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Transforms data received via RS-232 (COM port) into keystrokes

Documentation

Supported operating systems and installation

Supported operating systems: Microsoft Windows 10, 8.x, 7, Vista SP2, Server 2012, Server 2008. Embedded versions of Windows are not supported. To install 232key, simply download the installer, run it and follow the instructions on your screen.

Setup and use 232key

Before starting 232key, please make sure that your serial device is switched on and connected to your PC!

Choose COM port, device, interface parameters and terminator

COM port

Go to the input tab and choose the serial port (COM port) your device is connected to:

Input tab: Port, device and serial connection parameters

You can also try to let 232key detect the port automatically by switching off all other serial devices and pressing the auto button (only works with devices which support hardware handshaking):

Auto COM port detection

Device

232key supports two basic types of devices:

  1. "Number" devices: Select this type if your goal is to capture a number from your device (e.g. the weight from a scale). Almost all devices in the list belong to this type.
  2. "Text" devices: Select this type if you want to capture a text string in its entirety (e.g. a barcode) and prevent it from being automatically converted into a number. Text devices appear in italics in the device list.

If your device is present in the drop-down list, select it and press ⇓ set defaults ⇓ to set the default interface parameters and terminator. If it is not present, select "Generic measurement instrument" to capture numbers or one of the "Barcode" devices to capture text, then proceed to the next step.

Currently, default settings for the following serial devices are predefined in 232key:

* supports automatic port detection.
** untested.
*** requires a Plus license.

Interface parameters and terminator

If your device is not included in the device list or if you're not using its default settings, you have to manually set the interface parameters (bits/s, data bits, stop bits, parity) and the terminator character which marks the end of each line of data.

Please consult the instruction manual of your serial device to find the appropriate settings. If the number of stop bits is not specified, select "1".

The terminator is the very last character in each line of data sent by your device. You can select one of the pre-defined values or enter any ASCII code as a decimal value.

Terminator example from a user manual

MT data format

The very last character is "line feed" (ASCII code 10), therefore choose "<10> LF" as the terminator in 232key.

If you have trouble finding the terminator, we recommend using a terminal program like HTterm to analyze the data sent from you device. In the example below, you can see that the very last character is again "line feed" (decimal ASCII code 10):
HTerm partial screenshot

We'd appreciate if you could post the name of your device and your settings in our support forum so that we can add a new device profile to 232key. Thank you!

Specify output format

Switch to the output tab. Please select the keyboard type you're using (this is particularly important if you want to transmit alphanumeric characters or If you're using a French AZERTY keyboard):
Support for AZERTY keyboards

If your keyboard layout is not listed, you can choose the "All (compatibility mode)" setting (available since version 2017.1.2.0). 232key will then use the Alt numpad input method:

Alt numpad input method

Next, select the decimal separator you want 232key to use when typing decimal numbers: "dot" (e.g. 10.00) or "comma" (e.g. 10,00):
Decimal separator

Notes:

  • This only concerns 232key's simulated keystrokes. The decimal separator of the numbers sent from your device is automatically recognized.
  • This setting is only available for "number" devices (and disabled for "text" devices).

Under end with, you can instruct 232key to send an additional keystroke after each value (e.g. the "Enter" key to jump to the next row in a spreadsheet):
Output format of data received via RS-232

As you can see from the disabled settings in the screenshots, many additional features are available in the Plus version of 232key.

Start 232key and transmit data

Start RS-232 software

Press the start button and switch to the target program (e.g. a spreadsheet software). Place the cursor where you want the data to be typed. Press the data transmission button on your device (often labeled "data" or "print") and watch as the value is typed into the target program.

Please consult our extensive troubleshooting page if 232key does not work as expected.

Download 232keyDownload 232key

Click here to download 232key 2017.1 for Windows.

Alternative download location.

By downloading, you agree to our EULA.

232key Plus license

The basic functionality of 232key is available for free. If you want to use the Plus features, please click here to buy a license for $29 or 27€ (plus EU VAT or sales tax, where applicable). Your license key and invoice will be generated immediately as soon as your payment is completed.

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