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TOPIC: Getting a Mk I serial console to work on Windows

Getting a Mk I serial console to work on Windows 6 years, 6 months ago #84881

  • jwrl
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Some time back there were a series of discussions about getting a Lightworks mark I console to work on late versions of Windows computers without a working serial port. This description is for people who feel comfortable using a soldering iron, or who know someone who can do it for them.

Before you start you'll need to obtain an FTDI USB-RS232-WE-1800-BT_5.0 bare - end cable and a D15 female connector. The D15 connector can be sourced at any electronic components outlet, but I got my FTDI cable from RS Components. You will also need a 12 volt plug pack with a current handling capacity of .5 amps or better. And you will need the console driver software.

Solder the D15 connector on to the bare wires from the adaptor, in the following configuration.


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What may be a little confusing is what happens with the red and brown wires in the diagram above. These should not be connected to any pin in the D-15 connector. For safety I folded each back and sheathed them with heatshrink to ensure that they couldn't connect to anything.

I then booted up my Windows system, plugged in the brand new USB to D-15 cable and installed the drivers I had previously downloaded from the FTDI website. I booted up LW 11.5.2.D 64 bit, and - nada.

So I then went to the RTCS website and downloaded the Lightworks initialising utility. Booted that up, entered the incredibly long and extremely unforgiving protection string, and it found my console. It couldn't find the RAM image that the console needed though. Not surprising - I hadn't installed it.

The old standalone console installer that I had wouldn't install on Windows!!! Damn! So I manually unpacked lwmoucon.ram, lwmoucon.sys (64 bit version), and vipcons.ram with WinZip and placed them in the Windows\System32\drivers folder. Booted up the RTCS utility again, entered the incredibly long and extremely unforgiving protection string again, and it found my console and downloaded lwmoucon.ram to it. The stop tally didn't come on, which it's supposed to, to indicate success.

OK. Maybe I need to boot up Lightworks. Tried that. Nope. Damn, damn, damn! Time to shut the computer down and think about things. Wait! As the computer shut down the console started up! It's on its own power supply, so maybe it will survive a reboot.

So I booted up again. This time I didn't try the RTCS startup utility, just launched Lightworks. And the console was alive. It has subsequently survived several complete system restarts, and been booted up with everything from 11.5.2.D 32 and 64 bit versions to 2021.2.

As long as the console is kept powered up, using the RTCS utility is unnecessary. Breaking the power to the console will always require the utility to be run, though. The only thing that seems to be required for RTCS to make my mark 1 console work is the lwmoucon.ram file inside Windows\Sytem32\drivers.

I subsequently found that it was unnecessary to reboot the computer after running the RTCS startup utility. Simply launching Lightworks will start the console. I don't know why it didn't that very first time - it's never failed to since.
Last Edit: 1 month, 2 weeks ago by jwrl.

Re: Getting a Mk I serial console to work on Windows 6 years, 6 months ago #84883

  • RWAV
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Anyone want to buy a series 1 Console (just kidding). Ran into Matthew Tucker the other day - he probably has some.
BETA System
Microsoft Windows 7 Professional 64BIT
HP Z800 Workstation

Re: Getting a Mk I serial console to work on Windows 6 years, 6 months ago #84898

  • jwrl
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Personally, I'm amazed that after 30 years the console still works at all. There isn't a lot of computer gear out there that you can say that about.

Also, thanks for the suggestion to try the FTDI adapter in the thread I lifted this from. I'd tried other adapters and plug in cards to try and solve the issue and couldn't.

(I'd be surprised if Matthew didn't have some in a box somewhere. I know that David Pulbrook has some too, but he wouldn't sell them when last I asked.)
Last Edit: 1 month, 2 weeks ago by jwrl.

Re: Getting a Mk I serial console to work on Windows 5 years, 5 months ago #106224

  • jwrl
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Just a little additional info: I originally referred to getting the console going with W8.1 in the post above. Subsequently I've run it reliably on W7 and W10 systems.

I also tried bleeding the 12 volts off my PC's power supply using a back panel 4 pin power connector like those used on older hard drives. That works too, and if you're prepared to void any warranties that may apply to your PC might be worth doing. In my case I had a hefty 12V 2A supply lying around. That's what I currently use.
Last Edit: 2 years, 8 months ago by jwrl.

Re: Getting a Mk I serial console to work on Windows 4 years, 11 months ago #119517

  • Scroller
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I am trying to get one of my Mk 1 consoles up and running.I have reached the point where my console is recognised by the rtcs software but cannot find the .ram file. I only have Windows 7 64 installed. Where do I 'unpack' the missing lwmoucon.ram files and how do I install them? As simply as possible please.

Re: Getting a Mk I serial console to work on Windows 4 years, 11 months ago #119530

  • jwrl
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I've zipped what I have and attached it below. The contents of this zip will only work on Windows though, because that's what I have.
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MIDI controller/console conversion 3 years, 4 months ago #169358

  • pgregston
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For those not in the RS components service area, use this page to find your dealer. I was able to search my dealer using the exact part name.
Last Edit: 3 years, 4 months ago by pgregston.

MIDI controller/console conversion 1 year, 6 months ago #209245

  • nickpitt_2000
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I've just had a discussion about this idea in a facebook group and then looked it up and realised you've already done it so I'd love to know a bit more (if, of course, you're still on the forum.)

MIDI controller/console conversion 1 year, 6 months ago #209246

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Sorry this was meant to be directed at the arduino idea not the thread in general, but I don't see how to do that here.

MIDI controller/console conversion 1 year, 6 months ago #209267

  • jwrl
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You will find the thread in which acmesafe continued their discussion in MIDI Controller as console. This thread was locked because of its age, but I have unlocked it again. The information about getting a serial console to work on the Windows platform is still current and still works exactly as posted in the thread starter.

MIDI controller/console conversion 1 year, 6 months ago #209283

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Thanks! I've done it the easy way already. Now to try and get it to do "other things"!

MIDI controller/console conversion 1 year, 6 months ago #209287

  • jwrl
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And the "easy way" is? The easy way for me once I solved RS-232 problem was to plug in the console and use the RTCS solution
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