d.tools: Phidgets support

You can now use the Phidgets hardware platform together with the d.tools software design environment.

What do I need to do?
First, download and install the d.tools graphical editor plug-in for Eclipse - instructions here. Phidgets support is integrated into the binary release since version 0.7.1.

Next, you need a working installation of the Phidgets software, version 2.0 (phidget20.dll). This version is still available (in August 2007) as part of the Legacy Flash 8 Files package on phidgets.com. The newer version, 2.1, still has some issues with its Java library and currently version 2.1 does not work with d.tools. However, you can alternate between using 2.1 and 2.0 on the same computer.

In Eclipse, select d.tools Preferences (Window menu->Preferences->d.tools Preferences), check the PhidgetsInterfaceKit radio button, and fill in your Phidget Web Service port number and password. Enter "" (localhost) for the server IP address and "-1" for the Phidget ID. Close down Eclipse. Make sure the Phidget Web Service in running, then restart Eclipse. You can n

If Eclipse does not start after setting the Phidgets preferences, the Phidget Library may have caused it to exit. This happens when the library cannot successfully connect to the Web Service. Unfortunately we cannot prevent the Phidgets library from shutting down Eclipse. If you are experiencing this problem, try cleaning out your workspace as described in step 2 of the installation instructions for d.tools

What kind of inputs/outputs are available? And how do I use them?
In this early version, we support one single PhidgetsInterfaceKit - 8 discrete inputs, 8 analog inputs, and 8 discrete outputs. d.tools uses OpenSoundControl messages to address hardware - each input and output connector will have its own address (a string that looks like a file path). Here is the mapping of Wiring ports to OSC addresses:

  • Screw terminal discrete inputs, addresses are "/input0", "/input1", ..."/input7"
  • Screw terminal discrete outputs, addresses are "/output0" through "/output7"
  • Analog (sensor) inputs: Addresses are "/sensor0" through "/sensor7"
  • Other Phidgets are not currently supported.

That's a lot of information. Is there a video that shows all these steps?
Here's a video walkthough showing installation of the Phidgets 2.0 library, set up of d.tools preferences, and creation of a new d.tools project with Phidgets input and output:

How to alternate between using Phidgets 2.1 and 2.0 on the same computer
If you have Phidgets 2.1 installed and running, open the Management Console:
stop the Web Service if it is running, then close down the Management Console by right clicking on the icon in your system tray and choosing "exit". Now install version 2.0. Pick a different default directory, e.g., C:\PRogram Files\Phidgets20, so you don't overwrite the 2.1 installation. Open the 2.0 Management Console and start the Phidget Web Service. Note the port number and password. To switch back to version 2.1, again stop the web service through the management console, exit the console, then re-open the 2.1 console.

The 2.0 management console can be started by executing:
C:\Program Files\Phidgets20\PhidgetWebServiceManager.exe

The 2.1 management console can be starten by executing:
C:\Program Files\Phidgets\Phidget21Manager.exe


How does this work?
Within d.tools, we convert OSC messages to Phidgets WebService API calls and vice versa.

Last Updated: August 25, 2007