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HW Virtual Serial Port

HW VSP is a software tool, which adds to the operating system a virtual COM port, (COM 5 for example) and redirects the data from this port through the TCP/IP network to another hardware interface, defined by IP address and port number.

 

Warning: This product is replaced by new version HW VSP3

 

Basic features

  • Free and unlimited driver Virtual Serial Port for any TCP/IP devices.
  • HW VSP from version 2.3 works on the Windows 98, NT, 2000, XP and higher.
  • Can be set to start at Windows startup and can be hidden to System Tray.
  • If the device supports the RFC 2217 - by sending NVT commands through TCP is possible to change the parameters of the remote serial port (speed, parity, stop bits, etc...).
  • The VSP driver normally works on PC as" TCP client ", but can be used also as " TCP server " (useful for GPRS applications).
  • For technical support check the print-out from the function "Report VSPSettings".
  • More Virtual Serial Ports can be emulated in one computer (COM5, COM6, COM7) by running VSP.EXE with parameters.
  • From the HW VSP is possible to control binary inputs and outputs of the I/OController and IP Relay devices.
  • Data Logger and Procesing Logger logs incoming data, outgoing data and status of HW VSP to .txt files.
  • Automatically renew connection, when connection lost.
  • "Report VSPSettings".
  • HW VSP is FREEWARE, in case you fulfill the conditions in the licence.


Downloads & Links

  • DOWNLOAD : HW_VirtualSerialPort.zip
     
  • HW VSP - compatible devices :
    • CharonI - embedded converter module RS-232 (TTL) / Ethernet
    • PortBox - RS-232/485 / Ethernet converter module
    • PortStore, PortStore2 - RS-232/485 / Ethernet converter with 512 kB, 2 048 kB Flash memory buffer for serial line data.
    • I/O Controller - Binary inputs and outputs + RS-232/485 / Ethernet converter
    • IP Relay - 2x relay controlled over Ethernet + RS-232/485 / Ethernet converter


 

Applications

  • Can connect devices without updating their SW, no need to change existing utilities, working on serial port RS-232.
  • Remote management of PBX - PBX tariffication
  • Connection of payment terminals
  • Wireless remote serial port - through WiFi
  • Supervision of backup UPS over SNMP or original software
  • Connecting the Bar Code reader to your software
  • Connecting the serial printers and labelers
  • Remote control of industrial components, devices and visualization

 

 

HW VSP description

HW Virtual Serial Driver is primary designed for HW group devices, but it can be used for free as an universal driver to create a remote serial port,which redirects serial (RS232) data to the predefined TCP/IP address and port.

For special applications (ex. GPRS devices) is possible that the PC with the Virtual driver installed can work also as a server, so the connection might be initialized from the external device by sending any data to the remote port. The converter opens the connection with PC and sends the data to the virtual com. The whole situation is quite the same as with a normal serial port, but our device can be as far away as you want

HW VSP can not be used to connect two physical ports of two PCs through the network (virtual null modem), because the HW VSP redirector works always with virtual serial ports.

If you are using the HW group's network devices with enabled NVT, you can change the Baud Rate, Parity and other communication properties (ex. binary inputs and outputs) during the normal communication using the RFC2217 standard, so you have a real remote port.

HW VSP installation

Download, unzip and run the installation file. Before the installation is strongly recommended to delete the previous version of VSP.

Installation procedure:

  • Run the installation program "Vsp 2.3".
  • Step1: The Setup Wizard will be displayed. To continue to the next step of installation click on "Next" button, if you need to return one step back click on "Back" button .
  • Step2: The basic product information will be displayed.
  • Step3: Select a place where to install the driver.
  • Step4: Choose the name of the folder, which will be added to Start menu.
  • Step5: Select if you want to create or not a shortcut in the desktop.
  • Step6: The selected data will be displayed,it is recommended to check them.
  • Step7: The installation of the program will proceed.

The above shown window will be displayed if the installation was successful. If you check the "Launch HW_VSP" box the program will run after the installation is over. It is not needed to restart the computer after the installation. You can run HW VSP by clicking on the "VSP" icon - the icon with the red arrow.

Configuration of connected device

Before connecting to the VSP, it is necessary to configure the remote device according to its manual. If you are using one of our devices, check mainly the following paramaters. The values, of the following example are stored in config.txt.

Most important parameters:
  • IP address of remote device
  • IP port
  • Gateway
  • Mask
  • TCP/IP mode - TCP Server / Pasive mode
  • Network Virtual Terminal (NVT) - (only for HWg devices).
  • Serial port parameters

 

Virtual Serial Port

In the main tab the basic information about establishing the connection and its process will be displayed. Here it is possible to create or delete a virtual serial port, with the buttons " Create COM " respectively " Delete COM ".
Clicking on the " Hide " button it is possible to hide the program from the taskbar.

