725x, serial IR, Keyspan, connections flacky

Discussions on the Polar range of Heart Rate Monitors
witness

725x, serial IR, Keyspan, connections flacky

Post by witness » Sat Dec 26, 2009 12:40 am

Hi Stuart,
I can down load individual sessions, every time, no problem. So hardware and OS is not an issue.

But proper connections via "Connect" are pretty unreliable. Sometime it will download all sessions, 95% I can't even connect to program the watch or download sessions. However, once I do get a connection, if it is lost, it isn't going to connect again.

This 725x is made in China.

Is something being done about this because programming the watch is a pretty big feature of this software.

This has nothing to do with the hardware etc because individual sessions load every time. I suspect its a software issue with "getting overview" because it then automatically tries to get "user Info" when the software has diagnosed it is not getting data. It sure isn't getting data, you can see the IR not lighting, the watch doesn't go to COM100%, which I guess indicates you have a successful connection which probably needs to be driven by the software.

If this isn't going to be fixed, I think you need to change the blurb about supporting Polar S series and what is actually working in ISMARTtrain for the S series.

many thanks john

Frank Bowman
Posts: 45
Joined: Thu Jul 24, 2008 4:26 pm

Re: 725x, serial IR, Keyspan, connections flacky

Post by Frank Bowman » Fri Jan 01, 2010 10:41 am

Hello.
I've never been able to get this function to work, either. Just tried again and get the 'No data received. Please check connection....' error message when trying to read the 725x by Keyspan IR.

Frank Bowman
Posts: 45
Joined: Thu Jul 24, 2008 4:26 pm

Re: 725x, serial IR, Keyspan, connections flacky

Post by Frank Bowman » Tue Jan 05, 2010 9:04 pm

Hello Stuart.

Can you advise on whether this feature is supposed to work?

Thanks.

Stuart
Site Admin
Posts: 441
Joined: Sun Jul 13, 2008 12:15 pm

Re: 725x, serial IR, Keyspan, connections flacky

Post by Stuart » Tue Jan 05, 2010 9:12 pm

Frank Bowman wrote:Hello Stuart.

Can you advise on whether this feature is supposed to work?

Thanks.


The 'Manage Hardware' should work on the S725x - however, it's the old problem that if Polar won't disclose the exact protocol details, then it'll probably never work reliably, as it's based on my reverse-engineering.

Thanks & Regards

Stuart

feleven
Posts: 21
Joined: Sat Feb 20, 2010 11:50 pm

Re: 725x, serial IR, Keyspan, connections flacky

Post by feleven » Sun Feb 28, 2010 4:04 am

Stuart, I'm taking an interest in this driver issue for Macs at the coding level - this is a fatal stumbling block for iST, so it needs to be cleared away to expand the opportunities for iST success in the growing Mac world. Its been a LONG time since I wrote C code (like late 80's), but I'd like to lend you a hand if you want it.

I keep reading on the web that the Polar IR USB interface has a standards-compliance problem that Macs won't tolerate. Is this an electrical issue of the USB interface handshake, or something else? I ask because whether people use the Polar IR USB or some 3rd party brand IR USB interface, none of them appear to work. So from that I assume that the problem is actually a protocol non-compliance within the Polar s series wrist sets. I also assume from this that the Polar IR Serial interface must correct for this non-compliance when converting the IR data stream to an RS232 standards-compliant data stream that the Keyspan converter can accept and submit as a USB-compliant protocol to the Mac.

Do you have source for a USB Mac driver for iST that you could share with me for this purpose (I'll sign an NDA if that helps)? If the driver has a debugging switch, I'd be happy to spend some time on it and see if I can sort out what needs to be done to get it communicating.

If this is okay with you, could you let me know what you've already researched in this regard, so I can get up to speed before wandering out onto the frontier on my own? You already have my email address, so communicate directly with me that way if you prefer.

I realize such an effort would result in a USB non-compliant driver specific to the Polar-Mac combinations, but if Polar isn't helping you, and they continue with their lack of interest in Mac-users, it appears we'll have to sort out this problem without their input. If others are like me, they use their higher-end Polar HRMs for many years before changing, so a working driver would probably be useful for some time to come.

