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reading data from serial port

Posted on 2004-11-24
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Last Modified: 2008-01-09
Hello experts, i found a class in vb.net that allows me to send out a string value through a com port, that write procedure works great, but now i dont know how to read a string back.  What happens is:  in my form a user clicks a button then a string value "start" is sent to a PLC, the plc in returns sends back a command like "start enabled" i cant figure out how to display that message in a label.
Below is my code that i use to write and read using the Rs232 class,  the read subprocedure requires a parameter of bytes to read, i dont know if i am using the read procedure correctly.
Here is my code
 Sub button_Click()
 openport("start")
end sub
   Sub openport(ByVal stringhold As String)
        Dim comhold As New Rs232 'class that handles the com port connections
        Try
            comhold.Port = 1
            comhold.BaudRate = 9600
            comhold.Open()
            comhold.Write(stringhold)
            lblmessage.Text = comhold.Read(5).ToString
        Catch ex As Exception
            Dim errorhold As String
            errorhold = ex.Message
            Me.RegisterStartupScript("alert", _
                                   "<script language='javascript'>alert('" & errorhold & "'); </script>")

        End Try

        comhold.Close()
    End Sub

'this is the procedure within the RS232 class that handles the read
 Public Function Read(ByVal Bytes2Read As Integer) As Integer
        Dim iReadChars, iRc As Integer

        ' If Bytes2Read not specified uses Buffersize
        If Bytes2Read = 0 Then Bytes2Read = miBufferSize
        If mhRS = -1 Then
            Throw New ApplicationException( _
                "Please initialize and open port before using this method")
        Else
            ' Get bytes from port
            Try
                ' Purge buffers
                'PurgeComm(mhRS, PURGE_RXCLEAR Or PURGE_TXCLEAR)
                ' Creates an event for overlapped operations
                If meMode = Mode.Overlapped Then
                    pHandleOverlappedRead(Bytes2Read)
                Else
                    ' Non overlapped mode
                    ReDim mabtRxBuf(Bytes2Read - 1)
                    iRc = ReadFile(mhRS, mabtRxBuf, Bytes2Read, iReadChars, Nothing)
                    If iRc = 0 Then
                        ' Read Error
                        Throw New ApplicationException( _
                            "ReadFile error " & iRc.ToString)
                    Else
                        ' Handles timeout or returns input chars
                        If iReadChars < Bytes2Read Then
                            Throw New IOTimeoutException("Timeout error")
                        Else
                            mbWaitOnRead = True
                            Return (iReadChars)
                        End If
                    End If
                End If
            Catch Ex As Exception
                ' Others generic erroes
                Throw New ApplicationException("Read Error: " & Ex.Message, Ex)
            End Try
        End If
    End Function
0
Comment
Question by:tentavarious
  • 9
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18 Comments
 
LVL 5

Expert Comment

by:danielsonchris
ID: 12667611
In the following line found in the Read(...) function you will see

iRc = ReadFile(mhRS, mabtRxBuf, Bytes2Read, iReadChars, Nothing)

assuming that bytes are read into the buffer and your return value is > 0 you should have data.  The data will be stored in the "mabtRxBuf" variable.

Something to keep in mind, you may need to call your ReadFile cmd many times because you may not have received the data immediately.  9600 baud is pretty slow and depending on the chips/software on the other machine a slight delay may occur between when you initiate a Sending of data and when the other machine responds back.
So I would recommend: (quazi code)

Send(...)
Sleep(xxx) 'sleep for a second
Dim i As Integer
i = 0
Dim dataRead As Integer
dataRead = 0
While (i < 20 && dataRead <= 0 ) 'attempt 20 trys on the line
   dataRead = Read(2048)
   i = i + 1
   Sleep(xxxx)  '50-100 milliseconds or so
End While
''test that you do have data in the buffer.

Just a quick glance at your code.. everything looks good BUT I would add in the following line under the comhold.Open() call in your sub openport...
PurgeComm(mhRS, PURGE_RXCLEAR Or PURGE_TXCLEAR)

this cleans up the serial line, considering the possibility that garbage data could be in wait.  Always a good idea.

Regards,
Chris

0
 

Author Comment

by:tentavarious
ID: 12667710
Ok so my call to the Read procedure should return a string value,  if i add the while loop.  I just need to specify how many bytes to read, is that correct?
0
 
LVL 5

Expert Comment

by:danielsonchris
ID: 12667771
Yes to the above question.  Assuming your COM port is setup properly and that you are able to send data properly.  (The while loop is really what I used in one of my applications in order to prevent nasty blocking from occuring after I fine tuned the COMMTIMEOUT structures).  

What I'm seeing your code.. looks like it should work.  Just may need to attempt the reads a few times.  

Ahh my apologies... the label you wanted...

