Hello. I am interested in a Pololu Serial 8 servo controller and the Animaltronics software research tells me that i can only use Com Port 1 of my computer. Device Manager tells me Com Port 1 is “In Use” but I cannot determine by what device to change it and free Com Port 1.
Is there a trick or a method to determine what devices are using which ports? Clicking on Com & LPT in device Manager just brings up a generic info box.
I’m assuming you’re talking about virtual serial ports (i.e. USB devices that install themselves as if they were serial devices using com ports), since if you were talking about a physical serial port it would be trivial to look at the back of the computer and see what was plugged into it. I don’t know of any way to see what device has reserved com1 without finding it and plugging it in (I’m sure it’s in the registry somewhere), but Windows will let you assign another port/device to com1, even while com1 is “in use”.
Right-click on the com port/device you have your servo controller connected to in the device manager, then go to properties, then to the port settings tab, and click on the advanced button (actually you’re probably already at this menu). At the COM Port Number drop down menu you’ll see a list of potential port numbers to assign your device, indicating which ones are in use. You can assign your device to an in use port number, you just have to click through a warning message.
The down side is there’s no telling what will happen if you plug your other com1 device in later, but you shouldn’t have any trouble if you only have one plugged in at a time. You can even assign a new (unused) port number to the other device if you ever find it.
Yes I was talking about a USB device. I just assumed that if Device Manager said COM 1 port was “In Use” that there was a physical device inside the laptop that was currently assigned to that port. Are you suggesting that a device I have plugged in and removed has reserved COM 1 port as it’s own?
My delimna is that the software I want to use states: “If you receive the “missing default file” error, (which I have) there is a conflict with the COM1 port. The controller is set to utilize the COM1 port only. you must redirect any printers or any other hardware to another COM port or LPT port. Go to your device manager to locate your ports and to reassign othr hardware”.
I believe that means I have to re-assign whatever has decided COM 1 belongs to him - but I don’t know what that is or how to do it.
Thanks. I’ll try this tonight and let you know how it turns out.
There shouldn’t be anything internal to your laptop using com ports, but now I’m a little confused. Does your laptop have a physical com1, or were you planning on using a USB-Serial adapter to run your servo controller?
If your laptop doesn’t have any physical com ports you might get the same kind of error as if you had com1 assigned to another device. In Windows I don’t think there’s a distinction between “that port is in use” and “that port doesn’t exist”.
Anyway, when you connect an adapter you should be able to assign it com1, and everything should be peachy (well, maybe, Animaltronicks is a bit crashey, but such a cool idea!).
You were correct. When I applied the adapter and assigned it to com1 it worked perfectly. Awesome software! So much control in such a litle package!