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Troubleshooting

These are various articles to help you with troubleshooting your RavTrack GPS tracking system.

Cannot enter Command Mode

This may be normal. TDMA radios must wait their turn to transmit, and only send data in their proper TDMA time slot. The delay will be the value programmed into the TDMATIME paramter of the radio.

Solution #1. Verify the serial port baud rate. This is difficult if it is set wrong, because you cannot enter the command mode to check it. Try all possible baud rates, and see if one of them works with the modem. Alternately, remove the rear cover of the modem, and press the CONFIG button. This will force the modem into the Command Mode, as well as set the serial port to 9600 baud, 8 data bits, one stop, and no parity. If the baud-rate was OK, verify the AT, BT and CT times, that they are long enough for you to enter the +++ string.

Solution #2. Handshaking. You may have hardware handshaking enabled on your terminal program, but the hardware or cable may not support it. Disable hardware handshaking on your terminal program to verify this is the issue.

Receive light blinks, but no data is received

Solution #1. Verify Input/Output Configuration. The RV-M7 GX has numerous I/O options. RS232 is standard, but RS485 or RS422 may be configured also. Use the ATIO command to view how the I/O is configured. ATIO 0 is the default (RS232 mode).

Solution #2. Verify the serial port baud rate. This is difficult if it is set wrong, because you cannot enter the command mode to check it. Try all possible baud rates, and see if one of them works with the modem. Alternately, remove the rear cover of the modem, and press the CONFIG button. This will force the modem into the Command Mode, as well as set the serial port to 9600 baud, 8 data bits, one stop, and no parity. If the baud-rate was OK, verify the AT, BT and CT times, that they are long enough for you to enter the +++ string.

Solution #3 Verify the KEYPHRASE is correct. If encryption is used, the KEYPHRASE is set to a unique word, and must be the same in all radios in the system. If it is not used in the radio system, then the KEYPHRASE in all units must be disabled or left at the factory default. To disable encryption, use the KEYPHRASE 0 command. The factory default KEYPHRASE is RAVEON, in all capitol letters.

Solution #4. Verify the IDs. The TOID of the sending unit must match the MYID of the receiving unit.

Solution #5. Verify the Group. The default group code in the RV-M7 and ATLAS PL is 0. Group code 0 means the group feature is not used. Any other value for the group code will require that ALL radios in the system that must communicate, must have the same group code.

Base Station Will Not Receive

Solution #1. Verify that the modem is on the correct RF channel. If it is, the Status LED should blink green every time another modem tries to transmit to it. If the Status LED does not blink when it should be receiving, it is on the wrong RF frequency.

Soultion #2. If the addresses match, and Status LED blinks green but still no reception of data, verify that the RTS signal is asserted. The RV-M7 will not output data if the RTS signal on the DB-9 I/O connector is not asserted. If the user’s hardware cannot assert the RTS hardware line, disable hardware flow control in the RV-M7 modem, using the ATCH 0 command.

Solution #3. If the Status LED blinks green, verify that the Unit Address of the sending modem matches the unit address of the receiving modem. If this is OK, verify that the over-the-air baud rate of all modems is the same (ATR2 command).

Solution #4. Verify Low Power Mode. The RV-M7 has an optional Low Power Mode (LPM). If LPM is enabled, the RV-M7 will power down whenever the DTR line of the serial port is turned off. The Power LED will blink once every 10 seconds in the LPM mode. The ATSM command is used to set or read the Low Power Mode. ATSM 1 enables it, and ATSM 0 disables it. If LPM is used (ATSM 1), then the RV-M7 will turn off when the DTR line is off, or the program connected to the serial port is closed, or the RS-232 connector is un plugged.

Solution #5. Verify the KEYPHRASE is correct. If encryption is used, the KEYPHRASE is set to a unique word, and must be the same in all radios in the system. If it is not used in the radio system, then the KEYPHRASE in all units must be disabled or left at the factory default. To disable encryption, use the KEYPHRASE 0 command. The factory default KEYPHRASE is RAVEON, in all capital letters.

No Transmissions of Serial Data

For the RV-M7 to transmit data, the internal GPS must be receiving a signal. From power-up to reception is about 30 seconds. When the RV-M7 is not locked on to a GPS signal, its power and status LED alternately blink red back and forth every second.

Solution #1. Make sure the GPS receiver is locked. Once locked to the GPS signal, the power LED will blink very briefly once every two seconds. The RV-M7 will be able to send data once the GPS is locked. Verify that the unit is transmitting by watching the status LED. On the RV-M7, the status LED will blink red each time the unit transmits.

Solution #2. Verify that CTS is wired. Some devices that could be connected to the RV-M7 will require the CTS signal to be asserted. The RV-M7 does assert this signal, but if the wire is not connected, you device may not be outputting data to the RV-M7. If the TX LED blinks, the RV-M7 is transmitting data. Every time data enters the modem, the TX LED should blink

Solution #3. Verify that serial port timeout is OK. The ATG0 command sets the number of milliseconds that the RV-M7 will look for in the serial input data stream. If a pause greater than this value happens, the modem will transmit. If the ATG0 parameter is set very large, say 20000, this means 2 seconds, and the modem may simply be waiting a long time.

Solution #4. Verify that the radio channel is clear or BCL is off. The ATBC 1 command enables Busy Channel Lockout. If BCL is on, the modem will not transmit on a busy channel. The ATBC 0 command turns it off, and thus the modem will transmit when it needs to, regardless if the channel is busy. The Status led on the front of the modem is illuminated green whenever the radio channel is busy (RF present).

Solution #5. Verify Low Power Mode. The RV-M7 has an optional Low Power Mode (LPM). If LPM is enabled, the RV-M7 will power down whenever the DTR line of the serial port is turned off. The Power LED will blink once every 10 seconds in the LPM mode. The ATSM command is used to set or read the Low Power Mode. ATSM 1 enables it, and ATSM 0 disables it. If LPM is used (ATSM 1), then the RV-M7 will turn off when the DTR line is off, or the program connected to the serial port is closed, or the RS-232 connector is un plugged.

Solution #6. Verify trigger input bit 3 is not enabled. The RV-M7 GX has the ability to use the TxD input pin of the RS232 port as a general-purpose digital input. If this bit is used as an input, the RV-M7 GX modem will not transmit serial data entering the serial port. IN3 is the serial data input.

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