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Frequently Asked Questions

Have Questions? Please review the following set of common questions our clients ask. If you don't see your question, please contact us!


What is WinWedge and what does it do?

WinWedge is essentially a user configurable serial device driver. It allows you to input data from a device connected to a serial port on your PC directly into any other Windows program. For example, a customer might use WinWedge to input scale data into a web form or shipping software by pressing a hot key. Another customer might use WinWedge to collect readings from a force gauge into Excel and generate a real-time visualization of the data. The possibilities are nearly endless and we provide free and unlimited support to help you tailer WinWedge to your own needs.

Is WinWedge easy to use?

Yes. It is extremely easy to use! The configuration process is fully menu driven and has complete, context sensitive, on-line help. You can easily customize all input to your exact specifications. Once you see how easy it is to use WinWedge, you will never again take data readings by hand!

What are the compatibility requirements for WinWedge?

WinWedge and TCPWedge will work with ANY Windows program and all versions of Windows including Vista, Windows 7, and Windows 8. The Pro version offers support for a far wider range of serial devices including sophisticated industrial and laboratory instruments. Both Winwedge Standard and Professional are small applications that can run with minimal system requirements.

What instruments does WinWedge support?

WinWedge supports ANY instrument that you can plug into the serial port (RS232, RS422 or RS485) of your PC. Typical devices include gages, scales, sensors, meters, bar code readers, micrometers, densitometers, pH meters, CMMs, PLCs, communication systems, laboratory instruments, etc...

Is WinWedge 100% accurate and reliable?

WinWedge fully buffers all input so your data will never be "lost" or inaccurate. It is in use in thousands of mission critical applications worldwide. Since the first SoftwareWedge for DOS and for Windows was released, it has proven itself completely reliable in many thousands of applications world wide.

Can WinWedge send commands to my device?

In addition to collecting incoming data, WinWedge can send commands or data strings to your serial devices. For instance, you can prompt your device for data at a timed interval, send acknowledgement strings, or even easily create hot keys and buttons that collect and transfer the most recent device reading.

What are the advantages of WinWedge Professional?

WinWedge Professional has many advanced features and benefits, including the ability to collect data from networked and internet devices (not just serial!), log data directly to a disk file, and allows for more powerful parsing techniques and math functions. WinWedge Professional also bundles together many of our popular software products into one package, including TCP-Wedge, TCP-Com, File-Wedge, and more.

How does data get from WinWedge to my other application?

WinWedge transfers data to other applications by either entering it in the highlighted text field or cell (just like typing on a keyboard) or by passing the data using DDE (Dynamic Data Exchange). The keystroke method is extremely simple. Serial data just "pops" into your application as if it were being typed in! This method is the most popular as it is so easy to use. The DDE method enables to you to transfer data in the background and create extremely sophisticated data acquisition and device control interfaces. WinWedge also lets you add additional keystrokes or DDE commands and, if your application supports it (like Excel) you can even automate real-time data charting and analysis.

Will I receive updates to products that I have already purchased?

Minor Update
Occasionally we will update a product to fix a problem or we will add a new feature. For all minor releases - you can simply download the latest version of your software, uninstall the existing copy and then install the new version. You should not need to reenter the unlock key and there is no cost for the update.

Major Update
TALtech may charge an upgrade fee for major upgrades. Once you've paid the upgrade fee you are entitled to free minor upgrades for that release stream. For example, if you pay the upgrade fee for B-Coder 4.0 (from B-Coder 3.x), you will be entitled to all minor upgrades in the 4.x release stream.

Is there a downloadable demo of WinWedge?

No. Instead of a demo version of WinWedge, we offer a full 90-day money back guarantee. During the first three months, our customers can use and evaluate WinWedge while having access to our free and unlimited technical support. This allows them to quickly and efficiently setup WinWedge with their unique applications and determine if WinWedge is the right tool.

Is Technical Support available if I need help?

Yes. Not only is the software extremely easy to use, it also comes with unlimited FREE technical support by phone, fax and email, a clearly written manual and on-line help. To ensure your satisfaction, all TAL software products are covered by a 90-day unconditional money-back guarantee.