You will need to take the data stored in the "mabtRxBuf" variable convert via the ToString
If (dataRead > 0) Then
   textlabel.Text = mabtRxBuf.ToString
End If

Though I coded the following wrapper in C# here is an example of how I have used Serial in .Net before:
http://www.chrisdanielson.com/downloads/SerialAPI.cs
--and an example of it in use--
http://www.chrisdanielson.com/downloads/serialex.cs

Regards,
Chris
0
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Author Comment

by:tentavarious
ID: 12667832
I am either getting a time out error, or i am only getting the number of characters 6.  The plc is trying to send back the word "thanks".  So i am reading the correct number of characters but not the actual word.
0
 
LVL 5

Expert Comment

by:danielsonchris
ID: 12667951
There may be a bug in the following code:

ReDim mabtRxBuf(Bytes2Read - 1)
iRc = ReadFile(mhRS, mabtRxBuf, Bytes2Read, iReadChars, Nothing)

Can you set a break point on it and watch the mabtRxBuf for if it is capture the data and then getting reset?  
If the following is happening:
If iReadChars < Bytes2Read Then
                            Throw New IOTimeoutException("Timeout error")
                        Else
                            mbWaitOnRead = True
   Return (iReadChars)
End If

'You may want to consider just block commenting out this portion of code because you know if you keep on trying enough you'll be able to get the data.  If you are seeing sometimes 6 characters, then excellent, that means you are getting the data but your global variable is somehow getting overwritten or it's not being Encoded to be displayed properly.  If you can, double check it in the debugger by stepping through this code.
0
 
LVL 5

Expert Comment

by:danielsonchris
ID: 12667967
In fact I would go so far as to say.. block comment out this entire group of code for the time.

If iRc = 0 Then
                        ' Read Error
                        Throw New ApplicationException( _
                            "ReadFile error " & iRc.ToString)
                    Else
                        ' Handles timeout or returns input chars
                        If iReadChars < Bytes2Read Then
                            Throw New IOTimeoutException("Timeout error")
                        Else
                            mbWaitOnRead = True
                            Return (iReadChars)
                        End If
                    End If

0
 
LVL 5

Expert Comment

by:danielsonchris
ID: 12667997
Just make sure to always return >= 0 if you do get bytes read in from the serial port and return 0 if you nothing.
0
 

Author Comment

by:tentavarious
ID: 12668032
i have been stepping through it, i tried converting mabtRxBuf to a string, i get a message saying Value of type
'1-dimensional array of byte cannot be converted to string.
0
 

Author Comment

by:tentavarious
ID: 12668048
I want to some how return the string "thanks" and have it display on the webpage
0
 
LVL 5

Accepted Solution

by:
danielsonchris earned 2000 total points
ID: 12668170
Ahh yes, I should have assumed that it was web based considering the JavaScript listed above.
I would recommend doing something of a web page submittal when you want to send the command and then just displaying the data returned to the screen.
so the conversion isn't working on the 1 dimentionsal array... have you looked at the actual buffer of this particular item?  The first thing we need to know is if this particular buffer is getting filled with any data.  

You could easily modify this Read Function to just return a string I suppose and have it encapsulate the ReadFile function.

Function Read( NumberTimeToRead As Integer) As String
Dim strRet As String
strRet = ""
Dim i as Integer
i = 0
Dim bytesRead As Integer
bytesRead = 0
Dim bytes2Read, iRc As Integer
bytes2Read = 1024
Try
   ReDim mabtRxBuf(Bytes2Read - 1)
   While( i < NumberTimeToRead And bytesRead <= 0 )
      i = i + 1
      iRc = ReadFile(mhRS, mabtRxBuf, bytes2Read, bytesRead, Nothing)
      if (bytesRead <= 0) Sleep(....)
   End While
Catch
   ''''....
End Try
   If (mabtRxBuf.Length > 0) Then
      ''handle conversion here
      strRet = CType(mabtRxBuf, String)
   End If
   Read = strRet
End Function

''Please forgive my lack of coding VB/.Net in a few months.
0
 

Author Comment

by:tentavarious
ID: 12668617
I still cant get it to work, i am unable using the Rs232 class to read  a string value,  below is the entire rs232 class it is quite large,  i am new to serial communications so i really dont know what to make of most of it.  Alls i no is that the plc is echoing back the word "thanks" i just cant read it.  Below is the entire class, maybe you could make more sense of it.

Option Strict On

Imports System.Runtime.InteropServices
Imports System.Text
Imports System.Threading

' This class provides all the necessary support for communicating
'   with the Comm Port (otherwise known as the Serial Port, or
'   RS232 port).
Public Class Rs232
    ' Declare the necessary class variables, and their initial values.            
    Private mhRS As Integer = -1   ' Handle to Com Port                                                      
    Private miPort As Integer = 1   ' Default is COM1      
    Private miTimeout As Integer = 70   ' Timeout in ms
    Private miBaudRate As Integer = 9600
    Private meParity As DataParity = 0
    Private meStopBit As DataStopBit = 0
    Private miDataBit As Integer = 8
    Private miBufferSize As Integer = 512   ' Buffers size default to 512 bytes
    Private mabtRxBuf As Byte()   ' Receive buffer      
    Private meMode As Mode  ' Class working mode      
    Private mbWaitOnRead As Boolean
    Private mbWaitOnWrite As Boolean
    Private mbWriteErr As Boolean
    Private muOverlapped As OVERLAPPED
    Private muOverlappedW As OVERLAPPED
    Private muOverlappedE As OVERLAPPED
    Private mabtTmpTxBuf As Byte()  ' Temporary buffer used by Async Tx
    Private moThreadTx As Thread
    Private moThreadRx As Thread
    Private miTmpBytes2Read As Integer
    Private meMask As EventMasks

#Region "Enums"

    ' This enumeration provides Data Parity values.
    Public Enum DataParity
        Parity_None = 0
        Pariti_Odd
        Parity_Even
        Parity_Mark
    End Enum

    ' This enumeration provides Data Stop Bit values.
    '   It is set to begin with a one, so that the enumeration values
    '   match the actual values.
    Public Enum DataStopBit
        StopBit_1 = 1
        StopBit_2
    End Enum

