Serial Test Box for Instruments now Available at Softrock
8 March 2013
The Serial Test Box facilitates testing of Leica instruments in the office environment. A monitoring total station can be difficult to test, because they are mounted at an inhospitable pit-side location where the real fault may not be apparent. The Serial Test Box links a 12 volt regulated power supply and a computer direct serial connection to the total station so it can be tested under the most stripped-down conditions and in the less stressful office environment.
Using the Test Box will test:
- The instrument tail cable that is used.
- The instrument serial port.
- The instrument motors.
The Leica total station is a Class 1 (low intensity) laser product. Although not deemed hazardous, to allay staff concerns the EDM capability of the instrument is not tested. Note that the instrument must be correctly configured to use GeoCOM commands via the serial port at the appropriate serial port settings (usually 9600,8,1,N).
If the PC does not have a serial port, a USB to serial adapter can be used. The Windows Device Manager will display which COM port the USB adapter is assigned. Note though that some models of USB adapter may not readily plug directly into the Serial Test Box due to both serial terminals having mounting nuts. If that’s the case, a male-female serial cable must be used to connect the two ends. This cable will have thumbscrew fastenings at each end. A test application is available from the Softrock website to work through ten pre-set commands plus any other valid Leica command the user might enter.
This application is specifically designed to support the Serial Test Box but can also connect through the TCP port connection to the instrument at its station. The TCP connection feature should only be used when the automation software (GeoMoS or AutoSlope) is shut down, to avoid conflicting commands.