How to use CHROMuLAN with RS-232 devices

CHROMuLAN was originally developed to work with devices designed by PiKRON company.

Nevertheless, CHROMuLAN can now be used to acquire data from any device which is capable to send the data using RS-232 protocol. To use such devices you have to have Windows DLL driver which converts the information sent by the particular device to X,Y values used by CHROMuLAN. There are two possibilities how you can get the necessary driver:

  1. To write one by yourself (ask how, if you are brave enough)
  2. To use existing one - see below for the list of supported devices

Once you have the DLL, you have to do the following:

  1. Copy the DLL to the "dev" subdirectory of the directory where CHROMuLAN is installed
  2. Start CHROMuLAN - it will find the DLL and create device, channel and template objects for the new device automatically
  3. Set CHROMuLAN to Passive mode (Setup | Options | Device mode - Pasive)
  4. Specify serial port to which the device is attached:
    • Setup | Devices | Browse
    • Find the line, which corresponds to the new device (see "Device Name" field)
    • Set value of the field "Device Port" to the COMx, to which is the device attached (COM1, COM2, ...)
  5. Start acquisition using the new template:
    • File | New Acquisition
    • Select "Analysis" tab
    • Double-click on the template named after the device (if the device supports more input channels, there might be more templates - one for each channel)
    • Fill in the analysis related info (if you wish), click OK
    • Click Run
    • the data acquisition should start now ...

Supported RS-232 communicating devices

These multimeters send data only once a second. Supported (tested) types are:
  • VoltCraft M 4660CR
  • Metex M3850, M3830
  • Protek 506
They all need Device.dll driver and Device.def definition file (copy both files to "dev" subdir of CHROMuLAN root directory). The definition file is in quite a readable XML format and can be modified to support additional devices.
232SPDA AD converter
Manufactured by B&B Electronics, company which has dealers in Europe and USA. Priced around $90. Needs SPDA.dll driver.
Last change: 2006-03-02