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How to set up a lab instrument with Waters Serial Device Support - WKB23037

Article number: 23037

OBJECTIVE or GOAL

Connect a benchtop lab instrument, such as a balance or pH meter, to Waters Serial Device Support (SDS) software.  SDS makes the instrument available for use in LMS Smart Builder forms.

ENVIRONMENT

  • NuGenesis 8 LMS
  • Waters Serial Device Support (SDS) 2.0 or higher
  • One Tibbo Device Server has been purchased for each lab instrument to be connected to SDS

PROCEDURE

The following is a quick checklist for connecting a lab instrument to SDS. It is intended as a quick-reference guide for people who are already familiar with SDS. For those unfamiliar with SDS, please see the attached document.

  1. Get the make and model numbers of all instruments that are to be connected via SDS.
  2. Obtain the manuals for each model of instrument. Electronic manuals are preferred so that they can be easily sent to support for assistance.
  3. Read the manual to determine a model's RS232 port's physical properties and its serial communication capabilities. Look for terms "RS232" or "serial port" in the e-manual, or look for information in the admin/setup/configuration chapters, or perhaps a technical specs/reference chapter.
  4. Obtain the necessary cables. Often it's a standard 9-port serial cable, but it might be a 25-pin port on the device, or a non-standard port, which would require a converter or a manufacturer-specific cable. Rarely is it a null-modem cable, which is visually similar to a standard cable but does not have the wires reversed; the need for such a cable is usually highlighted in the device manual.
  5. Connect the device to a Tibbo box. Connect the Tibbo box to power and to Ethernet.
  6. Use the Tibbo Device Server Toolkit software on a PC to find the Tibbo box. The PC must be on the same network segment as the Tibbo box; ideally, it should be plugged into a port next to the Ethernet port used by Tibbo. WiFi is not recommended because wireless tends to be on a different network segment than the wired ports.
  7. Configure the Tibbo box with a static IP address as provided by IT. Restart the Tibbo box through the Tibbo DS Manager software.
  8. Configure the Tibbo box's RS232 parameters per the device manual.
  9. Verify that the device's RS232 parameters are as specified in the manual. Use the device's physical interface to check the parameters (baud rate, parity, # of bits, etc.), and if they differ from the manual, configure Tibbo to match the device's settings.
  10. Use the SDS Diagnostics program to verify connectivity with the device. Use a PC with a physical serial port for this purpose; USB-to-serial converters are not recommended. Examine the device's output. Save a copy of it's output to a text file.
  11. Use the SDS Configurator program to build a configuration file for the device. Enter it's IP address and port. If it accepts commands via RS232, select Active mode; if not, use Passive mode. Configure regular expressions to extract each relevant bit of data from the device's output*.
  12. Upload the SDC file to the device's record in the LMS Instrument Inventory.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

* An SDS RegEx Tester tool is supplied with the SDS software.  This tool can be used with the text file described in Step 10 above to formulate the required RegEx expressions for extracting the desired instrument output.  It should be noted, however, that RegEx expressions identified in this manner may not always work with the actual physical system, requiring that they be developed/tested by interfacing directly with the physical instrumentation.  A regular expressions quick reference guide is included with the SDS software in order to help formulate the regex patterns.

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