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McDudeAbides

Better mousetrap for relay control

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Hello. This is my first post and I am unfamaliar with the correct protocol. If I leave something out, please let me know what I can provide to help get an answer. My primary objective is to control the 110v power to a zone amplifier. I am using a PowerSwitch device which is triggered by low voltage. I am using the RTS lead (pins 5 & 7) on a RS232 serial cable via a Prolific USB/Serial adapter to provide the switch voltage.

My first pass at the working code is below. The simple design point is to call an executable once with the "ON" parameter and have the low voltage activate and stay on until the executable is called again later with the "OFF" parameter. The challenge is that the exe needs to return from first call, but doing so with a clean exit closes the port and releases RTS. Something needs to hang around and keep the port open. But then, I need to be able to talk to it when the "OFF" command is received to drop RTS.

I'm trying to find two ways of improvement. First, what is the most efficent way for a process to "hang around"? I'm using sleep loops now, but there's got to be something more system friendly out there. Second, what is best way to communicate with the spawned process to direct it to exit? I'm brute force killing it now, but once again I'm sure there's a better way. Any suggestions, examples or code snippets would be most appreciated.

The switching app:

Local $RTSLineApp
$RTSLineApp=@ScriptDir & "/RTShigh.exe" ;fully qualify
Switch StringLower($CmdLineRaw)
Case "on"
If ProcessExists("RTShigh.exe") Then ;don't run more than one instance
Exit(0)
Else
Run($RTSLineApp)
EndIf
Case "off"
ProcessClose("RTShigh.exe")  ;kill process to close port, drop RTS
Case Else
MsgBox(0,"Usage", "Must be ON or OFF.")
EndSwitch
Exit

The RTS app/ spawned process:

#include "CommMG.au3"    ;shoutout to Martin, CommMG guru
#include <misc.au3>
Local $PortErr
Local $myx
$myx = _CommSetPort(4,$PortErr) ;open COM4, default RTS high
If @error Then
MsgBox(16, "Error" & @error, $PortErr)
Exit(@error)
EndIf
While 1
Sleep(5000)
WEnd

Thanks for any advice you can offer.

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