Anyway, I offer to be your code-grunt for this problem... if I can't help, then nothing is lost. If I can, then one of your nastiest user problems can be resolved for a while.
___________
Rod
[iSmartTrain V4.1.1 (92) on MacBookPro]
[Polar H7 paired to RunKeeper iPhone app, RK gpx file exported to HD, gpx file imported to iST]

Stuart
Site Admin
Posts: 441
Joined: Sun Jul 13, 2008 12:15 pm

Re: 725x, serial IR, Keyspan, connections flacky

Post by Stuart » Sun Feb 28, 2010 12:52 pm

feleven wrote:Stuart, I'm taking an interest in this driver issue for Macs at the coding level - this is a fatal stumbling block for iST, so it needs to be cleared away to expand the opportunities for iST success in the growing Mac world. Its been a LONG time since I wrote C code (like late 80's), but I'd like to lend you a hand if you want it.

I keep reading on the web that the Polar IR USB interface has a standards-compliance problem that Macs won't tolerate. Is this an electrical issue of the USB interface handshake, or something else? I ask because whether people use the Polar IR USB or some 3rd party brand IR USB interface, none of them appear to work. So from that I assume that the problem is actually a protocol non-compliance within the Polar s series wrist sets. I also assume from this that the Polar IR Serial interface must correct for this non-compliance when converting the IR data stream to an RS232 standards-compliant data stream that the Keyspan converter can accept and submit as a USB-compliant protocol to the Mac.

Do you have source for a USB Mac driver for iST that you could share with me for this purpose (I'll sign an NDA if that helps)? If the driver has a debugging switch, I'd be happy to spend some time on it and see if I can sort out what needs to be done to get it communicating.

If this is okay with you, could you let me know what you've already researched in this regard, so I can get up to speed before wandering out onto the frontier on my own? You already have my email address, so communicate directly with me that way if you prefer.

I realize such an effort would result in a USB non-compliant driver specific to the Polar-Mac combinations, but if Polar isn't helping you, and they continue with their lack of interest in Mac-users, it appears we'll have to sort out this problem without their input. If others are like me, they use their higher-end Polar HRMs for many years before changing, so a working driver would probably be useful for some time to come.

Anyway, I offer to be your code-grunt for this problem... if I can't help, then nothing is lost. If I can, then one of your nastiest user problems can be resolved for a while.


Hi,
The original, white, IR-USB adaptor (the flat one) was not completely compatible with the USB 1.1 specification, and neither we nor Apple could make it work with a Mac. It also had a number of problems on PCs which were mostly likely cause by the same incompatibility.

The newer IR-USB2 adaptors (the round ones) are fully compatible with the USB spec. The problem with these is the driver. On our site, there's the source code of the Sigmatel chipset (http://www.ismarttrain.com/drivers/), which was used in the first Polar IR-USB2 adaptors. This driver more-or-less works. The latest IR-USB2 adaptors from Polar use the Moschip chipset. They don't have a Mac Intel driver available, nor are they wiling to provide me with the source code for the PowerPC driver to re-work as an Intel driver. I'm still in communication with them about this, and hope to get a working driver out of them at some point soon.

That's the interface issue dealt with - the easy part!

Current IrDA devices on the Mac (this includes the Belkin drivers, my Sigmatel driver and the Moschip drivers) can only communicate with devices that use IrCOMM as the communication protocol. The most recent Polar models (RS & CS devices) use IrCOMM.

The older 'S' series models use IrLAP and TinyTP to communication. These are lower level protocols than IrCOMM (IrCOMM is built on top of IrLAP & TinyTP). They also support something called DirectIR which is an old IR protocol, originally developed by Nokia - I suspect that this is the protocol used when communication with the IR-Serial and the original IR-USB interfaces.

Now this is where it gets complicated (or interesting, depending on your point of view). When an IR device, such as a Polar watch, first communicates with an IR interface, it advertises the protocols that it supports. The S625x and S725x advertise themselves as being IrCOMM devices. However, I haven't been able to 'talk' to them (I'm using an S625x) using IrCOMM. It seems that they try to use IrLAP & TinyTP first, and then give up.

Anyway, feel free to have a poke around with the driver software, and let me know if there's any other information I can help you with.

