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How to start 232key automatically

Our 232key software is a simple solution to transfer the weight from a scale to any application as simulated keystrokes. To start 232key automatically with Windows when a user signs in, please follow these steps.

1. Place a shortcut to 232key in the Windows Startup folder

1.1 Open the Windows Startup folder.

Press the Windows key and R and enter “shell:startup”:
shell:startupThis will open the Startup folder in Windows Explorer:
Windows Startup folder

1.2 Open the 232key program directory

Press the Windows key and R and enter “shell:programfilesx86”:
Windows Program Files x86 directoryIn the new Explorer window that opens, click on the Name column to sort by name:
232key program folder

Double-click on the 232key or 232key MU directory (depending on the installed version). You can now see the 232key.exe application file:
232key program folder open

1.3. Create the shortcut

Hold the Alt key, then click on 232key.exe and drag it to the Startup folder you opened in step 1.1:
create link (shortcut) in startup folderThis creates a shortcut to 232key. 232key will now be started automatically with Windows when the user signs in.
Shortcut in Startup folder

2. Configure 232key to connect to your scale automatically

In 232key, the user normally must press the Start button to connect to the scale. In the paid Plus version, you can configure 232key to connect automatically when the program is started by selecting Start: Auto in the Settings tab:
Settings tab in 232key Plus

See the 232key documentation for further information.

By starting 232key automatically and also connecting to the scale automatically, user intervention is no longer required.

Note: Please ensure your scale is switched on before 232key is started.

What’s new in 232key Pro, the scriptable virtual keyboard wedge?

232key Pro is the scriptable version of our popular 232key virtual keyboard wedge software. It can capture data from a (virtual) COM port or TCP server, process it with a custom C# script and send it to any target application as simulated keystrokes.

Version 0.7.5 includes a device profile for Precisa scales and balances:
Precisa scales and balances in 232key Pro

You can now also trigger the F1…F12 function keys from your script by using GIDEI commands.

In the Control tab in 232key Pro, you can define a keyboard shortcut (hotkey) which sends a command to the connected device:

Version 0.7.6 now shows a more useful error message if you press the hotkey before a connection has been established:
Hotkey error 232key Pro

Further information can be found on our 232key Pro website.

How to capture only the end result from a Mettler Toledo H53 Moisture Analyzer with 232key

Real-life example: Moisture Analyzer

One of customers wanted to capture the end result from his Mettler Toledo H53 moisture analyzer using our 232key software. However, the moisture analyzer sent a lot of data at the end of the moisture determination process:

14:08:42 Port opened: COM3 Bitrate: 9600 Data bits: 8 Stop bits: 1 Parity: NONE
...
14:08:45 -MOISTURE DETERMINATION-<13><10>
14:08:45 METTLER TOLEDO<13><10>
14:08:45 Type             HE53/01<13><10>
14:08:45 SNR           B123456789<13><10>
14:08:45 SW                  1.13<13><10>
14:08:45 <13><10>
14:08:45 Drying Prog.       Rapid<13><10>
14:08:45 Drying Temp.      130 <29>C<13><10>
14:08:45 Switch-Off          Auto<13><10>
14:08:45 Display mode         %AM<13><10>
14:08:45 <13><10>
14:08:45 Start Weight   0.637 g  <13><10>
14:08:45 <13><10>
14:08:45 Total Time      4:20 min<13><10>
14:08:45 Dry Weight     0.604 g  <13><10>
14:08:45 End Result      5.46 %AM<13><10>
14:08:45 <13><10>
14:08:45 Date: ..............<13><10>
14:08:45 Time: ..............<13><10>
14:08:45 <13><10>
14:08:45 Comment: ...............<13><10>
14:08:45 Signature: .............<13><10>
14:08:45 – ----- – END – --------<13><10>
14:08:45 <13><10>
14:08:45 <13><10>
14:08:45 <13><10>

Our customer was only interested in the end result (5.46 in the example above), but 232key captured and typed all the numbers it could find, resulting in the following output:

531234567891.131300.63740.6045.46

Regular Expressions to the rescue

Our software includes a powerful tool for such cases: regular expressions. Don’t worry, you don’t have to learn about them in detail. You can simply send us the data received from your device as displayed in the Event Log of our software (as shown above) and we’ll assist you. However, in some cases, all it takes is a small modification.

If you go to the Input tab in 232key and click on the Customize button, the currently used regular expression will be displayed:

Regular Expression in 232key MU

For the “Generic measuring device” and many other device profile, it looks as follows:

([-+]?\s*[0-9]*[\.,]?[0-9]+)

This regular expression captures the first number it encounters in each line of data. If you want to capture only the data of a specific line and ignore all others, look at what makes it unique. In this case, we could use the words “End Result”. Simply inserting them at the beginning, followed by “\s+” (which stands for “one ore more whitespace characters”) ensures that 232key only captures the number following these words:

End Result\s+([-+]?\s*[0-9]*[\.,]?[0-9]+)

That’s all it takes in this case. Alternatively, we could use the “%” character appearing at the end of the “End Result” line. As there’s no other line in the report where a number is followed by a percentage sign, the following regular expression also works (and will continue to work even if the user changes the language of the report):

([-+]?\s*[0-9]*[\.,]?[0-9]+)\s+%

Regular expressions are available in 232key Plus, 232key MU, 232key Pro and our Simple Data Logger software.

232key version 2020.1 released – Radwag and Mars Scale profiles

Version 2020.1 of our free virtual keyboard wedge software 232key is now available!

Improvements in 232key version 2020.1

  • New device profiles for Radwag scales and balances and Mars Scales.
  • UI and accessibility improvements (you can switch between tabs and trigger the start/stop button using an Alt + key combination).
  • We fixed a bug which prevented the import* of a previously exported configuration file. This problem only appeared when more than one license had been applied to the software and when the second or a later license had expired.
  • We’ve included many new keys which 232key can now press before* or after the measurement value:
    232key additional keys to press before measurement value

Download the 232key installer now or visit 232key.com for further information.

* This functionality requires a paid 232key Plus license.

Are you a manufacturer and would like us to include a profile for your devices?

Please contact us and provide us with the following pieces of information:

  • Default connection parameters: bit/s, data bits, stop bits, parity.
  • Terminator (last character in each line of data).
  • An example of the data transmitted (in ASCII and hexadecimal form).
  • Optional: The command used to trigger the device to send the data (this is supported by 232key Pro and Simple Data Logger).
  • Optional: Short instructions to be displayed to the user (e.g. “set communication mode to ‘PC'”).
  • Is this information valid for all your devices?

Note: We’ll try our best, but we cannot guarantee that all submissions will be included.