[time-nuts] z3801a - serial help and for sale.

James C Cotton jim.cotton at wmich.edu
Wed Jun 10 16:26:17 EDT 2015


Using a USB dongle with an Apple Mac Laptop works fine for me.

The chip is a FTDI FT232BL.

Drivers from the FTDI site.

In "terminal or console" use one of the following commands:

[generic $5 dongle with no serial number]

cd /dev
screen tty.usbserial

[xs880 with a serial number, http://www.usconverters.com/usb-serial-adapter-xs880]

cd /dev
screen tty.usbserial-A101OFXZ

Having one (or more) with a serial number(s) allows several to work at the same time...
I use the same USB-serial converters on windows PCs too.


----- Original Message -----
> From: "David Andersen" <dga at pobox.com>
> To: time-nuts at febo.com
> Sent: Wednesday, June 10, 2015 10:28:30 AM
> Subject: [time-nuts] z3801a - serial help and for sale.
> I'm throwing my hands up in the air - I don't have the time to
> wrestle my
> silly mac into trying to talk to the box, unless someone has quick
> advice
> on something I might be doing wrong.
> z3801a, jumpered to RS232, modified with an internal switching power
> supply
> (see photos below).  Power light comes on, unit is outputting stable
> 10MHz.  Doesn't GPS lock, but that makes sense, since I haven't been
> able
> to issue a SURVEY command and I don't live where I used to.
> The internal green status light is blinking (as normal), suggesting
> that
> it's probably happy and I'm an idiot for not being able to make it
> work,
> but I don't vouch for anything about it past the 10mhz being there.
>  The
> double-oven oscillator is clearly happy given the 10mhz (compared
> against a
> working Thunderbolt).
> Hooked up a serial cable at 19200, 7, O, 1, but only got a garbled
> little
> prompt back - no response to standard z3801a commands.  I *think* I
> have
> the cable configured properly.  I opened it up and checked the RS232
> jumpers and they're correct.
> I'm open to advice on getting the serial working under my Mac or
> Linux, or
> anyone who wants to relieve me of the burden of z3801a ownership and
> take a
> risk that it's a fixer-upper. :-)  I suspect that in some previous
> life, I
> switched it over into a binary mode of some sort while using it to
> sync
> something, but I can't for the life of me remember what I might have
> done.
> Some reasonable price plus shipping and it's all yours... I'm trying
> to
> de-clutter in preparation for a sabbatical on the other side of the
> country.
> Pictures:
> https://www.dropbox.com/s/ursszjgie8m1xj8/2015-06-09%2011.57.16.jpg?dl=0
> https://www.dropbox.com/s/it8d2f65ztn4rkq/2015-06-09%2011.57.24.jpg?dl=0
> https://www.dropbox.com/s/1p1g6xrapzdmvzh/2015-06-09%2011.59.56.jpg?dl=0
> Thanks!
>   -Dave
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