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Thread: Serial Communications

  1. #1
    Gregory R. Zilliox
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    Default Serial Communications

    Is there a way to read RS232 data coming in on a serial port? I would like to read RS232 data directly from the serial port and write it to a table and then have the option of printing this table.
    Greg

  2. #2
    ken tjia
    Guest

    Default RE: Serial Communications

    Can you save those RS232 data to a txt.file and
    Alpha can grab that file in no time.
    (Not quite real time, but PUSH TO GET)

    Ken Tjia

  3. #3
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    ed taylor
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    calgary alberta canada
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    Default RE: Serial Communications

    hi ken:

    i've been using hyperterminal (a windows accessory) to capture files. do you have a better method? if so i would be keen on adopting it!

    regards,

    ed

  4. #4
    "Certified" Alphaholic
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    Charlie Crimmel
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    Default RE: Serial Communications

    Greg:
    Check out the attached Word Document.
    I think that I will be using this software to capture serial input and feed to to the keyboard buffer.
    Charlie Crimmel

  5. #5
    "Certified" Alphaholic
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    Russ Boehle
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    Default RE: Serial Communications

    This software sounds interesting, but I was under the impression that serial input could be directly read by A5. I know that Ira has been able to input data from a quecat directly to A5. (He said he would release the details on the conference CD when he finishes it)

    That said, I haven't tried it but will be needing something or this sort when I redo our punch in applicaction as I want to use barcodes for this.

    I will be following this thread.

    Russ

  6. #6
    VAR csda1's Avatar
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    Ira J Perlow
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    Default RE: Serial Communications

    Russ,

    The CueCat is similar to most typical barcode scanners in that it is of the keyboard wedge type. This means that it plugs into the keyboard port and the keyboard plugs into it. Any scan that it does effectively sends a prefix string (ALT-F10 for CueCat), a sequence of input characters (which are encrypted in the CueCat) and followed by a suffix string, typically an Enter or a Tab (CueCat uses an Enter).

    Most commercial scanners can program the prefix and suffix strings, as well as other options.

    Various software wedge programs can translate from Parallel, Serial or USB ports and change it to a keyboard input string (which most programs can deal with).

    For the future, I suspect that a USB versions would be the most popular versions. Serial ports are not the way of a future. The only issue may be the maximium cable length allowed for any of these input types.

    Regards,

    Ira J. Perlow
    Computer Systems Design & Associates
    csda@mediaone.net

  7. #7
    "Certified" Alphaholic
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    Charlie Crimmel
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    Default RE: Serial Communications

    Russ:
    My applications collect barcode scaaning info.(Time and Attendance,Tool issue in and out,,Tool Room, and Payroll)

    Time and Attendance:
    Currently when the employees come in or out of the gate at the job site, they must come to the office trailer and scan in or out.
    Currently we use an Intermec 9440 hand held collections device for th1s. Our time clerk scans a barcoded ID card with a Laser scanner or a contact wand and then uploads the info(txt file) to a PC. I have several time and attendance programs that I have written that can use this data.(Access 2000, Delphi, Foxpro and Alpha5.)Alpha 5 is easier to write.
    One of our jobs starting in August will have 4 gates for the employees to go thru.Each gate will be located som 50-75 feet away from the job trailer.Maximum of maybe 400 people entering or leaving at any one time.
    We will put 4 serial slot scanners outside at the gate locations(in protective cases beacuse of the weather).
    We will have one program collecting data continuously while another program will do the reporting. These programs will be running on 1 or 2 PC's in the job trailer connected to a novell network.
    Charlie Crimmel

  8. #8
    VAR csda1's Avatar
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    Ira J Perlow
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    Default RE: Serial Communications

    Charlie,

    Your biggest problems as I see it are

    1. The length of the serial cables
    2. The potential pickup of electrical noise on the serial cables
    3. No feedback at the scan stations as to whether the barcode was scanned properly, or not
    4. Dealing with the possibility of 1 or more scanners feeding data simultaneously (this may be precluded by the software wedges, but maybe not)

    Regards,

    Ira J. Perlow
    Computer Systems Design & Associates
    csda@mediaone.net

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