Enhancing Yamaha AVRs via RS-232 - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 291 Old 09-14-2008, 07:38 AM - Thread Starter
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This thread discusses various PC applications that can add new functionality to Yamaha receivers via an RS-232 connection. (Note that they won't work on the RX-V3900 or RX-Z7 because these models use a different RS-232 protocol.)


VolumeControl
This may be of interest to anyone who doesn't like the graphical volume display on recent models and wants to see larger numbers displayed on the front panel. It also allows you to display various extra information such as the current signal info or time of day on the front panel.

The idea of this application is not to control the receiver directly (i.e. you don't have to sit with a laptop while watching a movie!), but instead the PC application will modify the behaviour of the regular remote control, to add new features you didn't have before. (Note that it requires an active RS-232 connection at all times to the application running on the PC in order to work. When you break this connection you lose the new functionality.)

The latest version of VolumeControl can be downloaded here.
Screenshots and more information are here.

Note that if you have an RX-V1800 or HTR-6190 you can get a better fix for the volume display by installing new firmware.
Unfortunately VolumeControl won't work on the RX-V1700/2700.


PEQedit
This program's main purpose is to allow you to make manual changes to the parametric equalizer on models that don't normally allow it (the RX-V1700/1800/1900). However, it also works on other models and is quite useful even without an RS-232 connection as a way to visualize how the PEQ parameters (especially Q) affect the shape of the filters.

The latest version of PEQedit can be downloaded here.
Screenshots are here, and in the following post.


Other ideas
There are many other things that could potentially be done. For instance it should be possible to implement something like THX Loudness Plus (similar to Audyssey Dynamic EQ), that automatically changes the tonal balance and surround levels as the volume is lowered.

If anyone is interested in the Yamaha RS-232 protocol, download this.

Within that ZIP file the most useful documents are for the Vx700 (they are more complete than those for the Vx800). In RX-Vx700_RS232C_Standard.pdf, the first page explains what kind of cable is needed (it's a Null Modem cable where pins 2/3 and 7/8 are reversed w.r.t. a normal RS-232 cable).

If your computer doesn't have a serial port then there are plenty of USB to serial adapters available that will give you ability to connect to your receiver's RS-232 port.

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post #2 of 291 Old 09-14-2008, 07:39 AM - Thread Starter
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Here's the first example of a PC application that can modify the behaviour of the regular remote control, in this case to make the volume up/down buttons behave differently:



It's been tested on an RX-V1800 and 3800 (whose normal volume display is too small to read from more than a few feet away). Unfortunately it doesn't work on the 1700/2700. It gives you back a readable volume display in dB (replacing the graphical volume bar), and you can select how much each press of the remote changes the volume (0.5, 1, or 2dB). You can also see signal info on the front panel that normally you can't get without bringing up the OSD that interrupts the movie you're watching. Here's the normal display with tiny numbers:



And here's what you can have instead:







I'll put the ZIP file with the actual application in the next post as I've already reached 5 attachments. There's a readme.txt file in the ZIP with more details. If you're happy with the current volume bar this may not be too interesting. But if you're like me and need to know the actual volume setting in dB, and want a quick way to adjust the volume in precise increments (1, 2 dB etc.), you might find it useful.
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post #3 of 291 Old 09-14-2008, 07:39 AM - Thread Starter
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Here's the volume control application described in the previous post. Version 1.04 is a minor update that displays the volume correctly if you use volume memory presets.

 

VolumeControl_v1.04.zip 22.822265625k . file
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post #4 of 291 Old 09-14-2008, 08:42 AM
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Great job krik! You may want to add some of these links regarding RMS, Null Modem Cable, Null adapters, etc... to your forum starter. This way it's all in one place for people to resource what-why-how.

I'll delete this post after you add what links etc.. you wish. You probably want to reorganize it all as I'm just throwing out here a bunch of RMS links, posts, info, etc...

