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Thread: Serial Communications (off)

  1. #1
    "Certified" Alphaholic
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    Bill Belanger
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    Default Serial Communications (off)

    I have a serial device (RS232) that calls for information from the computer. It's basically a text file with about two dozen parameters that are sent to the machine instead of us having to key them in seperately. Does anyone have the knowledge to write a comm program for me in Alpha? We have a dos program now that quit working. Sorry to take up Alpha bandwith but I'm in a jam.

    Please email me.

    Thanks
    Bill Belanger

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    "Certified" Alphaholic Marcel Kollenaar's Avatar
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    Default RE: Serial Communications (off)

    http://www.hw-server.com/rs232_soft_page.html

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    Default RE: Serial Communications (off)

    Hi Marcel,

    Do you have any experience in catching information from the RS232 port and integrating them in a A5 database ?
    If yes, could you give me a short description on how it needs to be done ?
    I am looking for some general understanding about this, as I need to integrate data from a heartrate monitor in an A5 application which also operates with a RS232 port.
    Somehow I think it will not be that easy....

    Regards,

    Marcel

  4. #4
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    Default RE: Serial Communications (off)

    I just had a need for a serial port relay controller. I got one from www.electronickits.com for a reasonable price. The part is CK1610A. The web site also has for download software to control the serial port device. The windows version also allows the creation of a log file showing input and output from the port. You may be able to use this log file and convert to csv to put into Alpha. This may not be the answer but the software is free so you can try it. They also have a dos program term.exe but I haven't tried that.

    Russ

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    Default RE: Serial Communications (off)

    Hi Russ !

    Hmm. This would mean we need some kind of third party software to fit between A5 and the hardware attached to the port.

    I would prefer A5 to be able itself to detect and receive data comming from the port.

    Obviously some kind of handshake needs to be made.
    I don't know if anyone has already experimented with this and knows whether it can or cannot be done ?

    Greetings,

    Marcel

  6. #6
    "Certified" Alphaholic Marcel Kollenaar's Avatar
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    Default RE: Serial Communications (off)

    Hi,

    Ofcourse it can be done. It's only a matter of time and luck.

    Do you have some technical information of the instrument. Sample rate, is it a slave is it master, does it have a simple communication protocol, software or hardware handshaking etc.

    Regards,

    Marcel

  7. #7
    Volunteer Moderator Steve Workings's Avatar
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    Default RE: Serial Communications (off)

    Alpha doesn't care how the data comes through it; via keyboard, scanner, whatever. All you need to do is provide the forms / xdialog / whatever on the A5 side to catch what comes in.

    I also don't think it's Alpha's job to provide the device interface -- that should come with the device.

    My general recommendation is to put up an XDialog that receives the info. When the device sends expected or unexpected beginnings and ends (you can usually program those into the device) you can take appropriate actions, which in general are (1) putting the good records in the recording table and (2) putting the bad records (probably in the form of memos - lots of strings explaining things) into an errors table.

    - Steve

  8. #8
    "Certified" Alphaholic Marcel Kollenaar's Avatar
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    Default RE: Serial Communications (off)

    Hi,

    Steve Workings wrote:
    -------------------------------
    "Alpha doesn't care how the data comes through it; via keyboard, scanner, whatever. All you need to do is provide the forms / xdialog / whatever on the A5 side to catch what comes in."

    In principle you are right. But even Alpha need sometimes an interface to the outsite world. And even Alpha doesn't have everything on board.

    "I also don't think it's Alpha's job to provide the device interface -- that should come with the device."

    Again you are right. But when you have a piece of equipment that does it's job by serial device COMM1 you must have a program that can communicate with COMM devices. What kind of device interface should they deliver. Most of the times they deliver a stand alone program. As a developer you want something you can integrate in your program and you can turn at your will.

    In A5v6 it is easy now. Buy an ActiveX component and write your information to the device. In A5v5 there is no ActiveX component and even if you install such component it can't be accessed A5 doesn't recognize it. In A5v5 you need a serial communication library (dll) to do the job. An in that case you have to write your own functions.

    'My general recommendation is to put up an XDialog that receives the info.'

    Do you have a XDialog that can communicate with a COMM device? I would like to see that. Or did put a ActiveX component on a XDialog.

    'When the device sends expected or unexpected beginnings and ends (you can usually program those into the device) you can take appropriate actions, which in general are (1) putting the good records in the recording table and (2) putting the bad records (probably in the form of memos - lots of strings explaining things) into an errors table.'

    Yes the usual stuff.

    Regards,

    Marcel

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