How to Debug?: Mac freezing while using ofSerial

I’m using ofSerial with 0.8.4 on a 10.9 iMac to control some Dynamixel servos. After about 30 seconds of sending bytes (pretty much every frame; I do some simple checking to make sure I don’t resend if the servo doesn’t need to move), the computer invariably completely freezes — no mouse control, no keyboard; nothing. I haven’t seen anything like it since the early 2000s.

Any ideas on what could be going wrong, or how to debug a problem that requires a complete reboot every time it occurs?

Sounds more like a potential usb to serial driver problem – how are you communicating with the servos?

Ah hah. Using one of these: http://www.crustcrawler.com/electronics/USB2Dynamixel/index.php?prod=65

It works perfectly fine for little bursts and up until that 30 seconds is up, though.

After some research and trial/error, there does seem to be an issue with these serial adapters, most likely due to a counterfeit FTDI chip.

Ugh. That’s the worst kind of bug. I know that on windows at least, FTDI recently started bricking counterfeit chips.

I thought they quit that though …

Funny story: that driver was apparently pulled from Windows Update, but in a moment of weakness, we actually downloaded the newest driver straight from the FTDI website. That bricked the adapter — it set the product ID to 0000. I was able to fix it with this on a Linux VM on my Mac, but now I can’t use the adapter on that Windows machine.

What the heck Robotis? You guys sell $500 servos, but use counterfeit chips in your serial adapters?

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That is crazy! Glad you were able to get it fixed …

So just to clarify – did un-bricking it solve the ofSerial problem? Or is that still an issue?

I’m actually not sure — I ended up getting a brand new Mac, and everything seems to be working fine now. So, my guess is don’t even think about visiting the FTDI website, and don’t use PCs.