  • VS Port Status frame
    Display of serial port status, including transferred data.
  • Ethernet Status frame
    Display of Ethernet connection status, including transferred data.
  • IP Address
    IP address of remote serial port. The value can be transferred automatically from the UDP tab.
     
  • Port
    It is the incomming port of the remote serial port device. Your PC opens a TCP/IP connection to this port and sends data.
     
  • Server port
    When the " TCP server mode " is enabled in the settings, it's incoming TCP port, where your Virtual Serial Port driver listens and acts as a TCP server.
    It's recommended to use incoming port higher than 1024, because of MS Windows OS ports allocation for some of system functions.
      
  • Port name
    The number of the Virtual Serial Port created - Choose a number of the port from COM2 to COM20.

    If you need to create more virtual serial ports in one PC, you can run several times manually the HW VSP, or you can call it from the command line.

 

UDP Search

Run HW VSP and switch-over to the "UDP Search" tab. After clicking the Search modules button in the Modules MAC List will appear the list of the devices found in local network.

After clicking the Use this IP button the IP address and the number of the incoming port of the chosen device will be set as the actual address of the device, with which the HW VSP will subsequently work.

 


 

Binary I/O - I/O Controller

Some of HW group devices beside a remote serial port contain also binary inputs and outputs. These inputs and outputs is possible to control from the Binary I/O tab, if at the same time you control their serial ports. Here is assumed the communication with the I/OController device.

The tab is active only if you communicate with the HW group devices and you have activated NVT.

  • Binary inputs
    The state of the inputs is updated automatically on the change (if the device is set like that), or the value can be updated by clicking on the " Read Values " button.
     
  • Binary outputs
    Binary outputs can be set by clicking in the respective field Out 0- Out 7. By clicking on the " Sent Values " button you send the data to the device.
     
  • Value read/sent in xx ms
    Here will be displayed the time it took the chosen operation for the setting of outputs to be executed.

 

Binary I/O - IP Relay

Some of HW group devices beside a remote serial port contain also binary inputs and outputs. These inputs and outputs is possible to control from the Binary I/O tab, if at the same time you control their serial ports. Here is assumed the communication with the I/O Controller device.

Here is assumed the communication with the IP Relay device.

The tab is active only if you have activated NVT.

  • Channel 1, Channel 2
    By clicking on one of the radio buttons you set the desired state of the output, which has to be executed by clicking on the " Set " button.
  • Read Values
    Reads the actual state of the device's inputs.
  • Red LED
    The checkbox shows the state of the LED (on or off), by clicking on " Set LED " you can change this value.


 

Settings

In the "Settings" tab it is possible to set all the functions supported by the virtual serial port.

Note: Here you can set only the features of the HW VSP, not the features of the remote device! The features of the remote device are set according to its own manual. (ex. by using the Hercules software from HW group).

  • TEA Key frame
    For the authorization of the TCP/IP communication the TEA ( Tiny Encryption Algorithm ) encryption can be used. The connection will be authorized only if the device and VSP are using the same TEA key.
    If TEA is set to active in the device, set both keys in the same way and (rows "1"- "4") activate TEA by checking the a" Use TEA Auth. " box.

    Note: Tea will work only if the TCP/IP device (the remote port) works as a TCP server and VSP as a TCP client.
     
  • NVT frame
    By clicking on the "NVT Enable" box you allow the RFC2217 standard and the detection of our remote ports. Do not forget to set on the NVT support on the device as well. After activating NVT commands it is possible to activate the following parameters:
      • NVT filter – filters the controlling characters from the data stream to the virtual port
      • NVT port setup – sends controlling characters to the remote port through the VSP in your PC. For example, if your terminal program (ex. Hyperterminal) changes the speed of transmission to 19.200 Bd and this function is active, the VSP driver sends and NVT commands (after the RFC 2217 standard) to the remote TCP/IP serial port by changing to the same value its transmission speed.
      • Keep Connection – Your TCP device closes the TCP/IP connection 50 seconds after the last data is sent. This function allows to keep the connection alive with the remote device (sends 2 bytes every 5 seconds).

     
  • Log files enabled
    Log incoming and outgoing data to the HW_VSP_data.log and status of HW VSP to the HW_VSP.log file. The log files are stored in the HW VSP running directory.
  • HW VSP works as the TCP Server only
    Activates VSP as a TCP/IP server. The driver then behaves as a TCP Client/Server = device, which first receives some data, switches to Client mode and opens a connection.

