TCP Client Connection

To create a TCP client connection, do the following:

  1. Select Connection → New client connection from the main menu or select Client connection in the Home window:

  1. Specify the connection name;
  1. Choose the local COM port to be used in the connection;
  1. Check Create as virtual port if you want a virtual COM port to be created for this connection. Virtual ports work exactly like real ones and fully emulate their settings. Their main advantage is speed and also the fact that you can create any number of virtual ports you want and with arbitrary names.
Note: a virtual COM port can have the same name as an existing real port. In this case the virtual port will “overlap” the real one, with the latter becoming inaccessible to other applications.
  1. Enable Strict baudrate emulation in the Serial port settings if you checked Create as virtual port and expect to send data in large blocks (2 KBs or more). This will limit the baud rate of the virtual port to the value it is actually opened with and will usually prevent potential data loss;
  1.  Select the data transmission protocol:
  • Raw data transmission: This mode lets you establish a raw TCP session, where all data will be transmitted as it is sent, without any protocol-specific application-layer formatting.
  • Telnet protocol (RFC 2217): Telnet with RFC 2217 extensions gives the server and the client the facilities to exchange the COM port configuration information, with the ability to notify the remote end of any changes in the settings or the line states of the local COM port.
Note: RFC 2217 mode was designed primarily for modems, but can also be used for serial printers, plotters, different monitoring devices as well as office equipment such as photo-copiers and cash registers;
  1. Specify the name or IP address and the listen port of the server(s) you are connecting to.
  1. Click Create:

When creating a Client connection you can also configure: Serial port settings, Connection settings, Proxy settings, Security settings and Signal lines settings. The rest of this page covers them in detail.

Serial port settings

  • Baudrate: Specify rate at which bits are transmitted (bits per second). The baud rate is the rate at which information is transferred in a communication channel. In the serial port context, “9600 baud” means that the serial port is capable of transferring a maximum of 9600 bits per second. To be able to communicate at the maximum speed, both local and remote ends must be configured to the same baud rate.
  • Parity: Specify the parity checking type. Parity can be one of the following: none, odd, even, mark, or space. If Parity is none, parity checking is not performed and the parity bit is not transmitted. If Parity is odd, the number of mark bits (1s) in the data is counted, and the parity bit is asserted or unasserted to obtain an odd number of mark bits. If Parity is even, the number of mark bits in the data is counted, and the parity bit is asserted or unasserted to obtain an even number of mark bits. If Parity is mark, the parity bit is asserted. If Parity is space, the parity bit is unasserted.
  • Data bits: Specify the number of data bits to transmit. Usually, the transferred bits include the start bit, the data bits, the parity bit (if used), and the stop bits. However, only the data bits carry useful information. You can configure Databits to be 5, 6, 7, or 8. Data is transmitted as a series of five, six, seven, or eight bits with the least significant bit sent first (little-endian).
  • Stop bits: Specify number of bits used to indicate end of a byte. Stop bits could be 1, 1.5, or 2, however almost all contemporary devices are configured to 1 Stop bit. Please, note that both ends of the serial port must be configured to transmit the same number of stop bits to work properly.
  • Flow control: Specify the Flow control type. Flow control is usually used to ensure that the receiving serial port device can handle all of the incoming data sent to it. Send dialog provides the following values you can assign to Flow control: Xon/Xoff (commonly used for asynchronous communication), Hardware and None.

If specific port settings are expected by the device attached to your real COM port, you can set. (These settings can be dynamically adjusted by the remote host if the Telnet protocol is used.)

Note: If the Create as virtual port option is checked, the default port settings will be greyed out, as in this case the settings are to be defined by the application that opens the COM port.

Packet detection settings:

  • Add pause between packets – wait for the specified time after every network packet sent.
  • Before sending data wait for – accumulate all data in a buffer for the specified time before sending it out to the network.
  • Send out the data when the block is – accumulate all data in a buffer and send it only when it reaches the specified size.
  • Send data when received char with code – accumulate all data in a buffer and send it only when a character with the specified ASCII code is received.

Connection settings

  • Connect to remote end only when local virtual port is open – is available if the connection uses a virtual COM port. With this option enabled, no connection attempts will be made until the local COM port is opened by an application.
  • Open local real port only when connection is established – is available if you create a connection on a real COM port and can be enabled to keep this port available to local applications when not connected to any remote server.
  • On error retry to establish connection every – if enabled, failed connection attempts will be retried after the time interval specified.
  • Send “keep alive” every and if no reply, every – are the options controlling the keepalive timeouts. The first sets the time interval between two successive keepalive messages under normal conditions; the other – between two successive keepalive messages, if acknowledgement to the previous message was not received.The keepalive mechanism serves two basic purposes: first, it provides for detection of dead connections in a timely fashion (for instance, if the network link with a given server goes down unexpectedly), and second, it prevents automatic disconnection due to network inactivity.
  • Break connection, if no activity for – check to automatically disconnect from the servers with which no network activity is observed for the specified period of time.

Data transfer settings:

The options here will differ depending on the communication mode selected in Network protocol settings:

  • In raw mode: The Receive data from and Send data to dropdowns let you configure the access permissions when communicating with multiple remote hosts at once. The available options are:
    • Receive data from:
      • None – no data will be accepted from any server.
      • Only first / Only last – data will only be accepted from the server that is currently first / last in the list.
      • Last active – data will only be accepted from the server that responded last.
      • All – data will be accepted from all servers (default).
    • Send data to:
      • None – no data will be sent to any server.
      • Only first / Only last – data will only be sent to the server that is currently first / last in the list.
      • Last active – data will only be sent to the server that responded last.
      • All – data will be sent to all servers (default).
  • In RFC 2217 mode:
    • Notify remote hosts of local port settings change – can be enabled to notify the remote host of any changes in the settings or the line states of the local COM port.
    • Allow changing local port settings (real ports only) – is only available for real COM ports and, when checked, will allow the port settings be changed remotely (which requires the remote host to have the Notify remote host on local port settings change option enabled).
Note: The above two options are meaningful only in configurations with a real COM port on one side and a virtual port on the other. If both ports are real, these settings will have no effect, and the changes in the port settings will not be propagated to the other end.

Data buffer settings:

  • Buffer size – allows to set the maximum size of the buffer used for data written to the COM port when no connection is established. The contents of the buffer will be sent to the network as soon as a connection is established. The data exceeding the size of the buffer will be discarded. Setting this option to 0 will disable buffering completely.
  • Disabling the Nagle algorithm will cause all data to be sent out to the network immediately as it appears on the COM port, without being buffered and combined into a single packet. When the data consists of very short individual messages, enabling this option allows to minimize response times at the cost of increased network traffic.

Proxy settings

If you want the connection to be established via a proxy, check the respective option and configure the relevant settings.

Security settings

If a password was set by the server, you should specify it here in order to connect.

If required, you can additionally secure the connection by enabling traffic encryption.

Signal lines settings

In this section you can configure the line states of the local COM port for when the connection is established and not established as well as allow or deny changing the states of certain lines when using Telnet. Different options will be available here depending on whether you are creating a connection on a real or virtual COM port and on the protocol you selected.