Initial program development for the FT-100a may be done using any simple word processor or text editor and loaded in as ASCII text. Programs may be loaded through the serial communications port, or the built-in disk drive. Since the disk drive is PC compatible, program development may even be done "off-line" on a PC compatible computer.
The simplicity and speed of programming the FT-100a is one of its more powerful features. The programming language is much like BASIC, but the I/O commands are much easier to use. While experience in some form of programming never hurts, programming the FT-100a does not require a software engineer, and is well within the grasp of inexperienced programmers (remember, help is as near as your phone, and it's free!)
Through the test program, outputs may be set, inputs read, and comparisons made to determine proper response. When needed, the operator can be prompted by the LCD display, and reply using the YES-NO pod. Test results may be displayed, stored, or sent to another serial device (computer, network, etc.). With a keyboard attached, the operator may enter data directly (very useful for "serial number" or "test operator identification").
One of the more unique features of the FT-100a programming language is its ability to address inputs and outputs like variables. This cuts through many of the problems associated with I/O boards installed in a PC. Even with expansion modules attached, the FT-100a automatically "knows" the module configurations, allowing easy access to the extra I/O lines. Configurations or set-up are never required!
Following is a very small sampling of some typical program commands and statements. Obviously, with limited exposure to the FT-100a programming language, some of the information may seem unclear, but the intent is to demonstrate the power that is available through such simple commands.