AutoSens Troubleshooting Guide
Under some circumstances, it can be difficult to get AutoSens to connect to your server. When you run into such a situation, we would recommend a few actions to verify that you have everything set up correctly.
We have run into a several cases where the reader did not appear to be sending data to the server or a connection to the server could not be established. The various problems fall into the following cases:
- The RFID parameters of the reader were not configured properly, so no tags were being read.
- The server was configured to listen on a UDP port rather than a TCP port.
- The network equipment or software firewall was not configured to allow traffic on the port setup for receiving data from the server.
- The IP address or port for the connection to the server as configured for the reader through the ProSens Console did not match the server configuration.
Verify Your Reader's RFID Settings
It is always best to start by verifying that your RFID settings are correct and that the reader is actually reading tags. The following procedure can be used to verify that the RFID setup is correct.
- Follow the procedure outlined in the section at the end of this document for stopping AutoSens and reconnecting to the reader. This is required because very few requests can be safely made of the reader when AutoSens is active.
- Click on the reader you are setting up in the Reader List.
- Verify that all of the settings on the Device tab have been filled in.
- Go to the RFID tab and verify that there are no RED antenna indicators at the bottom. If there are, your antenna sequence includes an antenna that has not been attach. This needs to be corrected before you will be able to read tags correctly.
- Go to the Advanced/AutoSens tab in the ProSens Console.
- Select the text in the Macro Program text box and copy it to the clipboard.
- Paste the text you copied into a Notepad text document or some other place where it is easy to retrieve to be able to reset that program back to the one you use.
- Clear the text in the Macro Program text box and replace it with the following: "i,m,0; r,b,0;". (Note that you shouldn't include the "'s.)
- Click on the "Set AutoSens Macro Program" button below the Macro Program text box. You should see a slightly modified version of what you just typed in echoed back. (The text will appear on 2 lines and will have 3 extra 0's at the end of each line.)
- Click on the Read Tags tab, then click the "Read" button.
- Verify that tags are being read. If no tags are being read, check all of your RFID settings and correct any problems. As a last resort, you can go back to the Configure Readers main tab and click on the "Reset to Default Config" button to fully restore your reader to its factory settings and walk through the setup again.
- Once you are able to read tags, stop the read process and return to the Advanced/AutoSens tab.
- Replace the contents of the Macro Program text box with the program you copied and saved in steps 6 and 7 above. Click on the "Set AutoSens Macro Program" to save it to the reader.
Once you have verified that your reader can read and report tags through the ProSens Console, start AutoSens and check to see if you are able to receive tag data through your data server. If you can now see tag data, you have successfully cleared up your problem. If not, continue with the next section to check that you can connect to your server.
Verify Server Connection Is Open
If the reader's connection information and the IP address and port that are open and listening for incoming messages on the data server side don't match, your messages will not come through. Also, you may have firewalls that are blocking your traffic. Generally, diagnosing and debugging these server and network issues are within the purvue of your IT department. SensThys personnel generally don't have access to your network equipment and often don't have experience with your network setup to be able to solve these problems. We would suggest that you run a few simple tests and discuss the results with your IT group to try to troubleshoot network issues.
Probably the best starting point for diagnosing connection issues is to use the telnet utility which is available on Linux systems and can be installed as an extension under Windows, or the tnc (Test Network Connection) applet under PowerShell. Both utilities operate basically the same. Open a command shell under Linux or a PowerShell window under Windows and type the appropriate command at the command line.
For PowerShell, type in "tnc host -port nnn" where host is either the IP address of your data server or the hostname of that data server and nnn is the port number that you are configured to connect to. So, for example, if your server is at 10.0.0.200 and you have opened port 5555, you would type in the command "tnc 10.0.0.200 -port 5555". If this port is open, you will see a response showing some basic information about the connection. If it can't connect, the command will not respond and show a banner "Waiting for response", then follow with some information indicating the connection failed.
Under Linux, or if you are using telnet on a Windows computer, type in the command "telnet host port" where host is as defined in the previous paragraph and port is the port number. Following the example for tnc above, you would type in "telnet 10.0.0.200 5555". Note that telnet will give a message if it is able to connect and times out is it is unable to connect.
We highly recommend that you use tnc or telnet to diagnose networking problems and that you don't proceed with other tests until you are able to connect using one of these utilities.
Note that one of the problems we ran into in the past was that the server port was configured for listening for UDP messages. AutoSens on the SensThys readers only uses the TCP protocol for data delivery, whether it is through a direct connection or using the HTTP protocol. Make sure that your server port is configured to listen for TCP messages rather than UDP messages.
Appendix A. Stopping AutoSens and Connecting Using ProSens Console
- Start the ProSens Console.
- Click on the reader on which you want to stop AutoSens running. You should see a message in the Message/Notification subwindow that indicates AutoSens is running and that you will need to stop AutoSens from running before you can change the reader's settings.
- Go to the advanced/AutoSens setup page and stop AutoSens:
- For SensArray Enterprise or Core readers, click on the "Stop/Pause AutoSens" button.
- For Extreme, uncheck the "Startup State" checkbox and click on the "Set AutoSens Startup State" button.
- Wait for the message in the window on that page to indicate that the message queue has been cleared.
- Go back to the reader list and use the popup menu (right click on the reader) to close the connection to the reader. This may not be needed, but often when you stop AutoSens, there are messages in the Ethernet queue that need to be fully cleared before you can interact with the reader. Closing the connection "kills" that queue.
- Wait for a new heartbeat to show up (active count will advance), then (left) click on the reader. At this point, if AutoSens has been properly stopped, the RFID Console will interrogate the reader settings and fill in the most current setting from the reader.
If this process completes without timing out and all of the settings are filled in, you should be able to verify your RFID settings, make the changes to verify that you can read tags from the ProSens Console, and make any changes in the connection information before restarting AutoSens.