ScaleCOM Weight Application Setup

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ScaleCOM Weight Application Setup


For information on setting up ScaleCOM to interface with SMSTurbo go to the ScaleCOM Weight and Settings tab.



ScaleCOM is either a secondary application installed during the SMSTurbo V10 client install, or part of the SMSTurbo software. It acts as the interface between the scale indicator and SMSTurbo V10. There are different versions of ScaleCOM but this document will address the later ScaleCOM Versions used with SMSTurbo V10.


The company that provides the scale to the customer is responsible for getting the scale indicator connection to the PCs running any scale management or monitoring software, including Turbo. This is usually done by running a dedicated serial connection from the indicator to the PC. Often its a serial cable, to a serial port on the PC, but it could be a serial cable attached to a USB adapter, attached to a USB cable, plugged into an available USB port.


Possible connection types


1. Direct serial (RS232) cable runs from the scale indicator to the back of the PC into a serial port.

These are usually nine pin serial connections.


2. Direct serial cable (RS232) runs from the scale indicator to the back of the pc and plugs into

a serial to USB adapter such as the Keyspan or Tripp Lite, below, and plugs into a USB port.


3. Direct serial cable plugs into a Digiport serial to ethernet converter box.  The box is assigned an IP

address and forwards out the serial com port from the scale to the local TCPIP network. Receiving computers can then see and use this com port in device manager in control panel in Windows, and use ScaleCOM to define the connection

exactly as though it were a direct connection to that PC's serial port.


4.ScaleCOM, on a directly connected PC, is configured to send out its live connections over TCPIP to be available to other computers on the local network to use in their SMSTurbo.



Tripp Lite Serial to USB adapters.



One brand of USB to serial adapter is called "Keyspan" by Tripp Lite  This adapter will often have a light indicating its connection status. If the light is flashing or red it may not be functioning correctly. A software driver needs to be loaded into Windows on the machine it is connecting to in order to be recognized in device manager. This is the adapter most often encountered in customer setups because of the lack of serial ports on newer pcs.


Brainboxes ES-246 Ethernet to Serial Adapter


This particular device is a one connection device which converts the serial connection from the scale into an Ethernet connection. This connection is then often plugged into a network hub/repeater with multiple TCPIP ports, and attached to their TCPIP network.

The customer's description of it can be confusing as they may not note that the ES-246 or like adapter is actually present.

Unlike the Keyspan serial to USB adapters we resell, C.I.S. does not resell the serial to Ethernet adapters usually. Like other adapters, the ES-246 needs to have a driver file loaded from its support website, or provided, that will allow device manager in Windows, in the PC it's being used on,

to see a virtual com port. This com port assignment is usually the next available com port on that PC.


Digiport USB to Ethernet adapter/device


Another adapter used is the Digiport serial to Ethernet (RJ45 connector) converter.  If you open com ports in device manager you might see a reference for the digiport as part of the com port name in device manager in Windows if a Digiport is already in use. There will definitely be one of these adapters on the cable. Note that you can change the com port the Keyspan uses by going into device manager and right clicking on the port and going to "properties"

Then go to "ports" and "advanced"  change the port there. Setting the port to 21 or higher can resolve "access denied" errors in ScaleCOM to the port.


The Digiport adapters use a diagnostics program called Real Port. Running this utility on the customer machine may help

identify if the Digiport is installed and working. If it finds one and its not installed it will allow you to do that. If a Digiport is in use, and the customer cannot locate it or its shown to be broken, the customer's IT people may have to get involved. If a customer asks to order a Digiport the USB cable is NOT included with the device.


After setting up the scale, the scale company will often supply the connection parameters to the customer. (i.e Baud rate, port, ect). Get those from the customer if they have them.


When a customer calls in they may just tell you "I'm not getting a weight" but its important to first determine if ScaleCOM is getting a weight or ScaleCOM is but SMSTurbo is not.


Setting up ScaleCOM for the first time


1. When a customer first gets a scale connection to the pc you should be able to go into Windows Control Panel, Device Manager, any Windows® version, and see the connection there under "Ports Com and LPT", Expand the branch to see the listed com port there being used by the scale. If no port appears here then it is most likely that the connection created by the scale company is not working correctly. Check for adapters. Otherwise if its there go to the next step.


2. Configure ScaleCOM for the scale connection. Either by using the external ScaleCOM application or navigating to

Utilities, Configuration, SMSTurbo, ScaleCOM, Setup Scales.  See the section below for Internal ScaleCOM Setup

if not using the separate ScaleCOM application.


