TuneTracker problem

I own a small radio station. I use a TuneTracker automation system. Haiku is on this computer. It connects to a switcher for contact closures from my main network. It switches between the network and local content. For some unknown reason, the computer STOPS seeing the usb port the cable is plugged into! The computer no longer sees the closures and no longer plays the local breaks. What would cause this? This has been going on since I installed this system 5 months ago. The guy at TuneTracker is clueless as to why this is happening. Please HELP!!!

I’m not sure that I understand what a switcher is in this context. Is it in context of USB or IP network?

Stumbled on this whilst browsing discussions on newly released Beta1 (I don’t normally read forums)…

@korli We ship some stations with a “Broadcast Tools ™ Audio switcher”, RS-232 controlled. It routes audio from a given input jack to an output jack, based on commands sent by the computer on the serial port. Another function those switcher/boxes perform beside audio routing, is getting “pings” (relay closures) from station heads/servers.

We use some sort of chinese-made USB-to-serial converter I think, since motherboards don’t have an RS232 port these days. It uses the pcserial(?) driver on Haiku. We’ve had some problems before…

Be glad if you can shed some light on this though :slight_smile:

@Bruce - Dane should have ‘escalated’ that problem to me, sorry it didn’t happen. Did you send a “Care Package”, including your syslog ? What happens if you try to access the switcher with the SerialConnect application (or do I understand correctly that the switcher’s USB port is not even listed in SerialConnect any more ?) Does the problem get fixed with a (warm) reboot ? Did Dane offer to ship a replacement “usb-to-serial” device in case the one you have is deffective ? (we’ve seen that occur at least once before IIRC).

Edit: if all else fails, we could try to upgrade your version of Haiku, in case there wre improvements to the pcserial driver; sending Dane a “care package” will allow us to see which haiku hrev you’re using, to determine if that’s relevant

Tunetracker uses a nightly haiku or the old alpha 4.1 like Discover haiku?

An upgrade can’t hurt! I use a Broadcast Tools 4.4 Switcher. This is what TuneTracker recommends. It is connected to the computer via a cable to a little red device then a data cable to the switcher. It is plugged into a usb port on the computer. I am sorry, I get lost with computer stuff. I can sometimes fix it with a reboot or 2 or 3! The switcher relays the contact closures to the computer to tell it what to do, start local programming. When the local segment is done, the computer tells the switcher to resume the network programming.

ttcoder: I do not know what at “care package” is. Dane has pretty much thrown up his hands on this. He stopped offering help weeks ago. I see the switcher in SerielConnect. But here’s what happens: It will read: Connect to usb0, switcher ss 4.4 #0. This works! But then it will stop working and I see this: connected to usb0, switcher ss 4.4 #1. At this setting, it doesn’t work. I may have to restart it 2-3-4-5 times, unplug and plug it back in to finally get it to reset to ss 4.4 #0.

Intriguing problem.

It is assumed that your radio station has been using TuneTracker all along.

So, something changed about five months ago:
* Was it a new computer system?
* Was it an update to the underlying Haiku?
* Was it an update to the TuneTracker package(s)?

Reading through the release notes for Beta 1 ( https://www.haiku-os.org/get-haiku/release-notes/ ):

This is one of the last applications which came with BeOS, but we had not written replacement for at the time of alpha4. It’s a relatively simple and straightforward graphical interface to serial ports, with support for arbitrary baud rates and certain extended features (e.g. XMODEM file transfers.)
In the process of developing and using it, various bugs in our USB and PCI/ISA serial port device drivers were found, and thus fixed.

The last commit to SerialConnect dates back to November 2017. There are no commits to serial/USB codes which would correspond to your timing of five months ago. However, there could have been commits to their dependencies and I don’t know how to find them.

Knowing which HRev of Haiku is used for your TuneTracker installation might guide you toward a solution - “reverting” to an earlier HRev or “updating” to R1 Beta1.

Sounds like it could be an application problem as well… its pretty common for USB devices to get renamed on insertion/removal or rebooting, if there is only ever expected to be one serial device plugged into the system perhaps the software should just look for it regardless of it’s name and connect to it. Or allow searching for and selecting it from the UI.

I am extremely happy to hear that TuneTracker is still kicking around!

May I ask why don’t you just run BeOS 5 with TuneTracker?