    ' This enumeration contains values used to purge the various buffers.
    Private Enum PurgeBuffers
        RXAbort = &H2
        RXClear = &H8
        TxAbort = &H1
        TxClear = &H4
    End Enum

    ' This enumeration provides values for the lines sent to the Comm Port
    Private Enum Lines
        SetRts = 3
        ClearRts = 4
        SetDtr = 5
        ClearDtr = 6
        ResetDev = 7   '       Reset device if possible
        SetBreak = 8   '       Set the device break line.
        ClearBreak = 9   '       Clear the device break line.
    End Enum
    ' This enumeration provides values for the Modem Status, since
    '   we'll be communicating primarily with a modem.
    ' Note that the Flags() attribute is set to allow for a bitwise
    '   combination of values.
    <Flags()> Public Enum ModemStatusBits
        ClearToSendOn = &H10
        DataSetReadyOn = &H20
        RingIndicatorOn = &H40
        CarrierDetect = &H80
    End Enum

    ' This enumeration provides values for the Working mode
    Public Enum Mode
        NonOverlapped
        Overlapped
    End Enum

    ' This enumeration provides values for the Comm Masks used.
    ' Note that the Flags() attribute is set to allow for a bitwise
    '   combination of values.
    <Flags()> Public Enum EventMasks
        RxChar = &H1
        RXFlag = &H2
        TxBufferEmpty = &H4
        ClearToSend = &H8
        DataSetReady = &H10
        ReceiveLine = &H20
        Break = &H40
        StatusError = &H80
        Ring = &H100
    End Enum
#End Region

#Region "Structures"
    ' This is the DCB structure used by the calls to the Windows API.
    <StructLayout(LayoutKind.Sequential, Pack:=1)> Private Structure DCB
        Public DCBlength As Integer
        Public BaudRate As Integer
        Public Bits1 As Integer
        Public wReserved As Int16
        Public XonLim As Int16
        Public XoffLim As Int16
        Public ByteSize As Byte
        Public Parity As Byte
        Public StopBits As Byte
        Public XonChar As Byte
        Public XoffChar As Byte
        Public ErrorChar As Byte
        Public EofChar As Byte
        Public EvtChar As Byte
        Public wReserved2 As Int16
    End Structure

    ' This is the CommTimeOuts structure used by the calls to the Windows API.
    <StructLayout(LayoutKind.Sequential, Pack:=1)> Private Structure COMMTIMEOUTS
        Public ReadIntervalTimeout As Integer
        Public ReadTotalTimeoutMultiplier As Integer
        Public ReadTotalTimeoutConstant As Integer
        Public WriteTotalTimeoutMultiplier As Integer
        Public WriteTotalTimeoutConstant As Integer
    End Structure

    ' This is the CommConfig structure used by the calls to the Windows API.
    <StructLayout(LayoutKind.Sequential, Pack:=1)> Private Structure COMMCONFIG
        Public dwSize As Integer
        Public wVersion As Int16
        Public wReserved As Int16
        Public dcbx As DCB
        Public dwProviderSubType As Integer
        Public dwProviderOffset As Integer
        Public dwProviderSize As Integer
        Public wcProviderData As Byte
    End Structure

    ' This is the OverLapped structure used by the calls to the Windows API.
    <StructLayout(LayoutKind.Sequential, Pack:=1)> Public Structure OVERLAPPED
        Public Internal As Integer
        Public InternalHigh As Integer
        Public Offset As Integer
        Public OffsetHigh As Integer
        Public hEvent As Integer
    End Structure
#End Region

#Region "Exceptions"

    ' This class defines a customized channel exception. This exception is
    '   raised when a NACK is raised.
    Public Class CIOChannelException : Inherits ApplicationException
        Sub New(ByVal Message As String)
            MyBase.New(Message)
        End Sub
        Sub New(ByVal Message As String, ByVal InnerException As Exception)
            MyBase.New(Message, InnerException)
        End Sub
    End Class

    ' This class defines a customized timeout exception.
    Public Class IOTimeoutException : Inherits CIOChannelException
        Sub New(ByVal Message As String)
            MyBase.New(Message)
        End Sub
        Sub New(ByVal Message As String, ByVal InnerException As Exception)
            MyBase.New(Message, InnerException)
        End Sub
    End Class

#End Region

#Region "Events"
    ' These events allow the program using this class to react to Comm Port
    '   events.
    Public Event DataReceived(ByVal Source As Rs232, ByVal DataBuffer() As Byte)
    Public Event TxCompleted(ByVal Source As Rs232)
    Public Event CommEvent(ByVal Source As Rs232, ByVal Mask As EventMasks)
#End Region

#Region "Constants"
    ' These constants are used to make the code clearer.
    Private Const PURGE_RXABORT As Integer = &H2
    Private Const PURGE_RXCLEAR As Integer = &H8
    Private Const PURGE_TXABORT As Integer = &H1
    Private Const PURGE_TXCLEAR As Integer = &H4
    Private Const GENERIC_READ As Integer = &H80000000
    Private Const GENERIC_WRITE As Integer = &H40000000
    Private Const OPEN_EXISTING As Integer = 3
    Private Const INVALID_HANDLE_VALUE As Integer = -1
    Private Const IO_BUFFER_SIZE As Integer = 1024
    Private Const FILE_FLAG_OVERLAPPED As Integer = &H40000000
    Private Const ERROR_IO_PENDING As Integer = 997
    Private Const WAIT_OBJECT_0 As Integer = 0
    Private Const ERROR_IO_INCOMPLETE As Integer = 996
    Private Const WAIT_TIMEOUT As Integer = &H102&
    Private Const INFINITE As Integer = &HFFFFFFFF


