Unable to connect MacBook Pro 16" to ESP32 using Arduino

Munque
Posts: 23
Joined: Mon Feb 10, 2020 11:38 pm

Unable to connect MacBook Pro 16" to ESP32 using Arduino

Postby Munque » Tue Feb 11, 2020 12:10 am

Unable to connect MacBook Pro 16" to ESP32 using Arduino

The main issue: Arduino IDE can't connect to the ESP32 over the USB Port

Attempts so far...
SiLabs driver 5.02.04 has been installed (and uninstalled / reinstalled multiple times)
Arduino IDE > Preferences has in "Additional Boards Manager URLs": https://dl.espressif.com/dl/package_esp32_index.json
Arduino IDE > Tools > Board > Board Manager: and the ESP32 has been installed (v 1.0.4)
Arduino IDE > Tools > Board: "ESP32 Dev Module" is selected (have tried others as well)
At one point Arduino IDE > Tools > Ports > Showed the USB Port, but selecting it didn't resolve the issue.
Terminal > ls /dev | grep tty showed the USB driver
I remembered something involving setting a modem using Mac OS > Finder > Apple Menu > System Preferences > Network, where you add SLAB_USB...toUART, but don't remember exactly what. After testing / trying to remember exactly what that step was seems to have been the cause of the USB option subsequently disappearing from Arduino IDE > Tools > Ports and no longer showing under ls /dev | grep tty.
Subsequent Uninstall / Installs of the SiLabs driver have not fixed anything.

RobinBlood
Posts: 6
Joined: Mon Jan 29, 2018 9:19 am

Re: Unable to connect MacBook Pro 16" to ESP32 using Arduino

Postby RobinBlood » Tue Feb 11, 2020 11:35 am

Hi Munque,

maybe this suggestion sounds silly but did you try another USB-Cable?
I've got lots of USB-A to micro-USB but only a few support data. Most of them are charging wires with only two Pins connected to USB-A.

Also, what kind of USB-A to USB-C adapter are you using to connect with your MacBookPro?
I've got several from Belkin, Aukey and other brands but not all of them work all the time due to the internal USB-Hubs.

The one that worked best for me was a USB-C to single USB-A Adapter (straight pinning without logic inside) and also this one only works in one orientation (even though you can put USB-C in two orientations)

Hope this helps. Been there and spent hours after that attaching Labels to the USB-wire that are capable of transmitting data :-/

Best Regards
Robin

Munque
Posts: 23
Joined: Mon Feb 10, 2020 11:38 pm

Re: Unable to connect MacBook Pro 16" to ESP32 using Arduino

Postby Munque » Tue Feb 11, 2020 4:56 pm

Not a silly suggestion at all.
The entire set-up did work before -- the cable along with the usb-c to usb-3 adaptor (apple dongle) using this very ESP32 -- did work on the prior MacBook 15". Since then we've switched to this 16" and those same pieces aren't working.
Nonetheless I wouldn't be surprised if a change of cables / adaptors makes the difference. Voodoo logic.

Right now the main thing to figure out: why did the serial/usb tty (I don't remember the precise listing) disappear from ls /dev | grep tty (terminal command). I'm assuming that has to be there, and that without it it doesn't matter what cables / adaptors we use, but I'm not sure how to get it back.

Munque
Posts: 23
Joined: Mon Feb 10, 2020 11:38 pm

Re: Unable to connect MacBook Pro 16" to ESP32 using Arduino

Postby Munque » Tue Feb 11, 2020 6:03 pm

Also, this curious observation: In attempting to uninstall the latest version of SiLabsUSBDriver (5.2.4 / Dec 2019) I found the following file didn't get remove by uninstall.sh: /Library/StagedExtensions/Library/Extensions/SiLabsUSBDriver.kext

In fact, that file isn't even listed in uninstall.sh.
It only targets the following:
- /System/Library/Extensions/SiLabsUSBDriver.kext
- /System/Library/Extensions/SiLabsUSBDriver64.kext
- /Library/Extensions/SiLabsUSBDriverYos.kext
- /Library/Extensions/SiLabsUSBDriver.kext

