Hi-pro serial with modern aids

I have been offered a pair of Sonic Innovations Ions from a family member.
I see on the Sonic website that they don’t recommend Hipro for their aids (including ion). Has anyone tried programming ions or other more recent aids with the serial hipro? What is the effect exactly of a slow inteface? Does it just take longer or does it hang /freeze up? Thanks.

Just really slow usually. It will clock at 9.6kBps (iirc) unless it’s changed in the driver.

I’ve not had any other issues though. The main problem was getting a laptop with a serial socket on it eight years ago. It’s long gone now, since everything has moved over to USB.

Thanks Um bongo. I wonder if SI’s not recommending Hi-pro has also got something to do with their desire to push Expresslink3.

Probably: or they just want to phase out having to give away free cables to all the Dispensers they would like to fit their products.

I’m using a serial Hi-Pro with a Good USB to Serial adapter with a couple of different Sonic products. Works OK, but yes it’s slooowwww.

Thanks guys for your helpful feedback.

Do Sonics use proprietary cables or just the regular CS44?

Is it standard industry practice for the manufacturers to give out free cables and/or programming devices to dispensers?

It seems they use standard cs44 cables as per a Youtube video

‘Connecting Sonic Hearing Aids to the Programming Cable’

I am not allowed to upload the link but the uploader’s (sonicinnovations) comments confirm that a cs44 is used

Here is the link:

Lots of other good related links there about programming aids and how they are manufactured.

Some are common, some are bespoke, some are just adaptors on existing cables.

Free programmers are fairly common too, especially if they want to move their product away from a hi-pro based approach.

Well I’ve got Hipro serial connected with standard cs44 cables and Expressfit 6.4 will not detect my Ion aids. I get error code 0x0804. The aids power up when I connected them (with batteries removed) as per the SI instructions. All the lights flash as the Hipro tries to communicate with the aids but I just get error 0x0804 and failure to find the aids?
Does this mean that I have the wrong cables after all. I’m bit confused because there is mention of a ‘hi-pro adapter’ in the expressfit troubleshooting info. I’ve never heard of that before. Any help would be appreciated.

I think there is a HiPro test program in the Sonic directory somewhere…

This is what my HIPRO.INI contains:


You need to have the COM port set up correctly of course and you need to use the RS232 cable that comes with the HiPro (for RS232 anyway). It’s a good sign that the lights blink and the hearing aids power up, so it might be either a bad connection still (there are 3 or 4 conductors in that cable that must all work), or maybe you have to select the correct instrument in ExpressFit before it will work. Also possibly you need the same vintage of ExpressFit as the aids roughly.

Thanks very much for all those suggestions. I’ll try to find the Hipro test program and report back. wireman

So now I’ve found the HIPRO.INI text file and it shows the same settings as yours grantb5. BUT the com port shows up as com2. I tried changing the com setting in device manager to com2 and tried this. Well this gave me no communication with the Hipro so I went back to com1 again.
I’ve now tried again with EF6.3 but it’s just the same.
I’ve tried changing the rs232 for another 0-modem lead and the same result.
I’ve not yet been able to test the cs44 leads though. They have a label attached reading ‘‘Audio Service/Hansaton/Philips/Rexton/GN resound/Siemens’’. But not ‘‘Sonic Innovations’’ I guess they are standard CS44 cables.
I wonder if my Ion aids have too old a firmware or perhaps they have been corrupted and gone non-communicative in some way? Does this ever happen?
I will try to do a meter test on the leads soon.

If the sonic tabs/cables have 4 conductors to each hearing aid. Some of the other ones only have 3. That would probably be enough to power the aids, but no communication.

The HiPro TST program is in the same directory, but it sounds like you’ve got that part going OK.

I too am experiencing the same error code. Very frustrating.

I just had a quick google around: the error code relates either to a corrupt Windows file or a dot net framework update that’s missing. The pre-config of lots of manufacturer installs now insist that you do the dot net upgrade prior to the full installation of the software.

If you only have actual program exe, you might be missing the right tools to make it work.

That was a good thought, but it doesn’t seem relevant after applying about 150 Windows XP updates. I’m really afraid an adaptor is needed. I can’t understand the logic of that unless it is doing something like a reverse CS44 to CS44a? Any ideas?

It’s frustrating enough that audiologists are getting free programming boxes and cables while we have to shelve out big bucks, only to have it not even work in the end. :mad: Worse yet, an eBay seller just threw away an EXPRESSlink two-to-three weeks ago because it didn’t sell!

That’s amazing because I too contacted the ebay seller about the express link and he told me the same thing- he’d thrown it out for lack of any bids!
I think you would still need the sonic innovations Y cable to use with the express link.

Thinking about it the Expresslink3 would be the best if you could get one I guess. I can’t see much chance of one of these coming up on ebay any time soon though.