WinWedge Quick Start Guide

  • WinWedge is for collecting data from serial devices—such as RS232 or RS232-to-USB scales, balances, meters, and gauges—directly into any Windows application, spreadsheet, document, or web form.
  • For data collection from serial devices over a network connection (Ethernet or TCP/IP), please see the TCP-Wedge Quick Start Guide.
  • You can download this guide as a PDF. We also have a video demonstration of WinWedge that covers many of the steps in this guide.

Step 1: Select Port Settings

Go to “Port” > “Settings” from the WinWedge main menu. 

To communicate properly, the settings in WinWedge must match the parameters used by the device that you want to collect data from (Baud rate, Parity, Data Bits, Stop Bits, and Flow Control). These settings should be outlined in your device’s manual or may be found through your device’s menu system if your device is configurable.

To select the right COM port under “Connector,” you can confirm your device’s COM port number using the Windows Device Manager. Right-click on the Windows Start Button and select “Device Manager.” Then, click on the arrow next to “Ports (COM & LPT)” to see a list of all available COM ports. Your RS232 device should appear here with its port number labeled “(COM#).”

Note: If your device does not appear here or if you need more information on using the Device Manager, please see Identify your device’s COM port with Device Manager.

Step 2: Analyze the Input Data (from your scale or device)

Next, you need to verify that the data is sent properly and identify anything you might want to filter or separate when you transmit to your target app. 

Go to “Port” > “Analyze” from the WinWedge main menu. 

The “Input Data” field shows the raw data sent from your device. “Total Byte Count” tells you if any data has been received i.e. the number of bytes received. The “Output” field allows you to test commands to send to your device.

If no data appears and “Total Byte Count” is 0:

  1. The device may not be sending data.
    • Make sure the device is turned on and connected.
    • Try pressing the “Print” or “Transmit” button on the device. If there is no Print or Transmit button, you may need to send a command to the device from WinWedge to request data. Check the device manual for a “Print” or “Transmit” command you can type in the “Output” box. If needed, you can add a carriage return or other control codes using the “ASCII chart” button. For example, a music note represents a Carriage Return (ASCII 13) and a box with a circle represents a Linefeed character (ASCII 10).
  2. Make sure the device is connected to the COM port that you selected in Port Settings in Step 1.

If you receive unreadable data in the “Input Data” field

This means the device is sending data to the selected COM port, but one (or more) of the settings in the “Port Settings” window in Step 1 is incorrect. Check your device’s manual or call its manufacturer for help. Most commonly, the issue is in the “Baud rate” setting.

Once you have readable data in the Input Data textbox, make note of its format, including ASCII characters (such as musical notes), the starting & ending characters, and any separators (delimiters such as commas or spaces). If the data consists of fixed-length fields, you can select these fields in the Input Data textbox to see the length of each.

Write down this complete Input Data and decide how you would like it to appear in your target application (i.e., Excel). You will need this for Step 4.

Step 3: Select the Mode

The mode determines how WinWedge sends data to Excel or any other Windows application. 

  • “Send Keystrokes To…” sends data by simulating keystrokes, acting as if someone were manually typing in the data. Select “Send Keystrokes To…” for this simple setup.
  • The more advanced “DDE Server…” option uses Window’s Dynamic Data Exchange feature to send data within the operating system. See our DDE Server Mode Setup Guide for more info.

If you want your scale or device data to appear at the cursor location within any open application, leave the “Application Title Bar Text” and “Command Line” fields blank and click OK. 

If you want WinWedge to automatically launch an application before sending data to it, fill these fields with the name of your application and its executable file, respectively. The above screenshot shows what you would enter for Excel.

Step 4: Define the Input Data Structure

The settings under the Define menu let you configure WinWedge’s behavior and treatment of the data when sending to your target application. Go to “Define” > “Input Data Record Structure…” to configure WinWedge to parse and filter the device data for your needs.

A wizard will walk you through various steps and options. If you’re using a scale, balance, or gauge to send a single field of data, you can copy the screenshots below.

  1. First, you specify what the incoming data looks like and how it is structured, based on your observations from the “Analyze” window in Step 2.
    • Defining the Start and End of Record Events tells WinWedge what the start and end of each data record is.
    • Next, select if the data is single field or multiple fields. If you select “Each data record contains multiple delimited data fields”, you would then specify the delimiter that separates the fields. For instance, if the record is “123 oz,” you could say that the record is 2 fields with a space delimiter. Alternatively, you could define that as “single field data”—it is your choice.

  2. Then, the Input Record Definition Editor has options for manipulating each field of data in a way that works best for you. For instance, if you have used the previous steps to separate a record like “123 oz” into two fields, then the options in this screen for Field 1 would apply to “123.” You would use the “Next Field” and “Previous Field” buttons that appear in the window to define the settings for each data field.
    • For “Input Filter,” most users select “None,” “Ignore this field,” or “Numeric Data Only.”
    • You can learn more about the Format and Math Expressions available in WinWedge Professional Edition the WinWedge User’s Manual.
    • “Field Postamble Keystrokes” is for keystrokes, such as “Enter” or “Tab,” that WinWedge will “press” after entering your data in the target application.
    • If you are using DDE mode with WinWedge Professional Edition, you will be prompted to enter a DDE command instead. You can learn more about using the DDE mode in our DDE Server Mode Setup Guide.

For more information on interpreting your device data, visit this article.

Optional: Define Output Strings

Some devices require a serial command to send data. You can set up WinWedge to send these commands in “Define” > “Serial Output Strings…” and in “Define” > “Hotkeys and …”. Options include “clicking” a button, mapping keyboard shortcuts (hotkeys) to device commands, and automatically sending a command to your device on a timed interval.

Step 5: Activate and Capture Data

The final step is to activate WinWedge and start logging device data.

  1. Go to “File” > “Save”  and save the configuration file you have just created
  2. Go to “Activate” > “Test Mode”. (Test Mode allows you to quickly switch back to the WinWedge Setup window in order to make any adjustments to your configuration.) Open Excel or any Windows application and the real-time scale or device data will “pop in” at the cursor.

If something doesn’t look right or if you aren’t getting data, review these steps again. If you need more help, please contact or call +1 215-496-0222 during EST business hours.

Contact Us