Programming software on Windows 7 revisited

Rob Brookes' Blog - MRMap and Communications Info

Programming software on Windows 7 revisited

Postby Rob_Brookes » Sun May 23, 2010 9:40 am

As most of you know MREW recently issued the new laptops to all English and
Welsh MRTs running the MRMap and Mapyx' 'Sarman' applications. I don't
believe the Simoco programming software (FPP) was included in the installation but
should you wish to add it to the laptop or any other, you may find there's a
problem if the machine is running Windows 7. Glenn Sneddon at TMC Australia
has advised us that the problem lies not with the FPP itself but with the 16
bit Windows installer application it uses.

The work-around has now been tested by Dave Healey of Bolton MRT and Richard
Steele of Cambridgeshire SAR along with myself and we've all agreed that the
solution is to take an existing installation from a Windows XP, or earlier,
computer and to copy the file into the C:\ Program Files (x86) folder on
your Windows 7 machine. This hasn't been tried on a computer running Vista
as far as I know but it should also work there.

Make sure you use the 32 bit 'Program Files (x86)' folder and not the 64
bit 'Program Files' one. This solution however, works on both 32 and 64 bit
versions of Windows 7.

Just copy the 'Simoco' folder in it's entirety and paste it into your
Program Files (x86) folder. You will need to then right click the file
'srm9000.exe' and select <Send To> <Desktop (As Shortcut)> and this will
place a shortcut to the program on your desktop from where it can be moved
to wherever you want to keep it. Clicking this shortcut will run the FPP as
normal. There won't now be an entry on the normal Windows start menu for the
program but if you want one then right click the shortcut on your desktop
and select <Pin to Start Menu> Or any of the other options you want to use.

TMC are working on a better solution but in the meantime this one works OK.

As an afterthought, if you're using the Simoco USB programming leads, especially with the new SRP9170/80 radios on a Windows 7 machine then you need a USB to serial driver which isn't likely to be the one supplied on the disk that comes with the lead. The file you need can be downloaded from a number of websites including the manufacturer, Silicon Labs. It's called CP210x_VCP-W7 but be careful if you Google it, a number of sites advertising this file are very dodgy and you'll need a good anti-virus application on your computer. The Silicon Labs one appears safe but is in Japanese unless you click on the 'Translate' option. I can send the file to anyone who prefers to get it that way.
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Joined: Mon Jul 14, 2008 10:37 am
Location: Langdale Ambleside MRT

Re: Programming software on Windows 7 revisited

Postby Rob_Brookes » Mon Jun 07, 2010 9:31 am

There's also another previously mentioned issue with using the programming software under Windows 7, you won't now be able to read the help files which are quite handy on occasion. Those nice people at Microsoft have decided to use a different type of help file format that the FPP doesn't have available. They've not included the file reader application necessary to open the old-style .hlp files. You can still get this file from the Microsoft website however, the one you want is Winhlp32.exe

It runs perfectly on Windows 7 once downloaded and installed and why they didn't include we'll never know. A number of older 32-bit applications use this form of help file so it might be worth adding it to your Windows 7 installation. Once all of this has been done the Simoco programming software runs as normal on a Windows 7 computer. This is more than can be said for the USB to serial drivers however and they will almost certainly need updating at the same time as mentioned above.
Posts: 191
Joined: Mon Jul 14, 2008 10:37 am
Location: Langdale Ambleside MRT

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