First and foremost, we would recommend that the user read the first chapter of Photo Research's SpectraWin Instruction manual,
as well as the second chapter of Photo Research's SpectraScan Instruction Manual. All else has failed. Otherwise,
you wouldn't be at this webpage. After you have read that, you are welcome to the information found on this page.
We found that a few of our problems (and their fixes) were as follows:
Some miscellaneous errata:
First time use of the PR-715.
The SpectraScan was not in Remote Mode
One can tell it is in Remote Mode y looking at the LCD display on the back of the PR715. The first line should say
PR-715 REMOTE MODE. If it does not say this,
that means that the program has not sent the text 'PR715' across the COM port to
the SpectraScan device. If you are writing your own code to interface with it,
make sure that this is the first thing that you send and that you then wait for
'REMOTE MODE\r\n' to come back across the pipe to you. If you are using
SpectraWin, this should not be a problem.
In SpectraWin, it has a default mode of "DEMO" which always gives back the same spectral Radiance
curve when ever a measurement is taken. Go to "Setup" then "Instrument Selection," and make
sure that PR-715 is highlighted under the crazy color they choose (ours is PINK!). If the PR-715
is not in the list at all, then you have a problem with your COM port bindings. See COM Port Setup.
COM Port Settings
This is perhaps the most "technical" portion so far. You will need to go to your device manager ("Control Panel" -->
"System" --> "Hardware" --> "Device Manager"). There should be a note in there for "Ports (COM & LPT)". Click on that.
If you do not have TWO "Communcations Port" entries (COM1 and COM2), then you have the same problem we had! First, we
uninstalled the COM port that was there (we had COM2 twice). Next, we rebooted, and while the machine was starting up
we entered BIOS. If you don't know how to enter BIOS, don't know what it is, or don't feel comfortable uninstalling
hardware under the Device Manager, find someone who does and get them to do this. After you enter BIOS, you will need
to find any place where it talks about the COM ports. Every BIOS is different, so I can't go into detail that would
help too much. We needed to change our configuration so that COM Port 1 was BOUND to 1 and COM Port 2 was BOUND to 2,
instead of the machine trying to find the best one. After fixing the BIOS save and reboot. Windows should point out
that it has found new hardware and will reinstall the COM ports. Go to the device manager again and make sure that
BOTH COM ports are there. After this, you should be able to find the SpectraScan out of whichever COM port it's plugged
into. (PLEASE tell me you plugged it in!)
For starters, Hyperterminal is found (under Windows98/NT/2000) in the Programs
--> Accessories --> Communication folder. It will ask for Location Information
which you are free to give if you feel inclined, but since we won't be using
hyperterminal to go across the phone line, but out the COM port, I don't think
it really matters to give it this information.
Unfortunately, when Hyperterminal usually comes up you are immediately assaulted
by a screen that instructs you to call AT&T or some other company. You do not
want that. You should close that prompt, and go to File --> Properties. In
'Connect To', you should make sure that 'Connect using:' has the name of the
correct COM port (1 or 2 usually). It would also be wise to make sure that the
'Properties' button has the correct values in it's dialog box. Our
documentation says that it runs at 9600 Baud Rate (Bits per second), needs NO
parity bit and that the flow control should be 'None.' If you want to see the
letters that you type as you type them, go to 'Settings' and push the 'ASCII
Setup' button. Click the 'Echo typed characters locally' setting so that there
is a check mark there. If there is already a check mark, don't click it!
First time use of the PR-715
After waiting 10 minutes for the SpectraScan to warm up, it is ready to run.
However, we found that ours ignored incoming data (such as a 'PR715' command)
until after some of it's buttons had been pushed. I found that pushing the
'FWD' button once or twice did the trick just fine.