Belkin | F5U103-MAC | TechMemo - Alpha-American Programmable Signs

October 8, 2001
Using AlphaNET software with USB-equipped Apple® Power Macintosh® computers
AlphaNET software (version 1.4 or greater)
This document shows how to use AlphaNET software on a Power Macintosh® G3 or G4 computer.
This TechMemo shows how to use AlphaNET software (version 1.4 or greater) on a Power
Macintosh® G3 or G4 computer to send messages to Alpha® signs.
To do this, the AlphaNET software should be run on Windows® 2000 emulator software,
called Virtual PC, on a Macintosh® computer.
NOTE: This TechMemo only applies to Apple® Power Macintosh® G3 and G4
computers, not Apple® iMac computers.
Required materials
Connectix Virtual PC v4.0 with Windows® 2000 software
Belkin USB Serial Adapter for a PC (not the Macintosh® version), Belkin
part number F5U103
AlphaNET software (version 1.4 or greater)
MacWarehouse (800-622-6222), $230
Belkin (, $80
Contact Adaptive Micro Systems.
Related documentation
Part number
AlphaNET plus™ for Windows® User Manual
Step-by-step examples on how to use this software
Network Configurations
Examples on how to network Alpha® signs
© Copyright 2001 Adaptive Micro Systems, Inc. All rights reserved.
Adaptive Micro Systems • 7840 North 86th Street • Milwaukee, WI 53224 USA • 414-357-2020 • 414-357-2029 (fax) •
The following are trademarks of Adaptive Micro Systems: Adaptive, Alpha, AlphaNet plus, AlphaEclipse, AlphaPremiere, AlphaTicker, AlphaVision, AlphaVision InfoTracker, Automode,
BetaBrite, BetaBrite Director, BetaBrite Messaging Software, Big Dot, PPD, Smart Alec, Solar, TimeNet
The distinctive trade dress of this product is a trademark claimed by Adaptive Micro Systems, Inc.
Due to continuing product innovation, specifications in this manual are subject to change without notice.
TechMemo #01-0008
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Install the Virtual PC software
NOTE: Do NOT connect the Belkin USB Serial Adapter to your computer until
instructed to do so.
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Delete all previous versions of Virtual PC software from your computer. This includes any
Virtual PC files in the System > Extensions folder and the System > Preferences folder.
Restart your computer.
Install the Virtual PC v4.0 with Windows® 2000 software.
Start the Virtual PC software and then start the Windows® 2000 software:
Eject the Virtual PC CD ROM.
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Install the AlphaNET software
Insert the AlphaNET CD ROM and install this software:
After installing the AlphaNET software, you’ll have to restart the Windows® 2000
Connect the Belkin USB Serial Adapter to your computer
Plug the Belkin USB Serial Adapter into a USB port on your computer.
The Belkin adapter should be directly connected to one of the USB ports on
your computer — not through a USB hub or another USB device.
Install the software driver for the Belkin USB Serial Adapter
Using Windows® 2000 software, eject and remove the AlphaNET software CD ROM. Then
insert the installation CD ROM that came with the Belkin adapter.
TechMemo #01-0008
For the Belkin Serial Adapter used with these instructions, two CD ROMs were
included: an installation CD ROM and a Windows® 2000 CD ROM. In this case,
the Windows® 2000 CD ROM was used because it contained the necessary
software driver.
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10. The following prompts should appear on the Windows® 2000 software screen:
Select this
Select this
unless the
Belkin USB
Adapter driver
is not on a CD
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The New Hardware
Wizard should
locate the driver.
This indicates that
the installation was
a success.
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Determine the COM port of the Belkin USB Serial Adapter
You need to find which Windows® 2000 software COM port the Belkin USB Serial
Adapter is using. To do this, follow these steps:
11. In the Windows® 2000 software, select Start > Settings > Control Panel. Then select System
> Hardware > Device Manager > Ports:
In this case, the
Belkin USB Serial
Adapter is using the
COM 3 port.
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TechMemo #01-0008
Connect the Belkin USB Serial Adapter to Alpha® signs
Single sign network using RS232
Belkin USB Serial Adapter
RS232 cable (Adaptive Micro Systems pn 1036-9010)
To sign’s
USB cable
Power Macintosh G3/G4
running Virtual PC
with AlphaNET software
Multiple sign network using RS485
Belkin USB Serial Adapter
Converter Box cable
(Adaptive Micro Systems
pn 1088-8634)
Converter Box III
(Adaptive Micro Systems
pn 1088-1111)
Power Macintosh G3/G4
running Virtual PC
with AlphaNET software
To sign’s RS485
RS485 cable (Adaptive Micro Systems pn 1088-8002)
USB cable
1-foot RS485 Modular Network
(Adaptive Micro (Adaptive Micro
pn 1086-8636) pn 4331-0602)
TechMemo #01-0008
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Set up AlphaNET software
For more information on using AlphaNET software, see the AlphaNET plus™ for
Window® User Manual:
Create a USB device in the AlphaNET software by starting the Site Manager and then
selecting Device > New:
“COM 3” is included in the device name
because the Belkin USB Serial Adapter
is installed in the COM 3 port. (See
"Determine the COM port of the Belkin
USB Serial Adapter" on page 6.)
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After naming the new device, select Edit and make sure COM Port is set to COM3:
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After creating the USB device, create a Site that uses this device by selecting New Site:
Make sure that this new
Site uses the USB
device you just set up.
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Next, create a test message using the Message Editor and transmit this message to a sign
attached to your computer:
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