Getting Started with Programming an RS232


Active Member
Hey All,

I was looking at some of the cheaper RFID things and they seem like they will work well for my application. However, I am using HAL and not Homseer, so there is no plugin for the reader. From what I've read, the reader simply sends data about the tag to the serial port, but there is probably more than that.

Anyways, I've had a bit of programming experience, but have no experience interfacing with a serial port. Basically all I know is a bit of Java and a bunch of PHP. Any suggestions on where I should go to learn how to do this type of programming?
VB6/VB.NET is probably one of the easier languages, and both support serial interaction (plenty of examples out there). Does HAL have a scripting engine?
C# is almost identical to Java's syntax. I don't think the Serial classes were added until VS2005 tho. Maybe VS2003. So if you have a version of VS earlier than 2005 you will have to look for a third party DLL.
Another option are the Free Express editions of VS 2005. I use Express Editions of VB, C++ and C# along with their SQL Server 2005 Express edition and the Visual Web Developer (ASP.NET) Express Edition. They work well and for most non-enterprise work you'll never notice the difference between them and their expensive commercial versions. Did I mention they're FREE? :D For programming tips - serial port included; check out Microsoft's Coding4Fun website.

I have C source code that interfaces with the HAI Omni Pro II controller serial port. You could possibly modify this code for your needs. Please let me know if you are interested in the source.
Although Sun dropped support for serial comm (java.comm) on windows and you can't obtain it from them, it can be found on the net.. I found it here I have been using it for years with the X10Controller (

If you are starting from scratch you can use RXTX (an open source implementation) and it supports Linux as well. Just replace the java.comm package with in any code written for java.comm.

Here's a book I found online that might help:
Hmm, HAL has this thing called HALi which is "an Actixe X interface that allow more advanced programming with HAL." Can I use any language with Active X? Which one would be the most useful to learn?
I got my RFID stuff mentioned in this thread, and it's working great, at least with the sample code. I found the .ocx has the controls I need, but have no clue how to use it.

Does anyone know of any sample code/websites/books that will explain more how to use Active X and Visual Basic (I downloaded the 2005 free version)?
Unless they've changed it , VB.Net does not support serial comms. ( which really p'd me off ) VB6 professional does.

I wish I could be more help that what I am , but I can tell you it's not easy to communicate with something serially.

I am unfamiliar with what you are using or what you are trying to do, but have you tried hyperterminal?
Sometimes I don't know what I'm thinking.
I've been trying to cut up an old serial thing I did to maybe send it to you.


Some genius... and I mean that respectfully ... there are some sharp customers there... will fix you right up.
Thanks for the link. Posted over there and got a response within a half an hour. I got the a basic program working, and will now have to expand on it...