The new Ohaus Navigator series consists of a total of 18 scales (incl. 4 LFT models) with a maximum capacity from 220g up to 22kg and a readability starting at 0.01g. As usual in this segment, all scales use load cells with strain gages.
Note: Available models and characteristics may differ depending on your region. This article refers to scales available in Europe as of May 2019.
Differences to the previous Navigator scales
The NVL series (Navigator XL) with its unusual elongated shape is no longer available:
On all new scales, the upper side of the housing is now white, and the red display framing is more discreet. Another difference is the even higher contrast of the display:
The touchless IR sensor has been removed from all scales except the LFT models.
Interface options and accessories continue to be available
Numerous interface options are available, making these scales particularly interesting for data transfer to a computer: RS-232, USB device (virtual COM port) and Ethernet.
Two versions of Kern’s BalanceConnection software are now available: the standard version (SCD-4.0) and the Pro version (SCD-4.0-PRO).
The following table shows the features of the standard version on the left and the additional features of the Pro version on the right (according to Kern’s 2019 catalog):
· For operating systems Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, 8.1, 10 · Supports balances measuring devices with RS 232, RS 485, Bluetooth, LAN or WLAN network (TCP/UDP/IP) · Highly flexible formatting of the output (any order, formatting and rounding), particularly recording of date and time for every value transferred, if required · Any number of devices/interfaces can be connected, as well as simultaneous and synchronised recording of several balances · Key-activated or time-controlled interro- gation of measurements or trigger of device functions, also for continuous recording · The interface protocols for KERN balances are already predefined (standard configuration) · Compatible interface cable included when you order a KERN balance at the same time · Many different transfer and recording options: – Microsoft ® Excel/Access/Word in the fore ground or background – Other Windows applications (through key simulation), e.g. shipping software or ERP system (SAP, Sage, etc.) – File recording (e.g. as text or CSV file) – Print out on text or label printer – Screen output such as large display, line chart (drying curve for moisture analyzer), histogram, etc.
· ODBC/SQL databases such as SQL Server or MySQL · Transfer to HTTP Webservices/Web forms · Histogram · Enables the connection of medical balances to practice EDP systems using the device data transfer protocol (GDT) and also the HL7 protocol · Implementation of programs/scrips using freely-definable command lines · Command sequences · Defining the conditions for specific events and the reaction to these events · Filter for stability recognition (configurable value storage) · Central configuration repository, e.g. on the network · On-screen displays with configurable user interface for flexible balance operation
If you do not need the features listed on the right, the standard version is the right choice. However, this version has also become a bit more expensive compared to the single version available so far.
If you don’t need the extensive functionality of BalanceConnection and only want to connect a single scale to your PC, we offer two very inexpensive alternatives. Each of these programs has a single purpose and is therefore easy to set up and use:
232key: Transfers the weight to any application (e.g. Excel, shipping software, etc.) using a key simulation (virtual keyboard wedge).
Simple Data Logger: Stores the weight in a CSV file (if desired with date and time), the weight can also be retrieved from the scale using a timer (Plus version only).
Are you still manually entering weight readings from your scale or balance on your PC? Is your scale equipped with a RS-232 or USB (virtual COM port) interface? If yes, you can eliminate manual data entry by connecting your scale to your computer and using our free software 232key.
232key automatically types the weight into any application
Our software runs in the background, listens to the COM port (serial port) your scale is connected to and waits for measurement values sent by the scale. Those values are then filtered, formatted and typed into the application running in the foreground at the current cursor position as simulated keystrokes. This means that 232key can be used to transfer the weight (or other measurement values) into any application that accepts keyboard inputs, e.g. Microsoft Excel, OpenOffice / LibreOffice Calc, Google Docs, a form on a website, etc.
In the following example, I used A&D’s FG-60KBM scale with an optional RS-232 interface (FG-OP-23). I connected it to my laptop with A&D’s serial cable (AX-PC09-SCA) and an inexpensive converter to USB (as my laptop doesn’t have a serial port). Upon pressing the “PRINT” key on the scale, the weight was typed directly into an input field on a website:
Compatibility with scales and balances
To use 232key, you’ll need a scale with a RS-232 interface (aka. serial port, COM port, EIA-232) or an interface which appears as a (virtual) COM port when the scale is connected to your PC. This is the case for many (but not all) scales with a USB interface and for scales which support the Bluetooth Serial Port Profile.
Your scale or balance also has to send the weight in ASCII format. The weight has to be the first numeric value sent* and it should only be sent once (after you’ve pressed a key on the scale), not continuously.
The vast majority of scales and balances available on the market today fulfills these requirements. Just to give you a few examples, you should be able to use 232key with most or all scales and balances made by A&D (RS-232 only), Adam Equipment (RS-232 and USB), Ohaus** (RS-232 and USB), Kern**, MyWeigh (RS-232 only) and other well-known brands. New device profiles are constantly added!
Finally, an easy way to transfer data from your scale to your PC
We designed 232key to make your life easier. No complicated configuration is required. If your scale manufacturer or model is included in the list of predefined devices, you don’t even have to manually enter the interface parameters: Simply select your scale and click on “Default” to load the settings.
Not sure which COM port you scale is connected to? Press the “Auto” button and 232key will try to detect the port automatically (works with all devices which have some sort of hardware handshaking functionality, e.g. scales and balances made by A&D and MyWeigh’s popular HD series).
Do you know which decimal separator (point or comma) your scale is using? Why should you! 232key understands both input formats and lets you choose which output format you want.
Would you like 232key to press an additional key after typing the weight, e.g. the “Enter” key to jump to the next row in a spreadsheet? No problem, simply specify the desired key in the “Format” tab.
* We’ve added an exception to this rule for scales and balances made by Adam Equipment. ** Affiliate links.
Update May 2018: Write the weight to a file
232key is a great solution for sending the weight from your scale to an application running on your PC (as simulated keystrokes). In some cases, however, it makes more sense to record the weight to a file which is later opened in Excel (or other applications).
This is particularly true for unattended data logging applications running over long periods of time. Another example are applications with high data rates (several weight values per second) which would overwhelm a virtual keyboard wedge like 232key.