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ajit

Foot pedal Help (Serial)

3 posts in this topic

Hi

I searched the entire forum to get help in writing a script to detect foot pedal inputs from Serial Port (Com1); three buttons foot pedal viz play, rewind, forward through Cts, dSr, and rLsd but failed to learn anything. I wish to design something like Express Scribe Transcription Aid or something like pedable (nch softwares).

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks

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#2 ·  Posted (edited)

Control of your PC using custom devices. Always a rewarding challenge.

1: Is this what you are referring to? I note the Express Tribe Transcription Playback Software is free and already works with the specified hardware interface.

2: If you are rolling your own code, the page at Supporting your own Pedals with a Pedal Driver DLL hints at how to write your own DLL driver (warning: it is not in AutoIT!)

3: http://www.nch.com.au/hardware/setup/pedals.html talks about other pedals that are available.

4: Roll your own: Basically if you are looking to write script code for your own application you could have a subroutine called regularly via an AdLib call to check the status of the pedals and do something if it changes, or incorporate the subroutine call as part of a loop that does other things as well. Reading from the serial port in the sample codes you have probably already found in these forums is usually something that checks for serial input rather than the status of the various serial port pins. For that you will have to address the serial port at a lower hardware level, hence back to writing your own Windows driver, something that AutoIT (a scripting language) is possibly not the most suitable for, or using one that somebody else has already written.

5: Alternative: Have you thought about connecting your pedal device to a printer parallel port? The code to check the status of the various pins is far more readily available and leaves room for expansion. You will find code for that in these forums also. Hint: check for PORT.DLL or INPOUT32.DLL in Google.

Browse PC Interfaces and Controlling Devices, Parallel port interfacing made easy and Parallel Port Control, Interfacing AutoIT to the real world using parallel port - I'd be surprised if these three links don't get your saliva going!

6: Alternative: You already have a multi button input device commonly available that will work with nearly all computers. It's called a mouse. These have robust switches that will last a very long time. Cheap and readily available and even have serial port ones you can probably pick up second hand for experimentation.

7: Alternative: Trackballs turned upside down are also great for experimentation. Microsoft made one a few years ago for small kiddies where the trackball was the size of a small orange - the right size for the ball of your feet. Also has switches that could be pressed into service.

8: Alternative: Customised keyboards. There are external keyboards that can be pressed (sorry!) into service. A keypad with arrow keys, a game specific keyboard, or even taking a few wires out of the back of your existing keyboard to some less often used function keys and using switches to trigger those by foot. Older style IBM keyboards with physical switches that had contacts are easier to work with than the latest generation of capacitive sensors, etc. You just have to bridge the appropriate matrix contacts, and plug them into an adapter to work with the current PC keyboard connectors.

9: Alternative: The latest generations of Windows have speech input built in. Have you considered using that as an alternative? Most PCs have a microphone port available on the sound card and microphones are an off-the-shelf item that doesn't need customisation. A bonus is the software can be taught to recognise various sounds, so even somebody that can grunt in different tones can use it to drive software.

10: Try a little lite reading in the Windows Hardware developers forums.

If I've gone off on the wrong tangent, please ask/tell. I've had experience with modifying 'conventional' software and equipment to work for 'disabled' people (a misnomer - they are usually just a little challenged and definitely more motivated, and the satisfaction of producing a device that boosts their productivity is always worth the look on their face when they play with your new gizmo the first time).

Tell us how you went in this forum. Others may find clues that will shorten their search if you pass on the knowledge you gain by searching and experimenting.

For others reading, yes, it is a magnificent way of building a controller to customise your Xmas lights display, but possibly a bit late for this year as I'm typing this on Xmas day...

Seasons Greetings.

Edited by Confuzzled

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Control of your PC using custom devices. Always a rewarding challenge.

1: Is this what you are referring to? I note the Express Tribe Transcription Playback Software is free and already works with the specified hardware interface.

2: If you are rolling your own code, the page at Supporting your own Pedals with a Pedal Driver DLL hints at how to write your own DLL driver (warning: it is not in AutoIT!)

3: http://www.nch.com.au/hardware/setup/pedals.html talks about other pedals that are available.

4: Roll your own: Basically if you are looking to write script code for your own application you could have a subroutine called regularly via an AdLib call to check the status of the pedals and do something if it changes, or incorporate the subroutine call as part of a loop that does other things as well. Reading from the serial port in the sample codes you have probably already found in these forums is usually something that checks for serial input rather than the status of the various serial port pins. For that you will have to address the serial port at a lower hardware level, hence back to writing your own Windows driver, something that AutoIT (a scripting language) is possibly not the most suitable for, or using one that somebody else has already written.

5: Alternative: Have you thought about connecting your pedal device to a printer parallel port? The code to check the status of the various pins is far more readily available and leaves room for expansion. You will find code for that in these forums also. Hint: check for PORT.DLL or INPOUT32.DLL in Google.

Browse PC Interfaces and Controlling Devices, Parallel port interfacing made easy and Parallel Port Control, Interfacing AutoIT to the real world using parallel port - I'd be surprised if these three links don't get your saliva going!

6: Alternative: You already have a multi button input device commonly available that will work with nearly all computers. It's called a mouse. These have robust switches that will last a very long time. Cheap and readily available and even have serial port ones you can probably pick up second hand for experimentation.

7: Alternative: Trackballs turned upside down are also great for experimentation. Microsoft made one a few years ago for small kiddies where the trackball was the size of a small orange - the right size for the ball of your feet. Also has switches that could be pressed into service.

8: Alternative: Customised keyboards. There are external keyboards that can be pressed (sorry!) into service. A keypad with arrow keys, a game specific keyboard, or even taking a few wires out of the back of your existing keyboard to some less often used function keys and using switches to trigger those by foot. Older style IBM keyboards with physical switches that had contacts are easier to work with than the latest generation of capacitive sensors, etc. You just have to bridge the appropriate matrix contacts, and plug them into an adapter to work with the current PC keyboard connectors.

9: Alternative: The latest generations of Windows have speech input built in. Have you considered using that as an alternative? Most PCs have a microphone port available on the sound card and microphones are an off-the-shelf item that doesn't need customisation. A bonus is the software can be taught to recognise various sounds, so even somebody that can grunt in different tones can use it to drive software.

10: Try a little lite reading in the Windows Hardware developers forums.

If I've gone off on the wrong tangent, please ask/tell. I've had experience with modifying 'conventional' software and equipment to work for 'disabled' people (a misnomer - they are usually just a little challenged and definitely more motivated, and the satisfaction of producing a device that boosts their productivity is always worth the look on their face when they play with your new gizmo the first time).

Tell us how you went in this forum. Others may find clues that will shorten their search if you pass on the knowledge you gain by searching and experimenting.

For others reading, yes, it is a magnificent way of building a controller to customise your Xmas lights display, but possibly a bit late for this year as I'm typing this on Xmas day...

Seasons Greetings.

Hi 'Confuzzled'

Thanks so much for your reply, thanks in particular for the effort you put in explaining the concept in detail and the many alternatives.

I work for a medical transcription company and AutoIT has really helped everyone working with me. We have been able to automate a lot of routine tasks. We save a lot of time each day thanks to AutoIT and the forum users. I was really lucky to stumble upon AutoIT searching for a programming language.

I am studying all the alternatives you provided. I am sure i will need your help again.

Again, thanks a lot for your help.

Merry Christmas

Ajit

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