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Thread: GA-Z87X-UD3H serial port configuration




  1. #1
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    Default GA-Z87X-UD3H serial port configuration

    I have had my new system running for a little over a week now and just got in the hardware to setup the motherboard serial port (IE. the connectors, cable and the external port). Yesterday evening I decided to move my timing GPS (Motorola Oncore UT+) from the old machine to the new machine and I am having issues with the serial connection. The GPS is wired so that the Pulse Per Second (PPS) signal goes to the DCD pin on the port and all of the other lines are connected in the normal way through a TTL to serial converter. The GPS and related software (NTP, WinOncore12) are working fine on the old machine in both Windows XP and Linux. The new machine currently has Windows 7 and will have Linux in a few days. When connected to the new machine WinOncore12 only sees about 1 in 5 data packets from the GPS and, perhaps more disturbing, it does not see the PPS signal at all. There is clearly an issue with the serial port but I don't know what it is and the BIOS and Windows 7 settings available for the port are very limited and I have exhausted all of the things I could try using those tools.

    Do I need to install a special driver for this port to get it working correctly in Windows 7? Is this one of those serial ports that does not have the DCD line connected making it useless for this type of application? Or does the DCD line on this port need unusually high voltages to activate (The PPS pulse is a 0V low to 5V high TTL signal that pulls high for 200ms every second - IE. does this port need more than a 5V pulse on the DCD line to generate an interrupt)?

    Although I was using the motherboard serial port on the old machine I have a serial card that works with this GPS that I can pull from the old machine so I think I can get things working with a serial expansion card. But I would rather have the motherboard port working correctly for a number of reasons which I will not go into at this time. Hopefully someone here knows what is going on with the motherboard port.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: GA-Z87X-UD3H serial port configuration

    Do you see the port in the device manager? do you have another serial device that you can use to test it with? I always keep a serial mouse handy myself... if it studders then you know something it wonky....

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  3. #3
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    Default Re: GA-Z87X-UD3H serial port configuration

    Yes the port shows up in device manager. The problem is that I need a device that is using or at least compatible with the serial.sys driver which means a port that actually has 16550 UART (or compatible) hardware. The hardware on this motherboard is NOT a UART device and it is using the serenum.sys driver. This driver is a "Serial Emulation" driver that appears to not fully implement the functionality of an actual hardware level serial port. In addition I need to be able to install a special serial driver that is part of the NTP distribution named serialpps.sys. This driver makes the kernel aware of the nature of the interrupts that will be created by the PPS signal on the DCD pin of the port. IE. the kernel will know that these are time related and do the right thing with them. In order to do that I need the serial port to be a true hardware based port that has a serial.sys compatible UART. The "serial port" on the GA-Z87X-UD3H is not such a device and it does not even emulate the full functionality of a true serial port (IE. it does not see the pulse on the DCD line).

  4. #4
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    Default Re: GA-Z87X-UD3H serial port configuration

    Bump. Didn't think this question would "stump the band" but it appears that no one here knows how to make the motherboard "serial port" act like a real serial port. Perhaps someone from Gigabyte would be able to comment?

  5. #5
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    Default Re: GA-Z87X-UD3H serial port configuration

    Quote Originally Posted by hvengel View Post
    Bump. Didn't think this question would "stump the band" but it appears that no one here knows how to make the motherboard "serial port" act like a real serial port. Perhaps someone from Gigabyte would be able to comment?
    Look on the motherboard manual. The diagrams tell that the board uses an "iTE Super I/O" for keyboard PS/2 and COM port connectors.

    On iTE website there are specifications of chipsets sold to OEMs. Identify what chipset is installed on your board, anyway 16C550 UART is supported by iTE I/O chipsets.



    ITE Tech. Inc.

    IT8718F EC-LPC I/O

    IT8718F is a Low Pin Count Interface-based highly integrated Super I/O. The IT8718F provides the most commonly used legacy Super I/O functionality plus the latest Environment Control initiatives, such as H/W Monitor, Fan Speed Controller. The device’s LPC interface complies with Intel “LPC Interface Specification Rev. 1.0”. The IT8718F is ACPI & LANDesk compliant.
    The IT8718F features the enhanced hardware monitor providing 3 thermal inputs from remote thermal resistors, or thermal diode or diode-connected transistor (2N3904). The device also provides the ITE innovative intelligent automatic Fan ON/OFF & speed control functions (SmartGuardian) to protect the system, reducing the system noise and power consumption.
    The IT8718F contains the fan speed controller which is responsible to control 3 fan speeds through three 128 steps of Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) output pins and to monitor five FANs’ Tachometer inputs. It also features two 16C550 UARTs, one IEEE 1284 Parallel Port, one Floppy Disk Controller and one Keyboard Controller.

