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BalanceLink Software Protocol

Direct connect of data between the microbalance and Excel


LLS 5/19/2012 beta version

General Info
The microbalance is connected to the Dell computer through a RS232 USB cable. This
computer does not have internet connection, and should only be accessed with USB thumb
drives. The balance will print data to a text file or to Excel. Directions for sending data to
an Excel file are listed below.

Program Info
The first program we received to transfer data was called LabX Direct. There is a disk for it
in the drawer under the balance. It was having trouble working on this computer because
there was no internet connection. However we still have the software should we ever need
it in this drawer.

The second program we received and the one that will be used to convert the balance data
to Excel is called BalanceLink. A free trial was downloaded from www.mt.com under
BalanceLink 4.0.2 and the registration number given to us by Dan Yaconis (x4821) for the
software is 244804577. This should only be used on the Dell computer in the Harpole lab.

HOW TO SEND DATA FROM THE BALANCE TO EXCEL
1. Turn on the computer
2. EXCEL SETUP
a. Open Excel (link located on desktop)
b. Set up your Excel file with the desired column or row headings.
c. Place your cursor in the cell where data should first be entered
3. BALANCELINK SETUP
a. Open BalanceLink (link located on desktop)
b. CONFIGURATION SETUP
i. Setup a configuration for how you want the data to be entered into
Excel
1. On menu click configuration device properties
2. The Format tab will tell Excel how the data should be inputted
a. Macro1 = how the cursor in Excel should move before a
weight is entered
b. Value = the mass value from the microbalance
c. Macro2 = how the cursor in Excel should move after a
weight is entered
3. You will want to hit modify and then make sure the boxes are
checked according to how you want the cursor to move. Most
frequently you will want to have the Value and Macro2 boxes
checked.
4. The Macro2 tab gives you all sorts of options about how to
have the cursor move after you send a weight. For example if
you want the cursor to move down the column, you just click
on the Down button so [Down] reads in the window. Or if
you want it to enter across a row, you hit the Left or Right
button.
5. The Value tab allows you to modify how many decimal places
you want the balance to send to Excel. Standard for the general
protocols will be X.XXX with a rounding value of 0.001.
6. Once you are satisfied with your configuration hit ok
7. If you want to save a configuration to use again, in the main
menu screen, click on file-save configuration as. There is a
folder under Program Files METTLER TOLEDO BalanceLink
Configurations where you can save each configuration you
use. Please save your files as either your name if it is very
specific, or if it is a general command like down a column
please save it with a specific name so others can use these
common and general configurations.
c. CONNECTION SETUP
i. You will need to make sure the BalanceLink software on the computer
is connecting to the correct port on the actual microbalance. The
computer often reads the incorrect COM port so it is best to double
check this every time you are weighing objects.
1. Click on the connection icon, a window labeled Interface
Connection will open up.
a. The appropriate settings should be Baudrate: 9600,
Stop bit: 1, Data bit: 8, Parity: none, check the XOn/Xoff
box, and Port: COM3
b. Hit ok. The program will connect to the balance, hit
ok
4. SENDING WEIGHTS
a. Make sure Excel is up and your cell where data should go first is highlighted.
b. Hit the Print key on the right side of the balance. It looks like a little
printer. If you cannot find it, look for the icon in the manuals in the drawers
below the balance.
c. While the balance is stabilizing there will be a circle in the upper left hand
part of the screen. Once a weight is stabilized for about 3 seconds, the value
will be sent to Excel and the cursor will move as specified in the
configuration.
d. Continue to weigh your samples
5. FINISHING UP
a. Save your data in a file under the lab folders on the desktop. Please make
yourself a folder for the lab you are working in.
b. Save the data onto a flashdrive and take it to your personal or lab computer.
c. Turn computer off

TROUBLESHOOTING


If all else fails, call 1-800-METTLER (638-8537), when the prompt answers hit 1, then
enter extension 4821. This is Dan Yaconiss line. He has helped us in the past and can
help you make sure the balance is set up properly and is connected to the computer.