#End Region

#Region "Properties"

    ' This property gets or sets the BaudRate
    Public Property BaudRate() As Integer
        Get
            Return miBaudRate
        End Get
        Set(ByVal Value As Integer)
            miBaudRate = Value
        End Set
    End Property

    ' This property gets or sets the BufferSize
    Public Property BufferSize() As Integer
        Get
            Return miBufferSize
        End Get
        Set(ByVal Value As Integer)
            miBufferSize = Value
        End Set
    End Property

    ' This property gets or sets the DataBit.
    Public Property DataBit() As Integer
        Get
            Return miDataBit
        End Get
        Set(ByVal Value As Integer)
            miDataBit = Value
        End Set
    End Property

    ' This write-only property sets or resets the DTR line.
    Public WriteOnly Property Dtr() As Boolean
        Set(ByVal Value As Boolean)
            If Not mhRS = -1 Then
                If Value Then
                    EscapeCommFunction(mhRS, Lines.SetDtr)
                Else
                    EscapeCommFunction(mhRS, Lines.ClearDtr)
                End If
            End If
        End Set
    End Property

    ' This read-only property returns an array of bytes that represents
    '   the input coming into the Comm Port.
    Overridable ReadOnly Property InputStream() As Byte()
        Get
            Return mabtRxBuf
        End Get
    End Property

    ' This read-only property returns a string that represents
    '   the data coming into to the Comm Port.
    Overridable ReadOnly Property InputStreamString() As String
        Get
            Dim oEncoder As New System.Text.ASCIIEncoding()
            Return oEncoder.GetString(Me.InputStream)
        End Get
    End Property

    ' This property returns the open status of the Comm Port.
    ReadOnly Property IsOpen() As Boolean
        Get
            Return CBool(mhRS <> -1)
        End Get
    End Property

    ' This read-only property returns the status of the modem.
    Public ReadOnly Property ModemStatus() As ModemStatusBits
        Get
            If mhRS = -1 Then
                Throw New ApplicationException("Please initialize and open " + _
                    "port before using this method")
            Else
                ' Retrieve modem status
                Dim lpModemStatus As Integer
                If Not GetCommModemStatus(mhRS, lpModemStatus) Then
                    Throw New ApplicationException("Unable to get modem status")
                Else
                    Return CType(lpModemStatus, ModemStatusBits)
                End If
            End If
        End Get
    End Property

    ' This property gets or sets the Parity
    Public Property Parity() As DataParity
        Get
            Return meParity
        End Get
        Set(ByVal Value As DataParity)
            meParity = Value
        End Set
    End Property

    ' This property gets or sets the Port
    Public Property Port() As Integer
        Get
            Return miPort
        End Get
        Set(ByVal Value As Integer)
            miPort = Value
        End Set
    End Property

    ' This write-only property sets or resets the RTS line.
    Public WriteOnly Property Rts() As Boolean
        Set(ByVal Value As Boolean)
            If Not mhRS = -1 Then
                If Value Then
                    EscapeCommFunction(mhRS, Lines.SetRts)
                Else
                    EscapeCommFunction(mhRS, Lines.ClearRts)
                End If
            End If
        End Set
    End Property

    ' This property gets or sets the StopBit
    Public Property StopBit() As DataStopBit
        Get
            Return meStopBit
        End Get
        Set(ByVal Value As DataStopBit)
            meStopBit = Value
        End Set
    End Property

    ' This property gets or sets the Timeout
    Public Overridable Property Timeout() As Integer
        Get
            Return miTimeout
        End Get
        Set(ByVal Value As Integer)
            miTimeout = CInt(IIf(Value = 0, 500, Value))
            ' If Port is open updates it on the fly
            pSetTimeout()
        End Set
    End Property

    ' This property gets or sets the working mode to overlapped
    '   or non-overlapped.
    Public Property WorkingMode() As Mode
        Get
            Return meMode
        End Get
        Set(ByVal Value As Mode)
            meMode = Value
        End Set
    End Property

#End Region


#Region "Win32API"
    ' The following functions are the required Win32 functions needed to
    '   make communication with the Comm Port possible.

    <DllImport("kernel32.dll")> Private Shared Function BuildCommDCB( _
        ByVal lpDef As String, ByRef lpDCB As DCB) As Integer
    End Function

    <DllImport("kernel32.dll")> Private Shared Function ClearCommError( _
        ByVal hFile As Integer, ByVal lpErrors As Integer, _
        ByVal l As Integer) As Integer
    End Function

    <DllImport("kernel32.dll")> Private Shared Function CloseHandle( _
        ByVal hObject As Integer) As Integer
    End Function

    <DllImport("kernel32.dll")> Private Shared Function CreateEvent( _
        ByVal lpEventAttributes As Integer, ByVal bManualReset As Integer, _
        ByVal bInitialState As Integer, _
        <MarshalAs(UnmanagedType.LPStr)> ByVal lpName As String) As Integer
    End Function

