RealDash unable to use hardware com port, serial com converter is working fine

Hello all!

Finally we have a working data logger for tractorpulling. We use the realdash can protocol on a RS232 interface. This will be changed in the future, but due to season start we have made the decision to take the easy route.
We’ve posted about this before, this is a direct continuation of this project:
Tractorpulling datalogger device.

Unfortunatly we have hit a little problem now, we use a mini lenovo pc to run RealDash on windows. This pc has a hardware com-port.
The comport seems to function correctly as any terminal software can read the comport data correctly, but realdash seems unable to acces the com-port.
Is there any known issues (and solutions) for this? When we change nothing but change to a USB → Serial converter stick it works flawlessly.

We are unable to use USB → Serial converters due to the violent vibrations during a pull. USB-A is not a good connector for this kind of application.

Any help wil be greatly appreciated.

Red Devil Tractorpulling

This is actually a known issue with Windows version. RealDash Windows version is something called ‘UWP’ (Universal Windows Platform) app. When Microsoft first introduced their store they enforced that all apps uploaded to store must be UWP apps.

UWP is in many ways limited compared to traditional win32 programs. One of those limitations is Serial connectivity, on which only USB serial is possible. Native 9-pin serial connections are not supported by UWP at all.

There is no easy workaround for this. Only thing that comes to mind is use Linux instead. RealDash Linux version is available for My RealDash subscribers.

Thanks for the response!

That’s unfortunate, but nothing we can’t solve.
We ended up soldering a usb → serial converter stick directly on the motherboard for now.

Later we will look into switching OS, needed a quick fix for now.

Thanks for the help!


I have one additional question.

We are looking into new hardware / OS for realdash, would switching to a raspberry pi 5 with a com port pi hat be a good choice? Any experience on this?

Otherwise, are there any other good recommendations suitable for a high vibration
environment? We want to build something that we can rely on for a few years.

I personally only have experience on normal daily driven / occasional circuit racing environments, so cannot really say how well it will fare on extreme conditions.

In my day job (high tech farm equipment) I have had success with rugged PCs from Syslogic. They are small, durable, and run Linux. They are shock rated. They even have a built in CAN interface so you don’t need to use USB.

They can get quite expensive but we have never had a failure in tens of thousands of hours of operation and very high shock and vibration.

Here are two to look at with different price points:

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Thanks for the suggestion, we will see what we can do with those!