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showp...&postcount=458


2700 Resources (links and explanations of RMS for x700 series)
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showp...postcount=3846

3800 RMS (posted link does not work, but works in my Word doc????)
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/attac...1&d=1192418296

Requires NULL Modem Connection (str8 thru RS232 cable with pins 2&3 and 7&8 reversed)
Standard Null Modem cable from Monoprice.com is like $1.73 for a 10' length

Other Options to achieve RS232/Null connection:
- USB to RS232 Converter (if your computer does not have an RS232 port)
- Null Modem Adapter (reverses the proper pins from a str8 thru RS232 cable)
- Str8 thru RS232 cable without sealed ends (open and reverse pins)

1800 RMS
http://www.yamahapab.com/assets/down...r1800_v103.zip

RMS post link to DL 3800 RMS:
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showp...postcount=1165
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post #5 of 291 Old 09-14-2008, 08:45 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikl1984 View Post
I tested already with V2700
Show Volume and Signal Info on PC , but no interesting info on reciever
Although I have the HTR-6190 (same as RX-V1800), I definitely expected things to work on the 1700/2700 because everything is based on the documented RS-232 protocol for the Vx700 (the document attached).

Did you try enabling one or more of the "Timed Messages" to see if it displays anything?

Also, even if the volume is not displayed, is it changing the volume in steps according the "Vol Step" setting? e.g. set it to 2dB and see if each volume up/down press on the remote changes by 2dB.

 

RX-Vx700_RS232C_Standard.pdf 129.1865234375k . file
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post #6 of 291 Old 09-14-2008, 08:57 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aus_tony01 View Post

Nice! Are you going to provide the source code, I have a Linksys NSLU2 in my HT setup (affectionately known as a slug) with a USB-serial adapter to talk to my PVR, but would be nice to wack another adapter in on the USB hub I am running and run something like your windows tool, but in the slug (embedded linux) environment.

I wasn't really planning to provide the source code right now, but I can see the attraction of running this kind of application in a device like the "slug" that's already part of your setup, rather than involving an additional PC.

The code today is in Visual Basic (I started the first experiments with VB and then stuck with it because it was working OK). So it would need to be drastically changed to port it to the slug environment anyway. But I'd be happy to discuss how it works if you want to create something similar for the slug.
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post #7 of 291 Old 09-14-2008, 09:00 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toby10 View Post

Great job krik! You may want to add some of these links regarding RMS, Null Modem Cable, Null adapters, etc... to your forum starter. This way it's all in one place for people to resource what-why-how.

Thanks, I'll do that shortly.

BTW maybe you could give it a try and see if it seems to work on your 2700 (if that's what you have). There was a report it might have problems on the 2700.
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post #8 of 291 Old 09-14-2008, 09:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kriktsemaj99 View Post

Thanks, I'll do that shortly.

BTW maybe you could give it a try and see if it seems to work on your 2700 (if that's what you have). There was a report it might have problems on the 2700.

I'd be happy to play with it but I don't keep my computer connected to my 2700. When I get a chance I'll report back.
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post #9 of 291 Old 09-14-2008, 12:27 PM
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Does anybody know where could I get ahold of a RS-232 cable for RX-V863. It uses some weird connector which name I do not know. So I can not google it. If anyone has a schematics, description or some other document about it, I would apperciate it.
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post #10 of 291 Old 09-14-2008, 01:10 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raveer View Post

Does anybody know where could I get ahold of a RS-232 cable for RX-V863. It uses some weird connector which name I do not know. So I can not google it. If anyone has a schematics, description or some other document about it, I would apperciate it.

I'm afraid I don't, but even if you find the cable the 863 may not respond to RS-232 control commands (since they don't advertise RS-232 control). It could be only for firmware updates.
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post #11 of 291 Old 09-14-2008, 01:26 PM
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I see. Thank you for the anwser. I will try to get a hold of service manual and see what can be done with it.
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post #12 of 291 Old 09-14-2008, 02:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kriktsemaj99 View Post

Did you try enabling one or more of the "Timed Messages" to see if it displays anything?

Also, even if the volume is not displayed, is it changing the volume in steps according the "Vol Step" setting? e.g. set it to 2dB and see if each volume up/down press on the remote changes by 2dB.

I try all possible modes - no good result on V2700
Display is blinking ( I saw "Main Volume" for about 0.1s) and return to original condition.

