OVERVIEW:  This article describes the steps the End-User must take to connect to and operate up to four coolux TrackScans with an e-Net Serial to Ethernet Server.


PROCEDURES:


Step One – Hardware Setup

Unpack all components. Each package should contain:

· One e-Net Serial to Ethernet Server with power supply

· One 4-Port USB Power Hub

· Four sets of TrackScans with cables

· One roll of bar-code tape

· For 64-bit systems, download and install the updated version of the software here.. Run the file: VSerPortConsole.exe . It will install the driver and run it.


Plug the e-Net Serial to Ethernet Server into its power supply and connect the Ethernet port to either a local network or a Windows XP computer set in the same IP range as the e-Net. The e-Net's IP address should be labeled on the top of the unit. 


Connect the serial portions of the TrackScan cables to the Serial Server, taking careful note of which TrackScan is connected to which port on the e-Net Server. The serial ports on the e-Net Server are labeled for use during the software setup section, detailed below.


Connect each TrackScan to its screw-type connector cable, at another end of the TrackScan cable. The molded connector is keyed to the plug.


Finally, plug in the 4-Port USB Power Hub and the third end of the TrackScan Cables into the USB ports on the Hub.


Step Two – Software Setup


On the Windows XP computer mentioned in Step One or on another Windows XP computer with an IP address set to the same range as the one labeled on the top of the e-Net Serial Server, insert the CD accompanying the e-Net Serial Server. 


Locate the application called “VSerPortConsole_XP.exe” in the “E. Virtual-Com” directory provided. Run the program; the window that appears should look like Figure One.



SC-1.png Figure One - VirtualSerialPort Console Software


Right-click the white background of the main screen and select “Add Port” from the context menu. The “Add Port” dialogue box should appear. If you would like to manually set the number for the Virtual COM port, uncheck the box labeled “Auto-Assign” and select the desired COM port from the drop-down list to the left of the checkbox.


 Press “Ok” when you have made your selection, or simply press “Ok” as soon as the dialogue appears if you wish for the program to select the next available COM port on your system.


After selecting “Ok” on the add port dialogue box, you should see one or more Windows XP “Hardware Installation” dialogue on the screen, asking you to “Continue Anyway” or “Stop Installation.” Select “Continue Anyway” and the “VirtualSerialPort Console” window should look similar to the one pictured in Figure Two, with the port you just created listed. 




sc-2.png









Figure Two - COM port successfully added



Step Three – Connecting the TrackScan

Right-click the newly created port and select “Add Net” from the context menu. The “Add Net” dialogue box should now appear, as pictured in Figure Three.  



sc-3.pngFigure Three – Add Net Dialogue Box


Ensure that “TCP Client” is selected from the radio-button options and enter the IP address and Socket Port number (refer to the labels on the top of the unit) of the configured e-Net Serial Server in the “TCP Client” field of the dialogue.

 

For the purposes of this document, I have set the IP address to 2.0.0.150 and the port to 100, which should correspond to the first Serial port on the Server. After ensuring that the TrackScan is plugged in, press “Ok” on this dialogue box to map the network address and port of the e-Net Serial Server to the virtual COM port created previously. The resulting window should appear as figure four.



sc-4.pngFigure Four: completed Virtual Serial Port Console setup



Repeat steps two and three until all TrackScans in use are represented by their own virtual COM port, and all have a “(Connected) TCP Client...” entry branching off of them.


Once all TrackScans are connected, first click the check box in the lower left corner of the main “VirtualSerialPort Console” window labeled “Auto run when login” and then check the box immediately under that, labeled “Minimize when run”. Please note that this Windows XP computer must remain on and connected to the same network as the e-Net Serial Server in order for the TrackScans to operate. This should also be the computer that Widget Designer is run on, as this should be the only computer that has these Virtual Serial Ports installed.


If the application does not minimize automatically, click the minimize button in the upper right hand corner on the title bar to minimize the application to the system tray.


Step Four – Receiving Data from TrackScan in Widget Designer


Once the virtual serial ports are mapped to the correct socket port on the e-Net Serial Server, on the same computer, start Widget Designer.


Open a new project, or an existing project you want to add the TrackScan input to and create a TrackScan input node. Place the node in the desired location and right click it and select “Item Properties”. Refer to figure five for a screen shot of this dialogue box.


sc-5.pngFigure Five – Widget Designer TrackScan node Item Properties


Select the appropriate COM port from the drop-down box of the TrackScan you would like to receive input from, ensure that the “Revision” drop-down box is set to “1” and click “Connect”. 


When running the connected TrackScan at a sharp angle to the provided bar-code tape, the node values should change based on the data read from the bar-code.


Repeat as necessary until all TrackScans connected are represented by an Input Node in your Widget Designer Project. This completes the TrackScan User setup.



For additional questions or support please contact Theatrical Concepts, Inc. at support.theatrical.com.