Edition 23


Kentec USB Lead – Configuring the serial port

Many modern laptop computers are no longer supplied with the standard RS232 serial port required to interface with the Syncro and Solo control panels, (using the standard S187 serial download lead).
The simple solution to this problem is to use a USB to RS232 Serial Converter, such as Kentec part reference U187, to provide the serial port connection for the serial download lead.

When installing the USB serial converter, the driver for the converter will automatically allocate a serial COM port for the device. This port allocation will depend to some degree on the computer hardware and existing port usage, however it is unlikely to be the default COM1 allocated in the Loop Explorer configuration program for the Syncro and Solo panels.
The result of this mismatch is that it will not be possible to connect and transfer the site configuration files to and from the control panels.

It is therefore necessary to determine the COM port number allocated to the USB converter in order to allow the panel and computer to communicate.

The following procedure is used to determine the USB device COM port.

1. Plug in the U187 converter into the computer and follow the installation instructions.
2. Click the windows “Start” button then select “Control Panel”
3. If the Windows Control Panel is in “Category View” click and select “Switch to Classic View”
4. Double click on the “System” icon in the System Properties form and then select the “Hardware” tab.
5. Select the “Device Manager” button, which will display a tree view of all devices.
6. Click and expand the “Ports (COM & LPT)” tree view item. You will see the “Belkin Serial device on USB port”, with the currently allocated COM port in brackets.
7. If the currently allocated COM port for this device is in the range 1-8, then it is possible to amend Loop Explorer to use this port setting. If the COM port is greater than 8, then it will be necessary to change the COM port of this device using the detailed instructions below.
8. To modify the Loop Explorer program to connect to the panels using alternative COM ports, open the Loop Explorer program, then click on the File menu and select the “Options” item. Select the same COM port as the USB to serial converter.

For detailed instructions plus additional information on changing the COM port for the USB to Serial Converter:


Syncro Communication Module

21CN Networks
Throughout the UK there is an ongoing program to update the BT communications infrastructure to 21CN, their next generation advanced communication network.
This update program initially started in South Wales late in 2006, but the ongoing program is targeting to update all the UK by 2011. Future expansion outside the UK to 21CN technology is inevitable.

The purpose of 21CN is to provide an end-to-end IP-based network and consolidate existing services, plus to provide a converged high-speed system for the future.

We have been asked if this update to the BT network will cause problems with the Syncro Communications Module (part ref K556P) in the future. We can advise that the modem unit in the Syncro Communications module is 21CN compatible and should not cause any problems as the 21CN rollout progresses.

For details of the update program and how and when it may affect you, refer to the following site www.switchedonuk.org

For more information on 21CN, follow the following link www.btplc.com/21CN/

For more details on the Syncro comms module:


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Kentec Electronics Ltd.
Tel: +44 (0)1322 222121 Fax: +44(0)1322 291794