The following is a process for troubleshooting a scoreboard using DataLink and LiveText. Attached to this document is a hyperterminal in the event that you (the technician) are not running an OS with one.
In order to test that a scoreboard controller is correctly sending serial data to LiveText via DataLink, you can send you a dumped text log of the controller’s serial output.
OBTAINING THE TEXT LOG:
- Using a terminal program, obtain a text log of the output coming into the serial port from the scoreboard, which is configured to the sport in question.
- Rename the text file to the controller name as it appears in DataLink, such as “Daktronics.txt” or “TransLux.txt”, etc.
- Copy the file to LiveText’s “Stats Plugins” folder – (located at “C:\Program Files (x86)\NewTek\LiveText\Stats Plugins”).
- Configure DataLink to match the same controller type and sport as was used to generate the text log.
- Start “DataLinkTester.exe” found in the Stats Plugins folder. (located at “C:\Program Files (x86)\NewTek\LiveText\Stats Plugins”).
USING THE TESTER:
You can now use the DataLinkTester to check the values in the supplied text file instead of the serially connected controller.
In this application, typing “?” brings up the menu and typing “reset” stops any running test. Here’s how to use it:
- Run, DataLinkTester.exe, then type “start # text”, where the “#” specifies the controller type as listed in the help menu.
If the text file is valid and we can read it, you will see a bunch of values stream in the application window. DataLinkTester will continuously loop through the supplied text file until you either close the program or type “reset” and press Enter. If nothing comes back after entering the start command, then there is a problem, which could be:
A. If the text file is empty or corrupt:
- All dumped text files should look like repeating sets of values – sometimes gibberish, but at least you should be able to see fairly consistent patterns.
- Empty or corrupt files may indicate that the you're not using the correct kind of serial cable (null modem or a regular serial cable).
- Empty or corrupt files may also indicate that you're using the wrong baud or port number. The default baud rates that DataLink assigns should be correct – check with user manual for the device to make sure. And getting the correct port number is something that can be done by checking Window’s device manager.
B. If the text file looks like it should be correct:
- The device may be unsupported.
- You may have the wrong settings in DataLink.
- An update to the firmware on the device may have changed the output of the controller – thus breaking operation with DataLink. This case is difficult to detect as we do not have a ‘list’ of supported firmware levels and checking firmware revision numbers on individual units is not uniform or even documented in some cases.