Connect to and Control a Synaccess NPC-22 netCommander from Ubuntu 16.04.3 Running in a VirtualBox VM via a Prolific Technology Inc. USB to Serial Port Converter to Turn a Target On and Off

September 4, 2020

This post demonstrates how to connect to and control a Synaccess NPC-22 netCommander (Rev 4) from Ubuntu 16.04.5 running in a VirtualBox managed VM via a Prolific Technology Inc. USB-to-serial port converter to turn a target on and off. It also shows you how to simultaneously connect to a USB-to-UART converter connected to a target and the Prolific Tech converter with minicom. The target in this case is a ZC706 from Xilinx. I also include a copy of the original docs for Rev4 NPC-22.The post also shows how to create a script that will power cycle the target using minicom.

 

Steps

 

Step 1: Connect the female DB9 plug of the Prolific Technology Inc. USB-to-serial port converter to the RS232 DCE Master Port on the NPC-22

 

 

Step 2: Connect the USB plug of the Prolific Technology Inc. USB-to-serial port converter to a USB hub.

 

Step 3: Connect the USB-to-serial port of the target to the USB hub

 

Step 4: Connect the power supply of the NPC-22

 

Step 5: Connect the target to port 1 of the NPC-22

 

Step 6: In Ubuntu type dmesg

 

You should see something like:

Step 6.1: Note down that the Digilent device is connected to ttyUSB1 and the Prolific Technology Inc. connector connected to the Synaccess is connected to ttyUSB0.

 

Step 7: Follow the instructions listed at [link] to set up minicom (don't skip)

 

Step 8: Open a terminal window and type minicom -b 9600 -D /dev/ttyUSB0 to talk to the Synaccess.

 

This ^^^ will use the default set up from the instructions above, but use 9600 for the baud. -D isn't needed since its been set up in the config, but it is listed for clarity.

 

Step 8.1: Press Enter once.

 

You should see: 

>

 

If you don't see a prompt press the Reset button for about 5 secs, until the lights blink:

 

Step 8.2: Type /help

 

You should see 

 

Step 9: Open another terminal and type minicom -D /dev/ttyUSB1

 

This ^^^ will use the default, but connect to /dev/ttyUSB1

 

Step 10: Turn the target on and off with:

 

Off:

>/pset 1 0                                                                      

 

On:                                                                          
>/pset 1 1 

 

 

A Script to Turn the Target On and Off and Exit minicom

 

Create a file called offon.txt with:

 

send /pset 1 0
sleep 1
send /pset 1 1
sleep 1
! killall -9 minicom

 

...and call minicom with:

 

minicom -b 9600 -D /dev/ttyUSB0 -S offon.txt

 

This is "runscript" see [link] (this had the tip about ! killall -9 minicom). I also consulted [link].

 

 

Original NPC-22 Documentation

 

 

 

References

  • Synaccess web site [link]

  • The NPC-22T [link] for $269.00 (they don't seem to sell the NPC-22 anymore)

  • Synaccess log clipped from [link]

 

 

 

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