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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, …
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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…

Out with D-Sub DB9 RS232 – In comes Ethernet, Wifi, Bluetooth, USB

For industrial measurement equipment, the classic serial RS232 DB9 or SUB D9 interface is still very much alive. In most cases because this was the original design. And all the device has to do, now and forever, is to pass a few measurements and respond to a few basic commands.

However, in a world where RS232 DB9 connectors for PCs almost always come as external USB-to-RS232 adapters, and tablet computers with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are becoming increasingly popular for operating panels, this does not really make sense any more.

This is why equipment makers are gradually updating their connectivity, many times keeping their application layer serial protocol, but providing a modernized transport layer and physical connector to the end users. Popular solutions include:

USB connector with integrated RS232-to-USB UART, e.g. using FTDI or Prolific chipsets and boards.Embedded Serial Device Server for TCP/IP via Ethernet or Wifi, e.g. Lantronix XPort or MOXA device server modules.USB HID stack …

RS232 / RS422 / RS485 Professional Monitoring

Introducing Docklight Pro Monitor and Docklight Tap 485 Using Docklight helps eliminate a lot of time-consuming manual labor when testing or validating serial protocol applications. Now you can work with the same outstanding ease in more challenging areas, where our classic Docklight software was not designed to operate.

We are pleased to introduce:

Docklight Pro Monitor and Docklight Tap 485, a dedicated software & hardware solution for:
High-speed serial monitoring up to 921 kbpsTime-critical applicationsRS232 applications where hardware handshaking, resp. RTS / CTS / DTR / DSR / DCD / RI signal states are involvedRS485 2-wire and RS422 4-wire differential signal applications  Docklight Pro Monitor is a free addition to all Docklight Scripting license holders. Evaluation is free and without time limit, as always. Try it now:

Download Docklight Pro Monitor
Docklight Pro Monitor works with our Docklight Tap Pro and Docklight Tap 485 USB data taps. See the Docklight Pro Monitor Us…

Available Now - Docklight Scripting V2.1 and Docklight V2.1 Update

The free updates to Docklight and Docklight Scripting are out now. You can download the updated software from here:

Download Docklight V2.1 and Docklight Scripting V2.1
It has taken us quite a while to come up with the final features, and here's why:

We actually spend a lot of time working with Docklight, not on Docklight.


New functions that go into Docklight are either things our users needed to solve a specific problem. Or we needed it ourselves, to build some interesting applications for equipment control & configuration. The pretty touch panel to the left was made using a Docklight DLL inside a Kickdrive Runtime Application. It talks to a Technosoft controller using a custom serial protocol including a checksum.

So in Docklight and Docklight Scripting V2.1 you can benefit from a very accessible checksum/CRC calculator for Send and Receive Sequences. Plus numerous other improvements for Docklight Tap and Docklight Tap Pro monitoring applications. The V2.1 releases are around…