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Developing Win CE 2.0 app and RS232 (on a HP 320LX)

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denzman Page Icon Posted 2019-05-25 6:52 AM
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Hi all,

I'm new to HPC Factor and new to my newly bought HP 320LX running Win CE 2.0 (ebay), which is pretty

I'm curious to know what development environment (preferably virtual) is possible to develop an Win CE 2.0 app to talk to my Sokkia SET 2B Total Station (surveying instrument). I'm not a surveyor but a hobbyist, and I was fascinated with total stations while working on some small jobs with my uncle.

I have the original Sokkia communications manual to assist with the commands required. I'm comfortable with any programming language to be honest and can purchase software if there is no other option.

I have browsed the support & tutorials section, but a little stumped where to start.

I kind of envisage I would run Win 95 on a virtual machine, and somehow get the sync cable to work when I'm ready to test on the device, but this is new territory for me so happy to learn from the wise.

Kind regards,
Jared
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C:Amie Page Icon Posted 2019-05-25 9:33 AM
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Hi Jared,

Welcome to the site.

So for CE 2.0, you options are fairly limited.

You want a BIOS based VM with serial port pass-through support
You want Windows NT 4.0 SP6a (forget about Windows 9x) - https://www.hpcfactor.com/support/patching/winnt4/
You want Microsoft Visual C++ 6
You want the CETK for Visual C++ 6 - This is the tricky one to get hold of "en_wince_toolkit_c_pp.exe"
You want the H/PC 2.0 platform SDK https://www.hpcfactor.com/downloads/details.asp?r={0F96C6A4-4CE3-493...
You want ActiveSync 3.8 https://www.hpcfactor.com/downloads/details.asp?r={7FC24955-1BEA-46E...

Now in saying that, it is possible to use .net to do it:
https://www.hpcfactor.com/scl/1040/dstefanov/Microsoft_.NET_Compact_...

But IDE's for that are a different story.
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stingraze Page Icon Posted 2019-05-25 9:37 AM
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One way to program for Windows CE 2.0 is to buy a Microsoft Windows CE Toolkit and either Visual Basic 6.0 or Visual C++ .
I believe Microsoft Windows CE Toolkit is rather hard to find though. If it was for Windows CE 2.11+ you can use eMbedded Visual Tools 3.0 which is free.

If you are making simple command line tools, maybe you can use other programming language like PocketC. I think PocketC was once popular in this realm. Never really tried them though. ewe is a Java like programming language. I used it in a Windows CE 2.11 device (not 2.0).

I was looking at HPC:Factor on Google and this came up:
Targeting Windows CE 2.0 using embedded Visual C++ 3.0 (part of embedded Visual Tools 3.0)
https://www.hpcfactor.com/support/cesd/d/0008.asp

Something I didn't know until right now. lol

Edited by stingraze 2019-05-25 9:40 AM
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scotterbug Page Icon Posted 2019-05-26 3:03 AM
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Hi Jared, welcome to the HPC Anonymous meeting. It's an addiction, there's no real cure, just treatment These early pocket/handhelds get to you, calling your name when no one else is around. As long as you don't lock yourself in the basement and cut off your family that loves you you'll be OK!
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denzman Page Icon Posted 2019-05-26 11:09 PM
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Thank you C:Amie, stingraze and scotterbug for the warm and speedy replies.

@C:Amie, thank you for your detailed reply, this is what I was hoping for.

@stingraze, thank you too for your reply, however I don't think my project will be simple command line tools, there would be more interactivity out on the field

@scotterbug, thank you for the humour.

A little more background to this thread. While working with my uncle, he used a HP 95LX and the Sokkia Total Station for the small jobs he did after retiring. The software that was used was a in house application (POwer Lines Electronically Surveyed a.k.a. POLES) written by the then state electricity company (which was privatised some years before).

I bought two (albeit one is in repair [suspected keyboard to mainboard ribbon cable connection issue]) HP 95LXs for my project, but I still need to source the software which is a whole other story. The HP 95LX and the software would be great for me to learn and study, but I didn't write the software and would like the project to write one. I wanted a newer platform (not DOS 3.22) hence I saw the HP 320LX and thought it would be a good candidate. Importantly it was a palm sized computer with keyboard to help input data out on the field.

My lesson learnt is that I should have done more research before purchasing the HP 320LX, as the development tools are tricky. It wasn't that expensive ($50) and really, it is in good working shape. I'm not going to part with it … just yet.

As the CETK for Visual C++ 6 is the linchpin for this scenario, I'm going to have to park it, maybe until it becomes available if ever. Still curious why it is so elusive. Does MS still licence it? Given the age of the Toolkit, I'm surprised MS hasn't let it go (to abandonware). I did a brief search to see if I could purchase it somewhere but not much luck. Not going to bother looking on pirate web sites either, I guess I just have high morals.

You mentioned that if it were CE 2.11+ it might be a little easier (eMbedded Visual Tools 3.0) and so I might scour ebay for a HP Jornada 680/680e as I think it will have the right CE version and is a good palm size. But a little more research would be good.

I have plenty to play with right now. As for the total station, I'm probably going to build it (the app) with my regular laptop and a USB-RS232 convertor to get started.

Hope is still there for the 320LX.

Cheers,
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