software.

Turning the protocol on

Case 1. Protocol is turned ON in the reader, and turned OFF in the software.

  • Select the Protocol Parameters command. Then select the ON option to turn the protocol on in the software.

Case 2. Protocol is turned OFF in the reader, and turned ON in the software.

  • Select the Protocol Parameters command. Then select the OFF option to turn the protocol off in the software.
  • Select the Set Reader Options command. Then click on the command button next to the ‘Turn Protocol On’ command after entering the correct reader address.
  • Select the Protocol Parameters command. Then select the ON option to turn the protocol on in the software.

Case 3. Protocol is turned OFF in the reader, and turned OFF in the software.

  • Select the Set Reader Options command. Then click on the command button next to the ‘Turn Protocol ON’ command after entering the correct reader address.
  • Select the Protocol Parameters command. Then select the ON option to turn the protocol on in the software.

Q: The LED is not coming on when I scan an ID.

A: The LED on the reader may be programmed to be disabled when an ID is read. You can reprogram the LED on some readers using the Set LED Options command.

When in protocol mode a J reader, or an STA/SA, DC reader operating in J emulation mode does not store the scanned data. Therefore, the reader should be polled for data when continuous scanning is required. To poll a J reader, connect the reader to the PC and select the Poll J Reader command.

Q: What is the difference between a start/stop bit and a prefix/delimiter?

A: The start and stop bits are extra characters that appear at the beginning and end of the code. Every code has a start and stop bit. You can program the reader to transmit those characters or not to transmit them. Whereas, the prefix or delimiter is a single character that will appear before the start bit and after the stop bit respectively. The reader can be programmed to send a specific prefix or delimiter character.

Q: When I program the LEDs in the reader I get the message ‘Command Acknowledged’ yet the reader is not operating according to the programming commands.

A: While in SA/STA or DC mode the LED on the reader operate according to the defaults set by the manufacture and cannot be reprogrammed to operate in a certain way after a good read. However, a J reader or a reader operating in J mode can have its LEDs operation reprogrammed.

Q: How can I test the communication on the reader?

A: With the current version of the software you can test the communication using any of the download/upload and reader commands. Some commands may work with some readers and not work with others such as the Set Time command. One way to test the communication is through the send command. Send a command that will send back data such as the ‘V’ command which returns the version number (you need to type a capital letter V and check the serial programming command option).

Q: I changed the reader from J mode to STA mode and now I cannot scan or poll the data.

A: Before you switch the reader from J mode to an STA mode poll any data buffered in the reader. As mentioned before, the reader will not accept any data if it is in J and protocol mode until polled. Switch back to J mode, poll the data then switch to STA mode.

Q: Which menus set the options in the software and which set the options in the reader? Which options should I set first?

A: All the menu commands under the Setup main menu change the parameters in the software. Whereas, the commands under the Reader Commands main menu change the parameters on the reader. If the parameter should be set in both the software and the hardware (e.g. baud rate) then start with the hardware first, then set the parameter in the software.

Q: How can I tell which emulation mode the reader is operating in?

A: The leds operate according to the emulation mode the reader is in. Consult the reader manual for information on the leds’ operation.

Using the software, you can tell the operating mode of the reader through the poll functions. For example, if you have an STA reader try polling it using Poll STA Reader command. If the polling function returned the message "Reader is not responding…" or did not poll the correct data, select another polling function such as Poll J Reader and so on.

The following table shows the format of the polled data.

Reader Mode Polled Data
J ID#,Date,Time

000001,09/09/1999,08:00:04

STA Status,Date,Time,ID#

0,09/09/99,08:00:04,000001

SA Date Time ID# Access Denied\Granted

09/09/99 09:00:04 000001 GRANTED

DC Date,Time,ID#

09/09/99,09:00:04,000001

Q: When sending a command to the reader, the reader sends back the same command to the response box.

A: The communication parameters on the reader and software may differ. Change the communication parameters in the software from the Setup menu, close and open the port if it is open, then try to communicate with the reader. If it responds then you will know the settings the reader is set to. If it doesn’t respond, change the settings again.

For example, change the data bits to 7 and the parity to odd in the software. Then send a command to the reader such as V to get the version number. If it does not respond, change the parity to even and so on.

Once the reader responds, you can change its communication parameters through the Set Serial Options. Do not forget to change the communication parameters in the software accordingly.

Q: The software is unable to communicate with the reader.

A: If you are having communication problems, make sure the following conditions are satisfied:

  • Does the selected port exist on you PC?
  • Is the reader connected to the selected port?
  • Does the communication settings in the software match those on the reader?
  • Did you check the cables for loose connections?

In addition to the above, when communicating in protocol mode make sure the following conditions are satisfied as well.

  • Did you set the communication settings in the software and in the reader to the following: 8 data bits, 1 stop bit, no parity, baud rate (1200-19200)?
  • Does the protocol settings in the software match those on the reader?
  • Does the reader’s unit address match the unit address set in the software?

 

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