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Automated Scale Data Collection

How to use a USB connected footswitch to trigger weight readings from scales to be collected into Excel or other Windows applications.

Automatically Collecting Data Hands-free from all your Scales, balances, gages and other devices

In many situations it is not feasible for an operator to use their hands to press a print or transmit button on a scale or balance. The scale may be too far away or their hands are in other use. It may not even be possible to click a mouse or hot key on a PC keyboard to request a weight reading. In these situations, it is best to use a footswitch to trigger the weight data transmission. This article will discuss how to easily set up a footswitch with WinWedge software (from TALtech) to automate data collection into your Windows application programs or web forms.

First you will need to purchase a footswitch. These are available on Amazon (from about $20). Search for USB Foot Switch Single Pedal. You will also need the downloadable WinWedge software ($299 with free support).

Automated Scale Data Collection

With USB-Connected Footswitch

WinWedge software is widely used for collecting weight readings from scales, balances, check weighers and other devices such as gages, meters, other measuring and lab instruments. You can attach the scale to your PC’s RS232, USB or Ethernet ports depending on the scale connectivity options. For USB a driver will usually be automatically downloaded when you attach the scale to the PC’s USB port. This driver will create a Virtual RS232 port (such as a virtual COM 6) that WinWedge can communicate with.

WinWedge has many options for initiating the transfer of weight readings from scales and balances including:

  1. Manually by pushing the Print or Transmit button on the scale.
  2. A PC-based hot key or clickable button to request weight readings. With WinWedge the user can easily set up any hot key on their keyboard or a button clickable by a mouse to request data from the scale.
  3. Timed automatic weight requests. WinWedge can also prompt the scale to send data on a timed basis such as once every second. This is configured by the user.

If you want to do (2) but do not have a hand free you can set up a USB foot switch to send a Hot Key to your PC to trigger WinWedge for you. To do this select a Hot Key (such as F9) in WinWedge and link it to the action of transmitting the PRINT (or TRANSMIT) command to your scale. This will cause the scale to send the current weight reading to the PC.

Then attached a USB footswitch to its own USB port on your PC. Set it up to issue the Hot Key keystroke to the PC (in this case F9) whenever it is depressed. The footswitch is easily configured using the software that comes with it.

There are other options you can select in WinWedge such as parsing the weight data into fields and filtering and formatting the data so you get exactly what you need in you destination application such as Excel. For instance, WinWedge could remove the units from your weight data or add date and time stamps if you want this.

WinWedge Automatically Collecting Scale Data, with added Time Stamps, into Excel

WinWedge inputs the data completely automatically into the destination application. It has two modes to do this:

  1. A simple keystroke mode that literally types the weights into the fields, rows and columns that you want. You specify in advance any additional keystrokes you want added to the weight reading, such as TAB keys or DOWN keys to automate the data entry. This method works with ALL Windows applications and all web forms.
  2. WinWedge also has a powerful Dynamic Data Exchange (DDE) feature that uses a DDE macro in MS Excel, Access or any DDE supporting Windows application. DDE allows advanced control over all data collection. TALtech provides free sample macros for this if you choose this option.

Whichever data collection method you choose using a Footswitch will allow the user to completely control the weight data collection 100% hands-free!

If you have any questions about using this hands-free method of data collection or any other questions about collecting weight readings from your scales, balances, check weighers and other devices please call TALtech at 800-722-6004 (or 215-847-5836).

Or visit About TALtech

TALtech also provides free and unlimited technical support to make it easy to start collecting weights and other data into your Windows application programs today!

Automated Scale Data Collection

Device compatibility

WinWedge is available in Standard and Pro versions.

The Standard version supports all serial devices that use an industry-standard RS232 connection:

  • Balances & Scales
  • Meters
  • Gauges
  • Calipers
  • Sensors
  • Analyzers

    WinWedge Pro is compatible with even more devices, including devices with longer and more complex data output, Ethernet as well as RS232/USB connected devices, devices needing more control, binary and hex output devices as well as ASCII output.

    Additional WinWedge Pro features include…
    • TCP-Wedge for Ethernet and IP network device data collection.
    • Advanced data parsing, filtering, and formatting options.
    • Support for both binary and ASCII data.
    • Compatibility with more serial and IP ports.
    • And much more.

    Wondering how WinWedge can help with your data transfer and automation needs? Our support team is here to assist you.

    Reach out via phone or email for personalized assistance in your data collection requirements. We’re committed to helping you optimize WinWedge for your unique application.

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