PC Has No RS232 Ports? What to Do?

The Short Answer:

Purchase a “RS232 to USB Adapter” at any office supply store or http://www.Amazon.com (typically under $10) and follow the instructions that come with it to install it. (Look for ones that use either a FTDI or Prolific chipset.) After you install it, look in the Windows Device Manager to see what COM Port number was assigned to the adapter (typically COM3, COM4, etc.) and then use it just like a built in RS232 serial port.

The Long Answer:

Although USB stands for “Universal Serial Bus,” the USB interface does not work like old school RS232 serial ports. Like RS232 serial ports, the USB ports on a PC are designed for interfacing external devices. However, any device that is designed to connect to a USB port must come with a Windows device driver that provides a software interface to the device. Practically any device can be designed to connect to a USB port as long as the device is supplied with an appropriate driver.

As a result of the USB interface design, there is no way for a software application to open up a USB port and communicate with any device the same way that you can with a RS232 serial port. Any software that communicates with a particular piece of USB hardware must do so through the driver that was designed to work with the hardware.

Many new laptop computers and some desktop models are now shipped without RS232 serial ports and are equipped with multiple USB ports instead. Fortunately, if you have a device that connects to a RS232 serial port, and you need to connect this device to a PC that does not have any RS232 serial ports, there are many solutions available that are both easy and inexpensive. A number of companies sell single port and multi-port USB to RS232 adapters that connect to a PC through a USB port.

All of these adapters are supplied with a Windows device driver that gets installed on your PC. The device driver software causes the PC to treat the USB to RS232 converter as if it were a built-in RS232 serial port installed on the motherboard of the computer. To accomplish this, the driver for the adapter creates a “Virtual COM port” in Windows that behaves exactly like a physical COM port built into the motherboard.

Single-port USB to RS232 adapters are available at most computer or office supply stores and on line at Amazon.com for under $10. Multi-port add-on adapters also are widely available at reasonable prices. All of these products will work just fine with any Windows-based serial communications software including our WinWedge, TCP-Com, COM-File and BC-Wedge software products.

 

All you need to do is to:

• Purchase the USB to RS232 adapter
• Install the driver that comes with it
• Plug the adapter into a USB port on your PC
• Determine the COM port number by looking in the Windows Device Manager
• And, finally, connect the RS232 device to the adapter.


The new serial port should be automatically recognized by Windows and assigned a COM port number (typically COM3 or COM4). Even though the new serial port is not built into the system, Windows will treat the port as if it were, and any standard serial communications software will be able to communicate through the port exactly the same way as if it were a built-in COM port.
 

Note:

Although a search on Amazon.com or the Internet for “USB to RS232 Adapter” will turn up dozens of different makes and models, there are two primary companies that make the chipsets and the driver software for the majority of adapters. One is FTDI and the other is Prolific. Both of these companies produce very high quality driver software for all versions of Windows. In addition, if your adapter uses a chipset from one of these companies, and your PC is connected to the Internet, Windows will automatically download and install the driver for the adapter the first time you connect the adapter to a USB port on your PC – literally “plug and play”. Chipsets from other companies may not be as reliable or as easy to install as those from FTDI or Prolific.

 

The following adapters on Amazon.com are good choices:

https://www.amazon.com/Sabrent-Converter-Prolific-Chipset-CB-DB9P/dp/B00IDSM6BW

https://www.amazon.com/Tera-Grand-Premium-Adapter-Supports/dp/B00BUZ0K68

WinWedge Standard

Single PC License* $299

WinWedge Professional

Single PC License* $499
Pricing & Ordering 90 Day Guarantee

* Multi PC/Workstation licenses are also available.

Testimonials

"I'm blown away by your prompt response! Your company (TALtech) is by far the most responsive company I've come across on the internet. Thank you!"

Jeremy R DeYoung, Chief Architect LunarFly, LLC

"How efficient and easy-to-use your WinWedge program is! Obtaining data from our gauges is now a trivial task."

J.M. Martin Lucas Girling, S.A