Serial ports missing - Arduino Nano Windows 7

Hi,

There are a number of thread here on this and related topics - I have read them and followed the various suggestions etc. Nothing has altered my situation:

I have just acquired a laptop to use for programming the Arduino Nano. The laptop is a Toshiba Satellite L500-1DT running 64-bit Windows 7 Home Premium Edition.

I installed the latest Arduino IDE and during the install it indicated it was installing drivers. However, when opening the Windows Device Manager (hidden items) there are no serial (COM1 etc) ports listed, they are not even greyed out. Connecting the known working Nano via a known, working USB cable nothing changes, no COM ports. (I know it's all working as I can connect it using an old WinXP Dell laptop).

I have found and installed the CH341SER program, searched all Toshiba support (such as it is) and I am going nowhere. I have looked in the Arduino install files and found that the Nano is not specifically mentioned, not even under the old drivers section.

Just to add to my situation, I can only communicate with you while I am at home and the Nano is fixed to my model railway board at the club 5 miles away where there is no internet connection. So suggestions to try something using the board might take a while :)

However, I suspect the problem is related to driver installation so it might be fixable without the board being connected.

What can you suggest next?

David

Then you don't have the right driver installed.

.

Multi dollar question, real or fake Arduino. If it’s from Ali, eBay or Amezon it’s probably fake. The IDE only comes with drivers for the real Arduino’s. If it’s a fake, have a close look at the chip next to the USB port.

And did you use the CH340 driver from the manufacturer?

septillion:
Multi dollar question, real or fake Arduino. If it’s from Ali, eBay or Amezon it’s probably fake. The IDE only comes with drivers for the real Arduino’s. If it’s a fake, have a close look at the chip next to the USB port.

And did you use the CH340 driver from the manufacturer?

If the board is a fake, how come it works just fine when connected to my old Dell WinXP machine? What would I look for on the chip?

For your second question, Yes that’s what I installed.

I’m going to try to restart the driver connection today, after a chat with my laptop supplier I may have missed a step. More news later (much later!)

David

Fake was the wrong word, clone. All Arduino's from China at least are clones so AliExpress, Banggood, eBay, Amazon etc all are 99% clones. Nothing wrong with clones, that's why it's open source :) (Although a contribution to Arduino is nice if you do buy clones, like me.)

And what to look for on the chip? The real deal has a FT232 chip on it from FTDI. Although not 100% guarantee it's real if you do have that chip. Up until FTDI-gate that was a popular chip on clone Arduino's. Only problem, the clones DID use fake chips for that..

So big piece of the puzzle, where did you buy it?

septillion: Fake was the wrong word, clone. All Arduino's from China at least are clones so AliExpress, Banggood, eBay, Amazon etc all are 99% clones. Nothing wrong with clones, that's why it's open source :) (Although a contribution to Arduino is nice if you do buy clones, like me.)

And what to look for on the chip? The real deal has a FT232 chip on it from FTDI. Although not 100% guarantee it's real if you do have that chip. Up until FTDI-gate that was a popular chip on clone Arduino's. Only problem, the clones DID use fake chips for that..

So big piece of the puzzle, where did you buy it?

I do not know where it was bought, I can find out maybe next week when the original purchaser comes back. Meantime I'll look at the chip today.

Thanks again

David

Well an unsuccessful day but some ideas. It seems that it is possible that when the computer was first connected to the Arduino Windows did not recognise it and whatever happened next was wrong and it is now added as an unknown device (it isn't) or as a device that is incorrect. As this would take ages to search the device manager, Plan 'B' is to reset the computer to it's earliest (pre-Arduino) state and start again. This I have done with system restore.

Now, so as not to repeat the problem I need to understand the correct install procedure. I am thinking to install the Arduino IDE, close it down and the connect the board via the USB cable. This should force Windows to report it and then I can point it to the FTDI files to load the driver. Or, should I point it at the CH341SER drivers?

I did read the troubleshooting and installation guide but it doesn't actually state this or indeed mention the Arduino Nano specifically.

I was unable to read the information on the actual chip despite using an 8x illuminating magnifer and I tried to take a picture of it with my camera but that didn't work too well either so I can't confirm the chip information.

I'd appreciate some guidance on my plan of action so that I can try again tomorrow.

Many thanks for your patience

David

What driver you should use depends on the chip. But it can not hurt to install both. Or actually, multiple. Because the FTDI and CH340g are not the only chips used in the past... It's a petty you don't have internet over there because some (like the real FTDI, not the fake) are detected by Windows and automatically installed.

