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Integrating Helios Preisser distance gauge – one hour and done

Docklight to the rescue when the pressure is on Recently we created a demo for the fullmo MovingCap position drives and a max GmbH linear axis. Such a toothed belt axis can feature excellent repeat accuracy, if designed and manufactured with great care. To showcase this, we had a Helios Preisser digital indicator with RS232 data interface at hand. Plus a small leaflet for documentation and close to zero time for the integration.





The measurement gauge integration into our demo took me about an hour: Around 20 minutes of manual testing using Docklight and a standard RS232/USB adapter, and another 40 minutes for coding the integration into the actual demo UI. Docklight takes care of all the tricky parts here. The resulting demo was a Kickdrive UI Panel application. Kickdrive allows creating high quality HMI with smooth animations via the underlying Qt Quick / QML technology, but it also integrates the Docklight DLL API in a way that allows simple text messaging to do the interaction. A Doc…
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The fast track to integrating UART communication

There are countless examples and resources using Docklight as a helper to "get the job done" in the Embedded world, be it for RS232, RS485, 5V / 3.3V TTL UART connections, TCP, UDP or USB HID. Let's mention a few.
Integrating UART based touchscreen - Docklight to help The people at Electronics Base have recently published an extensive tutorial about setting up a sleek GUI prototype for the Nextion Intelligent Display products - LCD touchscreens with a simple UART communication link. It shows how you can create a first UI layout for the LCD module with the manufacturers toolkit within minutes, and then go ahead and use Docklight for pre-testing and simulation of the microcontroller part.


Here's the post about the Nextion display (including demo source codes and Docklight projects for download) and the Nextion tutorial video.



A related product and application are the Intelligent LCD controller chips and touch screen display modules from Amulet Technologies. They, too, …

Docklight, Windows 10 and high-DPI displays

We do like continuity, both in software and hardware. We do not change our development hardware very frequently, but invest in solid hardware that we upgrade over the years. So only very recently we purchased the first notebook that actually has HD resolution and supports 4K screens.
With 125% text size being the default Windows setting on such systems, we noticed the blurry appearance of Docklight, as it happens with other “classic” software, and even some Windows components like MMC.
Since a text-heavy task like analyzing serial communication data should really take advantage of modern fonts and screens, we decided to provide a short-term solution. Both Docklight and Docklight Scripting have been updated and the new versions can be downloaded from our website:
https://docklight.de/downloads/
Docklight V2.2.8 and Docklight Scripting V2.2.8 give you the best usability on new Windows 10 PCs with HD or even 4K high resolution displays, where 125% text size is the default display setting.

A…

Docklight Scripting V2.2 – Windows 10, USB HID and user interfaces

Just before going into summer holiday mode, we released free maintenance updates for Docklight and Docklight Scripting. Here is what we improved before the outdoors became too tempting...


A lot of attention went into flawless Windows 10 compatibility, especially when accessing USB HID Custom Class devices or COM device drivers with input data buffer > 4KB.

In addition, a Docklight script (.pts file) can now be loaded and started automatically along with the Docklight project (.ptp file). If your project is called "robotest.ptp", simply name your script file "robotest_auto.pts" and make sure it is located in the same folder. This is especially useful for any script that with event-based processing using Sub On_Send() or Sub On_Receive().

The Docklight main screen underwent some fine-tuning. Finally there is mouse wheel support for the Send Sequence and Receive Sequence lists. Send and Receive Sequence lists are now protected against accidental reordering - to cha…

USB HID and Windows 10

TL;DR; Docklight Scripting V2.1 USB HID support didn't work on Windows 10. Here is an updated version with additional improvements:
https://docklight.de/download/Docklight_Scripting.zip
The Problem
Apparently, Windows 10 has a different behavior concerning HID access than earlier versions. Docklight Scripting uses HIDAPI from Alan Ott / Signal 11, and the problem was recently detected and resolved in the HIPAPI implementation (see https://github.com/signal11/hidapi/issues/231). 
The Solution We updated Docklight Scripting's HIDAPI code, so it can now successfully open a HID connection in Windows 10:


We also added two Docklight-specific improvements concerning USB HID access:

Added support for variable Output Report IDs You can work now with varying, non-zero Output Report IDs using the :I communication channel option, e.g. USBHID:4D8:F708:I Now the first character of your Send Sequences is used as the Output Report ID (instead of the default ID = 0 used with standard settings), and th…