Eye4Software Hydromagic

  Hydrographic Survey Software

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General information on using plugins in Hydromagic

In Hydromagic, a plugin is a small piece of software which is loaded when requested. In most cases, plugins are used to add compatibility for a piece of hardware such as an echo sounder, positioning device, motion sensor or a manual input like tide or sound velocity. By using separate plugins (Windows DLL files), it is possible to add support for hardware or a new feature without having to re-install the Hydromagic software, just copying a DLL file and restart the software will suffice.

Loading a plugin

To load any plugin, open the preferences window by selecting "Preferences..." from the "Options" menu.
In the window that appears, select the "Devices" tab. Next click the "Add..." button.

the devices tab in the preferences dialog

A list of available plugins will be displayed. The list is sorted alphabetically and displays the name of the plugin, the DLL filename and the version number. All plugins are located in the "Plugins" folder under the installation folder, for instance: "C:\Program Files\Eye4Software\HydroMagic\Plugins". If you ever need to add or replace a plugin DLL, this is the place to copy the received file to.

the alphabetically sorted list of available plugins

Configuring a plugin

The configuration screen might be slightly different on the various plugins. However plugins which are used to connect to a device like an echo sounder or a position device always need some information on how to connect to the device. Most plugins allow you to connect a device through a serial port (or USB to serial converter), or Ethernet using the TCP or UDP Internet protocols.

Configuration of devices using plugins

When configuring a device which is connected to a serial port, via an USB to serial converter or Bluetooth you have to use "Serial" as connection type. The software automatically detects all serial ports present in Windows and you can select one using the "Serial Port" drop down.

To switch between a serial and an Ethernet connection, just change the connection type from "Serial" to "TCP/IP". When the connection type is set to "TCP/IP" you can use the second drop down box to switch between the "TCP" and "UDP" internet protocols.

Plugin troubleshooting

After configuring the plugin it will be loaded and its status will be displayed in the list of loaded plugins:

Plugin is waiting for data when an hourglass is displayed

The name of the plugin is displayed in the list, together with the port that is used, in this example "COM1". When using an Ethernet connection, TCP or UDP will be displayed here. The hourglass in front of the plugin name indicates that the plugin was loaded, the serial port could be opened and it is running successfully.

After connecting and switching on the device (echo sounder in this example), the hourglass should turn into a green icon which means that data is coming in. If this is not the case, please check whether the cable is connected to the correct port and try a different serial speed setting. You can also use putty to log the incoming data and check for the correct serial speed setting.

When a red icon with an exclamation mark is displayed in front of the plugin name, there was a failure loading the plugin or opening the connection to the device. In this case the cause of the error will be displayed in the real-time activity view.

Unloading plugins

To unload a plugin, open the preferences window by selecting "Preferences..." from the "Options" menu.
In the window that appears, select the plugin you want to unload and click the "Remove..." button.

Unload the plugin