Endigit is happy to introduce Jake Hansen as an Intern Systems Engineer. Jake studied applied physics at BYU. We are excited to work with him! We made a banner and had a little party to celebrate our continued growth.
I made and gave this presentation for the Utah LabVIEW Developer Education Day. Let me know what you think or if you have any questions.[slideshare id=n3rDYs6nmOBaaZ&w=595&h=485&fb=0&mw=0&mh=0&style=border-width: 1px; border: 1px solid #ccc; margin-bottom: 5px; max-width: 100%;&sc=no]
Still Want to Use References?
The Good News
You will use many references as you program in LabVIEW. You may even start to use references in your APIs as I do. If you have advice or a story about references locking up code, I’d love to hear it!
Endigit is having a competition on who has the best fun face on our website. Go to the About page on our website and mouse over the pictures. Then come back here and comment on the face you like the most. Whoever gets the most votes gets a $50 Amazon gift card!
While you are on the website, you might as well look around and go to the Contact Endigit page and tell us how we can help you.
I recently wrote a post on how to change your life by changing a mouse button. My life has been vastly improved since I added a delete button to my mouse. My hair is growing thicker and fuller, my eyesight has improved, my lawn is greener, and I can delete things so much faster than before. My life has been great, but I still felt like something was missing.
Easy access Delete
As a refresher, we at Endigit all use the Logitech M570 wireless trackball mouse. With that mouse you can change the button settings. I have assigned the forward button to be the delete button. I rarely used the Forward button and often need to delete things. This saves me from moving my hand from the mouse to the keyboard to hit the delete key. Notice that I have the Back button still set as the Back task. I use this often when navigating Windows Explorer and on the Interwebs.
Introducing: Quicker Quick Drop
I don’t use the back button ever in LabVIEW though. That makes that button worthless to me when developing software in LabVIEW. I thought about it and talked about it with the other Endigiters and we thought it would be great to add ctrl-space for even quicker quick drop. Now instead of wasting so much energy moving my pinkie finger all the way down the the control button and pushing space, I can gently press a mouse button and have quick drop open. Take that Carpal Tunnel!
But wait there’s more!
The middle mouse button is really useful for opening links in new tabs online, or opening a new instance of applications, but again, worthless to me in LabVIEW. Another common task is cleaning up wires. Clean Up Wire is normally the top option when you right-click on a wire so it is quick and easy. However, I have modified my right-click menu so that Create Constant, Control, and Indicator are at the top. (That is another great time saver.) So I had to right-click and choose the 4th option down.
That is just too much work for me. I started selecting the wire and then hitting ctrl-u to clean it up. That was nice, except the U button is way on the right side of the keyboard. I have to move my pinkie down to the Control button and then stretch way out to get the U key with my index finger. That is exhausting! Why not map the middle mouse button to ctrl-u to save me so much energy? Unfortunately, the middle button cannot be configured for application specific behavior. Luckily, AutoHotkey.com came to the rescue! With AutoHotkey you can set specific keys to run scripts. I have an AutoHotkey script that looks at the middle mouse button. When it is pressed it checks if I am using LabVIEW. If I am then it clicks and sends ctrl-u. If I am not using LabVIEW it sends the normal middle click. BOOM! Now I have block diagram clean-up, and wire clean up with a quick easy push of the button.
What is next?
I have been thinking of other things that I can do to maximize my mouse and keyboard. I think the next thing I am going to figure out is using the mouse buttons to copy and paste. I am going to see if I can have ctrl modifier to have the Forward and Back buttons be copy and paste.
What ideas for mouse shortcuts do you want?
Comment your ideas on what you would like to have simplified with your mouse. I would love to hear some new ideas.
Toggle between Front Panel and Block Diagram
I added so that when I press both the left and right mouse buttons at the same time it sends Ctrl-E to toggle between front panel and block diagram.
I was working on a radiation leakage test system trying to control a STP-DRV-4850 motor designed to spin an array of D-tect sensors around a unit under test. I was able to spin the motor using AutomationDirect’s utility program, SureStep Pro and everything was looking good, until I tried to send the motor controller serial commands from LabVIEW.
After beating my head against the wall for the greater part of an hour, I finally turned to the Internets for wisdom. I had exhausted all the usual serial communication suspects:
Read the manual? Check.
COM port? Check.
Baud rate? Check, 9600.
Command format? Check, working in SureStep Pro.
Reread the manual? Check.
Termination on writes? Check, carriage return.
No matter what I tried, I could not get this motor to turn. I had talked with countless instruments over serial and considered myself an expert. And now my customer was looking over my shoulder, expecting to see magic.
The first few Google hits covered the usual issues (see above) and I began to despair. After resorting to the second page of hits (who goes there?) I hit gold with an obscure post on the NI forums from 2011. Apparently lmtis (Jim) had run into the same problem and went to the effort of hooking up a USB bus monitor.
When AutomationDirect’s utility, SureStep Pro, connects serially to motors, it first sends an “HR” command. I quickly tried it, and sure enough, everything started working.
I’m still not sure what “HR” stands for, but it is the “open sesame” of the STP-DRV world. And after six years it still hasn’t made it into the manual (SCL Commands for STP-DRV-4850 and STP-DRV-80100 Step Motor Drives).
Last week at NIWeek, National Instruments held the World’s Fastest LabVIEW Programmer competition. With Robert Mortensen being the 2016 champion, Endigit was hoping to make an impact again this year.
The finals featured two Endigit employees, Robert Mortensen and Bryan Heslop! In an attempt to intimidate, Robert reminded Bryan that he had taken second place more times than Bryan had been to NIWeek, and was the reigning champion. In awe of Robert’s superiority, Bryan felt extreme nervousness because it was only his first time competing.
We recently had a customer come to us with a request to program a Fisnar I&J7100 robot. We did not have any experience with this robot, but told them that if they couldn’t find someone to help then we could learn it. Endigit’s best feature is our ability to learn and solve new challenges. Bryan had experience with programming and running CNC machines so he volunteered to take this on.
Here is the resulting robot in action.
We were able to save the customer time and money by taking this project on. They were able to stay focused on their core competency by having us take care of this for them. Let us know if there is anything your business needs. We are great learners and problem solvers.
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