Vol Step is working, but I saw several times exception error when 0.5dB was set.
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post #13 of 291 Old 09-14-2008, 03:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kriktsemaj99 View Post

The code today is in Visual Basic (I started the first experiments with VB and then stuck with it because it was working OK). So it would need to be drastically changed to port it to the slug environment anyway. But I'd be happy to discuss how it works if you want to create something similar for the slug.

I don't mind porting from one env to another (done it a few times), it was really about getting pointers on how you get input and how you send output, but if the RS232 protocol for the Yamaha is publicly avail I can probably work it out anyway. I don't have my 3800 yet, should be getting it in a couple of days, and what you had achieved has interested me in what might be achievable with this unit.
Thanks for providing the ideas to get more out of the Yammie!
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post #14 of 291 Old 09-14-2008, 04:40 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikl1984 View Post

I try all possible modes - no good result on V2700
Display is blinking ( I saw "Main Volume" for about 0.1s) and return to original condition.

Vol Step is working, but I saw several times exception error when 0.5dB was set.

That's odd, it might be the 2700 but perhaps it's something to do with the .NET framework that's installed on your PC? I've given the program a lot of testing on my PC and never seen an exception generated.

Sounds like we need another 2700 owner to see if they have the same problem as you. toby10, time to connect that PC!

Actually, it would be good to hear that it's working for anybody else, because maybe there's something odd about my PC. But I am using it on a different machine from the one that built the application, so that gives me some confidence it should work for others. Check that you have the .NET framework version 2.0.
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post #15 of 291 Old 09-15-2008, 05:57 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OttoElectronic View Post

Primarily, I would like to be able to adjust the parametric equalizer. YAPO results -need- correction. Weird things are happening in the low frequency area, as the thing attempts to "equalize" room modes. Save/restore of the current settings only (not the presets) would be nice, too, to speed things up. Something like a hybrid between async and realt time mode, but that's not too important for me. I will (probably) write a progam to get/set the PEQ settings, but, knowing my joy and bliss at Windows GUI programming, I guess it will be command line only. I noticed that the prologue sent by RM to the receiver, as logged by portmon, differs from what is in RX-Vx800_RS232C_Standard.pdf RX-Vx800_RS232C_Extended.pdf. Do you know anything about that?

An easy way to do manual adjustment of the PEQ on the 1800 would be very useful, but notice that there aren't any control commands to set the PEQ parameters (unlike on the 3800). As far as I know it can only be done by restoring settings (or a system memory) that have YPAO enabled.

For the prologue (if you mean the "configuration command" that's a few hundred bytes long with all the current settings), I haven't looked at it in detail but I will be soon.
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post #16 of 291 Old 09-15-2008, 07:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kriktsemaj99 View Post

That's odd, it might be the 2700 but perhaps it's something to do with the .NET framework that's installed on your PC? I've given the program a lot of testing on my PC and never seen an exception generated.

Sounds like we need another 2700 owner to see if they have the same problem as you. toby10, time to connect that PC!

Actually, it would be good to hear that it's working for anybody else, because maybe there's something odd about my PC. But I am using it on a different machine from the one that built the application, so that gives me some confidence it should work for others. Check that you have the .NET framework version 2.0.

Good news & bad news.

It does connect to my 2700 on COM 6, though it gives me an initial error msg "Unhandled exception.....", I chose continue and it connects.

Volume is displaying in program correctly, but no screen changes on my 2700. In fact it gets "jumpy" like it is trying to display something for a split second, but only displays the normal info. Increased Timed Msgs to 10 seconds with same results.

No signal info displayed in program nor on AVR.

Let me know if you need any more feedback or further testing. But keep in mind I'm a computer moron so don't get too technical on me.

WinXP sp3
.NET 2.0 (just dl for this purpuse, perhaps I need an update??)

P.S. When opening the program it asks if I want to EXTRACT ALL or RUN. There is nothing in the READ ME to tell me which I should do (unless I missed it).
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post #17 of 291 Old 09-15-2008, 09:49 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toby10 View Post

Good news & bad news.

