Chapter 34. Controlling MagicQ using serial port

MagicQ consoles and MagicQ software support the use of a serial port for controlling external devices, such as CD or DVD players, video or automation computers.

The serial port can also be used to remote control the MagicQ console or MagicQ software via a simple set of text commands.

A standard male 9 pin D type connector is provided on MagicQ consoles. On MagicQ PC the availability of a serial port will depend on the PC. Many modern laptops do not have a serial port – however, USB to serial converters are readily available.

MagicQ supports standard baud rates, stop bits and parity options for serial communication.

Note that the use of the serial port on MagicQ PC is only enabled when it is connected to a MagicQ Wing or Interface.

34.1. Enabling the serial port

Enable the serial port in the View Settings view of the Setup Window. Page down to the Port Settings. Select the COM port that you wish to use (on the console always select COM1). Set the baud rate, parity, data bits and stop bits.


34.2. Writing to the serial port

Commands are transmitted from the serial port by placing the command in the Macro field of the Cue Stack window.

The format of serial commands is X followed by the data. To send serial data, the X command must be the only macro command in the macro field. The X command is followed by ASCII data contained within “ “ or ‘ ‘ or by decimal values separated by commas. For example to send Hello World followed by a carriage return:

X”Hello World”,10,13

To send the binary data stream 00 01 02 03 04


To send text only:


To send several lines of text:


34.3. Reading from the serial port

By default data received on the serial port is ignored. This can be changed to make MagicQ accept remote commands received on the serial port. In the View Settings view of the Setup Window, set the serial input type to “ChamSys Serial Remote”.

ChamSys Serial Remote protocol consists of a list of parameter values separated by commas ‘,’ and ending in a character A to Z (or a to z). Commands can contain spaces, tabs, and carriage returns; they are all ignored. See the section on ChamSys Remote Protocol for further details.

34.4. Testing receiving serial commands

It is possible to test the behaviour when MagicQ receives serial commands without an external serial connection. Set the Serial COM Port to "None" and then type "testser" followed by the command - for example to activate playback 1 enter:

testser 1a

Remember to enable the serial COM Port again when you have finished.