    Note:
    For most of the applications the TCP server mode is not needed and the TCP client mode can be used instead (the TCP server mode box must be unchecked).

  • Create VSP Port with HW VSP startup
    If this box is checked, all the virtual ports will be created on HW VSP startup. If you need to create a virtual ports immediately after Windows startup is necessary to check the " Start HW VSP at Windows startup " box.
     
  • Hide to Tray when HW VSP startup
    Hides the VSP from the task bar. You will find the VSP icon on the quick launch bar after that.
     
  • Don't create VSP port if ping to remote device failed
    The IP address of the device is tested before the virtual port is created. If the test fails (the remote port is disconnected for ex.) the virtual port (COM 5) will not be created.
  • Connect to device, even if VSP Port is closed
    If this box is checked, a connection is initialized immediately after the virtual port is created, even if no application is using this port. That means that the data, which are sent at the time when the port was open but not used, will be lost. In this case the device sends the data, even when you don't "receive" them.  
  • Start HW VSP with Windows startup
    Sets the path to VSP at the register RUN (HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\run)in Windows. After that VSP will start right after Windows startup.
     
     
  • Use Ping to keep connection + Renew automatically
    Sending every 5 second test ping to check if remote device available. When disconnected device detected again (ping answer) re-establish connection immediately ("Renew automatically" checked) or connection re-establish when VSP sending any new data to the TCP socket ("Renew automatically" unchecked).
  • Reset VSP Port driver when first instance of HW VSP is executing
    Reset Virtual Serial Port when program starting - (it can remove problems with all other virtual serial ports in your system).
  • Vitual Loopback
    Create virtual connection over VSP on the pins RTS - CTS and pins DTR - DSR. Some program use these pins for device detection.
  • External NVT commands control remote I/O: port
    Program HW VSP open defined port on your PC and listen there NVT control commands. These commands are transfered to the established TCP connection to remote device.
    It's dedicated for HW group devices with I/O ports, you can on the same device use serial device with it's original program and control pins from your own program.
    Block scheme - original program procesing data from the Bar code reader, while the second program (example from the HWg SDK) control the I/O pins over the VSP and this port.


 

License - Distribution and usage conditions

  1. This program is FreeWare, only if the following conditions are met.
  2. This software can not be modified without the permission from HW group.
  3. Private license:
    This software is not constrained for private use and distribution, but we will be delighted, if you will put on your private pages (or your blogs) the following or other links to our WWW page www.HW-group.com.
  4. Commercial license:
    Organisations or any other institutions can use and distribute in all ways the software only if they publish the following links at the WWW pages www.HW-group.com at least in one of the following places.

    Publishing the WWW link :
    • On the company WWW pages, which uses or distributes the SW.
    • If the software is used or distributed along with other company's product, the link can be placed on the product's WWW page.
    • Other link placements can be aggreed with the HW group company by email..

    If you distribute the software and you will not publish the link as described, you are in violation of our author's rights and we will take action according to the law.
Possible links
Source code for your WWW pages
HWVSP
Free Virtual Serial Port to connect any TCP/IP Terminal server to your Windows as virtual serial port (COM 7 for example). Produced by www.HW-group.com.
<b><a href="http://www.hw-group.com/products/hw_vsp/index_en.html">HW VSP</a></b><br>
Free Virtual Serial Port to connect any TCP/IP Terminal server to your Windows as virtual serial port (COM 7 for example). Produced by <a href="http://www.HW-group.com" target="_blank">www.HW-group.com</a>.
HWVSP
Free Virtual Serial Port to connect any TCP/IP Terminal server to your Windows as virtual serial port (COM 7 for example). Produced by www.HW-group.com.
<a href="http://www.HW-group.com"><img src="http://www.HW-group.com/download/hwg_ikona88x31.png" width="88" height="31" hspace="3" vspace="0" border="0" align="right"></a> <b><a href="http://www.hw-group.com/products/hw_vsp/index_en.html">HW VSP</a></b><br>
Free Virtual Serial Port to connect any TCP/IP Terminal server to your Windows as virtual serial port (COM 7 for example). Produced by <a href="http://www.HW-group.com" target="_blank">www.HW-group.com</a>.
<a href="http://www.HW-group.com"><img src="http://www.HW-group.com/download/hwg_ikona88x31.png" width="88" height="31" hspace="3" vspace="0" border="0"></a>
HWVSP - Produced by www.HW-group.com. <b><a href="http://www.hw-group.com/products/hw_vsp/index_en.html">HW VSP</a></b> - Produced by <a href="http://www.HW-group.com" target="_blank">www.HW-group.com</a>.
Note: The icon image, which is loaded from the HW group website, can be saved on your local hosting, but we prefer the code in this table.