    <DllImport("kernel32.dll")> Private Shared Function CreateFile( _
        <MarshalAs(UnmanagedType.LPStr)> ByVal lpFileName As String, _
        ByVal dwDesiredAccess As Integer, ByVal dwShareMode As Integer, _
        ByVal lpSecurityAttributes As Integer, _
        ByVal dwCreationDisposition As Integer, _
        ByVal dwFlagsAndAttributes As Integer, _
        ByVal hTemplateFile As Integer) As Integer
    End Function

    <DllImport("kernel32.dll")> Private Shared Function EscapeCommFunction( _
        ByVal hFile As Integer, ByVal ifunc As Long) As Boolean
    End Function

    <DllImport("kernel32.dll")> Private Shared Function FormatMessage( _
        ByVal dwFlags As Integer, ByVal lpSource As Integer, _
        ByVal dwMessageId As Integer, ByVal dwLanguageId As Integer, _
        <MarshalAs(UnmanagedType.LPStr)> ByVal lpBuffer As String, _
        ByVal nSize As Integer, ByVal Arguments As Integer) As Integer
    End Function

    Private Declare Function FormatMessage Lib "kernel32" Alias _
     "FormatMessageA" (ByVal dwFlags As Integer, ByVal lpSource As Integer, _
     ByVal dwMessageId As Integer, ByVal dwLanguageId As Integer, _
     ByVal lpBuffer As StringBuilder, ByVal nSize As Integer, _
     ByVal Arguments As Integer) As Integer

    <DllImport("kernel32.dll")> Public Shared Function GetCommModemStatus( _
        ByVal hFile As Integer, ByRef lpModemStatus As Integer) As Boolean
    End Function

    <DllImport("kernel32.dll")> Private Shared Function GetCommState( _
        ByVal hCommDev As Integer, ByRef lpDCB As DCB) As Integer
    End Function

    <DllImport("kernel32.dll")> Private Shared Function GetCommTimeouts( _
        ByVal hFile As Integer, ByRef lpCommTimeouts As COMMTIMEOUTS) As Integer
    End Function

    <DllImport("kernel32.dll")> Private Shared Function GetLastError() As Integer
    End Function

    <DllImport("kernel32.dll")> Private Shared Function GetOverlappedResult( _
        ByVal hFile As Integer, ByRef lpOverlapped As OVERLAPPED, _
        ByRef lpNumberOfBytesTransferred As Integer, _
        ByVal bWait As Integer) As Integer
    End Function

    <DllImport("kernel32.dll")> Private Shared Function PurgeComm( _
        ByVal hFile As Integer, ByVal dwFlags As Integer) As Integer
    End Function

    <DllImport("kernel32.dll")> Private Shared Function ReadFile( _
        ByVal hFile As Integer, ByVal Buffer As Byte(), _
        ByVal nNumberOfBytesToRead As Integer, _
        ByRef lpNumberOfBytesRead As Integer, _
        ByRef lpOverlapped As OVERLAPPED) As Integer
    End Function

    <DllImport("kernel32.dll")> Private Shared Function SetCommTimeouts( _
        ByVal hFile As Integer, ByRef lpCommTimeouts As COMMTIMEOUTS) As Integer
    End Function

    <DllImport("kernel32.dll")> Private Shared Function SetCommState( _
        ByVal hCommDev As Integer, ByRef lpDCB As DCB) As Integer
    End Function

    <DllImport("kernel32.dll")> Private Shared Function SetupComm( _
        ByVal hFile As Integer, ByVal dwInQueue As Integer, _
        ByVal dwOutQueue As Integer) As Integer
    End Function

    <DllImport("kernel32.dll")> Private Shared Function SetCommMask( _
        ByVal hFile As Integer, ByVal lpEvtMask As Integer) As Integer
    End Function

    <DllImport("kernel32.dll")> Private Shared Function WaitCommEvent( _
        ByVal hFile As Integer, ByRef Mask As EventMasks, _
        ByRef lpOverlap As OVERLAPPED) As Integer
    End Function

    <DllImport("kernel32.dll")> Private Shared Function WaitForSingleObject( _
        ByVal hHandle As Integer, ByVal dwMilliseconds As Integer) As Integer
    End Function

    <DllImport("kernel32.dll")> Private Shared Function WriteFile( _
        ByVal hFile As Integer, ByVal Buffer As Byte(), _
        ByVal nNumberOfBytesToWrite As Integer, _
        ByRef lpNumberOfBytesWritten As Integer, _
        ByRef lpOverlapped As OVERLAPPED) As Integer
    End Function

#End Region

#Region "Methods"

    ' This subroutine invokes a thread to perform an asynchronous read.
    '   This routine should not be called directly, but is used
    '   by the class.
    Public Sub _R()
        Dim iRet As Integer = Read(miTmpBytes2Read)
    End Sub

    ' This subroutine invokes a thread to perform an asynchronous write.
    '   This routine should not be called directly, but is used
    '   by the class.
    Public Sub _W()
        Write(mabtTmpTxBuf)
    End Sub

    ' This subroutine uses another thread to read from the Comm Port. It
    '   raises RxCompleted when done. It reads an integer.
    Public Overloads Sub AsyncRead(ByVal Bytes2Read As Integer)
        If meMode <> Mode.Overlapped Then Throw New ApplicationException( _
            "Async Methods allowed only when WorkingMode=Overlapped")
        miTmpBytes2Read = Bytes2Read
        moThreadTx = New Thread(AddressOf _R)
        moThreadTx.Start()
    End Sub