The reading on the chips can be a total bitch to read. To find out the chip used you can also connect it up and go into device manager and check the VID and PID id's of them. Go to properties, tab Details, select Device instance path, it's part of it. If it's a FTDI it should have a VID of 0x0403 and I think 0x6001 as PID (in the path ...VID_0403_PID6001...). Can't quickly find the VID/PID for a CH340g.

Thanks, I'll see what happens later on, but if I cannot get windows to recognise it not sure how I can identify the chip. If we can, I'll turn the board over completely and use the magnifier and a camera with a macro lens.

Just curious, my Windows 10 desktop has COM ports without me doing anything, just have the usual USB stuff there.

Cheers

David

The device needs to show up in device manager whatsoever. Being it recognized (as COM), being it faulty (with a !) or just as unknown device. If it does not show up at all you have a different problem (because the PC doesn't even get as far as looking for the driver).

Is the Arduino connected to a USB 3.x port? Some chips just doesn't seem to like those, try a USB 2.0 port.

Did you try different cables?

If you Windows 10 machine has COM ports without connecting the Arduino (or COM adapters) that can mean three things (i can think of): 1) Your PC has a REAL COM port. Last couple of years they seem to be pretty common again. But this port might only be a header on you motherboard aka you might not see it on the outside. 2) You have a device connected (probably via USB) that also mimics a COM port to do it's thing. 3) You have software installed that makes a virtual COM port. If you go into the properties of that COM port you can find out if you want.

septillion: The device needs to show up in device manager whatsoever. Being it recognized (as COM), being it faulty (with a !) or just as unknown device. If it does not show up at all you have a different problem (because the PC doesn't even get as far as looking for the driver).

Is the Arduino connected to a USB 3.x port? Some chips just doesn't seem to like those, try a USB 2.0 port.

That's the problem - it probably did show up somewhere in the device manager but the tedium of going through every device looking for the associated driver was too much. So I have reverted the machine to it's virgin state and I'll plug it in tonight when it should show up probably as an unidentified item then I can point it to the drivers. I have used different cables but it only has USB 2.0 ports - it dates from 2009.

rynd2it: That's the problem - it probably did show up somewhere in the device manager but the tedium of going through every device looking for the associated driver was too much. So I have reverted the machine to it's virgin state and I'll plug it in tonight when it should show up probably as an unidentified item then I can point it to the drivers. I have used different cables but it only has USB 2.0 ports - it dates from 2009.

That didn't work :( The new laptop will not recognise the Arduino no matter what I do.

There are actually three Arduino boards on my layout (three separate baseboards) I did get one to connect to an old WinXP laptop and successfully uploaded the program by uninstalling the USB COM1 driver, Windows reinstalled it automatically and when I plugged the Arduino in it came up on COM4 - which I used successfuly. Moving that laptop to the other two boards did not work. I ran out of time but maybe I'll try the uninstall trick for each one.

Maybe unrelated but one of the boards is running hot and it's LEDs seem brighter. The input voltage is correct (12vdc) what could cause this?

Thanks again

David

Take a look here for the driver instructions and guide:

https://www.google.co.uk/amp/www.instructables.com/id/Arduino-Nano-CH340/%3famp_page=true

As an alternative you can program via the Icsp port ( 6 pin connector) with an Ftdi adapter - these work very well and bypass the on board USB Like this:

https://www.hobbyrc.co.uk/usb-5v-ftdi-pl2303-serial-adapter?gclid=EAIaIQobChMItOSHmd6M3AIVTzobCh1Oswc-EAQYAiABEgJkOPD_BwE

Well, the “instructables” is useless as all he talks about is a Mac and his screen shots are Mac. I’ll check on the USB Ftdi port although I’m not sure where it fits - photo of my installation attached.

hammy: Take a look here for the driver instructions and guide: https://www.google.co.uk/amp/www.instructables.com/id/Arduino-Nano-CH340/%3famp_page=true

That is very specify for the CH350G which this board might or might not have...

@rynd2it, that is unfortunate. Isn't it a good idea to just take out the Nano's and take them home to test there (with internet)?

Like I said, if they don't show up in Device manager (you should at least here the USB connected sound and see the list update if you plug it in) it's not a driver problem. At least not of the board, might still be a driver issue of the USB controller IN the computer.

rynd2it: Maybe unrelated but one of the boards is running hot and it's LEDs seem brighter. The input voltage is correct (12vdc) what could cause this?

An Arduino powered with 12V is borderline (at least most Arduino's including originals). On 12V it just has enough capacity to power itself but nothing else. Even a simple LED may be to much. That's due to the small linear regulator on the board witch just can get rid of it's heat. I don't know for sure with the proto board you use...