 

 

 

HW VSP - command line parameters

The HW VSP application can be run with special parameters from the command line, in case that you need to create several virtual serial ports on your PC right after startup.

Example:  HW_VSP.exe -R -i192.168.1.21:23 -c5 -S0 -N1 -Nf -Np -H1

  • -ix.y.z:p - IP address of the module. IP address it is given in the form x.y.z or x.y.z:p, where p is the port number for the client mode (default value = 23). This parameter is required!
  • -cx - Virtual Serial Port number (x = 1 ... ) Required parameter!
  • -Sx - enable server mode (x = 1 - on; x = 0 - off)
  • -sx - incoming port number in server mode(x = 1 .. 65535)
  • -Nx - NVT support enable (x = 1 - zon; x = 0 - off)
  • -Nf - NVT filter enable. This parameter has to be used after -N1
  • -Np - enable NVT setting of port (Port Setup). This parameter have to be used after the the "-N1".
  • -Nk - enable NVT keep connection. This parameter have to be used after the the "-N1".
  • -Hx - hide on startup. Hides the window after running the application (x = 1 - on; x = 0 - on)
  • -Px - create port on program startup.(x = 1 - on; x = 0 - off)
  • -Fx - don't create virtual port if ping to destination device failed. (x = 1 - on; x = 0 - off)
  • -Lx - enable create log files. (x = 1 - on; x = 0 - off)
  • -Wx - automatically renew connection, after connection lost.
    (x = 1 - on; x = 0 - off)
  • -R - Load the saved VSP driver configuration. It has to be the first parameter on the command line. IF you need to modify the saved parameters, use them after the " -R " switch.

It is possible to configure the virtual port without parameters. If the "-R" parameter is used, first the configuration from the system registers is red and after that the parameters defined on the command line are overwritten.

When the VSP is loaded with the command line switches, no data are saved to the registers after the VSP program is closed!

FAQ & Support

Q:  Is it possible to use HW VSP to connect 2 serial ports on 2 PCs computers over Ethernet?
A:  NO, HW VSP requires that on the other side of the communication should be a device of the PortBox, IP Relay or similar type. IT is possible to connect two HW VSP with each other (TCP CLIENT and TCP Server), but the data can not be sent to the physical COM port of the PC.

Q:  Is it possible to run the HW VSP on the PC with just USER rights?
A:  YEs, since 2.3 version, there is fixed bug with user rights. The program have to be installed by PC's administrator, but can be 100% used with just user rights.

Q:  Is it possible to buy or use the HW VSP source code ?
A:  YES, if you are interested in this application source codes, we can sell you just licence without our advertisement or full source codes of application include 3 months support.. The HW VSP is writen in the Borland C++ builder.
More you can have a discount for the Virtual Serial Drive - contact us please for more details..

Q:  Is the HW VSP compatible with any other product for remote serial port emulation?
A:  Yes there are some similar products, for example Serial/IP COM Port Redirector from Tactical Software or VPortPro from Labtam, but generally these products are free only in limited versions. HW VSP isn't compatible with any known SW product which can emulate the device on the PC.

 

Ordering

HW VSP instalator is available free until licence conditions and you can download it for free. If you want to modify this SW or use our know-how, you can order source code version under ordering types in following table. For pricing and another information contact us..

OID Versions
600 046 HW VSP No logo version
Current version of the HW VSP executable version without HWg logo.
600 047 HW VSP Customizable logo
All versions of the HW VSP without HWg logo. We provide you utility to remove HWg logo from the Installed version.
600 048 HW VSP Source codes
Full documented HW VSP sources, manual included..
600 049 HW VSP Source codes + 3 months support
Full documented HW VSP sources, manual included, 3 months email support in english..

 

Other Links

  • Hercules SETUP utility
    Hercules SETUP utility is useful terminal for the Serial port (RS-232or RS-485), UDP/IP and TCP/IP (Client or Server).
  • The TEA encryption & Authorisation algorithm
    One necessary function for TCP/IP devices is security access and related functions. For simple authorization you can use the password system (Insert your name & password when prompted before beginning communication). This solution has a big disadvantage, because the password is sent in the non-secure format to the Ethernet network, so it could be read by someone else. It is more desirable to use one of the cryptographymethods for secure authorisation.
  • NVT (Network Virtual Terminal) description
    Communication with the TCP/IP device over the Ethernet network can be extended by more functions when using the NVT (Network Virtual Terminal) commands. It can be used according to the RFC2217 specification to change baudrate on remote Virtual Serial Ports for example.