Monday, October 30, 2006

controlling the Phidgets RFID reader with Visual Basic

Also see FAQ on Visual Basic

How do I get Phidgets RFID reader to run through Visual Basic?
First install the Phidgets Library, then open the pre-written VB code.

Download and install the phidgets library here:
www.phidgets.com>downloads>phidgets20Downloads>phidget20.msi

From the same page, download ‘phidget20examples.zip’
After unzipping, open MS Visual Basic.

On the file menu, click ‘open project’ and, from the folder that you’ve just unzipped, open: examples>production examples>Visual Basic>PhidgetRFIDExamples>rfid-simple>rfid_simple

N.B.: You need to use ‘open project’ to maintain links within an established project. “open” will not work. Nor will double clicking from outside the program.
N.B.: Currently, the phidgets21 folder contains enough Visual Basic script to make it look like things are working, but not enough to actually make things work.

Why does the script automatically update when I open it, and why does it still not run?
The language used by version 2006 is slightly different from the language used by version 6.0, but it (supposedly) updates the scripts to the new language.

When you debug the scripts, you’ll find that it gets hung up on certain lines. Look to the programming notes, probably in red, and always set off with an apostrophe.

What is the difference between the executable programs in the phidgets “Visual Basic” folder and the VB project files?
The executable files are the compiled versions of the VB project files. That is, they are programs in themselves rather than scripts, so you can use them to try out the hardware, but you can’t change them. Scripts, on the other hand, can be edited and recompiled.

When I run any of the phidgets VB scripts, the light will go on and off, but it won’t read any RFIDs. WTF?
Yeah, WTF.

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