I’ve written a small program called EkBoxTester that you can download to aid in testing your Digital Setting Circles interface board after you’ve constructed it. EkBoxTester requires Microsoft .Net 4.0 to be installed on your computer. EkBoxTester consists of a single executable file (EkBoxTester.exe) that can be run from wherever you want. There is no installer–just download and run it.
The source code for EkBoxTester can be downloaded from here. It was written using Microsoft Visual C# 2010 Express Edition–a free but reasonably complete development environment for writing .Net applications in C#. You can use the source code as an example of how to communicate with an EkBox via the serial port.
When you launch EkBoxTester, the following window appears:
It’s pretty simple to use. Before you do anything else, select the COM port to which your interface is connected. Once you do that, you can do any of the following:
- enter encoder resolutions in the “Az Resolution” and “Alt Resolution” fields and click the “Set Resolutions” button to send those resolutions to the EkBox
- click the “Get Errors” button to read the number of errors in the EkBox (usually zero)
- click the “Get Resolutions” button to read and display the encoder resolutions from the EkBox
- click the “Start Test” button to begin reading and displaying the encoder positions
If you click the “Start Test” button, the EkBox Tester will begin reading and displaying the raw encoder positions coming from the EkBox. The numbers will be displayed in red as you can see below. The numbers will continuously update as you move the encoders until you click the “Stop Test” button. Note that clicking the “Start Test” button doesn’t automatically initialize the encoder resolutions–whatever resolutions are already in the EkBox will be used.
If you don’t have any encoders connected, you’ll still see the red numbers but they will not change (obviously), but this is an indicator that things on the board appear to be working correctly.
Once you’re finished, click the “Stop Test” button, or just exit the program by clicking the red X in the top right corner.