Dazmundo

Dacta Control Lab Software

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Thanks DLuders, I allready downloaded that and tested it before I wrote my message.

But it only results in errors.

Input seems to work fine, but no output.

Temperature I can read from my screen, warm the sensor and temperature on my screen rises.

But as I allready stated:

I obtained LegoDacta by skydrive and tried it: I get stuck on errormessages like:

"Can't send output command to the box!"

"Cannot find the Control Lab interface box."

Are you familiar to those messages?

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I am afraid that if I keep needing old pc's to run this software, it will be not profitable enough.

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For information (just to save a lot of 'heartache' if people do use the software) - the software only works under Win95, Win98, Win98SE and WinME. It doesn't work from Win XP onwards.

I have Windows 7 so run the software using Windows ME in VMWare Player. I do not have a serial (RS232) port on the laptop so I use a USB to RS232 serial adapter cable from StarTech (their part no. ICUSB232 - about £10 from Amazon). I have tried other makes of USB to RS232 but for some reason they do not appear to work. I also found that I had to connect the original Dacta RS232 cable to the StarTech adapter before it worked. Another thing I found was that the software that came with the StarTech cable was not recognised by Windows but I got it to work by downloading the Prolific driver installer (search Google for PL2303_Prolific_DriverInstaller_v1.5.0).

@ Plunk: Note dxb's notes above. Did you try some VMWare Player-like trick for Windows XP?

Edited by DLuders

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Hi

I am new to Lego, recently found lego dacta 9751 boxes in our school science storeroom with no software or connecting cables - from the interface to the computer. I have downloaded the software from one of the earlier posts here Thank you but cannot use the interface I found a serial cable and tried to connect it to the computer and the interface but it does not work - the message on the computer is cannot find the control lab interface, please help

Thanks

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For those interested, the Control Lab 1.0 software provided in this thread works fine on Ubuntu, through Wine (the windows compatibility layer). I get one error when I start the program, but after dismissing it, everything works fine.

Ubuntu also supports most USB-to-serial adapters without needing to install any additional software.

Also, the cable included in 9751 is a null modem cable. You'll probably still need it to connect to a USB-to-serial adapter, or some other kind of null modem adapter.

Edited by chabala

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Sorry to revive an old thread but ... has anyone succeeded in running software for 9751 on Windows 7 (64-Bit) ?

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I recently (yesterday) wrote a bare-bones interface for the 9751 in Python, using some older sources I found (including that ActiveX control). It should work on any machine that can interpret Python with pyserial ported. If there's interest, please let me know. It'll require a little more work than the logo or graphical programming interface to get going, but if you're comfortable with Python, it shouldn't be too hard.

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In fact I was able to get InterfaceB to work fine on Windows7 (64Bit) with Version 2.9 of Robolab. I can provide info if anyone needs it.

I'll say this though ... working with 8 sensors/inputs and 8 outputs (motors/lights) blows away the RCX/EV3 with 4/4 ... The nly catch is that InterfaceB needs to be attached to the computer at all times and thus, can't do autonomous robots.

Edited by DrJB

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shamlian, DrJB I suggest you both not to wait for the someone who might find this thread in future and share your knowledge now. You might be unavailable, code might be gone or simply everything might be forgotten. Don't waste an opportunity to gain on Karma too :wink:

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and you are suggesting what? ... to post all instructions on here?

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Right now, the code is poorly documented, but I would be happy to release it as-is. I plan to clean it up and add both functionality and documentation as I care to do so. :) I'll post it on my website, http://www.shamlian.net/, later this evening, which is where updated copies will go as well. (Or, I can post the current mess here if someone tells me the best way to do so. I doubt anyone would appreciate me copy-pasting the module into a post.)

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Tutorial

If you have Interface B, here is what you need:

1. It uses a null-modem cable (not serial!). If your computer does not have a serial port, then get a serial to USB adapter + a null modem cable, and connect them to one another, between the back of Interface B and your computer's USB port.

2. To make sure you have a working connection between your computer and Interface B, use the program from the lgauge website (above, post #34). Make sure you select the right serial port in the top right corner of the app.

3. If you connect a light sensor (blue port) you should see numbers changing live. If not, sometimes changing the Windows screen resolution/theme helps.

4. Connect 9V motors/lights to ports A-to-H on Interface B. If you can control them with the software from lgauge, then for sure your serial cable connection is working.

Now that your serial connection is working, you need a more 'serious' software/platform to program Interface B.

