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Terminal Block issues...be aware!


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  • MVP 2023

HI all, some of you may have seen the recent posts about terminal block sizes.

Thought I'd relate what happened to me in the last week.

Went to a site where I needed to do some direct modbus work, so got the relevant computer and my Shentek adapter and cables.  Haven't needed to do this for many months and puter has been used on other things since.

Got to the site, hooked into the modbus loop and nothing coming up.  Huh?!! Check cable, check connections, ensure adapter showing leds, try again.  Nup.  What?!!  Maybe Windoze has changed the driver without me knowing?  Check in device mangler (did you like that new Ausman terminology?!!) and lo and behold Windoze has changed the drivers back to what it prefers.  Don't know how or when this happened, I'm very careful about this, so changed it to the one that I know works, in this case FTDI  16/8/17, rebooted and things should be right.

Nup, ohh.....hang on....one thing on the loop is there, no it isn't, yes it is, but not the rest.   What is going on? Maybe some damage has been done in the loop somewhere? In the end I had to give up on what was one part of a full day's work.  Did all the other stuff and finished.  Have to come back.  Grrr.  100kms.

In the evening in the Auscave checked things out again.  It was then that I noticed that perhaps I didn't have the original Shentek terminal block in use.  It's a 5 pin the same as the Unican port and a host of other thingamebobs I use.  Looked very carefully at this with the magnifiers, and discovered that it would seem that not all 5 pin types are the same.  See the attached pics.  You can clearly see that the connectors allow for different size pins and method of clamping onto them.

So I again went down taking a variety of blocks, along with what I thought was the original fitting already in place, which somehow Mr. AusGoose had changed over at some stage without thinking too much about it.   Connected in again and whammo......straight into everything.  Unbelievable!


1).  Check drivers all the time.  Windoze still seems to change drivers on me, even though I've very seriously told it not to.   👮‍♂️ 

2).  On portable gear, label original terminal blocks so that they stay with that piece of gear.  🏷️    

3).  Check before you leave for the job. "But if it worked last time and I haven't fiddled with anything, it should work again, right?"  "Not you correct thinking, young Luke.  Change the connector, you!"    😖

cheers, Aus

(PS.  Before some of you smarties say the reason I had trouble with the connector was because it was a 10 pin trying to go into a 5 pin socket, for some reason my photos of both 5 pin types had contrast issues and wouldn't show properly, hence the 10 for comparison.  🙂)



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