Software/Zaber Console

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The Zaber Console is an application that lets you send commands to your Zaber devices, adjust their settings, and create simple scripts of commands.

Contents

Installing the application

System Requirements

Release Notes

Downloads

Installation Link Receives Updates Supported Operating Systems Notes
ClickOnce* ZaberConsole.application Yes Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8 Recommended
setup.exe Use this if browser does not support .application links
Windows Installer ZaberConsoleSetup.msi No Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8 Includes the ScriptRunner program
Source Code only ZaberCSDemo.zip - - -

Test Version

This installs an identical software, but newer versions are available sooner. This software version can be less stable. Please note that only one ClickOnce application can be installed at a time.

Installation Link Receives Updates Supported Operating Systems Notes
ClickOnce* ZaberConsole.application Yes Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8 Updates include beta and release candidate releases
setup.exe
Windows Installer ZaberConsoleSetup.msi No Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8 Most recent beta or release candidate release
Source Code only ZaberCSDemo.zip - -

*Please note that the ClickOnce installer has seen some intermittent instability on some systems. If you encounter any problems you can install Zaber Console from the Windows Installer package. We are investigating the cause and hope to resolve it in future versions. For further assistance or to report an issue, please contact Zaber support at contact@zaber.com.

Using the Zaber Console

Screenshot of device list, log, and commands tab
Screenshot of settings tab
Screenshot of scripts tab
Screenshot of advanced tab
Now that you've installed the application, explore its features.

Open the port

To use the console, the first thing to do is to connect your Zaber devices to the serial port. Then start the Zaber Console application, select a serial port, and click the Open button. At that point, you should see a list of your connected devices. If some are missing, you may need to send a renumber command (see below).

Guided Tour

  • The top left contains the serial port connection and a list of connected devices.
  • The top right contains the log. Every message to and from the devices shows up here, along with some other messages.
  • The bottom half of the screen has a series of tabs:
    • The commands tab lists all the available commands along with the details of how to use them. To execute a command, select the device in the list above, type a data value next to the command, and hit enter. Some commands don't require a data value.
    • The device settings tab lists all the available settings along with the details of how to use them. To see the current settings, select a device in the list above, and click the Refresh Settings button. To change a setting, select the device in the list above, type a new value next to the setting, and hit enter.
    • The scripts tab contains a list of scripts that you can run against the current device. You can create your own scripts by clicking on the Script Editor button. It will ask you to create a folder for your scripts, "My Documents\Zaber Scripts" is a good choice. Later sections describe how to write scripts.
    • The advanced tab lets you send any command you like to any device number. It also lets you adjust some options.
    • The help tab contains a description of the Zaber Console.

Sending a renumber command

All devices default to device number 1. If you are connecting more than one device, you will have to assign them new numbers with the renumber command. The simplest way is to select device number 0 and send the renumber command with data value 0.

Scripting

Scripts can be used to send sequences of instructions to Zaber devices in order to automate a positioning application. You can also perform conditional actions and repeat the same actions multiple times using loop structures. Even if you're not a programmer, you can use scripts that someone else has already written.

Scripting is described in more detail on separate pages: one for C#, JavaScript, and Visual Basic scripts and a separate page for Python scripts. If you're not familiar with any of those languages, Python scripts are probably the easiest to read.

Writing Custom Applications with Zaber .NET Library

If you want to write your own applications on the Microsoft.NET platform, Zaber Console includes a class library that you can use to talk to Zaber devices. You can also write your own plug ins that add new tabs to the Zaber Console.

  • See subpage on source code for information on compiling Zaber .NET Library
  • See subpage on plug ins for notes on Zaber Console plug ins

Using Zaber .NET Library on Other Operating Systems

GNU/Linux

Version 1.2.9.1998 is tested on Ubuntu 11.10 using Mono 2.10.5. The core Zaber library and the ScriptRunner program are compatible with C# and Python scripts. Zaber Console is not currently supported. See Mono project site for information on Javascript and VB.NET support.

  1. Make sure that the Mono runtime is installed. For example:
    sudo apt-get install mono-complete
  2. Download the test version of the Zaber Console source code and unzip it.
  3. Copy the scripts into the bin folder.
    cd ~/Downloads/ZaberCSDemo/bin
    cp -R ../src/ZaberConsole/ZaberConsole/Scripts/* .
  4. Get ScriptRunner to list all serial ports. If you're using a USB-to-serial adapter, it should look something like /dev/ttyUSB0.
    mono ScriptRunner.exe /showports
  5. Get ScriptRunner to list all its options by running mono ScriptRunner.exe /help, or read ScriptRunner's documentation. Here's a simple example that runs one of the sample scripts.
    mono ScriptRunner.exe /port /dev/ttyUSB0 /device 1 "Current device - move forward 10000.cs"

You can also use the Zaber library in your own projects written with MonoDevelop. See our source code page for more details.

Apple OS X

We have not tested on OS X, but Mono supports it, so it should be roughly the same as our GNU/Linux support. You can find details for installing Mono at the Mono project.

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