Thanks to one of our customers, there is a way to edit your SLCD macro files and have syntax highlighting. The TextPad shareware editor can do the custom highlighting. Download this ReachMacros.syn file and follow these instructions. You should now see macro highlighting in TextPad. Please note that Reach Technology is not responsible for supporting this file.
Is there an easier way to get BMP images and macros onto production units without having to manually load each one using the Flash drive?
Yes, we can pre-load BMP images and macros to production display modules and enclosed units for a nominal fee. Contact our sales team for a quote.
We have no Programmable System On Chip silicon on our SLCD controller boards.
Currently, SLCD products only support BMP file formats. However, many image applications (Microsoft Paint, Adobe Photoshop, etc.) allow conversion from non-BMP to BMP file formats. Watch tutorial videos for more details.
Although we do not have a canned graphics library, you can get bitmaps of buttons and other controls to use in your interface from iStockphoto. There you will find good quality graphics, for a low cost. Do a search on “buttons” to see a sample. Some other options: Free SVG or find other image galleries. You can use Inkscape to convert a .SVG to a .BMP. You might also consider using a tool like GIMP. See Reach Technology video tutorials for making graphic elements. You might also consider working with an interface design firm like GUIFX.
The free Open Source program GIMP is helpful. See video tutorials for more information.
Is there a way to stop the splash screen from automatically executing, as the system appears to run the macro and then the splash screen?
To clear a power-on macro, use the BMPload program, check the “Set Power On Macro,” and set the Power On Macro to 0. This will turn the power-on macro feature off. It can also be done via the serial port using the command: *PONMAC 0 The command: *PONMAC 0 0 will also restore the copyright message usually suppressed when a power-on macro is assigned. Similarly, check the “Set Splash Screen” and set Bitmap Number to 0, which will disable the splash screen. The splash screen and power-on macro are typically not set together.
There are two or three LEDs on the controller board, depending on the model. One LED is a “controller good indicator” that comes on when the controller firmware has powered up and is running. This LED shows the unit has power. The second is a “controller busy indicator” that lights up during command processing or upgrades/downloads. Some boards have a third LED, which indicates activity on the USB port.
How can we use the USB port for production programming, if new SLCD43 connected re-installs itself on a new COM port?
This is a feature of Windows, it tries to keep USB ports unique, so when you plug in a particular device, it holds the same COM port number it was first assigned. There is a way around this. Our board uses an FT232R chip, and the chip manufacturer has an application note to tell Windows to use the same COM port. See Application Note, Section 7.1, Ignore Hardware Serial Number. In a nutshell, you have to edit the registry and add a key with a value of “01”:HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\UsbFlags\IgnoreHWSerNum04036001 Please heed the application note warning about editing the Windows Registry.
The BMPload program displays the full path and file name to load files in different directories. It makes the display hard to read, but it positively identifies the location of each bitmap file.