In the end it might be simpler (at least saves you from new grey hair) to just buy a couple of new ones. They are after all, dirt cheap.

Hi,

Great minds etc :slight_smile: I have just ordered three Nanos, a 12v power supply, a spare servo and a board to mount it all on to build a testbed.

The board is this:
https://www.electroniclab.co.uk/prototype-shield-io-expansion-module-for-arduino-nano-v30-46-p.asp

The servos are:

and the Nano comes from:

Curious about your remark regarding the 12v power - the write up suggests between 6 & 20vdc - but is the Nano actually powering anything else? My servos are connected to the expansion module and their 5v comes from the control panel, likewise the indicator LEDs. I am new to how all this works so if I’m missing something please tell me.

I’ve attached a schematic of one switch.

Thanks

David

rynd2it:
Great minds etc :slight_smile:

Hehe :smiley:

rynd2it:
The board is this:

No experience with that board. Regulator seems a bit bigger but still would not trust it with 12V.

rynd2it:
and the Nano comes from:

At least now you know for sure they are clones and have the CH340 :smiley:

rynd2it:
Curious about your remark regarding the 12v power - the write up suggests between 6 & 20vdc - but is the Nano actually powering anything else?

With that board, probably not. And yeah, a lot of write ups use the max ratings of the regulator. That can indeed be 20V on a lot. BUT, the regulator also needs to stay cool enough. Aka, the higher the voltage the lower the allowed current to draw from it.

rynd2it:
My servos are connected to the expansion module and their 5v comes from the control panel, likewise the indicator LEDs.

What do you mean? Do you have a separate 5V supply rail? Or do you mean with the regulator on the expansion board?

OP image
CB_Signal_wiring_one.jpg
The Arduino has no -ve and +ve connections. So I guess you mean GND and Vcc?

Still see no need for the diode. I do see the need for a pull down resistor this way. Would be simpler with common anode leds :slight_smile: That way you only need a single resistor.

OK, to clarify.

The Nano boards I have bought for testing are the ones in the link, I don't know the source of the ones on the railway yet.

The diode was added while testing the circuits prior to connecting the servos. In a group of LEDs (several switches) all the LEDs would be red if all switches were 'off'. Turning one on - to green - would result in the others glowing amber, clear indication of current being applied to both legs of the LED. Testing with a meter showed that all pins that were notionally 'off' were in fact showing 5vdc back to the LED. The diode fixed this. The addition of the 10k resistors later to prevent this 'spurious' voltage affecting the servos would have probably solved the LED issue as well but by then it was all installed so the diagram shows it as is.

I may have misunderstood your comment - the servos are connected to the expansion board so the 5vdc is coming from the Nano via the 12vdc input and the on-board regulator.

Now to await the arrival of the bits ;-)

David

rynd2it: The Nano boards I have bought for testing are the ones in the link, I don't know the source of the ones on the railway yet.

I understood. But the new ones are at least CH340's.

rynd2it: The diode was added while testing the circuits prior to connecting the servos. [...]

I still don't know why because there is no reason for it as far as I can tell. But I have no idea what is on the expansion board. And it's still not 100% clear how you connected everything. Do you just supply power to that expansion board or do you really have external regulators?

And a note, servo's might be small but can be pretty power hungry. And although that regulator on the expansion board seems a bit bigger than the one on the Nano, it's still not very big. And it does need to drop 7V (12V - 5V) linear. So at 1A (pretty common when the servo is moving) that means 7W! So I would switch to a lower supply voltage. Depending on the exact type of regulator, I would switch to 6V or 7V. Or, switch to a DC-DC converter which can do the conversion like 90% efficient aka taking only +- 0,5W.

septillion: I still don't know why because there is no reason for it as far as I can tell. But I have no idea what is on the expansion board. And it's still not 100% clear how you connected everything. Do you just supply power to that expansion board or do you really have external regulators?

OK, using my diagram above, there is a 12vdc power supply to the control panel with a regulator to provide 5vdc. Imagine now there are three such circuits connected (via the expansion board) to the Nano. If all three switches are set to red all LEDs glow red. If one switch is set to green, the other two show amber because 5vdc is coming from the expansion board pin back to the 'green' leg. As the red leg is powered the LED shows amber. The diode stops this. I do not know (and probably don't need to) why the unpowered pin is showing a positive voltage and as I said, the 10k resistor would probably have done the job but it happened in the sequence it did.

It's not an issue - what is an issue is why one board is hot and the other two are not even though they are wired identically.

Cheers

David