    ' This subroutine uses another thread to write to the Comm Port. It
    '   raises TxCompleted when done. It writes an array of bytes.
    Public Overloads Sub AsyncWrite(ByVal Buffer() As Byte)
        If meMode <> Mode.Overlapped Then Throw New ApplicationException( _
            "Async Methods allowed only when WorkingMode=Overlapped")
        If mbWaitOnWrite = True Then Throw New ApplicationException( _
            "Unable to send message because of pending transmission.")
        mabtTmpTxBuf = Buffer
        moThreadTx = New Thread(AddressOf _W)
        moThreadTx.Start()
    End Sub

    ' This subroutine uses another thread to write to the Comm Port. It
    '   raises TxCompleted when done. It writes a string.
    Public Overloads Sub AsyncWrite(ByVal Buffer As String)
        Dim oEncoder As New System.Text.ASCIIEncoding()
        Dim aByte() As Byte = oEncoder.GetBytes(Buffer)
        Me.AsyncWrite(aByte)
    End Sub

    ' This function takes the ModemStatusBits and returns a boolean value
    '   signifying whether the Modem is active.
    Public Function CheckLineStatus(ByVal Line As ModemStatusBits) As Boolean
        Return Convert.ToBoolean(ModemStatus And Line)
    End Function

    ' This subroutine clears the input buffer.
    Public Sub ClearInputBuffer()
        If Not mhRS = -1 Then
            PurgeComm(mhRS, PURGE_RXCLEAR)
        End If
    End Sub

    ' This subroutine closes the Comm Port.
    Public Sub Close()
        If mhRS <> -1 Then
            CloseHandle(mhRS)
            mhRS = -1
        End If
    End Sub

    ' This subroutine opens and initializes the Comm Port
    Public Overloads Sub Open()
        ' Get Dcb block,Update with current data
        Dim uDcb As DCB, iRc As Integer
        ' Set working mode
        Dim iMode As Integer = Convert.ToInt32(IIf(meMode = Mode.Overlapped, _
            FILE_FLAG_OVERLAPPED, 0))
        ' Initializes Com Port
        If miPort > 0 Then
            Try
                ' Creates a COM Port stream handle
                mhRS = CreateFile("COM" & miPort.ToString, _
                GENERIC_READ Or GENERIC_WRITE, 0, 0, _
                OPEN_EXISTING, iMode, 0)
                If mhRS <> -1 Then
                    ' Clear all comunication errors
                    Dim lpErrCode As Integer
                    iRc = ClearCommError(mhRS, lpErrCode, 0&)
                    ' Clears I/O buffers
                    iRc = PurgeComm(mhRS, PurgeBuffers.RXClear Or _
                        PurgeBuffers.TxClear)
                    ' Gets COM Settings
                    iRc = GetCommState(mhRS, uDcb)
                    ' Updates COM Settings
                    Dim sParity As String = "NOEM"
                    sParity = sParity.Substring(meParity, 1)
                    ' Set DCB State
                    Dim sDCBState As String = String.Format( _
                        "baud={0} parity={1} data={2} stop={3}", _
                        miBaudRate, sParity, miDataBit, CInt(meStopBit))
                    iRc = BuildCommDCB(sDCBState, uDcb)
                    iRc = SetCommState(mhRS, uDcb)
                    If iRc = 0 Then
                        Dim sErrTxt As String = pErr2Text(GetLastError())
                        Throw New CIOChannelException( _
                            "Unable to set COM state0" & sErrTxt)
                    End If
                    ' Setup Buffers (Rx,Tx)
                    iRc = SetupComm(mhRS, miBufferSize, miBufferSize)
                    ' Set Timeouts
                    pSetTimeout()
                Else
                    ' Raise Initialization problems
                    Throw New CIOChannelException( _
                        "Unable to open COM" & miPort.ToString)
                End If
            Catch Ex As Exception
                ' Generica error
                Throw New CIOChannelException(Ex.Message, Ex)
            End Try
        Else
            ' Port not defined, cannot open
            Throw New ApplicationException("COM Port not defined, " + _
                "use Port property to set it before invoking InitPort")
        End If
    End Sub

    ' This subroutine opens and initializes the Comm Port (overloaded
    '   to support parameters).
    Public Overloads Sub Open(ByVal Port As Integer, _
        ByVal BaudRate As Integer, ByVal DataBit As Integer, _
        ByVal Parity As DataParity, ByVal StopBit As DataStopBit, _
        ByVal BufferSize As Integer)

        Me.Port = Port
        Me.BaudRate = BaudRate
        Me.DataBit = DataBit
        Me.Parity = Parity
        Me.StopBit = StopBit
        Me.BufferSize = BufferSize
        Open()
    End Sub

    ' This function translates an API error code to text.
    Private Function pErr2Text(ByVal lCode As Integer) As String
        Dim sRtrnCode As New StringBuilder(256)
        Dim lRet As Integer

        lRet = FormatMessage(&H1000, 0, lCode, 0, sRtrnCode, 256, 0)
        If lRet > 0 Then
            Return sRtrnCode.ToString
        Else
            Return "Error not found."
        End If

