Phidgets

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Phidgets

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Navigation:  Widget Designer > Devices >

Phidgets

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Phidgets are a set of "plug and play" building blocks for low cost USB sensing and controlling which can be read out and controlled via Widget Designer. Note that the devices are only available in the licensed Widget Designer edition, not the Free version.
The new implementation of Phidgets since version 6.1.2 offers a large range of available devices for all kinds of scenarios.

For learning more about the hardware devices themselves, please refer to the official Phidgets website.

These Phidgets are currently implemented in WD:

wd_phidgets-menu

Digital Input

Digital Output

InterfaceKit 0/0/4

InterfaceKit 8/8/8

InterfaceKit 0/16/16

PhidgetIR

IR Code Table

PhidgetRFID

Server

Servo

Sound Phidget

Spatial 0/0/3

Spatial 3/3/3

Stepper

Temperature Phidget

Voltage Input

Voltage Ratio Input

Setting up the Hardware

Before being able to use Phidget devices, you need to install the Phidgets driver on your computer.
You can find the latest driver for download in the Learn section of the Phidgets website, you only need this one driver for all devices.

The Network Server feature allows you to access Phidgets connected to any other computer in your network.
If you intend to use network Phidgets, please make sure to use the same driver version on every machine. Different driver versions can result in various communication problems.

After you have connected all Phidgets you require for your project, use the Phidget Control Panel to check if they were all recognized and are ready to use.

Adding a New Phidgets Device

To add a Phidget device, open the Devices menu and select the respective device in the "Phidgets Device" section. This opens the Configuration dialog. Alternatively, you can add a new device in the Configuration dialog with the "+" button.

On the right side, you can name, dis-/enable the device or configure it as explained in the next paragraph.

The Name is the unique identifier for this Phidget object in WD and the general rules for naming objects apply here as well (only letters, numbers and underscore are allowed, the first symbol must be a letter).
If you like, you can change the default name to a more descriptive one. When scripting, enter the name to access available members as described further down.

The "Enable" check box is ticked per default. On the left side, you should see that the icon in front of your Phidget device is a filled blue circle. An empty blue circle indicates an enabled device which is not connected. An empty gray circle indicates a disabled device.

You can close the dialog at any time. The newly created device will also be added to the Devices menu > Phidgets Device > specific device and can be opened from here or with Devices menu > Configuration.

The Phidgets Settings

click to enlargeThis dialog allows to set up a Phidget device, for example a Voltage Input device.
If the device is physically connected to your computer or the Phidget network, select the respective serial number of the device from the drop-down list. If it is connected to a hub, the hub's serial is needed. If necessary, enter the settings for Hub Port, Channel and Is Hub Port Device as seen in the Phidget Control Panel's addressing information window.

Select the device's product number from the drop-down if required, for example "PN_1142" for an "Indoor Light Sensor", which is a Voltage Input device usually connected to either a VINT Hub or an InterfaceKit.
Depending on the device type, you can also adjust parameters like Trigger (sensitivity) and value request Interval time.
Each device type has its own set of parameters.

Press "Apply" to save your changes and connect to the device

Using the Device in Regular Scripting

After adding a device, you can also use it via scripting which allows to perform actions on the device as well as retrieve information from it.

To send commands to the device, first create a CustomScript button or use the Macro editor or anything else with a scripting field. If you enter the device's identifier name into the script field (per default that is e.g. "Phidgets_InterfaceKit_8_8_8_1"), Script Assist will offer you a list of all available members.

The InterfaceKit in this example enables you to set one of the eight digital outputs to "True" (on state) and "False" (off state):
Phidgets_InterfaceKit_8_8_8_1.SetOutputState(0,true)

You can also retrieve specific values via scripting in the same way as from other widgets (e.g. a Digital Input value):
v_bool = Phidgets_InterfaceKit_8_8_8_1.Input3.State

The scripting structure for Phidgets provides two different approaches for setting and retrieving values.
If you are already familiar with the object-based notation and using properties, all device properties can be used like any other object property you have already encountered:
Phidgets_InterfaceKit_8_8_8_1.Output0.State = true
Label5.Text = "State Input 3: " + Phidgets_InterfaceKit_8_8_8_1.Input3.State

If you prefer a command structure that distinctly implies the action to be performed, you can use the "Set..." and "Get..." members:
Phidgets_InterfaceKit_8_8_8_1.Output0.SetState(true)
Label5.Text = "State Input 3: " + Phidgets_InterfaceKit_8_8_8_1.Input3.GetState

Both approaches can be used interchangeably.

Please keep in mind that some properties are read-only properties, e.g. Digital Input values, and do not provide a "Set..." member.
Furthermore, the higher-level properties of a device itself, like the Serial number or the Enabled state, need to be scripted as properties and do not provide the "Set..." and "Get..." members.

For more information about how to script specific attributes, please refer to the respective device's "Member" chapter.

Using the Device with Event Listeners

Event Listeners can be added to the Configuration dialog and provide a simple way of listening to triggers from connected devices.

Please see the chapter Event Listener for a detailed description of its functionality and the respective Phidget device's "Event" chapter for an overview (with examples and description) over the possible events raised by each device.