[Athen] Alva Braille Display questions

Sean J Keegan skeegan at stanford.edu
Wed May 12 19:59:33 PDT 2010

Hello all,

I have been trying to get two Alva Braille displays working and not having any success. I am working with an Alva 570 Satellite Pro and an Alva Delphi 440. Both are at least several years old.

With the Alva 570 Satellite Pro - I am connecting it to a Windows XP machine via the USB cable. I am unable to get ANY of the pins to respond. The display makes a noise when I turn it on or off, but the pins all stay flat (note - it is not the usual noise I remember with this display, but rather just a flat chime). If I plug or unplug the USB cable, Windows responds with its own notification that a USB device has been unplugged or plugged-in. I included the display for JAWS 11 and checked via Options > Braille and it does show up as the default braille device. No matter what I have done, all the pins stay flat. In all honesty, I am a bit stumped as my previous experiences with this display is that it just worked with Windows XP (yes, there was a bit of configuration necessary with a screen-reader, but the Braille display itself functioned).

With the Alva Delphi 440 - I am connecting it to the same Windows XP machine, but via the serial cable (does not offer USB). I do get some Braille characters when I turn on the device, so that is a minor improvement, but the text is static. I also went into JAWS 11 and added this Braille display, but it did nothing for actually changing the content in the cells. I did find the floppy disk that specifies the drivers, but I am dealing with a computer with no floppy drive, so I need to find a portable drive before I can actually try that option.

At this point, the only thing I can think of is to get a portable floppy drive and try to install the drivers for both Braille displays. I can understand this may be the case for the Delphi 440, but the fact that there is no response from the Satellite Pro has me a bit concerned that even adding the drivers may not elicit a response (and that is *not* a cheap display).

I searched the Web to see if I could download the drivers, but did not have much success (I only looked for about 20 min. though). If anyone has been down this road, I would appreciate any thoughts or ideas.

Take care,

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