Old External ScaleCOM Application    

   

    A. Click on the "ScaleCOM" icon on your pcs desktop. (looks like a little scale) on your desktop to launch it.



  B. Click on "File", "Setup".


  C. Next to "Select scale to add, delete, or update", hit the drop down arrow and select "1".


  D. hit the "update" button that appears below.


  E. The "Setup Scale #1" box appears. (go to step F below)


   New ScaleCOM External ScaleCOM Application


 A. Click on the "ScaleCOM" icon on your desktop. (looks like a little scale) on your desktop to launch it.


 B.  Click on "File", "Setup Scales".  You will see the Select Scale window.



  C. Double left click on the "1 Not setup" icon, or single click on it and select the green check mark below.


  D. The "Setup Scale #1" box appears. (go to step F below)


  New Internal ScaleCOM Setup


 A. Navigate to Utilities, Configuration, SMSTurbo, ScaleCOM. Setup Scales inside SMSTurbo


 


 B. You will see this window.


 


  C. Double left click on the "1 Not setup" icon, or single click on it and select the green check mark below.

  (Go to step F)

 

  F. This window will appear.


 

       Go to the "Port Settings" tab.


 


  G. 1. Make sure that the Port is set to the com port the customer is using for the scale.

       2. The "Serial Port Settings" match what the customer was given. OR default settings are:

       9600 8 1 None None 2 from top to bottom.


  H. Go to the "Data Format" tab and by default it should be set to "auto" and the data format settings should be

       listed there.

       Auto will pull settings based upon what known scales use. Otherwise certain scales use certain standard

       setup parameters which may be referenced from technical specs provided by the scale's manufacturer.

       Set the radial button to Manual and enter specific known settings, or proceed to Decoding Data from

     the Serial Connection below to determine what those settings are.

 

   I. Go to the "IPC Channel" tab and check that its set to use Shared memory, TCPIP, or Clip Board , to pull the weight readings

      Into the SMSTurbo weight pop screen by that method.


     TCPIP

      A default loop back address of 127.0.0.1 may be there or enter the actual TCPIP address of that pc hosting the ScaleCOM

      connection. Enter a port.  Use 7070 -7073. These are standard.


       Shared Memory

       A name space is created called Scale1 on the computer, similar to clipboard,

       and contains the weight for retrieval by SMSTurbo. Shared Memory Scale1 will change to Scale2

       when additional scales are setup.


       Clip Board

       Scale weight values are loaded to the pc's internal clipboard and retrieved from there.


   J. Select "OK" at the bottom of the Setup Scale #1 window this will close ScaleCOM.


   K. Repeat the process for any other scales. I.E. scale2, scale3 ect.


   L. Re-open ScaleCOM and click on Scale1 to see if its reading a weight


3. Configure SMSTurbo V10 for Scale connection retrieval


   A. Run SMSTurbo V10, log in as an SMS administrator user. (Usually Z authority)


   B. Navigate to Utilities, Configuration, SMSTurbo, "ScaleCOM and weight"


   C. Under "choose ScaleCOM Interface Type:"  Select TCPIP, Shared Memory, Clipboard if using shared memory in ScaleCOM setup.


   D. On the "Scale1" line enter the IP address of the machine you are pulling the scale from for scale1 OR  Scale1 /S if shared memory.

        On the "Scale 2" line enter the IP address of the machine the second scale is on OR Scale2 /S if shared memory.


   E. Select "Save and close"


4. Test ScaleCOM to read weight applied to the scale and then open SMSTurbo V10 and create a new ticket.

    Apply a truck and a weighed material to that ticket. Click in the weight field and see if it pulled the weight.

    If it did you are all set, if it did not proceed to Troubleshooting.


Troubleshooting


ScaleCOM is not working


ScaleCOM is frozen and task manager has to be used to kill it.


1. Check for a stuck ScaleCOM process in Windows task manager.


2. Check for temp folders (C:\windows\temp), excess files and possible corrupted files. Clear them. Empty recycle bin.


3. Check system short date format should not be dd/mm/yy should be mm/dd/yyyy


4. Check write permissions to c:\programfiles (x86)\smsturbo and c:\windows


5.Scalecom.ini should be under c:\users\<logged in user>\appdata\roaming\creativeInfoSystems


6. Reboot the pc. It may need re-booting due to patch application or the like.


7. Check for bad ports, conflicting serial devices ect. that may be interfering with its operation.


Putty.exe is a good tool to determine what the PC is actually getting for input from its devices.