Thanks & Regards

Stuart

rwiker
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Aug 12, 2009 4:24 pm

Re: 725x, serial IR, Keyspan, connections flacky

Post by rwiker » Mon Mar 01, 2010 5:37 pm

I'd just like to mention that MosChip has posted updated drivers - the download for MacOSX now contains 3 zip files for MacOSX 10.3, 10.4 and 10.5 - no 10.6 (yet). I've installed the 10.5 version on my MBP (which runs 10.6); it detects when the MosChip stick is inserted/removed, but I'm unable to transfer any data (using either iSMARTtrain or rs400 (open-source, command-line utility for communicating with rs* watches)).

It could well be that this driver works with 10.5... I have no chance to test this, as I don't have any Macs running 10.5.

Note that the download page at MosChip does not in any way indicate that the driver has changed... you need to download either the readme file or the driver file to discover that.

Stuart
Site Admin
Posts: 441
Joined: Sun Jul 13, 2008 12:15 pm

Re: 725x, serial IR, Keyspan, connections flacky

Post by Stuart » Mon Mar 01, 2010 9:38 pm

rwiker wrote:I'd just like to mention that MosChip has posted updated drivers - the download for MacOSX now contains 3 zip files for MacOSX 10.3, 10.4 and 10.5 - no 10.6 (yet). I've installed the 10.5 version on my MBP (which runs 10.6); it detects when the MosChip stick is inserted/removed, but I'm unable to transfer any data (using either iSMARTtrain or rs400 (open-source, command-line utility for communicating with rs* watches)).

It could well be that this driver works with 10.5... I have no chance to test this, as I don't have any Macs running 10.5.

Note that the download page at MosChip does not in any way indicate that the driver has changed... you need to download either the readme file or the driver file to discover that.


Thanks for that! I'll have a look. I've got a Mac with 10.5 on it, so i'll give it a whirl.

Thanks & Regards

Stuart

feleven
Posts: 21
Joined: Sat Feb 20, 2010 11:50 pm

Re: 725x, serial IR, Keyspan, connections flacky

Post by feleven » Wed Mar 03, 2010 12:39 am

I downloaded your driver files and rifled through them... holy crap, that's a lot of code!

I used to write code under QNX on real-time multi-threaded applications, but that was before POSIX and windows came onto the scene in a big way. While I recognize and am comfortable with a lot of the standard ANSI C stuff in these files (I'll have to brush up on pointers, tho), the callback functions and so on associated with a GUI layer are something I'll have to do some homework on if I want to help you out! :oops:

Ah well, life is about learning new stuff... ;) I'll let you know if I have any questions.
___________
Rod
[iSmartTrain V4.1.1 (92) on MacBookPro]
[Polar H7 paired to RunKeeper iPhone app, RK gpx file exported to HD, gpx file imported to iST]

feleven
Posts: 21
Joined: Sat Feb 20, 2010 11:50 pm

Re: 725x, serial IR, Keyspan, connections flacky

Post by feleven » Thu Jul 29, 2010 5:56 am

Just an update - after spending a fair amount of time going through your code, and trying to educate myself about GUI programming, I finally have to admit I'm over my head for the time I have available.

I was thinking that if you could run both the IrLAP and TinyTP protocols in parallel with the IrCOMM protocols, so that messages that fail in one protocol maybe get accepted in the other, then maybe the wrist unit would respond to each msg as appropriate, allowing the kludged driver to complete the comm link. There would need to be two (or more) threads running in parallel, each sending requests and waiting for replies, and then sending what they get back to a common "management" thread that would discard the failed comms and continue with the successful comms. Anyway, that was the workaround concept I had in my head. Its about as non-standard and spooged a solution as I could come up with, but in the end I don't have the coding experience to even test the concept.

So... sorry, Stuart - I guess I'm no help to you here after all. I'll keep looking at the code you sent me - maybe a light will go on somewhere along the line.

On the semi-bright side, I may have found a source for a few of the black IR-Serial interfaces... if it pans out, I'll post contact info and the pricing. I have no idea at this time how many this supplier has, or even if they are the right model for the S625X/S725X wrist units. I should find out tomorrow.
___________
Rod
[iSmartTrain V4.1.1 (92) on MacBookPro]
[Polar H7 paired to RunKeeper iPhone app, RK gpx file exported to HD, gpx file imported to iST]

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