Programming, Hardware, & Connectivity

Quick Tour Guide

What's the difference between hand-held remote programming and computer programming?

Many signs come with their own programming keyboard. They also offer a computer programming option. As a rule, it is easier, faster and less error-prone to program a sign using a computer than it is to use the remote keyboard. The longer your messages the more tedious it is to use a remote keyboard, since the message must be edited and manipulated in the memory of the sign, rather than on the screen of the computer. Messages and graphics can also be more easily lost when the remote keyboard is used.

How can I connect a sign to a computer for programming?

There are a variety of ways to connect a sign to a computer:
  • Cable - The simplest connection is a cable connection between the Serial Port of the computer and the sign. There are several cable connection options.


  • Modem - If cabling is difficult or impossible due to site restrictions, using a Modem is a second option. The messages and graphic programs are transmitted from the modem on the sending computer to the modem in the sign over normal telephone lines. When a message is sent, the program automatically dials the phone number of the sign modem. The telephone line can be a line provided by the phone company, or it can be an extension on your internal phone system. A modem connection is generally used when it is easier to get a phone line to the sign location than it would be to pull a cable of your own there. Modem connectivity is also used when programming needs to be done remotely.


  • Ethernet - Some signs now support TCP/IP and can receive communication via a company’s Local Area Network (LAN).

How many messages and graphics can be stored?

Most signs have built in computers with a certain amount of message and graphics storage capacity. Memory storage capacity ranges from 7,000 characters to 1,000,000 characters and more, depending on the sign and the application. Graphics require more storage capacity than messages do.

In case of a power outage, should I worry about losing sign information?

Most signs have battery-backed up memory and time. If the sign is turned off, unplugged or moved, the messages, graphics and time settings that were stored in the sign’s memory area are not lost. When the sign is plugged in again, the message, graphics and time that were in memory resume displaying.