The Putty application is located on the Internet as a free download. Simply run it, No installation necessary.

Open, on the left select Serial, under connection. Make sure the port, data bits are set correctly on the right then click the open button.


Scalecom opens but no weight from the scale


1. Go to control Panel, Device manager and make sure the COM port for the scale shows there per above.


2. Check that the Scale connection cable is plugged in (all the way).


3. Check if there is a light on the USB adapter (if any) (Keyspan), usually green, indicating a good connection, blinking means there is

a problem.


4. If all of the above are correct but ScaleCOM is still not working, check the Scalecom "Setup Scale #(x)" box to make sure the correct connection parameters are in there.  If not change them per above and close and re-start Scalecom.


5. In device manager, under "mice and other pointing devices" be sure there isn't a serial mouse installed. If

there is, disable it by right clicking on it. Do not delete it , as it will come back after a re-boot.


6. Test by applying weight to the scale.


Diagnostics


7. You can run ScaleCOM in a "diagnostic" mode to determine if it is being sent the scale information to it in a manner that it can interpret.



8. Go to ScaleCOM and select "File", "Diagnostics". the "Diagnostics" window appears, or internal to SMSTurbo navigate to

Utilities, Configuration, ScaleCOM, Diagnostics.


9. Make sure that the com port or TCPIP settings at the bottom are the same as how the connection is defined under "setup",

or from a TCPIP based scale connection defined elsewhere.



10.  Click on "Open port" and apply weight to the scale. A set of characters should display representing the data stream ScaleCOM is getting.


11. Check these characters to make sure the format is similar to this:


     (0A)BBBBBBBB00LBBG(0D)  

 

     Record what you see in this stream.


12. The data that appears should match the settings in the "Setup Scale #(x)", "Data Format" tab.


Decoding Data from the Serial Connection


To get the Data Settings we will need to count the characters and their positions. Below are the

specifics for each data setting. The descriptions below will use the sample data stream from above as an example.


Format length: The count of ALL characters in the data stream. Note that all characters count as one each,

except any characters that are wrapped in the (). These bracketed characters (including the ()) count as one.

Therefor the length of the above character line is 16.


Units Location: The units location is the "LB" on the stream above, so you will count from left to right the

number of characters there are until the "L". this will be 12.


Weight Location: This filed requires two counts. the first is counting 6 spaces from the right to left starting at the first zero from the right. Mark the "B" that you land on (in this case it would be the 5th "B" in from the left).

Then count from left to right until you get to the "B" that you marked. This will be 6.


Motion Location: This character only shows whenthere is motion on the scale. It is usually the "B" right after

"LB" and usually shows up as an "M". Count from left to right until you get to the position where you saw the "M"

This will be 14.


Motion Char: This is whaever character shows up when there is motion on the scale. See above. In thios case "M"


Terminator: In almost all cases this is CR or (0D) the last set of characters in the string.


Sample Rate: Should stay set at 2. This is how many samples  of the data stream that ScaleCOM will take

before accepting a good weight reading.


Weight Units: This is the unit of measure that the scale is running in. Usually LB. In this case, LB, pounds.


Weight Length: Usually 6. The max length of weight. Example 120000 LBs.


Motion Timeout: (in seconds) The time that ScaleCOM will wait for the motion on the scale to stop. Usually 10.


Port Timeout: (in seconds) The time that ScaleCOM will wait for the serial port to be available.


Zero Sequence: The sequence of characters sent to the indicator to "zero" the scale


Demand Sequence: Rarely used. For some indicators that are setup in "demand" mode. Consult

your indicator manual or your scale company for this information


In the event that the above values do not show correctly there may be a need to go back to the scale company to determine the exact parameters for the scale connection.  Adjusting the baud rate gradually may fix the

connection to show the correct information.


ScaleCOM is working but no data in SMSTurbo V10


The weight appears in the ScaleCOM window correctly as it is read in but when clicking on "gross",

the weight does not appear into gross.


1. Make sure that the same settings exist in Utilities-configuration-SMSTurbo-ScaleCOM and Weight, as

do in ScaleCOM, file,setup, select a scale to update, hit update. check on the IPC Channel tab and the

port settings tab.


2.Make sure the SMSTurbo PC has been re-booted recently or SMS was restarted.


ScaleCOM displays a message that the "port is closed", but clicking on "read scale" displays the weight.


Disable "port sharing" in ScaleCOM for that connection.