While our touchscreens are Linux-based – that doesn’t mean you need to be a Linux developer to use them.
Our solution allows developers to use Windows GUI tools to develop their application and then load it into our display controller to run. Write a complete graphical interface, test it out on the PC, and then drag the application over to our display module’s file system to run. It runs the same as on the desktop. Reach has developed a suite of drag-and-drop interface components for quick prototyping.
Whether you develop in Qt or QML, you can run the same code on the PC or the target. Reach does all the work of configuring Linux and making it run your GUI code. Reach provides customers with custom start-up screens and specialized I/O agents (processes) to connect the GUI to the outside world.
To begin writing your code, we suggest you start by running one of our sample applications.
To get started developing your application, you will need to install:
You may also want to download the factory-installed Demo Application, in Demos and Examples.
Extract the files from the G2Link .ZIP file into a convenient folder.
Install Qt Creator. If it fails to load (and shows the error below), you need to install the Microsoft Visual C++ 2010 Redistributable Package (x86).
Reach Sample Applications
Extract the files from the Samples.ZIP file into the desired folder. Inside the Samples folder, you will see EmptyProject, IOexample, MVC, and States. EmptyProject is a template we provide for you to use when starting new projects. The other folders are example projects.
Reach QML Components
Extract the files from the Reach Technology QML Components.ZIP file into the desired folder.
Inside the Reach Technology QML Components folder, you will see various files and folders, but the folder of interest is the “src” folder. In that folder, you will find the folder’s components, images, and js. These folders contain the latest version of the Reach Technology QML components. You can copy these folders into your project folder, overwriting the existing same-named folders.
Connect to Display Module
Once the installation is complete, connect the Development Kit Connection Cable (Part Number: 23-0161-72) to the Development Kit Connection Port “DEBUG” on the display module. Next, plug the connection cable into one of the open USB ports on your PC.
To upload programs to your module, you’ll need to locate the debug cable port.
Windows should recognize the device as a USB to Serial adapter and install the appropriate drivers. If not, you may need to install the drivers manually. The display module has a USB slave serial port, implemented via the FTDI FT232R chip. The VCOM drivers make this port look like a standard COM port to the PC. Drivers are available at ftdichip.com.
There are two choices for connecting the display module to your network. The wired solution plugs into your router using the supplied Ethernet Connector (Part Number: 23-0148-12) connected to the “ETHERNET” connector (and possibly the Ethernet Coupler and a user-supplied Ethernet cable). To connect via WiFi, plug the WiFi Dongle into the Standard USB Adapter, and attach the adapter to the USB Host “USB H1” on the display module.
Once these connections are made, power on the display module. Windows should detect and install the needed drivers.
Browse into your “G2Link” folder and run “G2Link.exe”. Once G2Link has started, click Select Serial Port and pick a serial port from the drop-down box. Then click Apply and Close. On Windows, the port is usually COM4 or greater. G2Link will connect directly to the display module. If the program says, “Waiting for Target,” on the selected port or says, “Target not responding,” make sure the display module is plugged in and powered up.
If you chose to use the WiFi dongle to connect to the network, click the Network Setup button, then click I’m using a wifi dongle to connect to the network. Ask your network administrator for your SSID and network password. More details are on our Networking page.
There are several buttons in the middle of the G2Link window for interacting with the display module. These buttons send commands to the display module. These are described on the G2Link page.
Load Hello World Sample
In G2Link, click on the Publish and Run button and browse to your “Samples” folder, then to the “States” folder, and then click the OK button. Once you have the correct directory selected, click Go. This may take a few minutes as it clears the data off the display module and replaces it with the sample application. Once the process is complete, the display module will restart its viewer, and you should see the sample application. Click the Page 1 and Page 2 buttons to see Hello World.
Changing the Code
Now that you have run the sample application explore updating the code running on the display module. Browse to your “Samples” folder, open the folder called “States,” and double-click the file named “States” to open up the project in Qt Creator (the file may say “States.qmlproject”).
Change “Hello World” to something else. Double-click “Page2.qml” and notice that the text property of this page is “World.”. Change that property and save the file.
Now, in G2Link, select the folder “States” in the Publish and Run window like before, then click Go. This will download your change to the display module, and reboot the QML Viewer. You should see the difference on Page 2.
An Important Note
Your development kit ships with two microSD cards. Keep one of the cards as a backup so that you can always run the demo applications. DO NOT edit files on the backup SD card as you might not be able to get the demo applications running again.