To troubleshoot the connection between a ShapeArray (SAA) and SAARecorder, you should check the following items:


1. Check the COM port to which the ShapeArray is connected:

  • To do this, close all dialogs open in SAARecorder and select Communications \ List available COM ports
  • This will show a list of the serial COM ports currently available
  • Unplug the USB-to-serial cable and repeat the action
  • The list will have decreased by one port, this is the port which the ShapeArray interface is using
  • Repeat this process with the computer's Device Manager (right-click on the Start menu and select Device Manager) open. Expand the Ports (COM & LPT) section and watch for COM ports appearing or disappearing as you plug or unplug the USB cable.
  • Connect the USB-to-serial cable to the same USB port and make sure to only select this port when searching for Serial SAAs

2. Check to make sure that the +12V power is properly connected to the ShapeArray interface:

  • For the SAAUSB, make sure that the +12V power supply is plugged into the SAAUSB and the mains power
  • For SAA232s or SAA232-5s make sure that the +12V red & black wires are connected to a source of 12V power
  • If using a data logger for power, connect to the +12V and G terminals not the SW12V terminals since these may be switched off
  • If using an SAAFPU, make sure that the unit is fully charged. Use the battery gauge if so equipped or a voltmeter connected to the auxiliary power terminals. A fully charged battery should be greater than 12.5V

3. Check that the ShapeArray connector is properly wired and/or seated to the interface:

  • For the 4-pin circular ShapeArray connector, check for cable damage inside the connector

4. Check to see if the LED on the SAAUSB interface is lit.

5. Check that the driver for the USB-to-serial converter has been installed and is up to date:

  • If unsure, re-install SAARecorder
  • Once this is done unplug the USB to serial converter and plug it back in to the same port
  • The PC may need to be rebooted for the driver installer to finish the installation
  • If so, disconnect the ShapeArray and the power, unplug the USB to serial converter, and restart the PC
  • Once finished, make sure to connect the ShapeArray and the power as well as the USB to serial converter
  • Note that it will sometimes take a few minutes for the USB driver to be installed
  • Check the System Tray at the lower right corner of the Windows Desktop to verify the installation progress

6. In some cases, the driver for the USB to serial converter or SAAUSB will not properly load after being installed. In this situation, the failed driver must be removed and reinstalled manually. This is done using your computer's Device Manager which is located in the Control Panel. You can also navigate to the Device Manager by using your computer's search option to search for Device Manager. With Device Manager open, perform the following actions.

  • Plug in the USB to serial converter or SAAUSB and look for a new device in the Other Devices or Ports (COM & LPT) categories with a yellow exclamation mark icon as shown in the figure below. Wait for a moment to see if it load properly. If after a few minutes it does not change, the driver failed to load and will require manual intervention.
Figure 1: Examples of a USB to serial converter's driver failing to load - look for yellow exclamation marks next to devices in Device Manager
  • Right click on the device showing the yellow exclamation mark and select the Uninstall option from the context menu. When prompted, be sure to select the Delete the driver software for this device checkbox.

Figure 2: Delete the driver software from your system when prompted

  • Wait for the uninstall to complete (around 1 minute) and then plug in the USB to serial converter or SAAUSB. Watch the Device Manager window to see if the driver loads properly.
  • If the driver still does not load properly (shows a yellow exclamation mark), you must manually install it while the USB to serial converter or SAAUSB is connected. Start by using a Zip application to extract the driver files from one of the following two executable files in the SAARecorder folder (by default, C:\Measurand Inc\SAARecorder): 
    • CDM v2.08.30 WHQL Certified for Windows 8.1.exe - Windows 8.1 or newer systems
    • CDM20830_Setup.exe - Windows 7 or earlier systems
  • Right-click on the failed device / COM Port and select the Update Driver Software option from the context menu. In the Update Drivers dialog, click the Browse my computer for driver software option.

Figure 3: The Update Drivers dialog - click the option to browse the local computer

  • Enter the path or browse to the folder where you extracted the drivers from the executable in the SAARecorder folder and click the Next button. Continue through the wizard to finish the installation. Try to connect to the ShapeArray again with SAARecorder.

7. In some cases the USB to serial converter can crash:

  • Try to disconnect the USB to serial converter from the PC, and disconnect the ShapeArray and the power from the interface
  • Wait 5 seconds
  • Plug the USB to serial converter into the USB port and wait another 5 seconds
  • Connect the ShapeArray to the interface, then connect the power
  • Try to search for serial ShapeArrays again