Hooking up new pyboard to a Window-10 PC [SOLVED]

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grodstein
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Hooking up new pyboard to a Window-10 PC [SOLVED]

Post by grodstein » Tue Dec 01, 2020 6:46 pm

I'm simply trying to connect my nice new PyBoard v1.1 to a Windows 10 laptop. It's not working, and I haven't found the relevant documentation. While I can see the PyBoard flash drive from Windows, I cannot update the device drivers so as to get a REPL prompt.

The issue: Windows 10 doesn't seem to like installing pybcdc.inf; it instead says that "“the best drivers are already installed”.

Details:
* Open Windows 10 device manager
* Locate "MicroPy Pyboard flash USB device” in the list of devices. Note that the documentation below says that I should instead see "Pyboard virtual com port in FS mode", but that entry does not seem to exist.
* Double-click on it, select the Driver tab and click on Update Driver
* Click on "Browse my computer for driver software" and select the "D" drive (which is where my pyboard flash got mounted)
* "Next" and get the message above.

Am I missing some documentation? What I've found is:
* http://docs.micropython.org/en/latest/p ... /repl.html (but it doesn't have much detail)
* https://www.micropython.org/resources/M ... -setup.pdf (but it seems quite old, and doesn't even mention Windows 10 as an O/S).

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pythoncoder
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Re: Hooking up new pyboard to a Window-10 PC

Post by pythoncoder » Wed Dec 02, 2020 6:59 am

I'm ill qualified to reply as I junked Windows for Linux in the early days of XP. However it might be worth trying the Thonny IDE which seems well regarded and supports W10.

As a command line coder I use Dave Hylands' rshell which I believe works with Windows.
Peter Hinch

grodstein
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Re: Hooking up new pyboard to a Window-10 PC

Post by grodstein » Wed Dec 02, 2020 1:19 pm

Hi Peter,
thanks for the suggestions.
I'm not quite sure how Thonny would help. As I understand it, Thonny is a Python IDE that runs well on Windows and also supports MicroPython. Looking at their docs from https://github.com/thonny/thonny/wiki/MicroPython, I see:
Before continuing, make sure that you have your device attached to a USB port.
If required, install the necessary drivers for serial communication.
So it seems that would leave me back in my dilemma of *not* being able to install the drivers. Am I missing something?

Ditto for using rlogin. Without the drivers, I don't see how I could use rlogin.

You mentioned that you've given up on Windows for some time. Any idea whether that's generally true for people in this forum? In using Windows, am I trying to trod down a path less traveled? That's *definitely* not my intention.

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pythoncoder
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Re: Hooking up new pyboard to a Window-10 PC

Post by pythoncoder » Wed Dec 02, 2020 5:06 pm

There are some Windows users, hopefully one will respond. MicroPython definitely aims to support Windows (and OSX).

I've no idea of proportions, but many hackers tend to favour Linux.
[fx: rant mode ON]
I junked Windows in disgust when XP came along with product activation, after wasting hours being buck-passed between Microsoft and a PC supplier. Closely followed by another 'mare with a different product. I swore I'd never use code with PA again. Never looked back ;)

Software has enough genuine problems without being deliberately crippled.
Peter Hinch

grodstein
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Re: Hooking up new pyboard to a Window-10 PC

Post by grodstein » Sun Dec 06, 2020 10:16 pm

I finally brought my Pyboard in to my IT guys, who are way better than me with device-driver issues. They, of course, got everything working in about 15 minutes. It turns out that there are no issues with the Pyboard hardware or firmware -- just with the documentation. And the documentation was probably correct at one point in time, but my guess is it hasn't been updated in quite a while (e.g., it doesn't seem to know that Windows 10 even exists). So the documentation seems to be referring to an older version of Windows than whata is in common use today.

Here are a few specific documentation corrections, in case anyone runs into the same issues. If I'm ambitious, I'll post the instructions and screenshots on my website.

The Pyboard documentation states that Windows will need a driver update. This may have been necessary in the past, but that no longer seems to be the case. At least, not on the three different Windows machines that I tried it on. They all just worked. In fact, the only reason I *thought* my system wasn't working is that I believed the instructions :-). So when Windows kept saying that it refused to install the "new" Pyboard drivers because it didn't need them, in fact Windows was correct. Moral of that story: if Windows won't install the Pyboard drivers, then you should still try out serial-port access to the Pyboard via Putty and it will likely work fine.

Next issue: the documentation states that Windows Device Manager will list your Pyboard under "other devices." That's no longer correct, at least on the three Windows systems that I tried. They all listed the Pyboard in two places. First, as a USB mass storage device, under "Disc Drives." Second, as a serial communications device, under "Ports".

Final issue: to connect to the Pyboard via (e.g.,) Putty, you must know what port the Pyboard is on. The instructions for finding the port are also outdated. The way to do this now is to, again, look under "Ports" in the device manager. It will list the appropriate port (e.g., COM3). Alternately, some terminal emulators (e.g., Moba) apparently know how to get this information themselves, and give you the correct port as your default connection. Others (e.g., Putty) do not seem to be quite that smart.

Anyway, up and running and on to the next progress or issue :-)

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