Interfacing to the Plan Wheel XL
(This information is intended for developers of commercial software programs. Persons interested in using the PlanWheel XL for their individual use should refer to Application Note
AN-08, "Linking the PlanWheel XL to Your Computer".)
There are a number of ways to interface the PlanWheel XL (or PlanWheel PC) to your software program. The following are the most popular methods of interfacing to the PlanWheel XL, beginning with the quickest and easiest "pre-packaged" solutions, and progressing to the more time-consuming "do-it-yourself" solutions.
Scalex Ready Connect (formerly TakeOff for Windows) is a complete software solution which provides a "bridge" between the PlanWheel XL and any Windows program. As such, it can be used without any modification to your program.
In operation, Ready Connect appears on the computer screen as a small window which is "always on top" of your program. It allows the user to change scale factors and other scaler settings directly from the computer. After doing a take-off, the user clicks on a button on the Ready Connect Window and the displayed take-off results transfer directly into your program at the insertion bar.
Ready Connect works with all Windows operating systems and is sold complete with CD-ROM and manual. Contact Scalex sales for current pricing and discounts.
Scalex Connector 3.0
Scalex Connector 3.0 is a 32-bit ActiveX-based driver which provides you with complete, low-level control over the PlanWheel. Just drop the control on a form in any 100% OCX compatible container such as Microsoft Visual Basic, Microsoft Excel VBA, or Visual C++. Also compatible with Borland Delphi. You can then set and retrieve all of the Plan Wheel attributes via the control properties. Scalex Connector is transparent to your user and requires no serial port programming.
This royalty-free control is available directly from Scalex Corporation. Developers can purchase the control at a cost of $400. Alternatively, authorized re-sellers of Scalex Corporation products can obtain the control at no charge by satisfying a minimum purchase requirement. Developers using a previous version of the control can obtain this current version at a discounted upgrade price.
If you are interfacing to a DOS program, TakeOff is a pop-up TSR program similar in operation to Ready Connect. Hot-keys are used to enter scaler take-off results into your program at the cursor or to pop-up the TakeOff Utility window.
TakeOff requires just under 64K of memory. As with Ready Connect, you are not required to modify your program.
Serial Interface Specification
And finally, if you wish to get right down to the "bit level" and write your own driver, the complete Plan Wheel Serial Interface Specification is available in written form at no cost. Just contact Scalex sales for a copy.