Connecting your rangefinder

Connecting your rangefinder to ArcPad is a simple process that involves the following steps:

  1. Determine what cables, adapters, and gender changers, if any, are needed to connect your rangefinder to the mobile device being used to run ArcPad.
  2. Connect the rangefinder to the mobile device.
  3. Configure the rangefinder.
  4. Set the Rangefinder Preferences in ArcPad.

There is no standard method for connecting a rangefinder to ArcPad since most rangefinders have unique configurations. By using this section and the documentation for your rangefinder and mobile device, it is fairly easy to successfully connect your rangefinder to ArcPad.

Determining what items are needed

In general, you will need one or more of the following items to connect your rangefinder to the mobile device being used to run ArcPad:

You will not need any of the above items if you are connecting your rangefinder to your mobile device via Bluetooth.

Many rangefinders and mobile devices have unique fittings for their serial ports and require their own proprietary serial cables. This is particularly true for Windows Mobile devices. Not all rangefinders, however, require all of the above items to connect to the mobile device.

Many serial cables that connect to the rangefinder on one end are designed to connect directly to a PC serial port on the other end using a standard DB9 serial connector. This is not true when connecting to many Windows Mobile devices since these devices usually have nonstandard, proprietary serial ports. Consequently, a proprietary serial cable is usually required when connecting a rangefinder to a Windows Mobile device. This dependency on proprietary serial cables makes Bluetooth an attractive option for connecting serial devices, including rangefinders, to Windows Mobile devices—although not all Windows Mobile devices support Bluetooth.

Most rangefinder serial cables and Windows Mobile device proprietary serial cables have 9-pin DB9 female connectors on the ends that need to be connected together. Consequently, a 9-pin male-to-male gender changer is required to connect the two female serial cables. Finally, a null modem adapter or cable is usually needed when connecting a rangefinder to a Windows Mobile, using the device’s sync cable.

Connecting your rangefinder

Using the information in the preceding discussion you should now be able to determine which cables, null modem adapters, and gender changers you will need to connect your rangefinder to the device that is running ArcPad. Assemble and connect the required items before moving to the next step of configuring your rangefinder. No assembly of cables and adapters is needed if you are using Bluetooth. Also, make sure that the batteries on your rangefinder are fully charged.

Configuring your rangefinder

You need to configure your rangefinder to output data in a protocol supported by ArcPad. You also need to verify the communication parameters that your rangefinder is configured for, specifically the baud rate, parity, data bits, and stop bits. You will need this information for the next step of setting the Rangefinder Preferences in ArcPad.

If you are using Bluetooth, you will need to use the Bluetooth Manager on your mobile device to discover the rangefinder, and possibly to pair your rangefinder with your mobile device. Consult the documentation for your rangefinder and mobile device for more information on connecting via Bluetooth.

Setting the Rangefinder Preferences in ArcPad

In order to activate your rangefinder, you first need to set the rangefinder communication parameters in ArcPad to match the parameters on your rangefinder. The rangefinder protocol and communication parameters are set in the Rangefinder Preferences dialog box.

The task later in this section describes how to set the communication parameters in ArcPad.