Configuring a Digitizer

Configuring and Testing a Digitizer

The PC ARC/INFO Technical Hardware Guide describes the digitizers supported by PC ARC/INFO, and how they should be configured (including any DIP switch settings) and connected to the PC. If you do not have a 12- or 16- button cursor, you will need to set up a digitizer menu bar as described in Appendix B of the Guide. If your particular brand of digitizer is not listed, you may be able to emulate a supported brand (check your digitizer manual for emulation options; for example, the Summagraphics Summagrid series may use the Microgrid driver). It is also possible to design a custom interface for a non-supported digitizer -- see Appendix A of the Guide for more information.

To configure a digitizer for use with PC ARC/INFO, execute the CON-DIG command at the ARCW prompt:

Usage: CON-DIG [digitizer] {port} {baud_rate} {parity} {data_bits} {stop_bits}
       CON-DIG [NONE]
       CON-DIG [LIST]

Choices for digitizer are:
 ALTEK30   ALTEK31   ALTEK40   CAL2000   CAL23120  CAL2500   CAL9000
 CAL9100   CAL9500   GTCO5     HI7000    HIPAD     HIPAD-1   HITAHDG
 IBM5080   KURTA     KURTAIS1  KURTAIS3  NONE      NUMO2000  SG1201
 SGBP1     SGBP2     SGBP2-1   SGID2     SGMGRID   SSPRO     SSPRO2

Choices for port are 1-4 (Default is 2)
Choices for baud rate are
300 1200 2400 4800 9600 19200 38400 57600 (Default is 9600)
Choices for parity are N, E or O (None, Even, Odd, default=N).
Choices for data_bits are 7,8 (default=8).
Choices for stop_bits are 1 or 2 (default=1).
For example, to configure a Microgrid digitizer for COM2, 9600 baud, even parity, 8 data bits, and 1 stop bit, you would execute the following command:

   CON-DIG SGMGRID 2 9600 E 8 1
Though not required, you may issue the CON-DIG NONE command if you are not planning to use a digitizer at a particular workstation. You may also use this command to clear out an existing configuration. To check an existing configuration, execute CON-DIG LIST.

Once you configure a digitizer, you will want to test it. The DIGTESTW command may be launched from its icon:

Launching DIGTESTW

[WARNING: Although the DIGTESTW command may be issued from the ARCW prompt, it is not advised for initial testing or for troubleshooting digitizer problems. Should a Windows COM error occur, you will not be able to re-execute DIGTESTW from that ARCW session.]

Initally, DIGTESTW will display the current digitizer configuration and ask if that is what you want to test; if not, the program will abort. Then DIGTESTW will perform a series of tests, giving you instructions for each one. DIGTESTW may be cancelled at any time by pressing <Control><Break> (unfortunately, in 3.5.1, DIGTESTW will not cancel, and the program will need to be terminated and its temp workspace deleted).

The appearance of the data in the first test will vary with the brand of digitizer, but if the characters are ASCII (that is, no "special" characters), and do not shift as you press a key, you can be fairly sure at this point that everything is OK.

If you are having problems getting a digitizer to function properly, try the following steps:

  1. If no data are received in DIGTESTW immediately after executing CON-DIG, try restarting the computer.
  2. Use the diagnostic software included with your digitizer to make sure it is functioning.
  3. Check your Windows port settings to make sure they are the same. In Windows 95, go to the Control Panel, double-click the SYSTEM icon, go to DEVICE MANAGER, click the PORT entry to expand it, double-click the icon representing the digitizer's port, and go to PORT SETTINGS.
  4. Try different flow control settings (your digitizer manual may indicate the proper setting to use).
  5. Look for I/O conflicts; for example, in Windows 95, the S3 video driver conflicts with COM4.
  6. See the DIGTEST entry in the online help for other troubleshooting tips.

Wintab Drivers

A Wintab driver is used to make a digitizer emulate a mouse. Therefore, if a Wintab driver is active, the digitizer will work in COORDINATE CURSOR mode but not in COORDINATE DIGITIZER mode. If you want COO DIG to work, you must disable the Wintab driver.

Unfortunately, disabling a Wintab driver generally involves REMing out the lines in SYSTEM.INI and rebooting. There may be a setting in the control panel, but you'll need to restart Windows anyway.

If you run software that requires a Wintab driver in order to use a digitizer (e.g. AutoCAD LT or CorelDRAW), try one of the following alternatives:

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