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USB Infrared or Fast Infrared adapter provides an intermittent connection or fails to connect with a H/PC


Applies To

  • Windows CE 1.0, 1.01
  • Windows CE 2.0, SP1
  • Handheld PC Professional, SP1
  • Handheld PC 2000


When attempting to connect your Handheld PC to H/PC Explorer, Windows CE Services or ActiveSync over an Infrared (IrDA) connection through a USB Infrared adapter. The connection exhibits one of the following behaviours:

  1. The connection between H/PC and host is established but the services scan of the device never completed preventing the sync from occurring
  2. The connection layer is established by the Sync client fails to activate responding with the error "No Carrier Detected"
  3. The Sync client will only acknowledge the presence of the Handheld PC on a sporadic basis
  4. The Infrared Lamp fails to detect the presence of the Handheld PC

More Info

The above situations can occur under a number of circumstances. Trouble shooting steps can be found below

Ensure that the Infrared Lamps are free from dust and grease. When cleaning do not use a chemical solvent or polish as this may diminish the quality of the IR pulses causing refraction or unnecessary reflection.
Clean using a damp general purpose soft cloth ensuring that the lens remains scratch free and unblemished.

Optimal operating conditions for the device are:

  • In an operating environment free from excess heat sources, high wattage bright artificial lighting and direct sunlight
  • Both lamps should be aligned within a field of no more that 120 degrees for optimal coverage
  • The distance between the two lamps should optimally be no more than 30 cm, with an average acceptable range being 1m and maximum permissible safe range of 5m for some (but not all) kinds of lamp
  • Lamps should have direct line of sight, with no obstructions or reflective surfaces in between
  • Both lamps should be positioned on a stable surface with no physical movement of either device during connections

Check with the manufacturer for updated device drivers. Updated drivers may provide different driver and protocol settings along with optimisations for the transceiver.

Adjust the Transceiver mode

Updated drivers may be required to provide access to the features outlined in the following steps

NB: The process for changing the Lamp transceiver settings under Windows 95, 98, 98SE and Millennium differ from those provided here.

  1. Click Start
  2. Expand Settings and open the Control Panel
  3. From the available options choose the System applet
  4. Expand the Hardware Tab
  5. Select Device Manager
  6. In the Device Manger window, expand the Infrared devices option, right click your Infrared device and choose Properties
    Infrared controller in device manager
  7. Select the Advanced tab
  8. In the property section select the Infrared Transceiver Type option
    Transceiver type
  9. From the list select the VISHAY Telefunken option
  10. Accept all the settings changes by clicking OK
  11. Reboot your computer and test your connection

If this has not had any visible effect on the connection. Users may with to repeat the above steps testing any additional transceiver types listed. You should return the transceiver type to Auto for the next troubleshooting step.

Reduce the Infrared Port Speed

  1. In the Advanced tab for your IrDA adapter choose the Speed Limit option
    Speed limit
  2. Throttle the Value down to 115.2 kbps
  3. Accept the changes by clicking OK
  4. Reboot your computer and test the connection

Sync Client Settings

The Windows CE Sync client should be setup to access the Infrared port. The procedure for this will differ slightly between Windows versions.

Under Windows 95, 98, 98SE and Millennium. Connections using serial infrared or integrated Infrared adapters will make use of Virtual COM (vCOM) assignment. Using vCOM, adapters will invisibly assign themselves a COM port number as part of the driver installation (usually COM5 or higher) to connect through. This will appear in both the Get Connected Window and in the Connection Settings screen as show below. If you wish to use Handheld PC Explorer to make an Infrared connection between a PC and a Windows CE 1.0 device, you must have vCOM port available, and there for be using Windows 9x.
Under Windows 2000, XP, 2003 and Vista the use of vCOM mapping has been abandoned in favour of a more dynamic resource management system. All users should ensure that they are using ActiveSync 3.5 or higher - Windows CE Services like H/PC Explorer requires a vCOM. In the dialogue below under one of these platforms, no vCOM port will be listed.

Virtual COM port

IR port selection

If under Windows 9x either the Infrared Port or COMx (which is assigned to the vCOM) references are missing or showing as Not Installed then either the USB Infrared Adapter has not been installed correctly or another device is attempting to make use of the IR hardware.
You should investigate and disable any Infrared hardware in the vicinity of the transceiver as well as any other communications applications that may be running on your computer.