     


    Low Pin Count Interface
    Serial Flash I/F for BIOS
    Consumer Remote Control (TV remote) IR with power-up feature
    8 Pins VID
    SST interface (host/slave)
    PECI interface (host)
    Multi curve for one fan control
    Multi sensor for one fan control
    New PCIRST Circuit
    PC98/99/2001, ACPI & LANDesk Compliant
    Enhanced Hardware Monitor
    Fan Speed Controller
    SmartGuardian Controller
    Single +5V Power Supply
    Two 16C550 UARTs
    IEEE 1284 Parallel Port
    Floppy Disk Controller
    Keyboard Controller
    48 General Purpose I/O Pins
    Watchdog Timer
    ITE innovative automatic power-failure resume & power button debounce
    Serial IRQ Support
    Vbat & Vcch Support
    Single +5V Power Supply
    128-pin QFP

    ITE Tech. Inc.

    IT8760E: LPC to Com port I/O
    The IT8760E is a highly integrated Super I/O using the Low Pin Count Interface. It provides the most simply used legacy Super I/O functionality plus four 16C550 standard compatible enhanced UARTs. The device’s LPC interface complies with Intel “LPC Interface Specification Rev. 1.1”.

    Integrated in the IT8760E are five logical devices, which can be individually enabled or disabled via software configuration registers, and four 16C550 standard compatible enhanced UARTs performing asynchronous communication. The device also features three GPIO ports controlling up to six GPIO pins, GP15, GP30, GP31, GP34, GP35 and GP41.

    The IT8760E utilizes power-saving circuitry to reduce power consumption, and once a logical device is disabled, the inputs are inhibited with the clock disabled and the outputs are tri-stated. The device requires a single 24/48 MHz clock input and operates with +5V power supply. Additionally, the IT8760E supports wide operation temperature ranging from -40C to 100C.and is available in 48-pin LQFP.


    Low Pin Count Interface
    Four 16C550 UARTs
    PC98/99/2001, ACPI & LANDesk Compliant
    VCCH Supported
    Six General Purpose I/O Pins
    Watchdog Timer
    Serial IRQ Support
    RS422/485 Automatic Direction Control
    Supports Wide Operation temperature Range: -40 ℃ - 100℃
    Built-in 32.768 kHz Oscillator
    Single 24/48 MHz Clock Input
    +5V Power Supply
    48-pin LQFP

    ITE Tech. Inc.
    IT8720F EC-LPC I/O

    The IT8720F is a highly integrated Super I/O using the Low Pin Count Interface. The IT8720F provides the most commonly used legacy Super I/O functionality plus the latest Environment Control initiatives, including H/W Monitor and Fan Speed Controller. The device’s LPC interface complies with Intel “LPC Interface Specification Rev. 1.0”. The IT8720F is ACPI & LANDesk compliant.
    The IT8720F features the enhanced hardware monitor providing 3 thermal inputs from remote thermal resistors, or thermal diode or diode-connected transistor (2N3904/2N3906). The device employs ITE’s innovative intelligent automatic Fan ON/OFF & speed control functions (SmartGuardian) to protect the system while reducing the system noise and power consumption.

    The IT8720F contains one Fan Speed Controller. The fan speed controller can control up to five fan speeds through three separate 128 steps of Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) output pins and monitor up to five FANs’ Tachometer inputs. It also features two 16C550 UARTs, one IEEE 1284 Parallel Port, one Floppy Disk Controller and one Keyboard Controller.

    Integrated in the IT8720F are eight logical devices. One high-performance 2.88MB floppy disk controller, with digital data separator, supporting two drives in 360K/720K/1.2M/1.44M/2.88M format. One multi-mode high-performance parallel port supporting bi-directional Standard Parallel Port (SPP), Enhanced Parallel Port (EPP V. 1.7 and EPP V. 1.9), and IEEE 1284 compliant Extended Capabilities Port (ECP). Two 16C550 standard compatible enhanced UARTs perform asynchronous communication, and also support IR interface. The device also features one fan speed controller which controls and monitors five fans, and eight GPIO ports controlling up to 63 GPIO pins. The IT8720F also has an integrated Keyboard Controller.

    These eight logical devices can be individually enabled or disabled via software configuration registers. The IT8720F utilizes power-saving circuitry to reduce power consumption, and once a logical device is disabled, the inputs are inhibited with the clock disabled and the outputs are tri-stated. The device requires a single 24/48 MHz clock input and operates with +5V power supply. The IT8720F is available in 128-pin QFP (Quad Flat Package).
     


