USB-RS232 Adapter Troubleshooting

How to overcome USB-RS232 adapter issues when connecting to a PC

It is a few years since we sold instruments (CM-3600d and CR-400/410 series) which required connectivity to a PC for service or connectivity with SpectraMagic NX software.

Both instrument models have been upgraded to a direct USB connection either in the Firmware and internal changes, or a specially designed USB to USB which only works on the newer versions of the CR-400/410 series for any models produced since 2018.
Recently, we have been getting customer complaints about connectivity and have carried out some research to assist them with solutions.

Below you will find some tips and points about what to do to either avoid these connection issues or how to resolve them if you are experiencing these issues.

1. You do not have to upgrade anything if everything has been working:

While IT persons are always keen to have the latest and greatest versions of software installed, mainly for completely understandable reasons relating to security, a visit to most industrial laboratories will usually have a few legacy instruments on old computer hardware with ancient software and yellow stickers on the screen warning not to ever change or switch off the PC, with some dire warnings about what might happen.

If your lab has an outdated Windows XP or Windows 7 PC and installed on this PC is an older version of SpectraMagic NX Pro software that happily connects to a CR-400/410 Chroma Meter, AND it is NOT connected online, then there is no reason to mess with this setup. Chances are that if you upgrade the software or change the PC, you might experience some connection issues.

If you UPGRADE years later, then change everything including the PC and the software.

2. If you are still using a USB-RS232 Adapter:

You might recognise the image above showing the USB-RS232 adapter. We have provided some tips on how you can find a solution depending on your PC hardware, firmware and software setup

  • If you have a legacy adapter that is compatible with say Windows 7, this adapter will NOT work on Windows 10.
    Solution: Purchase a Windows 10 compatible adapter and use that to connect to the PC.
  • If you have upgraded to SpectraMagic NX 3.00 or higher versions, LEGACY ADAPTORS will no longer work.
    Solution: Purchase a Windows 10 compatible adapter and use that to connect to the PC.
  • If you would like feedback on whether Windows 10 recognises the legacy adapter or new adapter, you can follow the steps below:
    Device Manager COM PORTS will give you feedback on the above in Windows 10. Go to SETTINGS >> DEVICE MANAGER >> COM PORTS.
    See the two images below for FAILED connection and below the WORKING connection.

A FAILED connection will display similar text to the below image.
Clearly showing that the USB-RS232 connector is no longer compatible with your version of Windows.

A SUCCESSFUL or WORKING connection will show a message in Device Manager that states that it has been allocated to COM5.
This can be seen in the image below.


Before contacting your IT department, speak to us about your intentions to change PC hardware or upgrade your license of SpectraMagic NX as in most cases we can assist you with the proper actions to ensure that you avoid any connection problems.