This guide outlines the steps necessary to collect data from a device. For a standard ASCII output device, such as a scale, bar code scanner or gage, this should take between 5 and 15 minutes. For more complex data it may take longer.
Step 1: Configure the Port
The port settings in WinWedge need to match the communications parameters for your device. These settings should be outlined in your device's manual or, if your device is configurable, may be found through your device’s menu system. Once these settings are located, open the Port > Settings window and set the parameters.
Analyze the Input Data
Next, open up the Port > Analyze window. The Input Data field in this window displays all data received from your device. If you aren't getting any data, the device may not be sending anything and may require a physical button to be pressed or a serial command to be sent. The Output field allows you to send such a command.
The Analyze window is useful for testing the serial port settings and viewing/analyzing the device’s data record structure. In preparation for the next step, be sure to note the beginning and end of each record, the number of fields and any character delimiting those fields.
We don't want to move past Step 1 until we're able to receive data from the device. If no data appears in the Input Data field, make certain that the device is turned on, plugged in and you are performing the correct action to transmit the data. If you are able to get data but it appears garbled or unreadable, this most likely means that the device is sending data but the Port > Settings configured in WinWedge don't match what the device is set to. Our support staff is available to help at this point, but issues getting data into the PC are typically best resolved by the device manufacturer.
Step 2: Select the Mode
The mode determines how WinWedge sends data to your application. WinWedge can be configured to either emulate the keyboard, log data to a disk file, or send and receive DDE commands. For this example, we will select the Keystrokes Mode to emulate a keyboard. Sending data as keystrokes is generally much simpler than using DDE, especially as it relates to the initial configuration.
Select Mode > Send Keystrokes To... and a window for selecting the target application will appear. The default program is Notepad. However, most users will want to change this. To specify an application, enter the title bar text and/or the command line used to launch the program. If you enter only the title bar, the application must already be open. If you enter the command line path and arguments, the application will automatically launch if the title bar text isn’t found in an active window.
Step 3: Define the Data Structure
Every device will have its own unique data structure, include different byte lengths, delimiters, and formats. The Input Record Definition Editor allows you to configure WinWedge to handle your device's data. If you're not sure of the structure, take another look at your data in the Port > Analyze window.
Select Define > Input Data Record Structure.... This will presents a wizard that will walk you through defining the structure of the incoming serial data, how to parse, filter and format the data, and adding additional keystrokes, or DDE commands to the data before passing it on to the target application.
Start of Record and End of Record Events
This Dialog box allows you to select the starting character and the ending character or event.
Input Record Structure
Select the structure that best fits your data. Choose from a single field, multiple fields separated by a specific character, or a fixed length data record.
This window appears if you selected that your record structure contained multiple fields delimited by a specific character. Chose the delimiting character and the maximum number of data fields.
Input Record Definition Editor
This final window allows the data to be filtered, manipulated, and formatted.
Optional: Define Output Strings
Some devices require a serial command to prompt it to send data to the PC. WinWedge allows you to send the command out at press of a button, hotkey, or on a timed interval.
Step 4: Activate and Capture Data
The final step is to activate WinWedge and start logging data into your Windows program. To activate, simply select Activate > Test Mode. Both Test Mode and Normal Mode are the same, except Test Mode allows you to quickly go back to the setup screen to make any changes. You may want to save your configuration first by selecting File > Save.
With WinWedge activated, go to your other application, place your cursor where you’d like the data to go, and send a reading over from your device. If everything was configured correctly, the data from your device will appear. If something doesn’t look right or if you aren’t getting data, review this guide again, read through the rest of this manual, or contact us for help.