    Low Pin Count Interface
    ACPI & LANDesk Compliant
    Enhanced Hardware Monitor
    Fan Speed Controller
    SmartGuardian Controller
    Two 16C550 UARTs
    Consumer Remote Control (TV remote) IR with Power-up Feature
    IEEE 1284 Parallel Port
    Floppy Disk Controller
    Keyboard Controller
    63 General Purpose I/O Pins
    Serial Flash I/F for BIOS
    Watch Dog Timer
    ITE’s Innovative Automatic Power-failure Resume and Power Button De-bounce
    Dedicated Infrared Pins
    AMD CPU Power Sequence Controller
    Intel PECI interface
    VCCH and Vbat Supported
    Built-in 32.768 KHz Oscillator
    Single 24/48 MHz Clock Input
    +5V Power Supply
    128-Pin QFP

    ITE Tech. Inc.

    IT8705F EC-LPC I/O

    IT8705F is a LPC Interface based highly integrated Super I/O. IT8705F provides the most commonly used legacy Super I/O functionality plus the latest Environment Control initiatives, such as Hardware Monitor, Fan Speed Controller and ITE’s “SmartGuardian” function. The device’s LPC interface complies with Intel “LPC Interface Specification Rev. 1.0” (Sept. 29, 1997). IT8705F meets the “Microsoft PC98/99/2001 System Design Guide” requirements and is ACPI compliant.
    IT8705F features the enhanced hardware monitor providing 3 thermal inputs from remote thermistors, thermal diode or diode-connected transistor (2N3904).
     


    Low Pin Count Interface
    PC98/99/2001 & ACPI Compliant
    Enhanced Hardware Monitor
    Fan Speed Controller
    Game Ports
    Two 16C550 UARTs
    Dedicated MIDI Interface
    Consumer Remote Control (TV Remote) IR with Power-up Feature
    IEEE1284 Parallel Port
    Floppy Disk Controller
    Keyboard Controller
    Smart Card Reader
    48 General Purpose I/O Pins
    Flash ROM Interface
    Smart Guardian Controller
    Single 24/48 MHz Clock Inputs
    Single +5v Power Supply
    128-pin QFP

    From this link:

    http://www.ite.com.tw/EN/products_ki...oryID=3&Page=1

    click "next" and browse more "Super I/O" controller chipsets models.
    Last edited by zerowing; 07-31-2013 at 01:23 AM.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: GA-Z87X-UD3H serial port configuration

    OK so the chip has the UARTs built in but my question is really about how I can get it to function as a full function serial port. What do I need to install to get this to act like a real serial port and how do I get Windows to allow for the use of a functional driver? For example, my current setup with all of the Gigabyte drivers and other software installed does not respond to the DCD pin (pin 1 on a DB9 port) being pulled high. A fully functional serial port would generate an interrupt when the DCD pin is pulled high. So this means one of three things. Either the hardware is not wired to respond to the DCD pin (actual hardware issue) or the hardware needs for the DCD pin to be pulled to a higher voltage then the GPS supplies (+5 volts) or the drivers are not correct. At this point I don't know which of these is the case.

    The current driver for the non-functional serial port is serenum.sys which is a standard Windows 7 driver supplied by Microsoft. So it appears that Gigabyte does not supply a driver for this port. Assuming that it is a driver issue what driver to I need to install to get a fully functional serial port (and where do I get it) and how do I make Windows 7 accept the new driver for this port? Windows preventing the installation of a new driver is probably the more difficult part of this and I haven't found anything very useful about this on-line.

    Taking this to the next level I have a special purpose driver (for high precession time keeping from the NTP project) for a 16550 UART based serial port that I would like to install but I have not found a way to do this on Windows 7. I can get Windows to put the special purpose driver in the correct directory but I can't get it to set this as the default driver for the motherboard serial port or any other port. In addition, I can't even get Windows to use it's own serial.sys driver with this port. The special purpose driver is derived from serial.sys and any port that can use serial.sys should work with the special purpose driver. The special purpose driver is a Windows 7 specific driver but it is also available for XP and Vista.

    By the way my old machine has Windows XP on it and I have been using it's motherboard serial port with the NTP supplied serial driver with the same GPS for a number of years without issue. On Windows this setup will discipline the clock to about +-100 microseconds worst case. I had very little troubling setting it up on the XP machine and it was even easier when booted to Linux as the software for this is part of the package system on my distro. On Linux this setup yields about +-2 microseconds accuracy worst case. The whole Windows XP NTP setup took me about 2 hours to get running. This was at a time when the Windows NTP stuff was still under development and I had to do things like apply patches to get it working. In addition, getting the GPS vendor software to interact with the GPS on the XP machine was about a 5 minute job which mostly consisted of installing the software. This software also wrks on Linux using wine. On this machine the GPS vendors software can not reliably interact with the GPS and it does not see the PPS activity on the DCD pin using the motherboard port. When I put a serial card into this machine and connect the GPS to one of it's ports the GPS vendors software can interact with the GPS and it does see the activity on the DCD pin. So there are definitely issues with the motherboard port and/or it's drivers.

    Perhaps someone from Gigabyte can shed some light on what is going on with this hardware and it's drivers?

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