VOGONS


First post, by csib

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I have an old software which is working perfectly on an old PC.

I have tried to make it working on dosbox, the software starts I am able to see the start screen but the software itself can't communicate with the PLC.

The PLC's serial cable is plugged in the computer's COM1 port.
On the settings I have this:
serial1=directserial realport:com1

But it's still can't communicate. I am new to these older technologies I can't even decide the cabling is good or not.

I have taken a photo of the back of the original old pc which is working:

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The cable itself:

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I have checked the bios settings on the old PC (see photo above) and it should be the COM3.

I have a newer PC with RS232 port (Db9) I have bought an adapter to change DB25 to DB9 and plugged in the PLC, but it's not communitaces with it.

I am struggleing with it for about 3 weeks my only idea is maybe it's not a general DB25 cable (see photo) that's why maybe the adapter not works.

+1 Strange thing:

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If I plug out the red marked dongle from the old PC then reboot it the software starts, the communication with the PLC seems working but the software is unusable, very slow. When I press down arrow I must wait about 3 seconds to go down the cursor, some functions never loads.
Plug the dongle back then reboot, everything is fast.
This dongle must have some magic in it.

Do you have any idea what should I do/check to get it working on the new PC with dosbox?

Thank you!

Reply 1 of 4, by _Rob

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The dongle may be a copy protection device without which the software does not work properly. In that case, on the new PC you would have to either have two serial ports, one for the dongle and one for the PLC, or you would have to reverse engineer the dongle and implement it as a software dongle in DOSBox. Or just 'crack' the software protection such that the dongle is no longer needed.

As to getting a serial port working with dosbox on windows, I suggest you do some searches here on the forum. Especially with 64bit windows versions this can be a bit complicated.

Reply 2 of 4, by llm

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1. what is your good old working environment: 386? MS-DOS 5? Win3.11, Win95? - on what OS did you start the software - you didn't tell any details

2. what is your new envronment: x64, Win10, UEFI/Legcy BIOS?

3. the name of the PLC/old Software?
maybe someone knows a solution for exact this old product

4. you need to check your cable - we can't do that for you

5. i don't know how good the serial emulation/put-through of dosbox is (never tested it)?
5.1 does it work if your "newer" system runs on the original Software platform , like plain DOS, Win.311, whatever youre using - you could boot up a MS-DOS/or Freedos Boot-Disk/CD-ROM with the program and test
5.2 does it work if you run the old software in a Virtual Machine like VMWare Player? you can use the same Disk/CD-ROM from step 5.1 for this test

Last edited by llm on 2021-10-27, 09:12. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 4 of 4, by Joakim

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If you open up the pc and check the card you should be able to figure out if it is standard db25.

To test the communication I would attempt a more direct approach to listen the port via pyserial or something before adding an other layer of confusion.

I like the idea with trying freedos rather than emulation.