I am extremely ANGRY with Tune Tracker because I bought a piece of crap from them and they will not fix it! I don’t understand what you are asking. How do I rub BeOS 5 on this Haiku computer? NOTHING i have done has solved this problem that fails every 10 -12 hours. I am sick of dealing with it.

Frankly anger and computers do not mix. I think we have a good idea of what your problem may be but we need more info and like you I have no idea what a care package is (there’s probably some button or menu option that automatically collects system info) You may want to search your Tune Tracker documentation as it may tell you how to do that, I don’t have a copy of it to reference to tell you where to look though. I know it can be frustrating to deal with problems, but I have a lot of experience with that and people often look at me like I’m crazy when I don’t get mad when working on problems like this… the PC is as dumb as a rock and me getting mad at it helps nothing. Obviously there is some small problem causing a glitch and you’d likely be singing TuneTracker’s praises if it weren’t for this.

Be aware that TT Systems may be at their wits end on this issue and they can’t know everything… and that we’re all just trying to be friendly and helpful here so lets just proceed with trying to gather the pertinent info and proceed from there. Also while I understand your anger with TT Systems, I also work for an OEM and I understand their position as well in any case lets just move on and try and solve this. This problem may be slightly out of their wheel house so to speak if it is Haiku or hardware driver problem and not a problem with TT itself. This is not a slight against them in the least as they are smart guys too. Also communication can be difficult at times for the best of us and especially for gear headed nerd types like myself so yeah…

So, for starters you can just manually collect some system info for us… by posting the following information. Open up a Terminal and type the 3 commands copy and paste the output here after running each one.
cat /var/log/syslog

Make sure the system has been runing awhile and the issue has occured at least once before collecting the syslog file, rebooting fresh and plugging in and out the USB adapter may also be relevant. Be sure to collect the syslog file separately each time as this allows is some insight into what is going on when you do these things.

Also, did you originally buy this PC from TT systems? Or was it built by a 3rd party and then TT software installed perhaps after failure of the old hardware you were running TT on? This is significant because the version of Haiku they ship may not work on a 3rd party box that is untested any you may actually have better luck with a newer copy of Haiku.

If the Serial adapter is flakey we may be able to recommend a replacement.

It’s also worth noteing that Haiku’s stability has increased significantly in the past few years so there is a good chance that upgrading could fix things. there is a small chance it could break things too :slight_smile: … but I’d rather be honest with you up front about that. I have no idea if TT software is compatible with the new package kit if it isn’t that would be a problem for upgrading but it is likely they’ll upgrade thier software to support it soon since the new Beta is now released. (It was 5-6 years since the last official release).

Also I’m sorry if our initial responses weren’t getting to the heart of the matter quick enough… this forum is a bit different from commercial tech support but we’ll try and there are some very knowledgeable people here willing to help.


So you received a turnkey system with Haiku and TuneTracker preinstalled?

Or just use BeOS 5, which TuneTracker was designed to work. BeOS 5 is far more reliable than Haiku. It may work with fewer hardware combinations, but in terms of reliability, BeOS 5 (or even 4.5) is where it’s at.

I don’t know where you have been for the last few years, but TuneTracker has switched to Haiku years ago and is shipping that ever since. It was not possible to get BeOS compatible hardware anymore, so they funded some of our development (to get serial ports working, in particular) until they could use Haiku as the base OS.

Back to the original issue. ttcoder is not right about the driver being used, for usb adapters this would be the usb_serial driver. @ttcoder, can you tell me which adapters you ship to your users? Which chipset does it use? (listusb would tell): FTDI, Prolific, something else? I don’t mind looking at the info (syslog and all), if you need some help I can dig into the usb_serial driver and try to improve things on Haiku side.

1 Like

We usually try to “pull our weight” and not outsource customer support to the community (hope you’ll all agree we’ve done a decent job of not abusing you guys over the years :slight_smile: )

But since there’s this kind of synergy going on, what the heck, might as well try this alternate way of doing support, let’s see where it goes! Obviously very humbling to have a station call our stuff c*@p so let’s see if we can fix it and restore confidence…

@pulkomandy I’m waiting for what we call a CP.zip from Bruce – the user just has to click the icon “Care Package”, in the /boot/home directory (sometimes on the Desktop) to retrieve the syslog, listdev and other information. However, I think the USB-serial adapter we ship is almost always the same. So in case it helps, here’s the syslog excerpt for /another/ station, for which I was doing customer support last week; hopefully it is the same as the one discussed by the OP:

