THM1176 Software: Problems and Solutions

01.02.13

Our customers have encountered a few issues with the THM1176 software version 4. Pending a permanent solution in the next release, here are manual work-arounds.

Improbably high measurement results

Cause:

The THM1176 instrument firmware version 3.x is only compatible with software version 4.0 or newer, and vice versa. The new software detects outdated firmware, but older software does not detect too-recent firmware.

Fix:

•  Check the instrument firmware version on the Setup>Info display. It should be “fw3.0” or higher.
•  Check the software version in the top-right corner of the THM1176 software window. It should be “4.0” or higher.
•  If needed, update your software and/or firmware, as described here.

“No instrument connected” message on PDA

Cause:

The Socket Mobile PDA with Windows Mobile 6.1 has a feature called “Back Pack Toggle” that can disable power to the USB port. If this is inadvertently activated, the THM1176 probe will not receive power. Alternatively, the USB driver may have hung.

Fix:

To ensure that the THM1176 is powered up and recognized by the operating system:
•  Select Start > Settings.
•  Select “System Info” in the “System” tab.
•  Expand the line “USB Host connection.” You should see “USB device type: Other USB device”, “Manufacturer: 1B FA 04 98”.
•  If you see “USB device type: No device inserted”, press “OK” to close the “System Info” control panel, and select “Back Pack WAN” on the “Connections” tab.
•  Enable the “Slot Power” and close the control panel by pressing “OK.” If you had to turn power on, you should hear the USB-connect chime approximately 10 seconds after closing the control panel.
•  You can verify the connection by repeating steps 2-3.

If the THM1176 is still not recognized, reset the system:
•  Unplug the probe.
•  Reset the PDA by pushing the small recessed button at the bottom of the device with the tip of the stylus.
•  Only after the PDA has restarted, plug in the probe.
•  Launch the THM1176 acquisition application by pushing the right button.

Software hangs on “Initializing” dialog

Cause:

The recorded settings file has been corrupted.

Fix:

For PDA:
•  In the File Explorer, navigate to the folder My Device > Program Files > Metrolab > THM1176.
•  Delete the file THM1176Settings_00000000.
•  Launch the THM1176 acquisition application by pushing the right button. It will start with the default settings.

This problem has never been observed on desktop systems, but if you wish to remove the settings file, they are stored in the following location:

Note: the files are named “THM1176Settings_xxxxxxxx.set”, where “xxxxxxx” is an 8 hexadecimal digit hash code.
•  
Windows: My Documents\LabVIEW Data
•  Macintosh: Documents/LabVIEW Data

Endless loop of “Initializing” and “Error” dialogs

Cause:

This usually happens when the user sets the timeout value too short – i.e. shorter than the time to acquire a single block. This places the software in an endless loop of “Initializing” and “Error” dialogs, with little possibility for the user to regain control. Since the settings are recorded, stopping and restarting the software does not fix the problem.

Fix:

•  Restore the default settings by deleting the settings file, as described above.

Zero-offset procedure hangs

Cause:

Firmware bug when zero-offset procedure is performed with non-default settings.

Fix:

•  Restore the default settings by pressing the Reset button on the Setup screen.
•  Perform the Zero-Offset procedure.

Accidentally performed a zero-offset correction on a TFM1186

Cause:

The user cannot zero the TFM1186 like other probes in the THM1176 family. However, the software does not disable the “Zero” button, nor does it offer an option to restore the factory offset.

Fix:

•  Download the full NI-VISA package (not the “RTE” Run-Time Environment package) for Windows from http://www.ni.com/downloads/.
•  Install on a Windows computer.
•  Plug in the TFM1186 probe.
•  Click Start and type “VISA” in the “Search programs and files” field. You should see the “VISA Interactive Control” program in the results; run it.
•  You should see an entry of the form “USBx::0x1BFA::0x0498::<serial number>::INSTR”. Double-click on this line.
•  Click on the button “Input/Output”.
•  Enter the command “:CAL:ZERO” and click on the Write button.

PDA hangs when opening a recording file

Cause:

A system bug causes the application to hang when "Folder:" is left as "None".

Fix:

•  To kill the THM1176 application if it has hung:
-  In Windows Mobile 5.x, press the Home button to return to the Today screen, then select Start > Settings > System tab > Memory > Running Programs tab. Select the THM1176 application and terminate it.
-  In Windows Mobile 6.x, press the Home button to return to the Today screen, then select Start > Task Manager. Select the THM1176 application and terminate it.

•  Next time, be sure to select a Folder! 😉