ComBlock units are designed with simplicity in mind. However, a few precautions must be exercised for simple, safe and reliable operation:
- When powering ComBlock modules with a differential output power supply, please be sure to connect the (–) side of the power supply to ground so that supply voltages are not floating.
- The supply wires should not be too thin; otherwise the supply current may cause a (variable) voltage dropout during operations. We recommend AWG18 or thicker wires. In all cases, measure the supply voltage at the green terminal block, not just at the power supply output. For reliable operation, the supply voltage, nominally +5DC, should always be greater than 4.9V at the green terminal block.
- ComBlocks are designed to be protected against accidental reverse voltage at the terminal block. This feature is an insurance policy. Please take a few seconds to verify that the +/- supply wires are not inverted, as there is always a possibility that the board may be damaged.
- The ComBlock USB interface operates at very high speed (480 Mbits/s). Reliable USB operation mandates a short (3’ or 1m is recommended) cable rated for USB 2.0 high-speed. In the rare case of unreliable USB communication, a first step is to reboot the computer and switch to another USB cable.
- ComBlock assemblies can be connected to the host computer in many ways: serial, LAN, USB, etc. Never communicate with a ComBlock assembly over two media at the same time as the ComBlock Control Center software will be confused when identifying the individual ComBlocks. Before switching to a different medium, we recommend switching the power off and on.
Step 1: USB driver installation
Most ComBlock transceivers and modules are configured, at least initially, from a PC via a USB cable. This requires the one-time installation of a USB driver on a Windows PC. First download the USB20 compressed folder from comblock.com/download/usb20.zip and unzip. Connect a ComBlock unit to a PC via a USB cable. Power up. Then go to the Windows PC device manager and install the driver located in USB 2.0\GUI rev 4.x windows64\Windows Driver The ComBlock USB driver is unsigned, which may cause Windows to report a failure. If so, follow the procedure described in https://www.maketecheasier.com/install-unsigned-drivers-windows10/
Step 2: install the ComBlock Control Center GUI
The ComBlock Control Center is the Graphical User Interface to monitor and control ComBlock units via USB or LAN. Download the installer .exe file from comblock.com/download.html, then run it. The user manual is available at comblock.com/download/ccchelp.pdf
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