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Technology


EDMCE

Note - Program updated again April 21, 2006 to fix new bugs
(fixed issue that makes moving CFG and CDB to a new directory easier and fixed issue where Leica total stations didn't set angle correctly)

Also - read these instructions for installing the program.


Background

EDMCE is a Windows version of EDM developed for PocketPC 2002 operating systems such as one finds on the Ipaq and various other handheld computers (though not Palm).  The program differs from standard survey programs in that it was specifically designed to help with piece proveniencing artifacts in archaeological sites. It uses a configuration file that the user designs (there is also a default configuration). It has menu fields to speed data entry and reduce errors.  It allows user defined spatial units that can then be associated with various fields so that the total station can determine which unit a point comes from and so that defaults and ID numbers can be retained for those units.  The program accepts data transfers from Topcon, Wild, Leica and Sokkia total stations (though Sokkia instruments have not yet been tested with this version).

We have tested this program on HP Ipaq computers (Models 3650 and HX-4700).  Though in theory these computers have built in serial ports, we have found that they are not reliable.  Thus we use an external serial port card (if link is dead try "serial compactflash card" on www.mobileplanet.com).  This card will also give your laptop with a PC-Card slot a serial port (useful for newer laptops that do not have serial ports).

PocketPC 2002 vs 2003
This software was written in a Microsoft programming language designed to create applications for PocketPC operating systems (also a Microsoft product).  When Microsoft upgraded the operating system to 2003, they announced that they would no longer support this programming language and that all programs would have to be re-written in a new language (also a Microsoft product).  To help with the transition, in version 2003 only, they offer a support library that allows you to continue running 2002 applications.  All future versions of the PocketPC operating system will no longer support 2002 applications at all.

You can download the support file at this Microsoft link.  You will need to download the file, transfer it to your PocketPC computer, and then run the file.  It will install the support libraries needed to operate EDMCE.  If you are going into the field, it is highly advisable that you save a copy of this file on a CD so that you can restore your PocketPC if necessary.

Also, this new version of the program posted here addresses a lot of bugs that the PocketPC 2003 operating system created.  In particular, the New Site and Open Site functions did not work at all.  In addition, the pull down menus used for entering data after recording a point did not work at all.  You may experience other problems.  Please let us know if so and we will try to address them.

In the mean time, we are learning the new programming software and will be posting a new version here sometime in 2005.

New Version 1.5
We used EDMCE last summer at two excavations and it has been used by others.  This is not to say that it is bug free.  Please let us know if you download it and encounter problems.

This install works on ARM 1100, ARM 720T, MIPS 4000, and SH3 processors (it may work on others as well - supposedly most new PocketPC computers follow the ARM standard - the installation program handles this automatically).  If you have problems with installing it, please let us know.
Description Filename Size Date
Full Install (zip file) edmce17.zip 3270k 04/21/06
Program only edmce.zip 167k 04/21/06
Manual (draft) manual.pdf 69k 4/25/05
 

Issues (4/25/05)

We have new Ipaq computers (HX-4700).  These computers are a lot faster than our original Ipaq computers and work a lot better.  However, they are also PocketPC 2003 and there were lots of issues related to this.  Version 1.5 of the program addresses these.

You will note that taking a shot happens faster now.  Originally there was a delay associated with resetting the serial port before each shot.  This has been removed.  However, this means that if you let the machine go to sleep, you need to be sure to use Station - Reset Connection before taking a shot.  Better is to use Power - Power Off to put the machine to sleep.

Sections of the program that open a file have been re-written because of a problem associated with PocketPC 2003.

The pull-down menus in the edit point data screen are a little different now (again because of a 2003 issue).  You will notice that blank items have been added to the end of the list in the pull-down.  This was done to fix the problem.

Support for Leica total stations has been added and tested (this should include Wild models as well).  It has been tested with a TCR403 machine and seems to work well.

If you were using a serial port other than COM1 it may have not remembered this each time you started the program.  This has been fixed (as well as a problem remembering which total station was used).

The default directory is now \my documents instead of \my documents\edmce.  Again, this works around a PocketPC 2003 problem.

Note, there is now a draft of a manual.

As we put the program to use this summer (starting June 13), you can expect more updates on this site.

Issues (5/29/04)

We are currently in the field, using this program, and finding some bugs.  We have, therefore, posted an update and will do so throughout the summer as necessary.  Note, that this version changes a few things.  The name of the prisms table is changed and thus you will lose your prisms when you switch to it.  Also, if you are using unit fields, you no long need to list "Unit" as the first field.  As always, we recommend you make a backup of the program and data files before switching to this program.

In addition, we are currently putting the final touches on Newplot and a new program (EDMWIN) that will make using EDMCE a great deal easier.  EDMWIN will allow you to create configuration files and transfer these files and data files back and forth to a PocketPC.

Issues (4/23/04)

There were a number of bugs (too numerous to list) in the previous version that have been addressed (new version is 1.4).

There are several important issues that have arisen.  First, we have found that it is impossible to ensure that data are not lost when instead of exiting the program normally, you do a hard reset (pressing the reset button) AND the data file is in the internal memory of the machine (ie. stored on a local 'drive').  If you can do a soft reset (shutting down the task), the data are safe.  However, we also found that if you store your site data file on an external memory card, then the data are safe regardless of what kind of reset you do.  We strongly recommend this anyway since external memory cards are not lost if there is a complete power failure.

Second, the Ipaq (model 3650) with an external serial port card does not wake-up after a power-off while the program is running.  The program will become extremely slow.  If you turn off the computer while the program is running or if the computer turns itself off to save power, do a "Station-Reset Connection" from the program menu (sometimes you need to give the machine about 10 seconds to fully wake up).  If you forget to do this, be patient, and when you are back on the main menu for the program, do a "Station-Reset Connection".  It is not recommended that you let the machine power off when it is not at the main screen.  And if you are not using the program for a long time (lunch or the end of the day) it is recommended that you exit the program (this has the benefit too of making sure the data are written to the database).  We are working on a fix for this problem.

Third, though the program can handle multiple prisms with different offset values, there is currently one issue with this.  After you record a point and go to the edit screen, if you edit the the prism and in doing so change the prism offset, the correct XYZ will not be recalculated (the Z is changed to reflect the different prism heights).  In these instances, we recommend canceling and re-shooting the point if the offset error is unacceptable.  Future versions of the program will address this issue.

Issues (9/20/05)

There were a number of issues with the File New and File Open CFG/MDB menus.  I have tried to fix these.  You should be able to create a new site (CFG and MDB) more easily now.

It has been reported that the 3-shot setup is not working properly (this is where you initialize by shooting to two known points).  I have not had an opportunity to look into this yet.

Note that the new version of the program has a button with a '+' in it on the form where you enter data after recording a point.  This button is to be used when adding new items to pull-down menus.  It is an attempt to fix a bug wherein if you add a new item and then immediately save the new point, the item is not added to the pull-down menus.