Race Car

Configuring and Using the "Hyperterminal" with Your Timestopper TS300


Hyperterminal, published by Hilgraeve at http://www.hilgraeve.com, is a communications program that is included free with Windows 95 and later Microsoft operating systems on your PC computer. Using Hyperterminal is a handy way to send and receive data via a serial port. The following paragraphs show how to configure the program on your PC and use it to test that your Timestopper (e.g. TS300) will be able to communicate properly with race management software provided by third-party vendors.


Setting up Hyperterminal


In a normal installation of Windows 95 or later, Hyperterminal is found under Programs->Accessories, so you access it as follows:

Upon launching Hyperterminal, you'll be given the opportunity to name and assign an icon to your settings for connecting to your Timestopper serial port from one of your PC serial ports. You may choose any name/icon. Afterwards, a series of dialog boxes will appear. Enter the following settings:

Phone Number

COM1 Properties, Port Settings

Advanced

At this point, you now have access to the main Hyperterminal window. There are still a few more settings to make. Pull down the File menu and select Properties.

Properties Dialog


Using Hyperterminal with Timestoppers TS300


Once you've configured the program, make sure to save your configuration for reuse. If you launch the program using your configuration icon, your settings will be loaded automatically.


With the settings listed above, anything you type into the Hyperterminal window will be sent out the serial port to the Timestopper unit. The only keystroke, however, that your Timestopper TS300 will recognize will be the letter "r" or "R", and that will effect a reset of the Timestopper. The following sequence illustrates an example showing the displays that appear on your computer screen over a sequence of individual races each with three cars racing down a three-lane track:


What is viewed on your computer screen

Comments

Timestopper Software Version 2.0.A

(c) Copyright 2004

n This is the sign on message.

Ready

n After power on, this message indicates

that the Start Gate is closed.

Lane 3 3.104 Winner

Lane 2 4.363 Place

Lane 1 5.482 Show

n These are the race results showing for

each lane: its lane ID-number, its race

duration in seconds, and whether a car

placed 1st (Winner), 2nd (Place), or 3rd (Show).

n The RESET switch is then pushed or

an "R" or "r" is entered by keyboard.

If the START gate is not closed, then

display blinks all dashes.

Ready

n The START gate is closed: ready to race.

Lane 3 1.172 Winner

Lane 2 2.328 Place

Lane 1 0.000 failed to finish

n These are the next race results.

Ready

Lane 3 1.672 Winner

Lane 2 5.068 Place

Lane 1 5.102 Show

n And this is the way the display continues

for actual races, showing "Ready" before

each race, and then after each race

showing the race results.

Ready

Lane 1 1.277 Winner

Lane 3 3.611 Place

Lane 2 3.626 Show

Ready

n Waiting and ready for next race.


To Use Hyperterminal to send ASCII commands to other devices (a tip for those interested):


Using Hyperterminal to send out other commands than a simple keystroke value, you can use an old DOS trick to send particular ASCII values that may not have control-key equivalents. Hold down the Alt key and type the decimal ASCII value on the keyboard's numeric keypad (not the number keys along the top of the keyboard), then release Alt. Precede the number with a 0 (zero). For example, to send ASCII 133, press and hold Alt, type 0 1 3 3 on the keypad, then release Alt.

Don't leave out the 0 (zero) preceding the number! If you do, the actual value sent can be changed in odd ways. For example, ASCII 14 sent as Alt-down 1 4 Alt-up works fine, but ASCII 15 sent as Alt-down 1 5 Alt-up gets translated to ASCII 164.


Corrupted Config Files

With some versions of Hyperterminal, saved configurations can be corrupted in odd ways. The most obvious symptom is that typing the same character three times in a row causes the third instance of the character to be sent incorrectly. In other cases, the terminal program fails to work altogether. The only fix we know of is to create a new configuration from scratch, as described above.