RAK4630 from WisBlock kit not recognized

I have tried both of the 2 4630 modules that come in the kit on both Linux and Windows. The PCs do not recognize the modules when plugged into the USB. I am a newb with Arduino and, therefore, can not tell if the example sketches are getting installed after compiling.

How do I configure my PC to recognize the WisBlock?

Welcome @lysander to the RAK forum.

What exactly happens when you connect the WisBlock to your PC? In Windows you should get a notification that a USB device has been plugged in.

Nothing noticeable happens whatsoever on either Linux or Windows. Other USB devices launch and drives are created automatically for them on both machines as expected.
Nothing for either of the 4630s.

A few things to try and check:

  1. different USB cables
  2. is the red LED on the WisBlock unit lighting up when you plug the USB cable in?
  3. make sure the USB cable is pushed in complete into the USB connector of the WisBlock. Specially on new units it is sometimes difficult to push the plug deep enough
  4. if the red light turns on, try to quickly press the reset button on the WisBlock Base board and see if the device is detected
  5. make sure you have plugged the WisBlock Core RAK4630 in the correct orientation.

Can you send a picture of the WisBlock unit with the RAK4630 mounted.

There seem to be many many power-only USB cables in the world now, mostly lurking under the desks of innocent engineers - so a silly as it seems, trying different cables is definitely on my troubleshooting list and I have marked all my power-only cables so I notice the problem sooner rather than later.

Thanks, Nick. That is indeed solid advice. I know that firsthand from much previous head banging against wall efforts. Unfortunately it is not the source of my problem as I used both the cable that came in the kit as well as one from I have from Sabrent with similar results.

My Windows machine is recognizing it now. I suspect it was an issue with the COM port malfunctioning but not positive. I still can’t get any joy with the Linux machine but at least there is progress.

Attached is a photo with the 4630 mounted.

This is a screenshot of the error produced from attempting the upload:

(note that this is a similar message to what I get when trying on Linux)

I tried numerous things to update the bootloader and driver (there is a ton of information online about Adafruit, Bluefruit, nRF52840, etc. although it is not evident how accurate/applicable any of it is) but still no joy.

The next step is to find someone else’s machine - particularly with Windows which can end up in an “interesting” state and the various flavours of Linux can have their own foibles.

As for me, I’m golden, I have an iMac!

But seriously, I do get some really messes with various machines so running a virtual machine with a totally virgin copy of Windows 10 is a good test.

Ok, at least we got the device recognized now in Windows.
Mounting of the RAK4631 is correct.
Red LED shows that at least power of USB is connected (does not mean the USB D+ and D- are connected as well).

Can you show me what ports you see in ArduinoIDE. The error message from the attempted upload is just saying that it didn’t find the COM port.
Can you make a screenshot like this:

Comparing your screenshot to mine, mine is missing the description of the device (ie, “WisBlock Core RAK4631 Board”) which comports with the message I get when I click “Get Board Info.”


Ok, so he gets the correct VID and PID, so it is a Windows driver problem.

There are two options that you can try:
You can run the driver installation app from Adafruit that installs a bunch of drivers including the one for nRF52 USB.

Or you can try to manually install the default Windows usb_ser driver.
First open the Control Panel then open Device Manager and look for Ports (COM & LPT).

Right click on the USB Serial Device (Should be COM 3 for you) and select Update driver

In the next window select Browse my computer for drivers

Then select Let me pick from a list of available drivers on my computer

In the next window uncheck Show compatible hardware [1], then scroll down in the list to Microsoft [2] and select USB Serial Device [3], then push [Next] button to install the driver.

After the second option to manually install the driver did not result in any apparent change, I tried the first option to install the bundle from Adafruit. Neither appeared to change anything.

It is most peculiar that the issues appear to be the same on both Windows and Ubuntu even though I did fresh installs of Arduino on both machines. And it is particularly frustrating as I have ordered a number of additional WisBlock modules for the project anticipating that I would be able to resolve the interface problem fairly quickly/before receipt.

The two machines you mention, the Windows & Linux machines, are they the same model of computer or if self-build, same mother board.

The acid test for me is to go in to the computer museum (or as the wife calls it, the spare bedroom) and grab a machine - is there a totally different machine around you can try - or take beer to a friends house.

Also worth trying Windows 7 if you can. Or a Mac.

I know this seems like a monstrous pain but it’s incredible how something so simple can get so bizarre and then suddenly the pieces fall in to place.

FWIW, my modules are mostly programmed via Arduino on my iMac but has also been on my Windows 10 machine plus at least a couple of times on Windows 7 as a virtual machine on the iMac (so routing the USB via VMware). I do Arduino on Raspberry Pi, I can give that a try in the morning.

I am sorry, but beside of Nick’s proposals I have no more ideas. Obviously Windows gets the right USB VID and PID, so it detects the device. Why it does not accept the drivers is strange, but I have no solution for that.

For Linux, I do not have much experience, I am using it only on RPi, but as headless systems, so I access it only over SSH.