Ensign's recent implementation of the Alan Square draw tool is just one more of many reasons to switch to Ensign(*). Nevertheless, thanks to the contributions of several traders, there are atuomated tools for Tradestation, NeoTicker, and Sierra Chart.
Of course, there is always 'the old fashioned way', which is how Alan drew his box for the past ten years. This too is presented below.
Setup - Charts-Cursor: Select Show Price Left (or Right)
This puts price (and future time) on the end of the cursor, which will allow you to more easily check the correct prior H and L for the day (image)
Setup - Charts – Open Hash Mark - checked
This will add the little "hash mark" at the opening price to each Bar. Otherwise, your bars will only show a "hash mark" at the close.
Setup - Charts – Zero Volume Bars - checked
This will put a simulated bar on the chart when the market is open but no volume traded, thus preserving the time aspect of the chart geometry. Non-Ensign users need to be sure their charts do not have missing bars!
Setup - Charts – Time Stamp Bar Open - checked
This will label the bars using the Open Time for that bar, eg, 08:20-08:30. While not necessary, it does provide a common reference when speaking about bars.
- Alan Square Draw Tool
This is the preferred, and very simple, method. Most users will be able to use the Ensign built-in tool. Here are step by step instructions on how to do each Ensign recommended setting, including lists of # of bars for various contracts [go there]
- Alan Box ESPL (by Kent, Terry, & Quartz)
This alternative method requires some understanding of how to run ESPL, which is provided in the tutorial. If for some very very small chance the Draw Tool does not work, or you would like to "play around" with the ESPL, this tutorial will take you through the steps [go there]
The "ever resourceful" wombat Sputnik has done some fabulous work writing Alan Box code for Neo Ticker. Neoticker's coding language allows for groovy customization, as you can see from the chart example below. Very nice work, sputnik.
Go Here for Sputnik's all new NeoTicker PAS files.
Rob Chapman has shared this ELD file to draw Da Box Chart1. WTG and
This ELD takes into account Tradestation time stamping the bars with the CLOSE (versus open, as Alan has discussed).
01 Nov: from Rob, "This newer (and hopefully, final) version specifies the lines using arrays rather than individual lines specifications, so it should be more CPU-efficient. It also corrects a problem from original versions which included 49, rather than 48, 10-minute bars in the box. Be sure to check the notes in the .eld if you have any problems."
- TradeStation: da Box.ELD
This will draw Chart1 in Tradestation (Right Click and Save)
(this is the 01 Nov 05 version)
Jh007 has shared this ZIP-compressed file over at the Sierra Chart Forum, where you can find more discussion and images. I have also made a stand-alone page here at daManual for it, showing images of the DLL in action.
From Jh007: Posted on Tuesday, November 22, 2005 - 1:03 pm:
here is new alan box dll.
moved the codes from jh.dll.
new dll name jhabox.dll
this new dll can do 60/30/10/5 min alan box charts but seems there's bugs on 60 and 5 min charts. I will see if I can fix after this long weekend.
- Sierra Chart: jhabox_V101b.zip (29K)
Alan Box Dll and study collection
(direct link to Sierra Chart download)
- Alan's Original Hand-Drawn Lines and Box (link to dacharts)
This method will work for non-Ensign users who want to put a box on their charts [go there]
- discovery's method (link to dacharts)
which uses Ensign, but can be adapted in most programs. This method may also work for non-Ensign users who have a parallel lines tool [go there]
Here is a list of trading hours for various markets (thanks sputnik, current as of June 2005)
Next: Helpful Studies, DYOS, & Templates - Go Now
Traders have come up with a number of handy DYOS (Design Your Own Study, unique to Ensign) that help them. These DYOS are provided as templates. Traders should be knowledgeable about how to download and apply them and are referred to the Ensign Help pages for further reading.