Introduction: 
The Serial Switch Box Logger monitors the state of the two switches of a dual switch input box connected to a PC RS232 serial port, or a serial USB port through a USB to Serial  (RS232) adapter.
This first version monitors both switches but only records their states as one switch (one OR the other being depressed).
The state of the dual switch is saved in a plain text file (.TXT) along with the elapsed time since the start of the recording.  It can also  be observed on a real time graph.

Hardware:
Both switches are independently functional but the software treats either input equally (Schematics 6KB BMP file)
Note that this program is made for a modified mouse and will not work with a regular mouse.

Software:



If the switch box was connected to the PC before starting the software, clicking any of its buttons should cause the background of the file name text box at the top of the window to turn yellow.  If the window does not turn yellow this means that the switch box is not connected to the PC or was not found. You can search for its COM/Serial port number through the menu option: “Tools/Switch Box Port Select”
.  The 3 different possibilities are illustrated below: (a) invalid port , (b) valid port with no switch box  connected, (c) valid port and switch box apparently connected.



To start recording the dual switch states, you must first open a disk file through the menu option: “File/Open”.  The standard WINDOWS dialog  pops up for file selection. 


Selecting a file name enables the "Run Test" button.  You can now "Run" the test. Pausing and resuming the test does not reset the referenced "Start Time" but allows the user to record longer periods of time without recording any idle time.  Using the "Stop Test" button, however, resets the time reference and the graph.
The user can type any comments in the text box labeled "Comments" and enter them into the data file by clicking on the  "Enter" button.  The content of this box is then appended to whatever is currently in the file.  The software adds an asterisk to the beginning of each line to facilitate differentiation between comment and data lines. (Sample Data File 5 KB TXT file ).

Clicking the button "Show Graph"  will  display   a graphic representation of the switch states(Sample Graph 36 KB  JPEG file).

Software Downloads:  Visual Basic Program (172 KB EXE file)  and   Basic Help File (5 KB RTF file)  for computers not connected to the Internet.

Basic Help:
For computers not connected to the Internet, there is some very basic help available through the menu: "Help/Basic Help".



Graph Information:

The graph portion of the software is a UNC generic graph package with some of its features disabled. Link to Generic UNC Graph Option Information.
One of the disabled features  is an analysis function with cursors and timing displayed. Let us know if any of these would be of interest to you. cccp@unc.edu.
The Generic Graph package was designed for pain analysis with a "Magnitude Estimation Device" that measures pain on a scale of 0 to 100%. The user can select which values between 0 and 100 will represent  the OFF and ON states of the switch.  These same values are used for the data file.  Editing these values can be access through the main window menu: " Tools/Edit Displayed Magnitudes".  The values can be edited in the two small text boxes circled in red below.  The "Pain" scales minimum and maximum on the graph can also be edited (with some limitations).
The data is saved to the graph only when the graph is displayed. Closing and again showing the graph in the middle of a run will not show the data saved while the graph was hidden which may cause unexpected results.  However any compatible saved file can be graphed through the graph window menu: "File/Open Data File".



2007 March 2