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Keyboard Wedges Overview

Hardware & Software Keyboard Wedges

See below for Comparison of all WedgeLink hardware and software keyboard wedges from MicroRidge.

What is a Keyboard Wedge?
A keyboard wedge is used when you are trying to get data from some type of measuring device into applications that cannot accept data from a serial port.  A software keyboard wedge reads data from a serial port and passes this data to a PC application in such a manner that the application thinks the data is entered via the keyboard.  A hardware wedge reads data from digital gages or RS-232 devices and sends the data to the PC via a keyboard or USB port.  The data sent by the hardware wedge looks like keyboard data to the current application.  The more common applications that are used with keyboard wedges are Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Access, and other database types of applications.

Software and hardware keyboard wedges are used extensively in data acquisition applications that include statistical programs, spreadsheets, barcode, LIMS, etc.  MicroRidge keyboard wedges can accept input data from any RS-232 serial device or digital gage (CDI, Federal Maxum, Mitutoyo, Ono Sokki).  The data is then passed to a Windows application in such a manner that the application thinks the data is actually coming from the keyboard.

About Software Keyboard Wedges
The advantage of a software wedge is that it provides much more flexibility in the formatting of data for presentation to the application and control of the target where the data is sent.  In addition to transferring the information to the application, the WedgeLink software keyboard wedge can also simultaneously send the information to a disk file.  The disadvantage of a software wedge is that your software wedge settings can be changed by your users.

About Hardware Keyboard Wedges
It is not uncommon in a production type environment that a company will insist upon using a hardware wedge rather than a software wedge.  An advantage of a hardware wedge is that it is simpler to use because it is more like a plug 'n play device.  In most cases, just plug it in and you are ready to go.

The following table compares the WedgeLink keyboard wedges available from MicroRidge.  Click on the photo for more detail.

Wedge Model
Wedge Type
Supported Gages
& Devices
Read Switch

WedgeLink DG
Hardware CDI, Federal Maxum,
Mitutoyo, Ono Sokki
No USB port Yes 2.16"x.80"x.40" Also available with Mitutoyo cables.

WedgeLink SM
Hardware Mitutoyo and gages with
Mitutoyo compatible output
Yes Keyboard port
 or USB port
Yes 4.13"x2.65"x1.14" Use this wedge if you need to customize output format or generate TIR data.

WedgeLink SP
Hardware RS-232 gages and devices
at 19.2K, 9600 or 4800 baud.
No USB port No 1.76"x1.24"x.63" 4 specific models available:
  • 19.2K-N-8-1

  • 9600-N-8-1

  • 9600-E-7-1

  • 4800-E-7-1 or 2 (also supports gages with the Simplex Opto or Proximity interfaces).

WedgeLink HW
Hardware RS-232 gages and devices Yes Keyboard port
 or USB port
Yes 4.73"x2.65"x1.14" Use this hardware wedge if you need to do data parsing.

WedgeLink Lite
Software RS-232 gages and devices Yes N/A No N/A Use this software wedge if data parsing is not required.  Allows you to add a date/time stamp as a data prefix

WedgeLink Standard
Software RS-232 gages and devices Yes N/A No N/A Use this software wedge if you need full data parsing capabilities.



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Revised March 20, 2015