KERN: e[32musb_serial:e[0m probing device: 0x0000/0x0000
Last message repeated 1 time
KERN: e[32musb_serial:e[0m probing device: 0x0557/0x7000
KERN: e[32musb_serial:e[0m probing device: 0x0557/0x2255
KERN: e[32musb_serial:e[0m probing device: 0x067b/0x2303
KERN: e[32musb_serial:e[0m PL2303 Serial adapter (ATEN/IOGEAR UC232A) (0x067b/0x2303) added
KERN: e[32musb_serial:e[0m probing device: 0x0000/0x0000
KERN: Last message repeated 2 times.
KERN: loaded driver /boot/system/add-ons/kernel/drivers/dev/ports/usb_serial
KERN: e[32mpc_serial:e[0m Skipping port 0 as it is used for kernel debug.
KERN: e[32mpc_serial:e[0m scanning PCI bus (alt)...
KERN: loaded driver /boot/system/add-ons/kernel/drivers/dev/ports/pc_serial

As the the listusb, also for the other station (not this one), it looks like this:

0000:0000 /dev/bus/usb/0/hub "HAIKU Inc." "XHCI RootHub" ver. 0300
0557:2255 /dev/bus/usb/1/1/0 "ATEN International Co., Ltd" "CS84U-TR" ver. 0100
05d5:6781 /dev/bus/usb/1/1/3 "Super Gate Technology Co., Ltd" "USB KB" ver. 0192
0557:7000 /dev/bus/usb/1/1/hub "ATEN International Co., Ltd" "Hub" ver. 0100
067b:2303 /dev/bus/usb/1/2 "Prolific Technology, Inc." "PL2303 Serial Port" ver. 0400
0000:0000 /dev/bus/usb/1/hub "HAIKU Inc." "OHCI RootHub" ver. 0110
0000:0000 /dev/bus/usb/2/hub "HAIKU Inc." "OHCI RootHub" ver. 0110
0000:0000 /dev/bus/usb/3/hub "HAIKU Inc." "EHCI RootHub" ver. 0200
0000:0000 /dev/bus/usb/4/hub "HAIKU Inc." "EHCI RootHub" ver. 0200

You do a great job at providing the first levels of customer support indeed, we usually get bugreports only when the problems are really on our side.

Ok, so you have a Prolific PL2303 based adapter. This is handled by the usb_serial driver. The problem can be at several levels: defective hardware, a bug in the driver, a problem at a lower level in the usb stack or another device on the same usb bus interferring, or it can be a problem with how TuneTracker application detects the switchbox.

Indeed the “care package” with syslog, etc will allow us to rule out some of these cases. I’m in vacations now but when I get back home I can probably locate a PL2303 based adapter and do some experiments.

We do use nightlies of Haiku indeed; updating the hrev every 6 months or so (so in the 50xxx - 51xxx range, currently); we’re currently testing a pre-beta nightly (why not the beta itself? As Chris Herborth used to say : Thing. Take. Time. * g* ).

We mostly ship “turn key” stations with everything pre-installed. In my experience, radio stations don’t want to do “computer stuff”, they want the computer to get out of the way and do radio broadcasting and not even realize there’s a computer running the system. Haiku (and BeOS previously) of course has tons of advantages to that end, right out of the gate. Just need the hardware to “behave” and be stable, so to speak :slight_smile:

We have a handful clients who /still/ run their station on BeOS indeed, and happily so (those old computers were rock solid!). Obviously if their computer breaks down some day we’d have to upgrade them to Haiku. Can’t make a BeOS based system from off-the-shelf components; and my software won’t even build since I use many Haiku-specific APIs. Heck I don’t even use my BeOS computer any more these days.

@Stacked_Lambda I think Bruce is saying this problem has existed since the beginning (system purchased 5 months ago), not that he performed an upgrade …etc that broke a previously correctly working system
@cb88 The settings window of TT/CC allows to pick which “serial” port to use (though generally there’s only one of course)

If you guys know of a model/brand for a reliable USB-to-serial adapter, let’s see it, links welcome (even am@zon …etc * g* )

PS - we’re also looking into using a new type of motherboard to build our station computers with; our AMD-based F2A55 style ones gave us too much trouble over the last couple years

@pulkomandy Thanks!

I was not active in the BeOS community, apart from funding Haiku every year since it was founded. So your criticism is spot-on!