Why use the software for our PCV linear positioning system?
PCV absolute linear positioning system performance can be customized to suit specific application requirements.
Adjustable read head parameters include:
- Baud rate
- Reader-to-tape orientation
- Input/output functions
These adjustments can be made using a Parameterization Tool, or via special code cards found in the product manual.
Using the PCV’s software-based Parameterization Tool offers the following advantages over code card programming:
- You can make temporary changes to read head settings and demonstrate the functional result of those changes at your computer before overwriting current values stored in the read head’s permanent memory.
- You can upload current settings into the software and store them on your computer for future use (for example, read head replacement or a duplicate application). You can do the same with as many alternate parameter sets as you wish.
- You can perform troubleshooting tasks such as monitoring status bits or evaluating the read head image capture function.
- The user-friendly software makes programming simple.
If PC access is not possible, parameters can also be modified using the Data Matrix code cards and read head push buttons.
Equipment you’ll need to configure and test the read head using the software:
- The PCV read head
- A Data Matrix code band for testing and demonstration
- A Windows computer with an available USB port
- A PC interface cable with power supply. This cable is specific to the read head interface, and if you are using the RS485 read head, the interface cable will include a serial converter with a driver CD, which is also required to use the software.
Downloading the software and instruction manuals
The software and documentation you’ll need can be downloaded from our website.
Scroll down the PCV Parameterization Tool page until you find the following files:
- User Manual, PCV Parameterization Tool (PDF file) – Click on the link to download the manual, which contains instructions for downloading, installing, and using the software.
- PCV Parameterization Tool Software (ZIP file) – Click on the link to start the download, saving the file to your computer. Refer to the Parameterization Tool manual for screen shots of this procedure.
If you have the RS485 read head, you should also download instructions for setup and installation of the serial converter unit that’s part of the interface for this read head. Use the search box at our web site and enter the model number of either the read head or the converter interface. Click on the appropriate link in the search results to the product page, and scroll down until you find the following file:
- Quick Start Guide for serial converter (PDF file) – Click on the link to download the document, which contains instructions for converter setup and driver installation.
Installing the software and connecting the hardware
Follow the instructions in the Parameterization Tool manual to install the software. If you have an RS485 read head, before connecting the interface to your computer, you’ll need to first complete the instructions in the serial converter Quick Start Guide. Then return to the Parameterization Tool manual and connect the hardware as instructed:
- Plug the USB cable into your computer.
- Connect the read head to the interface cable. If you have an SSI read head, be sure to use the serial Service port connection on the read head rather than the SSI port.
- Plug in the power supply cable. Read head configuration must begin within the first ten minutes after power-up. If ten minutes elapses with no configuration activity, a time lock disables the ability to make changes to the read head.
Configuring the read head using the Parameterization Tool
After you connect the hardware, open the PCV Parameterization Tool software. At the Port Settings screen (under Settings >> Communication), select the appropriate values for your read head interface type, the USB port where the read head is connected, baud rate (the read head setting, not the USB port setting), and read head address. To load the current read head settings into the software, click the Connect Sensor button.
Once communication is established, you can view and/or make changes to the read head configuration at the Sensor Parameter screen (under Sensor >> Parameter >> Parameter Table). The Parameterization Tool manual provides useful information about how to use this screen, but in particular, please note the following:
- Changes made in the software have no effect on read head function until you select one of the Upload command buttons on the Sensor Parameter screen. Even after uploading, any changes made are still not permanent – the read head operates with them only until it is powered off. To save changes to the read head in permanent memory, select the Store Parameter in EEPROM command button after uploading.
- A powerful feature of the Parameterization Tool software is the ability to save parameter sets to your computer. To save a set of parameters to a file on your computer, use the Save Parameters to File command button. To retrieve a saved set of parameters from your computer into the software interface Sensor Parameter screen, use the Load Parameters from File command button.
Demonstrating read head function
During read head configuration, and occasionally at other times, it is useful to check the read head function. This includes the ability to read the Data Matrix code tape, report X and Y position and speed, set status bits, and display diagnostics codes. These functions can be tested and observed using the Request screen under Measurement >> Position Request. Operation of this screen is described in the Parameterization Tool manual.