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Home Digit-LS
Getting Started

This document will show you which steps to take to get started using your Digit-LS. Depending on your situation (like do you have an assembled unit or a kit, do you intend to develop PC software for your Digit-LS or use third party applications), you may skip some subtopics. If a certain subtopic can be skipped in such situations, this is indicated at the beginning of that subtopic.

Building up your kit

If you bought an assembled unit, you can skip this step. 

If you ordered a kit, you will need to assemble it first before you can use it. Instructions for assembly can be found here:

<t.b.a.>

Connecting your Digit-LS to your computer

Before connecting your Digit-LS to your computer, please install a driver first. For the driver installation process, please refer to one of the links below.

Windows XP 32-bit Driver Installation

Windows Vista 32-bit Driver Installation 

Windows 7 32-bit Driver Installation 

If the STAT-light is flashing or on continuously, you have succesfully installed your device. If the STAT-light flashes, it means that there is no user code (i.c. embedded application software) present on the device. This would be the typical situation when you first use the device, after you erased it or if you reset it while pressing the LOAD button. If the STAT-light is on continuously, there is already user code present on the device.

If you also ordered a MODRC demo board, you can start testing and using the board by following the steps below.

1. Make sure your Digit-LS device is disconnected from your computer.

2. Carefully attach the MODRC-board to the JP1 connector of the Digit-LS device, making sure that all the pins are lined up correctly.

3. Connect the Digit-LS to your computer using a USB A to B cable and wait for the SIGN-light to light up (flashing or continuously).    

4. Download the hex file from example 1 using the link below:

http://www.sofrides.com/digitls/downloads/examples/embedded/binaries/example1.hex 

5. Open a command prompt and navigate to the folder where you stored the example1.hex file.

6. Upload this hex file to your Digit-LS by issueing the following command:

C:\Digit-LS\bin\dlscoder example1.hex

7. Wait while the hex file is uploaded. When uploading is completed, the Digit-LS will automatically reset itself and execute the example code. The SIGN-light should now light up continuously.

8. From the command prompt, issue the following command:

C:\Digit-LS\bin\dlswrite LEDS 1 0 1 0 1 0 0 1

You should now see the green LEDs on the MODRC board light up according to the pattern of 1's and 0's you issued with the previous command prompt. 

9. You can play around repeating the command in step 8 using different patterns of 1's and 0's. Or write a script to flash the lights in patterns. Or generate random flashes. Anyway, have fun!

Development Software installation

You can develop software that runs on the Digit-LS itself, this is called the custom configuration software. A Digit-LS will need some custom configuration software to do anything useful, so if you choose not to develop your own custom configuration software, you will still need another source of embedded Digit-LS software, such as the examples we provide on our website.
Also you can develop software that runs on your PC and interacts with your Digit-LS device. This is called Digit-LS PC software. Please find installation instructions for both kinds of software development below.  

Setting up a Development Environment for Digit-LS embedded software

If you want to develop your own custom configuration software for the Digit-LS, you will need development tools. These consist of:
 
Microchip MPLAB
This is the general IDE environment for all Microchip development tools. You can download it at: 
 
Install this software using default settings.
 
Microchip MPLAB C Compiler for PIC18 MCUs
This is the C compiler that you can use to write your own Digit-LS applications in C. More information can be found at:
 
Please note that there is a free version available. Check the license terms to see if it is applicable to your situation. The free version is called "Standard-Eval" version. Install this software using default settings (which means that the compiler software will be installed in "C:\MCC18\".
 
Digit-LS specific files
This is a set of specific files needed for Digit-LS development. You can download it from here:
 
Unzipping these files in the root of your C: drive will put everything in a tree that starts in "C:\Digit-LS". Example projects and your own creations should be placed in this directory. If you follow this structure, all example projects from the Sofrides website will work instantly. If you choose to use another location, you will need to modify the project data.
We recommend to include the bin directory inside the Digit-LS directory, in your PATH environment variable. This will make using the command line tools provided here, a lot easier. If you installed these files in the root of your c: drive, you should exend your PATH setting with "C:\Digit-LS\bin;".
 
If you do not wish to develop embedded software for the Digit-LS but only use example software or software you downloaded from other sources, it is still recommended to install the Digit-LS specific files because these also contain the tools you need to upload the software to the Digit-LS device.

Setting up a Development Environment for Digit-LS PC software

If you want to develop your own PC software to interact with the Digit-LS PC software, you will need a development environment for the language you intend to use. Any programming language that is capable of interacting with plug-and-play device communication should be able to control your Digit-LS device. On our website you can find code examples for Microsoft Visual C++ and Microsoft Visual C#. If you have no previous experience in programming PC software for a Digit-LS or similar device, we recommend you start with either of these. Free compilers for MS Visual C++ and MS Visual C# are available from Microsoft from here:

http://www.microsoft.com/exPress/

Look for Visual C++ 2008 Express Edition or Visual C# Express Edition and follow the installation instructions from there.

You may also want to install the following header files:

digitls.h - Contains the Interface Class GUID definition needed to determine the device pathname that Windows assigned to your Digit-LS.

dlsfdevp.h - Contains the macro FIND_DEV_PATH that will greatly reduce the complexity of connecting to a Digit-LS

You can use these files in your projects anyway you want to, as long as your compiler can find them (which usually means the location of these files has to be in the compiler's Include path). These files can be downloaded here: 

http://www.sofrides.com/digitls/downloads/development/DLS_PC_headers.zip 

 

Last Updated on Saturday, 13 February 2010 16:39
 
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