Furthermore, /Library/StagedExtensions/Library/Extensions/SiLabsUSBDriver.kext doesn't respond to > sudo kextunload nor can it be removed by can't be removed by > sudo rm, nor can the permissions be changed using sudo chown, even when the mac is booted in Safe Mode. Not sure if it matters, but perhaps this is part of the problem?

robertl
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Mar 24, 2020 7:59 pm

Re: Unable to connect MacBook Pro 16" to ESP32 using Arduino

Postby robertl » Tue Mar 24, 2020 10:08 pm

Munque, Have you solved your port issue? I am having the same/similar problem. The Arduino IDE on my MacBook Pro (OS 10.15.3) suddenly stopped seeing the "port" for an Adafruit ESP32 Feather and Xuixin ESP32 board. The usb cable I am using works fine for an Arduino nano.

Perhaps an Apple update caused this? Or the new version of the Arduino IDE?

Any ideas?

Robert

Munque
Posts: 23
Joined: Mon Feb 10, 2020 11:38 pm

Re: Unable to connect MacBook Pro 16" to ESP32 using Arduino

Postby Munque » Fri Mar 27, 2020 2:51 am

Have you solved your port issue? I am having the same/similar problem. The Arduino IDE on my MacBook Pro (OS 10.15.3) suddenly stopped seeing the "port" for an Adafruit ESP32 Feather and Xuixin ESP32 board. The usb cable I am using works fine for an Arduino nano.

Perhaps an Apple update caused this? Or the new version of the Arduino IDE?

Any ideas?

Robert
Hi Robert, so in fact I did solve the problem, and it ultimately turned out to be very easy
Basically RobinBlood was spot on with the question "maybe this suggestion sounds silly but did you try another USB-Cable". There were a number of reasons why the cable was causing confusion: There was a loose wire that sometimes worked, sometimes didn't, giving a false positives and negatives suggesting "it works fine on the other machine".

The solution: I went with a USB/TTL cable, USB-3 on one end, 4 connectors, White, Green, Red, & Black, on the other.

Clearing up confusion from my notes above:
The following steps are essential:
Installation of the SiLabs driver
Adding the proper URL(s) to Arduino IDE > Preferences has in "Additional Boards Manager URLs": (For esp32, for esp8266)
Arduino IDE > Tools > Board > Board Manager: Make sure you've installed the proper board ESP32 or ESP8266
Arduino IDE > Tools > Board: Make sure you've selected the proper board.

At that point, this bit of good news:
Arduino IDE > Tools > Port: "SLAB_USB...toUART" appears automatically when the device is connected properly, disappears when it's disconnected or connected improperly.

In a note above I wrote
I remembered something involving setting a modem using Mac OS > Finder > Apple Menu > System Preferences > Network, where you add SLAB_USB...toUART
I had gotten this advice from another forum, but as best as I can tell this was never necessary and can be ignored.

The following two can make a difference as well when flashing:
Arduino IDE > Tools > Upload Speed
Arduino IDE > Tools > Flash Frequency
Along with the baud rate in the Serial Monitor: I was working with an ESP32 Cam and the baud rate needed to be set differently than for an ESP8266.

All the other stuff I wrote about .kext files didn't seem to be an issue. The SiLabs installer takes care of all that just fine.
Also the fact of using a USB-C to USB-3 adaptor did not cause a problem.


How are you trying to connect from the Mac to the ESP32s?

robertl
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Mar 24, 2020 7:59 pm

Re: Unable to connect MacBook Pro 16" to ESP32 using Arduino

Postby robertl » Thu Apr 09, 2020 4:02 pm

Munque,

Thanks for the info. It turned out I had two problems. One of them was indeed a USB cable. I was able to get one of my ESP32 board working with a different USB cable. I believe the other problem is that my Adafruit ESP board is damaged.

Robert

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