5. Install RoboLab 2.9 (it's available online). It does work fine on Windows 7 (64-Bit)

6. It should be fairly straightforward from this point on. The 2.9 Installation has 2-3 PDF files, and make sure you do some basic reading (less than 30 mins) and you'll be up to speed.

If you need more info, feel free to ask. I must thank Jesse for helping out.

Edited by DrJB

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Fixed a bug in the code posted yesterday and re-uploaded to the site. Dunno if anyone downloaded it or not, but wanted to post just in case.

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Sounds interesting ... I'll give it a try.

Edited by DrJB

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Tutorial

If you have Interface B, here is what you need:

1. It uses a null-modem cable (not serial!). If your computer does not have a serial port, then get a serial to USB adapter + a null modem cable, and connect them to one another, between the back of Interface B and your computer's USB port.

2. To make sure you have a working connection between your computer and Interface B, use the program from the lgauge website (above, post #34). Make sure you select the right serial port in the top right corner of the app.

3. If you connect a light sensor (blue port) you should see numbers changing live. If not, sometimes changing the Windows screen resolution/theme helps.

4. Connect 9V motors/lights to ports A-to-H on Interface B. If you can control them with the software from lgauge, then for sure your serial cable connection is working.

Now that your serial connection is working, you need a more 'serious' software/platform to program Interface B.

5. Install RoboLab 2.9 (it's available online). It does work fine on Windows 7 (64-Bit)

6. It should be fairly straightforward from this point on. The 2.9 Installation has 2-3 PDF files, and make sure you do some basic reading (less than 30 mins) and you'll be up to speed.

If you need more info, feel free to ask. I must thank Jesse for helping out.

I have done everything except I am having trouble getting Robolab to find the Com Port. Everything works fine in the Windows C# program and I can control my Robot through that program. I also have built a VI to run my robot just forward with the Control Lab functions, but when I hit "Run" it errors and is unable to connect. Is there any specific Robolab configuration I need to do. Any help or documentation would be great.

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Hi, I'm new here. Google led me to this thread from 2012. I have the Control Lab software but I do not have any instruction manuals for it. There are manuals online for the traditional Lego-building aspect -- I'm looking for the software instructions. Can anyone direct me to it, please? (Not interested in newer software or third-party software.)

Edited by evank

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On 31/01/2018 at 7:22 PM, evank said:

Hi, I'm new here. Google led me to this thread from 2012. I have the Control Lab software but I do not have any instruction manuals for it. There are manuals online for the traditional Lego-building aspect -- I'm looking for the software instructions. Can anyone direct me to it, please? (Not interested in newer software or third-party software.)

I don't think I ever found instructions I just made it up as I went along, unfortunately I've moved schools since then so don't have access to any of it anymore :( I'd hate to think that they may have binned it all now, we had great fun playing very basic Lego Robot Wars with it all :)

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I played with VB.Net about 10 years ago to get connected to my Dacta 9751 InterfaceB...  Was fun project...

But still, the language is not a real "Automation Friendly" one like we have in industrial automation.

I would have liked to be able to program this little baby using simple "Ladder" language.

Then, while browsing the internet recently I found out the OpenPLC project and that gave me an Idea...

The OpenPLC supports the 5 languages according to IEC 61311-3.

- Ladder (the most popular I believe)

- SFC (Sequential Function Chart, or Grafcet, the best for sequential process)

- FBD (Function Bloc Diagram.  Has it's strenght... for me it's more for analog process and calculation)

- ST (Structured Text, as in C)

- IL (Instruction List... I don't use this one really)

 

The OpenPLC supports the Modbus TCP protocol to communicate with I/O's.

 

Since there are some Modbus Library code freely available, I had the idea to make a Modbus IO server with the Lego InterfaceB.

I did not used my VB.Net but rather re-used the C# .Net code provided by: http://www.lgauge.com/technic/LEGOInterfaceB/9751.htm

I modified it, improved the reading perfomance by using a continuous thread and stripped some code a bit, and I integretated the EasyModbusTCP Library and here we have a Modbus IO Server (Slave) using the Interface B.

I then used some Modbus tool, like a Modbus Client simulator (Modbus Master) like the one provided by Radzio to test it.

Then, I Installed the OpenPLC software as per their very clear instructions on their website and managed to build quickly a ladder program using Interface B I/O's...

And it's very very performing.  very fast response time.

 

If anyone interested, here is my source code. (Exe is in the Bin\Release folder.).  Please, read the Readme file.

https://app.box.com/s/f1rpaucw84nd24md1neuuj8is4vuqmv2

 

In a near future, I would like to make it work with more than one InterfaceB...

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