How to connect USB balances

Shruti
Shruti
  • Updated

Ohaus are one of the leading suppliers of balances used to capture animal weights. They supply a variety of interfaces that can be used to connect the device to your laptop or PC including USB, RS232 and Bluetooth.

However, these connections have not been designed with web applications in mind. Instead, Ohaus balances are configured to work with specialised software that can send your measurements directly to a chosen spreadsheet file.

Luckily, we can use a virtual keyboard wedge to overcome this and allow you to use your Ohaus balance to send data to any application. Here's everything you need to know:

  1. Connect the Ohaus balance to your PC or laptop using either a USB or RS232 interface. These interfaces can be purchased from most suppliers of Ohaus equipment.

  2. Install any relevant drivers — the easiest way to do this is using the manufacturer's CD supplied with your balance. Alternatively, you can download the appropriate drivers at the Ohaus website.

  3. Download and install the virtual keyboard wedge software 232key. This software is free, although there is a premium version if you require additional functionality, such as connecting more than one device.

  4. Open 232key and navigate to the "Input" tab. Ensure that the correct port is selected.

  5. Use the device dropdown list to select the Ohaus model that you are using. Once selected, click "Set defaults" to load the appropriate settings.

  6. For optimal use in Benchling In Vivo, select the "Output" tab and ensure that the "End with" setting is set to either ENTER or TAB. This will tell the software to simulate either of these keys being pressed once the measurement is sent to Benchling In Vivo. This has the benefit of automatically saving the measurement or moving to the next measurement field.

  7. Click into the "Start/Stop" tab and click start to initiate the process of converting your balance output to keystrokes.

  8. On the measurement form in Benchling In Vivo, ensure that the "Weight" field is selected and press the "Print" button on the balance. The measurement should be instantly sent to Benchling In Vivo.

If you have done everything above and the measurement is not sending, there are a few common issues that can be easily sorted:

  1. Make sure you have selected the correct port in 232key.

  2. Double check that the device and port settings are matching. This can be done by comparing the settings within the "input" tab of 232key and the port settings within the "Device Manager" of Windows.

  3. Check that the most up-to-date drivers are installed. You may need to restart your PC or laptop for these to take effect.

Tried all the above and still having trouble? Send us a message using the chat feature on the bottom right of this page and we can do our best to help you troubleshoot.

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