AIGotcha2! Setup and Troubleshooting

AIGotcha 2!


The AIGotcha2 is designed for single frame capture and is not designed for full motion video.  The AVI file capture done by the AIGotcha2 is simply a series of single frame captures to that file.

These are the most common problems (seen on Aigotcha view screen):

    • Green screen
    • Pink screen
    • Split screen (or spots, or most other image problems)

This may be preceded by "Hardware Initialize Failure".

To troubleshoot the AIGotcha2 please follow this 4-step procedure: 

1 - ISOLATE: Keep things as simple as possible:   Connect the AIGotcha2 directly to the parallel port (use extension cable if really needed).  Disconnect all devices connected to AIGotcha2 (printers, scanners, etc.).   Once working, these devices can usually be reconnected without problem.

2 - PORT MODES: Go to the printer port mode settings of your system BIOS.  Determine the present port mode and write it down.  (Example: ECP, EPP, Bi-Directional)  Change the port mode to a different mode setting.  Save and exit the BIOS and TURN OFF PC POWER.  Wait 15-20 seconds, restart PC and try the Aigotcha2 program again.  If this port mode does not resolve the problem, try each of the other port modes - TURN OFF POWER after each port mode change (for 10-15 seconds).

3 - SOFTWARE:  Try step 1 & 2 with your present software.  If it does not work, check the software version at the first AIGotcha2 menu (select HELP, then ABOUT).  If it is an older version, download and install version 2.03 and do steps 1 & 2 above.  Uninstall the previous version before installing the new one (use Control Panel, Add/Remove Programs).  If you need Downloading Instructions, please see that link at the top of the Software Download page.

4 - Version 2.04: If v2.03 does not work with any port mode, uninstall v2.03 (Add/Remove Programs) and try version 2.04 (available at Software Downloads).  SPP or Bi-directional modes are usually best with this version, but try other port modes if needed.

NOTE: Be sure to TURN OFF POWER on the PC for 10-15 seconds after changing the port mode (not just reboot).

The above procedure fixes about 95% of all AIGotcha2 problems.


HIF Error:  If you are getting an error that says "Hardware Initialize Failure", it means that the software cannot find the hardware.   This can be caused by the parallel port not set up properly or some resource conflict with some other device.

To set the PORT MODE:  This is typically done in the BIOS setup (during bootup). Usually a message says "Press DEL for Setup" (or F1, ESC, F10, etc.).  Then look for "Peripherals" or "Integrated Peripherals" - this may be in an "Advanced" section.  Other names sometimes used are "Ports", "I/O", or "Input/Output".   Once the BIOS section for ports is located, the Parallel port is usually after the Serial port information.  LPT1 settings should be: Port address - 378 (or 378h, 0378h), IRQ - 7. Following these settings is the Port Mode setting.  NOTE:   If any problems setting port mode or port address, refer to your PC manual or contact the PC manufacturer for help.

Port Settings:  The AIGotcha2 was made to work on either of these standard printer port settings:

            LPT1 -     Port address: 378h (or 0378 or 378)     IRQ: 7

            LPT2 -     Port address: 278h (or 0278 or 278)     IRQ: 5    (see information below)

Second Parallel Port:  There have been problems with resource conflicts with improperly setup parallel ports.  Be sure that LPT2 settings do not conflict with LPT1 settings.  It is recommended to use the AIGotcha2 on LPT1 settings.  There are often more problems trying to get it to work on LPT2 settings.

Scanner/Printer/Fax combo devices:  These will usually not work on the same port as Aigotcha2.  The software for these devices often keeps the port busy so the Aigotcha2 cannot function.  This can happen even if the hardware is not attached.

Teleconferencing Software (NetMeeting, etc):  First be sure Aigotcha2 works properly as a capture device.  Then install the video capture driver (available in the Software Downloads section).  All settings will be in the teleconferencing software.  Contact Microsoft with any problems with NetMeeting (or other manufacturer for other teleconferencing software).

Switch Boxes:  Parallel Port (printer) switch boxes are not recommended, because they can cause problems either before or after the AIGotcha2.   Some do not have all 25 pins; others may have dirty contacts that can cause false signals on the parallel port lines.  If you use a switch box and have any problem with the AIGotcha2, disconnect it while you are troubleshooting your problem.   Technical Support will not support the AIGotcha2 on a parallel port with a switch box.

Black Screen:  This usually indicates a problem with the video source (not connected, no power, bad cable).

Grainy / Poor Quality:  Be sure to set your color setting to 16-bit or higher.  This is done in Windows Display Properties.

Capture Rate: The AIGotcha2 captures at a 1-2 second interval, depending on the speed and available resources of you PC.  It is a single-frame capture device.  It is not capable of full-motion capture.


Last update: 06-07-00 (wh)