If you cannot find the solution for your problem in the FAQ, please use the form at the bottom of this page to post your question.
- Installing Simple Data Logger
- License questions
- Using Simple Data Logger
- Asking for help
1. Installing Simple Data Logger
Installing SDL on a computer not connected to the internet
Simple Data Logger can be installed on computers that are not connected to the internet. On the Download page, choose one of the conventional installers (32 bit x86):
When trying to install the ClickOnce version of SDL, you receive an error message that says that the “administrator has blocked this application because it potentially poses a security risk to your computer”
This is caused by the ClickOnce trust prompt configuration of your operation system. If you have administrator privileges, follow the instructions in this article to set the value of the “Internet” registry subkey to “Enabled” or “AuthenticodeRequired”.
You can also use our free TrustPrompt tool to configure this setting without having to edit the registry yourself.
Finally, you can also use the .msi or .exe installer available on the download page as an alterative to the recommended ClickOnce installer.
2. License questions
Please consult our License FAQ.
3. Using Simple Data Logger
No data is shown in the event log or written to the CSV file
If you believe that your device has sent data and that it should have been received by SDL, please press the stop button and follow the instructions below that apply to your situation. First, however, got to the settings tab and make sure that “show received data” is checked.
Case 1: No data or error message is shown in the event log (even after pressing the stop button)
This means that SDL has not received any data from your device. The four possible causes are described below.
- Your device is not sending any data. Refer to the manual to confirm that:
- Data transmission is enabled.
- Your device is set to the correct data transmission mode.
- There are no impediments for data to be sent. Examples: a) Many scales and balances are configured to send the weight only if or when it is stable. b) Legal for trade scales will usually not send values below the minimum weight.
If the user manual does not contain useful information, contact the equipment manufacturer or the dealer who sold the device to you. To prevent them from attributing the problem to our software, we recommend that you test communication with another application as described in point four below.
- The settings in the input tab in SDL do not match the settings of your device. This is a very common cause when using a COM port. For data transmission to succeed, the following conditions have to be fulfilled:
- You have to select the correct COM port. If you can choose from multiple ports, keep in mind that the fact that SDL can open a port does not mean that your device is actually connected to this port.
- All interface parameters (bits/s a.k.a. baud rate, data bits, stop bits, parity, flow control or DTR/RTS flags) have to match the settings of your device. If you’re using one of the “generic” profiles, it is very likely that you will have to change some of the interface parameters.
Please refer to the manual of your device to find its default interface parameters, then confirm that these are the actual settings used by your device. Most scales and balances will let you view or change the interface parameters through their menu.
If you’re using a pre-defined device profile in SDL (anything other than the “generic” profiles) and believe that our settings are not correct, please leave a comment. Please keep in mind that some manufacturers do unfortunately change the default interface parameters for their devices from time to time.
- There is something wrong with the connection between your device and your PC. Examples:
- Incompatible serial cables: Some devices require straight 1:1 cables, others need null modem cables while some unfortunately need special custom cables. The fact that you can physically connect a cable to your PC and device means nothing in terms of internal wiring and does not guarantee that data can be transmitted.
- If you’re not using a serial cable but are instead directly connecting a USB converter to the RS-232 port of your scale, the issue described above still exists! The pin assignment on most converters is identical to built-in RS-232 ports on a PC. However, some converters already provide null modem functionality.
- Connectors that are not plugged in all the way.
- RS-232 to USB converters with outdated drivers.
- You’ve found a bug in SDL. First of all, please make sure that you’re using the most recent version of SDL (compare the version number in the about tab with the changelog or the download page). Then, test the communication with your device with a different software. For connections using a COM port, you can use Termite or hTerm. For TCP/IP connections, try using PuTTY in “raw TCP” mode.
If you cannot receive any data from your device in these applications either, then then issue is not caused by SDL! Although we would very much like to help you, please understand that it is very difficult for us to diagnose problems with your device, configuration or connection remotely. How would we, for instance, know if you’re using the correct serial cable? As mentioned above, please consider contacting the equipment manufacturer or your dealer for support.
Should you still choose to ask us for help, please observe the guidelines posted below.
Case 2: An “ignored data” message is shown after pressing the stop button
If an “ignored data” message followed by human-readable data sent from your device appears in the event log, this means that the terminator in the input tab is not configured correctly.
In the screenshot above, the terminator was set to ASCII code 4, which does not appear in the data sent by the scale. The correct terminator would have been 10 (line feed). If you cannot determine the terminator, try using a timeout instead.
If the ignored data does not seem to make any sense (e.g. “: <0><24>?<24>??<30>03`<30>030<30>030<30>030<30>03?”), then one or more of the following interface parameters are wrong: bit/s, data bits or parity. It is also possible that your device is not able to send data in human-readable ASCII format. In this case, it can unfortunately not be used with SDL.
You can see data in the event log, but it’s not written to the file
- Make sure you’ve pressed the stop button to flush all data to the file.
- Confirm that the data shown in the event log is in ASCII format (i.e. you can read the data and don’t just see lots of non-printable characters shown in <brackets>).
SDL captures the wrong data
If you’ve selected a measuring instruments in the device tab, SDL will usually capture the first (decimal) number in each line. If this is not the measurement value you want, please try changing the output of your device. You can also customize the regular expression used by SDL to capture the data you want.
When polling the weight, an Ohaus scale replies with “ES”
Some Ohaus scale do not support the “IP” (immediate print) command. Try using the “P” (print) command instead.
4. Asking for help
Please observe the following points so that we can help you as fast as possible:
- Please indicate the manufacturer and exact type/model of your device. Bad examples: “a scale” or “an Ohaus scale”. Good example: “an Ohaus STX421 scale”.
- Please describe the problem precisely. “It does not work as expected” is far less helpful than “when I press the print button, only numbers in brackets show up in the event log in SDL (see attachment)”.
- Mention if you’ve tried any of the solutions or steps from the FAQ above. Example: “I tried sending the weight from my scale to the HTerm terminal software, but it also doesn’t show anything”.
- Attach a screenshot of the event log.
- Send us the user manual for your device if it’s not freely available on the internet.
- If we’ve successfully solved your problem, please confirm that the solution worked. This is important for other users with the same issue and it’s also a nice thing to do, particularly if we helped you solve a problem that was not caused by our software.