    End Function

    ' This subroutine handles overlapped reads.
    Private Sub pHandleOverlappedRead(ByVal Bytes2Read As Integer)
        Dim iReadChars, iRc, iRes, iLastErr As Integer
        muOverlapped.hEvent = CreateEvent(Nothing, 1, 0, Nothing)
        If muOverlapped.hEvent = 0 Then
            ' Can't create event
            Throw New ApplicationException( _
                "Error creating event for overlapped read.")
        Else
            ' Ovellaped reading
            If mbWaitOnRead = False Then
                ReDim mabtRxBuf(Bytes2Read - 1)
                iRc = ReadFile(mhRS, mabtRxBuf, Bytes2Read, _
                    iReadChars, muOverlapped)
                If iRc = 0 Then
                    iLastErr = GetLastError()
                    If iLastErr <> ERROR_IO_PENDING Then
                        Throw New ArgumentException("Overlapped Read Error: " & _
                            pErr2Text(iLastErr))
                    Else
                        ' Set Flag
                        mbWaitOnRead = True
                    End If
                Else
                    ' Read completed successfully
                    RaiseEvent DataReceived(Me, mabtRxBuf)
                End If
            End If
        End If
        ' Wait for operation to be completed
        If mbWaitOnRead Then
            iRes = WaitForSingleObject(muOverlapped.hEvent, miTimeout)
            Select Case iRes
                Case WAIT_OBJECT_0
                    ' Object signaled,operation completed
                    If GetOverlappedResult(mhRS, muOverlapped, _
                        iReadChars, 0) = 0 Then

                        ' Operation error
                        iLastErr = GetLastError()
                        If iLastErr = ERROR_IO_INCOMPLETE Then
                            Throw New ApplicationException( _
                                "Read operation incomplete")
                        Else
                            Throw New ApplicationException( _
                                "Read operation error " & iLastErr.ToString)
                        End If
                    Else
                        ' Operation completed
                        RaiseEvent DataReceived(Me, mabtRxBuf)
                        mbWaitOnRead = False
                    End If
                Case WAIT_TIMEOUT
                    Throw New IOTimeoutException("Timeout error")
                Case Else
                    Throw New ApplicationException("Overlapped read error")
            End Select
        End If
    End Sub

    ' This subroutine handles overlapped writes.
    Private Function pHandleOverlappedWrite(ByVal Buffer() As Byte) As Boolean
        Dim iBytesWritten, iRc, iLastErr, iRes As Integer, bErr As Boolean
        muOverlappedW.hEvent = CreateEvent(Nothing, 1, 0, Nothing)
        If muOverlappedW.hEvent = 0 Then
            ' Can't create event
            Throw New ApplicationException( _
                "Error creating event for overlapped write.")
        Else
            ' Overllaped write
            PurgeComm(mhRS, PURGE_RXCLEAR Or PURGE_TXCLEAR)
            mbWaitOnRead = True
            iRc = WriteFile(mhRS, Buffer, Buffer.Length, _
                iBytesWritten, muOverlappedW)
            If iRc = 0 Then
                iLastErr = GetLastError()
                If iLastErr <> ERROR_IO_PENDING Then
                    Throw New ArgumentException("Overlapped Read Error: " & _
                        pErr2Text(iLastErr))
                Else
                    ' Write is pending
                    iRes = WaitForSingleObject(muOverlappedW.hEvent, INFINITE)
                    Select Case iRes
                        Case WAIT_OBJECT_0
                            ' Object signaled,operation completed
                            If GetOverlappedResult(mhRS, muOverlappedW, _
                                iBytesWritten, 0) = 0 Then

                                bErr = True
                            Else
                                ' Notifies Async tx completion,stops thread
                                mbWaitOnRead = False
                                RaiseEvent TxCompleted(Me)
                            End If
                    End Select
                End If
            Else
                ' Wait operation completed immediatly
                bErr = False
            End If
        End If
        CloseHandle(muOverlappedW.hEvent)
        Return bErr
    End Function

    ' This subroutine sets the Comm Port timeouts.
    Private Sub pSetTimeout()
        Dim uCtm As COMMTIMEOUTS
        ' Set ComTimeout
        If mhRS = -1 Then
            Exit Sub
        Else
            ' Changes setup on the fly
            With uCtm
                .ReadIntervalTimeout = 0
                .ReadTotalTimeoutMultiplier = 0
                .ReadTotalTimeoutConstant = miTimeout
                .WriteTotalTimeoutMultiplier = 10
                .WriteTotalTimeoutConstant = 100
            End With
            SetCommTimeouts(mhRS, uCtm)
        End If
    End Sub

    ' This function returns an integer specifying the number of bytes
    '   read from the Comm Port. It accepts a parameter specifying the number
    '   of desired bytes to read.
    Public Function Read(ByVal Bytes2Read As Integer) As Integer
        Dim iReadChars, iRc As Integer

        ' If Bytes2Read not specified uses Buffersize
        If Bytes2Read = 0 Then Bytes2Read = miBufferSize
        If mhRS = -1 Then
            Throw New ApplicationException( _
                "Please initialize and open port before using this method")
        Else
            ' Get bytes from port
            Try
                ' Purge buffers
                'PurgeComm(mhRS, PURGE_RXCLEAR Or PURGE_TXCLEAR)
                ' Creates an event for overlapped operations
                If meMode = Mode.Overlapped Then
                    pHandleOverlappedRead(Bytes2Read)
                Else
                    ' Non overlapped mode
                    ReDim mabtRxBuf(Bytes2Read - 1)
                    iRc = ReadFile(mhRS, mabtRxBuf, Bytes2Read, iReadChars, Nothing)

                    If iRc = 0 Then
                        ' Read Error
                        Throw New ApplicationException( _
                            "ReadFile error " & iRc.ToString)
                    Else
                        ' Handles timeout or returns input chars
                        If iReadChars < Bytes2Read Then
                            Throw New IOTimeoutException("Timeout error")
                        Else
                            mbWaitOnRead = True
                            Return (iReadChars)
                        End If
                    End If
                End If
            Catch Ex As Exception
                ' Others generic erroes
                Throw New ApplicationException("Read Error: " & Ex.Message, Ex)
            End Try
        End If
    End Function

