USB : HIDmaker FS    What is HIDmaker FS  

Page 1

The HIDmaker FS product contains 4 main programs:

  1. HIDmaker FS writes your USB code, for both peripheral and PC, at the same time. The source code for these programs is ready to compile and run and talk to each other over USB. The current version supports full speed, flash programmable USB processors from Microchip.
  2. Low Speed HIDmaker is the original version of HIDmaker that supports the low speed PIC16C765 family devices from Microchip. It has the same user interface as HIDmaker FS, can use the same project files, and generates code for the same PC side programming languages.  
  3. AnyHID is a test program that can talk to any functioning USB HID device, even if you didn't design it yourself.  
  4. USBwatch is a device-based USB analyzer program that can show you the actual USB data going into or out of your HIDmaker device.

There are dozens of sample projects included, for both full speed and low speed USB HID devices. Some of these have been customized to perform real I/O on several specific commercial USB demo boards.

Documentation includes two printed manuals totalling over 300 pages, online help for all programs (including the generated PC programs), and an extensive on-disk web site with late breaking information and a comprehensive troubleshooting guide.

Perhaps most importantly, we also promptly provide *real technical support*, by telephone or email, to our registered customers

Page 2

The HIDmaker FS program is a software wizard that generates custom software for your USB HID device, as well as a matching PC program (a complete Windows GUI program) that knows how to talk to that device.

You provide some general information, and use the Visual Data Designer to describe the data that you want to send across the USB. HIDmaker FS then writes source code (in many popular programming languages) of matching programs for both peripheral device and PC.

In the next tutorial, we'll use HIDmaker FS to generate a simple device having a single USB Interface. Later tutorials cover the customizing and testing of the code that HIDmaker FS generated, as well as the process of developing more sophisticated devices having multiple endpoints (Interfaces) and even multiple personalities.

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The AnyHID program, described in detail in another tutorial, lets you test and get detailed information about any functioning USB HID device, even if you did't design it yourself.

Just plug in your device, open it in AnyHID, and send data reports to the device or receive reports from it.

You can browse the HID devices that are currently connected to your PC, and get information about them such as who made them, what they are for, how many Interfaces they contain, and what data they can send and receive.

To document your work, you can type your own comments in the test results, and then print the results or save them to a text file.

As a bonus, we provide SOURCE CODE for the AnyHID program, in several programming languages.

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The USBwatch program, also described in detail in another tutorial, is a sort of USB analyzer that is located in your device. It shows the actual USB data going into and out of your device, even during the enumeration process, even if your device is not working right.

USBwatch uses special snippets in HIDmaker's USB library routines (which are only compiled when USBwatch is activated) that send compressed messages out of the RS-232 port of the USB device. These messages are interpreted and displayed on the USBwatch program on the PC.

Most of our customers never even need to use USBwatch, because HIDmaker's generated code just works, every time. However, if you try to do something risky like modifying a descriptor by hand, and your device stops working because of it, USBwatch can get you out of trouble. It will tell you what happened, and give you valuable clues about how to fix it. It's your first line of defense against USB problems.

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We provide dozens of sample projects, for both low speed and full speed devices. All sample projects are provided with full source code in every one of the programming languages we support on both the peripheral and PC side. Every one of these programs has been tested by us and is guaranteed to work.

Many of these sample programs are generic, in the sense that they will work on any working PIC-based USB PC board.

Some of these have been modified so as to perform real I/O on one of several commercial USB demo boards, such as Microchip's PicDem FS USB or microEngineering Labs' LAB-XUSB.

Types of sample projects we provide include:

  • demos of the transmission of large arrays,
  • buffered bytes,
  • a mixture of odd sized data items,
  • Feature Reports,
  • USB Composite devices,
  • Control Transfers, and
  • detailed examples of USB keyboard, mouse, and composite keyboard/mouse devices.

Page 6

Those USB books you see in the bookstores tend to load you up right away with a bunch of heart-stopping detail about descriptors, transfer types, and packet IDs. By the time your are done reading them, you'll wonder where to even begin on your project.

Our customers really love our documentation, because we focus on what you need to actually DO, and we make it easy to understand.

Don't think our manuals are all fluff, though. Our customers tell us that the kind of practical hard-won practical lessons and design and test strategies we provide in our manuals is the kind of information that you won't find anywhere else. Some of our customers say this stuff is worth the price of the product all by itself.

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Far too often these days, what passes for tech support is an online forum where you can post a question. If you are lucky enough to even get an answer at all on one of those forums, it usually comes (possibly days later) from another user, who may not have much more experience than you do!

At Trace Systems, we believe our customers deserve better service than that.

We provide REAL technical support to our registered customers, by phone or by email, and we provide it right away. Right from the author of the programs.

If you're confused, having problems, or just plain need advice about your HIDmaker FS project, you can get expert help fast. Our customers really love that. It's something they can hardly find anywhere else these days.

Text Author: Dr. Bob Miller   Copyright Notice and Author Information