It does connect to my 2700 on COM 6, though it gives me an initial error msg "Unhandled exception.....", I chose continue and it connects.

Volume is displaying in program correctly, but no screen changes on my 2700. In fact it gets "jumpy" like it is trying to display something for a split second, but only displays the normal info. Increased Timed Msgs to 10 seconds with same results.

No signal info displayed in program nor on AVR.

Let me know if you need any more feedback or further testing. But keep in mind I'm a computer moron so don't get too technical on me.

WinXP sp3
.NET 2.0 (just dl for this purpuse, perhaps I need an update??)

P.S. When opening the program it asks if I want to EXTRACT ALL or RUN. There is nothing in the READ ME to tell me which I should do (unless I missed it).

Thanks for testing, it sounds like the same behaviour as Mikl1984 was seeing.

Tonight I'll re-download the version I posted and try it on a few different machines to see if I can see the same problem. Did you save the ZIP file to your computer, and then open it and copy the .exe to a normal folder before running it? If not please do. Don't try to run it directly from the compressed folder or I think it may get confused.

At this point I don't know whether it's a problem with what I uploaded, or an unexpected difference between between the 1800 and 2700. If I can't figure it out I'll make a debug version that prints out more diagnostic info.
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post #18 of 291 Old 09-15-2008, 10:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kriktsemaj99 View Post

Thanks for testing, it sounds like the same behaviour as Mikl1984 was seeing.

At this point I don't know whether it's a problem with what I uploaded, or an unexpected difference between between the 1800 and 2700. If I can't figure it out I'll make a debug version that prints out more diagnostic info.

Abs the same symptoms with toby and other russian guy.

Debug version is preferable
Or even better sequence of used command
May be I will advice smth

If you are interested in I will send report about exception errors

Also rather buggy Signal Info. In some case appear/disappear without visible reasons.
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post #19 of 291 Old 09-15-2008, 10:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kriktsemaj99 View Post

Thanks for testing, it sounds like the same behaviour as Mikl1984 was seeing.

Tonight I'll re-download the version I posted and try it on a few different machines to see if I can see the same problem. Did you save the ZIP file to your computer, and then open it and copy the .exe to a normal folder before running it? If not please do. Don't try to run it directly from the compressed folder or I think it may get confused.

At this point I don't know whether it's a problem with what I uploaded, or an unexpected difference between between the 1800 and 2700. If I can't figure it out I'll make a debug version that prints out more diagnostic info.

The DL program "VolumeControl_v1.0" was saved to my computer but does not show itself as a ZIP program, just a file folder. Opening that file it has the Read Me and the file "VolumeControl", type of file says "Application" and description "VB Test", size is 47.5 kb.

If any of that helps
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post #20 of 291 Old 09-15-2008, 11:24 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikl1984 View Post

If you are interested in I will send report about exception errors

Yes, if the exception error looks like it has anything useful in it, please send me the info (PM if you want).
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post #21 of 291 Old 09-15-2008, 11:53 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toby10 View Post

The DL program "VolumeControl_v1.0" was saved to my computer but does not show itself as a ZIP program, just a file folder. Opening that file it has the Read Me and the file "VolumeControl", type of file says "Application" and description "VB Test", size is 47.5 kb.

The attachment is definitely a ZIP file (it shows up as VolumeControl_v1.0.zip in the post, at least for me). And when you download it it's still a ZIP (even if Windows is hiding the .zip extension on your computer). So when you open the downloaded folder, you need to drag the .exe file into a normal folder before running it. (This may not make it work any better, but you don't want to run it directly from the compressed folder).
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post #22 of 291 Old 09-15-2008, 08:29 PM
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Pardon my density: this application is used to change some internal setting that stays changed until you change it back? Does it stay changed after main off? Are we "controlling" the receiver with this app or "modifying" the internal parameters it uses to decide how the UI looks and feels?
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post #23 of 291 Old 09-15-2008, 08:34 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OttoElectronic View Post

I noticed that the prologue sent by RM to the receiver, as logged by portmon, differs from what is in RX-Vx800_RS232C_Standard.pdf RX-Vx800_RS232C_Extended.pdf. Do you know anything about that?