    ' This subroutine writes the passed array of bytes to the
    '   Comm Port to be written.
    Public Overloads Sub Write(ByVal Buffer As Byte())
        Dim iBytesWritten, iRc As Integer

        If mhRS = -1 Then
            Throw New ApplicationException( _
                "Please initialize and open port before using this method")
        Else
            ' Transmit data to COM Port
            Try
                If meMode = Mode.Overlapped Then
                    ' Overlapped write
                    If pHandleOverlappedWrite(Buffer) Then
                        Throw New ApplicationException( _
                            "Error in overllapped write")
                    End If
                Else
                    ' Clears IO buffers
                    PurgeComm(mhRS, PURGE_RXCLEAR Or PURGE_TXCLEAR)
                    iRc = WriteFile(mhRS, Buffer, Buffer.Length, _
                        iBytesWritten, Nothing)
                    If iRc = 0 Then
                        Throw New ApplicationException( _
                            "Write Error - Bytes Written " & _
                            iBytesWritten.ToString & " of " & _
                            Buffer.Length.ToString)
                    End If
                End If
            Catch Ex As Exception
                Throw
            End Try
        End If
    End Sub

    ' This subroutine writes the passed string to the
    '   Comm Port to be written.
    Public Overloads Sub Write(ByVal Buffer As String)
        Dim oEncoder As New System.Text.ASCIIEncoding()
        Dim aByte() As Byte = oEncoder.GetBytes(Buffer)
        Me.Write(aByte)
    End Sub

#End Region

End Class


0
 

Author Comment

by:tentavarious
ID: 12669778
danielsonchris i was examining the class, what exactly does the Inputstreamstring property do.  It looks like it returns a string that is coming into the port.   Would this be the solution i am seeking if i try to access that inputstreamstring property.
   
if i change this line of code in my openport sub procedure  lblmessage.Text = comhold.Read(5).ToString

to
lblmessage.text = comhold.inputstreamstring.tostring

I am unable to test this right now, but do you think this would solve the problem ?

Here is the inputstreamstring property
 ' This read-only property returns an array of bytes that represents
    '   the input coming into the Comm Port.
    Overridable ReadOnly Property InputStream() As Byte()
        Get
            Return mabtRxBuf
        End Get
    End Property

    ' This read-only property returns a string that represents
    '   the data coming into to the Comm Port.
    Overridable ReadOnly Property InputStreamString() As String
        Get
            Dim oEncoder As New System.Text.ASCIIEncoding()
            Return oEncoder.GetString(Me.InputStream)
        End Get
    End Property


0
 
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Expert Comment

by:Bob Learned
ID: 12704618
There is a free community version of the Sax.NET serial communications control that comes with the Visual Basic.NET 2003 Resource Kit.

The Visual Basic .NET Resource Kit
http://msdn.microsoft.com/vbasic/vbrkit/default.aspx

Bob
0
 

Author Comment

by:tentavarious
ID: 12705878
I tried sax.net it's not free, you only get a trial version then you have to pay.  I found this  Rs232, free class, alls i have to do is add it to my project, the problem is it doesnt come with any help and some of the subprocedures are confusing to me.  I can use this class to transmit a string, but i haven't  figured out what subprocedure would allow me to read a echoed string back.  The entire class is pasted above.
0
 

Author Comment

by:tentavarious
ID: 12705885
Also sax is a third party component, the Rs232 class was written in vb.net and requires no installation or licensing.
0
 
LVL 5

Expert Comment

by:danielsonchris
ID: 12710425
Hmm, I've been thinking about something that may help you.  
Have you been able to connect your computer to this particular device via a serial cable and have a conversation via "HyperTerminal"?
HyperTerminal should be included on your windows machine under:
Start->Programs->Accessories->Communications->"HyperTerminal.exe"

If you have tried this already with success then forget the rest of this post.  What seems strange is that you have in the previous posts been unable to get a response from the device (PLC).  The only time I have had such issues was when I was using rs232 and trying to talk to an rs485 device without an appropriate converter.  But in your scenario you should be able to pull the gig with either a standard rs232 cable or you may need to slap a null modem connector on the line.  Basically we are just trying to diagnose at the simplest level that communication is possible with your current setup via HyperTerminal.



0
 

Author Comment

by:tentavarious
ID: 12710789
I got it working, i was trying to read the whole string, instead a needed to read just one byte at a time and it works here is what i did, so basically Danielsonchris you had the right idea.
sub readcomm
  Try
            ' As long as there is information, read one byte at a time and
            '   output it.
            While (m_CommPort.Read(1) <> -1)
                ' Write the output to the screen.
                WriteMessage(Chr(m_CommPort.InputStream(0)), False)
            End While
        Catch exc As Exception
            ' An exception is raised when there is no information to read.
            '   Don't do anything here, just let the exception go.
        End Try
end sub


 Private Sub WriteMessage(ByVal message As String, ByVal linefeed As Boolean)
      lblmessage.text+= message
        If linefeed Then
         lblmessage.Text += vbCrLf
        End If
    End Sub
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by:danielsonchris
ID: 12710868
ahh excellent man.  Glad too hear it's working for you.  Good work!
regards,
Chris
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