View Full Version : [Bioloid] ZIG-100 connection issue

09-29-2008, 11:48 PM
Hi All,

I got a set of ZIG-100s recently, with a zig2serial. After a bunch of head scratching through the manuals and online, I finally stumbled my way to this forum and found the answers I needed to get the zig2serial board working.

I have since verified the IDs of both my ZIG-100 modules. I can read the ID of the one soldered to the CM-5 using the wireless ID demo program, as well as the one on the zig2serial using the "!" on a reset.

Up until a couple hours ago I was having issues with the wireless connection seeming to drop right after setting the CM-5 into one of the "Manage", "Program" or "Play" modes. The terminal would display whatever preliminary info I would see from the wired connection, but then hang. It would display registering the attached AX-12s and AX-S1s and in the case of "Program" the screen for controlling the servos manually, but then hang. The status light on the zig2serial board was staying solid for all of this.

Now, the connection doesn't even last that long. The status light on the zig-2serial will come on for about 2 seconds and then start flashing again. Flashing fast, then slower, then solid for about 2 seconds and repeating over and over.

I can still use the CM-5 with a direct serial connection just fine. I can still access/use the zig2serial setup without a problem. They just don't seem to be on speaking terms.

My guess is that they are not able to maintain a connectivity. It dosn't seem like the zig2serial is receiving transmissions from the CM-5. I've seen transmit and receive lights on the CM-5, but only transmit from the zig2serial, with the odd exception of when it was making the initial connection. Which I don't get at all anymore.

Of note, I'm powering the zig2serial straight off a USB port (5.10V) to J10 on the zig2serial board with a dab of solder connecting R10.

Has anyone else had an issue like this or care to assist me figuring this out?



09-29-2008, 11:53 PM
I was actually running into a similar issue with mine when setting it up last week, I'll investigate a bit more tomorrow at work and get back to you. I'd also suggest asking the folks over at Robosavvy as a good amount of them use this setup as well.

09-30-2008, 08:17 AM
I'm to familiar with the specifics of the ZIG-100s, but I have used Xbee modules. I'm assuming they use AT commands to set the address, etc? If so, did you make sure to issue an ATWR at the end, to write the values to permanent storage?

If none of that sounds vaguley familiar, disregard it, as they might be using a different protocol. But I know I have had that type of issue trip me up before...


10-01-2008, 12:16 AM
Thanks in advance Tyberius for any assistance you can lend.
I have been looking on the Robosavvy forums for anything that might help and have been going over this thread in particular :

lnxfergy, that sounds more like something I'd use for the actual serial connection, but I think the zig-100 to zig-100 communication is supposed to be pretty seamless. Just like communicating via the direct serial cable.

I've reposted this on Robosavvy and will be sure to update progress in both places.

10-01-2008, 03:15 AM
aha. That might be the problem.

It's transparent AFTER you set them up. You must connect them and program their connection parameters first, then write the parameters to their NVRAM [as Fergs mentioned] and then they become transparent. Kinda like a serial cable with a "brain"...

10-01-2008, 08:17 AM
I also did a great deal of research on the site there last night, and posted asking something as well.

From what I can tell, the Zig 100s aren't just a drop in replacement for the serial cable. They're originally meant to make two CM-5s communicate (with one setup as a remote control). Seems like the zig2serial was sort of an afterthought. You can still use it, but you have to account for the fact that the CM-5 >> Zig100 communication uses a weird packetized format (very similar to what the dynamixels use). That's what they're talking about in that thread:

Here is the CM5/Zig100 format, as hex bytes:

FF 55 01 FE 08 F7


FF 55 is the header.

The data in this example is integer 2049 = 01 + 256decimal * 08

FE is checksum for 01 -> 255decimal - 01 = FE
(i.e. Complement of byte)

F7 is checksum for 08 -> 255decimal - 08 = F7
(i.e. Complement of byte)

Another example: FF 55 04 FB 02 FD

Integer is decimal 516 = 04 + 256decimal * 02

Easy to write a PC program in your favourite language to write/decode this format. None of this appears in the manuals unfortunately -_-

Anyway, that's just what I got from reading through it, I posted asking for confirmation, I could be way off ;)

10-02-2008, 01:59 AM
Ahhh yes (Adrenalynn & Tyberius), that makes perfect sense.

That explains why I could get an initial response from the CM5 displaying the IDs for connected Dynamixels and such depending which CM5 mode I was on (Manage, Program or Play). So, I'd just be receiving a straight dump from the CM5 and it was hanging because the expected/required response didn't come (like in most client/server type relationships).


Now I'm just hoping I didn't cook something when I re-soldered everything in my assumption that I'd done it all too poorly. I can no longer get the initial dump from the CM5 via the zig-100s. Wired serial connection still works fine though, so that's a plus. As does the zig2serial setup for the zig-100 there.

Now it just seems like the zig-100s can't maintain a signal as the zig2serial "status" light will go solid for about 2 seconds and then start flashing again. Fast at first, then slow to solid and repeat.

At least I'll know I'm setup if I can get back to where I was.

I haven't seen/heard of anyone using an antenna for this, but there does appear to be a spot for one on the CM5 under where the zig-100 goes. Any thoughts?

Thanks again for all the help!


10-10-2008, 11:56 PM
any up-dates?

10-11-2008, 01:51 AM
From what I've gathered, the Zig100 modules aren't drop in replacements for the serial cable. They appear to be originally intended for use in a pair of CM-5s, with one used as a controller. You can use the Zig100/Zig2Serial and Zig100/CM-5 combo, but you have to write your own comm wrapper to essentially translate your serial data into a packetized form that the CM-5 can understand, essentially tricking it into thinking the PC with the Zig100/Zig2Serial is another CM-5.

That said- Talk to me in about a week about the Xbee Bioloid Controller I'm cooking up with Jon's help. :D

10-11-2008, 11:30 PM
sweet I have just about hit a wall with the blue tooth thing

10-12-2008, 12:24 AM
I haven't been able to make any real progress on this outside of narrowing down my problem to the zig-100 on the zig2serial itself. I bought a new zig2serial, just in case that was the issue. It's doing the exact same thing with the new one. I'll have to email Robotis and see if they can tell me if there is any real special meaning to the way it's blinking.