Topic: Troubleshooting Braille Display Detection Problems

Created on:

Last updated on:

Applies to: ScreenReader, SuperNova Magnifier & Screen Reader

NB: Please note that product names in this article may have changed since the time of writing.

Description

This article provides troubleshooting tips to help you resolve common Braille display detection problems.

Solution

Dolphin strongly recommend that you run the latest versions of SuperNova and Synthesiser Access Manager (SAM) to ensure optimal performance. You can download the latest version of SAM, free of charge, from the Synthesiser Access Manager Download Page.

If you have a Braille display connected to your computer but are finding that SuperNova is failing to communicate with the device, then the following checklist might help you troubleshoot the problem.

Quick Checklist

  1. Check Braille output is On in SuperNova.
  2. Check the Braille display is selected in SuperNova's Braille General Preferences dialog box.
  3. Check SAM is loading the required driver.
  4. Check the Braille display is turned on, has power and is correctly connected to the computer.

Check Braille output is On in SuperNova.

To do this:

  1. Press LEFT CONTROL + SPACEBAR. The SuperNova control panel opens.
  2. Press ALT + B. The "Braille" menu opens. The first item in the menu says the Braille output status.
  3. If Braille output is set to "OFF" then press ENTER. Braille output changes to ON and the menu closes.

If Braille output is set to ON but you continue to have no Braille output then check the correct Braille display is selected in SuperNova.

Check the Braille display is selected in SuperNova.

To do this:

  1. If the SuperNova control panel is not open, press LEFT CONTROL + SPACEBAR. The SuperNova control panel opens.
  2. Press ALT + B. The "Braille" menu opens.
  3. DOWN ARROW to "General Preferences" and press ENTER. The "General Preferences" dialog box opens.
  4. CONTROL + TAB to the "Braille device" page. The focus is on the "Select Braille Display" button.
  5. Supernova announces which braille display it is currently using. If it is the wrong one then press SPACEBAR. The "Select Braille Display" dialog box opens.
  6. Use the Arrow Keys to select your Braille display and press ENTER. SuperNova switches to using your Braille display and the dialog box closes.
  7. Press ESCAPE to close the "General Preferences" dialog box.

If your Braille display does not appear in the list then the next step is to make sure Sam (Synthesiser Access Manager) is loading the driver for your Braille display.

Check SAM is loading the required Braille display driver

SAM is a component of SuperNova. SAM manages the devices that SuperNova sends output too. This includes text-to-speech devices and Braille display devices. SAM must detect a device if SuperNova is to use it.

How to check a device in SAM:

  1. If you are not in the SuperNova control panel, press LEFT CONTROL + SPACEBAR. The Supernova Control Panel opens.
  2. Press ALT + G. The "General" menu opens.
  3. DOWN ARROW to "Advanced Options" and press ENTER. The "General Advanced Options" dialog box opens.
  4. TAB to the "Sam Setup" button and press SPACEBAR. The "Sam Setup" dialog box opens.
  5. In SAM's list of devices, use the UP and DOWN ARROW keys to select your Braille display. A successfully detected device is checked and reports a unit value of 1.
  6. If your device is unchecked then TAB to the "Detect all devices" button and press SPACEBAR. Follow the on-screen instructions. SAM attempts to detect all devices available on the computer.
  7. If SAM fails to detect the Braille display, namely, the device remains unchecked and reports a unit value of 0 then try manually configuring the device in SAM

How to manually configure a device in SAM:

  1. In the list of SAM devices, use the UP and DOWN ARROW keys to select your Braille display and press SPACEBAR to make sure the check box is selected.
  2. Tab to the "Configure" button and press SPACEBAR. The Braille display's Configuration dialog box opens. Note that the dialog box may open in the background. If this occurs, press ALT + TAB to switch to the dialog box.
  3. Use the Arrow Keys to select the "Manual Configuration" radio button.
  4. TAB into the list of available COM ports and set the value to the COM Port number the computer has assigned to your Braille display.
  5. TAB to the "OK" button and press SPACEBAR. The Braille display should now be detected.

Tip: For some braille displays, you can find out what COM Port number your Braille display is using by going to the Windows Device Manager and expanding the "Ports (COM & LPT)" option. To open the Windows Device Manager, press WINDOWS KEY + PAUSE, then TAB to "Device Manager" and press ENTER.

If your Braille display is not detected by SAM then the next step is to make sure the device is working correctly.

Check the hardware

If all the software checks fail then it is possible that the device has a hardware problem. Check to ensure the device is switched on, has adequate power, is correctly connected to the computer and is using the manufacturer's recommended protocol settings.

Check your manufacturer's setup instructions to ensure you have followed all steps correctly.

Disclaimer

The information provided in this knowledge base article has been reviewed and is believed to be accurate and is provided "as is" without any warranties expressed or implied. In no event shall Dolphin Computer Access Ltd. nor its affiliates assume any responsibility for inaccuracies, errors, incidental or consequential damages resulting from any defect or omission in this document, even if advised of the possibility of such damages.

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