SPLat/PC, the main programming tool
The main starting point for everything SPLat is our programming tool, SPLat/PC. This is the program you run in your PC, and use to write, test, and debug programs for SPLat controllers, and to download them to your board. Even if you use a program written by someone else, you will want to use SPLat/PC. It is free, and available here. It would be a good idea to download and install it now, if you don't already have the latest version.
Once you have downloaded and installed SPLat/PC, the first time you run it you will be invited to run our mini-tutorials. Do it! If you have the slighest interest in writing your own SPLat programs (which we call SPLatWare) or want to modify any of our samples and projects, the mini-tutes will give you a head start. They don't cover everything, but in a couple of hours they will teach you the 16 instructions that will let you program basic machine controls with multitasking. Some of our customers, using SPLat controllers in quite sophisticated products, have never needed to progress past that level.
Tip: You can always access the mini-tutes from the SPLat/PC help menu.
The SPLat language
SPLat uses its own proprietary language. It is very easy to learn, very much easier in fact than C, or even Basic. It is the simplest language that exists for doing simple control tasks. You can start out programming simple control sequences, and as you gain confidence expand your use of the language to take in the capabilities you want.
The “classic” help file
Buried in SPLat/PC is a help file we started writing in 1995. It is no longer maintained, but is still the source of the programming fundamentals, such as the SPLat register model. Don't panic if you don't know what a register model is — since that time we have introduced programming innovations such as FastTrack™ and MultiTrack™, which simplify programming to the point where we have reports of 10-year olds writing SPLat programs.
If you have installed SPLat/PC, you can run it and hit the F1 key to access the classic help file. On some computers you may find Microsoft have withdrawn default support for their own help file format. Click here to get help with using help files.
The SPLat Knowledge Base (SKB)
The SPLat Knowledge Base (SKB) is currently the main repository for all SPLat documentation generated since 2001. It is located online, here. The SKB includes product data, tutorials, examples, documentation for support software, and a comprehensive programming reference. Please spend a couple of minutes browsing the SKB contents list.
Some hidden gems
Over time we have produced a lot of tools to make it easier to implement control systems with SPLat. Here are a few items that sometimes get overlooked.
- MultiTrack™. Our fully integrated multitasking scheduler. This is one of the most significant innovations in SPLat. It is a programming method that lets you easily make a SPLat do several things at once, like control a temperature, fill a tank up to a float switch and interact with a user via an smartphone. If this doesn't push your buttons now, rest assured it will once you want to progress past simplistic one-thing-at-a-time applications. Best of all, while multitasking RTOS in other systems are complex to learn, MultiTrack needs you to understand just two instructions.;
- Tabula™. This is a programming method that lets you easily program complex sequences with very little coding. It is based on the theory of Finite State Machines, but with all the eye-glazing formalisms removed. We are here to get you results, not a PhD!
- SimpleHMI™. Lets you use a smartphone as a user interface, and as a data logger. The version built into SPLat/PC lets you use your PC as a user interface, and as a data logger;
- PIDAssist™. A comprehensive tool for modeling and programming PID (proportional, integral, derivative) control algorithms;