Now I see what you mean. The doc says first to send the "Ready" command to the receiver, then it will reply with the Configuration command. But looking at what RMS does (in real-time mode), it never sends the Ready command. What I see RMS sending is:

20000 (Enable report commands)
07A1D (All zone power ON) --- and it sends this twice for some reason
07E7E (Main zone power ON) --- this one is also sent twice

Now the receiver responds with the configuration command (which it always sends when it's powered on). But while the doc says this should have a length of 174 bytes (DT0 to DT173), it's actually 181. The first 174 bytes match the doc, but I don't know what the extra 7 mean.

In a custom application there's no reason to do what RMS does, although forcing the main power on might be a good idea because some things don't work in standby mode.
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post #24 of 291 Old 09-16-2008, 04:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick W View Post

Pardon my density: this application is used to change some internal setting that stays changed until you change it back? Does it stay changed after main off? Are we "controlling" the receiver with this app or "modifying" the internal parameters it uses to decide how the UI looks and feels?

The program changes what is displayed on your AVR's front panel while you are sending volume commands from your remote. You can also alter what volume interval you wish to use when using volume + or -

Keep in mind this only works if your AVR is connected to a computer via RS232 port and the VolumeControl program is running.
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post #25 of 291 Old 09-16-2008, 05:17 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toby10 View Post

The program changes what is displayed on your AVR's front panel while you are sending volume commands from your remote. You can also alter what volume interval you wish to use when using volume + or -

Keep in mind this only works if your AVR is connected to a computer via RS232 port and the VolumeControl program is running.

Yes, and I think so far I might be the only one it actually works for .

Toby, I PMed you with a test you could do on your 2700 when you have time (like right now ).
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post #26 of 291 Old 09-16-2008, 05:32 AM
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Originally Posted by kriktsemaj99 View Post

Toby, I PMed you with a test you could do on your 2700 when you have time (like right now ).

And for me please
I turn on PM in my profile
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post #27 of 291 Old 09-16-2008, 05:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toby10 View Post

Keep in mind this only works if your AVR is connected to a computer via RS232 port and the VolumeControl program is running.

Exactly the Concept of Operations information I was missing. Thanks!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kriktsemaj99 View Post

Yes, and I think so far I might be the only one it actually works for .

Toby, I PMed you with a test you could do on your 2700 when you have time (like right now ).

HA!

You sound like my accountant: "just a reminder that quaterly taxes are coming due......when you get around to it (like right NOW)!"

I'll try it again in about 15 minutes, following your PM'd instructions.
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post #29 of 291 Old 09-16-2008, 07:40 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick W View Post

Exactly the Concept of Operations information I was missing. Thanks!

I modified the first post to try and make it clearer. Blame the technical writer .
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post #30 of 291 Old 09-16-2008, 07:16 PM - Thread Starter
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For anyone with a 2700 and an RS-232 connection, here's a quick test you can do with Windows HyperTerminal that will prove once and for all whether the 2700 accepts the command to display an arbitrary text string (this way we can be sure my program is not the problem).

First, download the two attached .txt files to your computer.
Make sure your receiver is on.
Run HyperTerminal (from the Start menu it's Accessories\\Communications\\HyperTerminal).
When prompted type anything for the name of the new connection.
In the next dialog box select the proper COM port for your connection (from the drop down list at the bottom).
In the next dialog box (port settings) select 9600 bits per second, then 8/None/1/Hardware for the other settings.

Now from the HyperTerminal menu choose Transfer\\Send Text File...
Select the file MasterVolume.txt that you just downloaded and press Open.

It should have set your receiver's master volume to -67.5dB (and printed 8 characters in the HyperTerminal window). Let me know if this works.

Now from the menu again choose Transfer\\Send Text File... and this time open the OSDmessage.txt file.

It should display "Volume -14.0dB" on the front panel for 3 seconds (so make sure you can see the front panel when opening the file), and it will also print 8 characters in the HyperTerminal window. Let me know if you see the message I described.

That's it. Thanks in advance.

 

OSDmessage.txt 0.0341796875k . file

 

MasterVolume.txt 0.0068359375k . file
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