Sending Output Commands to Your Device

Note: The manufacturer determines devices’ commands and their functions. You should be able to find these commands in your device’s manual under “RS232 communication” or “Serial Output,” or by contacting your manufacturer directly. See the WinWedge Quick Start Guide for assistance with first-time setup.

Defining Serial Output Strings

Selecting “Output Strings” from the Define menu opens the dialog box shown below where you may define an acknowledgment string, a timer-controlled output string, and up to 20 button-controlled output strings that can be sent to your serial device while WinWedge is active.

The Acknowledgment String is a character string that is automatically sent out the serial port to your device after WinWedge receives each complete data record from it. This feature was originally intended for those devices that require an acknowledgment (an ACK character for example), but can also be used as a way to continually request data from a device that can be polled using the acknowledgement string.

You can also define a Timer-Controlled Output String to be automatically transmitted at regular intervals. The timer interval value may range from 50 to 99,999,999 milliseconds (i.e., 1/20th of a second to once every 27 hours). A checkbox also allows you to specify whether timed automatic outputs should be initially enabled as soon as you activate WinWedge. If a timer-controlled string is defined, a menu item in WinWedge window (displayed after WinWedge is activated) will allow you to enable or disable Timed Automatic Outputs.

In the bottom of the Output String Editor dialog box, you can also define up to 20 Button-Controlled Output Strings (referenced as “String1” through “String20”) that are each associated with a “button” in the WinWedge window after you activate WinWedge. For instance, many electronic balances can be prompted to transmit a weight reading by sending them a certain prompt string. For a Sartorius balance, the prompt is an Escape character (ASCII 27) followed by a capitol P. For a Mettler-Toledo balance, the prompt is a capitol S followed by a carriage return (ASCII 13) and a linefeed (ASCII 10). Clicking your mouse on an output string button in WinWedge window sends the corresponding string to your device. You can label these buttons to keep their purpose clear to yourself or other PC users. For this circumstance, you could define an output string containing the required prompt characters and also define its button caption as “Send Data”.

When defining a label for your button, you can assign an access key to the button by including an ampersand (&) in the caption immediately preceding the character you want to be used as the access key. This character will appear underlined in the button caption when WinWedge is activated. Pressing the underlined character in combination with the Alt key while WinWedge is active and has the input focus has the same effect as clicking the button. For example, specifying “&Send Data” for a button caption would cause the button to appear as below with Alt + S being the access key.

When editing any of the output strings in the Output String Editor dialog box, an ASCII chart is available so that you can select ASCII characters or control codes that cannot be entered on your keyboard. To enter a specific ASCII character in an output string, move the cursor to the point in the output string where you would like the character to go and then click your mouse on the button marked “ASCII Chart”. When the ASCII chart appears, scroll down the list until the character that you want is highlighted and click the OK button in the ASCII chart. The character will appear where the cursor is in the output string.

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