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30 September 2016

Windmill Software
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Collecting data from Orion 290 pH Meters

Windmill software lets you continually log data from Orion pH meters, and other instruments with serial ports, on a PC running Windows. All data is time-stamped and can be imported into Excel either during or after data collection.

Read this in conjunction with the Getting started with ComDebug and COMIML Serial Driver page.

For information on what each of the settings means, see the Serial Driver Settings Overview.

To use Windmill to collect data from an Orion pH meter: download the software then..

  1. Run the Windmill ComDebug, select Create a new Windmill Instrument File, and enter your balance's serial communication settings.
  2. Run the Windmill DDE Panel, Logger or Chart program to save or display data from your balance. After you have entered your configuration settings with ComDebug, you don't need to use this again and can go straight to the logging and display programs.

Using ComDebug to Enter Data about Your Orion pH Meter | Data Logging Options | Getting the data into Excel | Fault-Finding

Using ComDebug to enter data about your Orion 290 A plus pH meter

For an overview of entering the configuration settings see the Getting started with ComDebug and COMIML Serial Driver page. Specific example settings for Orion 290 pH meters are given below.

COM Port Settings

Comm Port: Select the port to which your instrument is connected.
Baud Rate: 1200
Data Bits: 8
Parity: None
Stop Bits: 1
Flow Control: None

Data Format

Initialisation message: Rem<cr>
Where <cr> is a carriage return character, entered from the NonPrint menu.
Prompt: mp

Instrument Timing

Read: Direct
Timeout: 5000 ms
Instrument Idle or Wait Time: 500 ms
Data Persistence Time: 5000 ms

Open Windmill DDE Panel

Use DDE Panel to show your data.

  1. From the File menu select Load Hardware Setup and choose the *.ims file you just saved.
  2. Connect your weight channel. You should see the correct weight in DDE Panel.
  3. Proceed similarly for the Logger and Chart programs.

Data Logging Options with Windmill Logger

Logger gives you many choices of how to start and stop collecting data.

  1. Log when you press the Start button in software
  2. Log only when the weight changes on the balance. Even if two items weigh the same, Windmill knows that a change has occurred and so no readings are missed.
  3. Log to a new data file at regular intervals, every hour or every day for example. This is useful in continuous, long-term logging.
  4. Log data only when channels are in an alarm state.
  5. Log data for a fixed duration, for example during an alarm condition and for ten minutes afterwards.
  6. Log data when you press the space key on the keyboard
  7. Use Excel to start and stop logging.
  8. Log from different balances at different rates.
  9. Log from different balancers to the same or different files.

Getting the data into Excel

You can use the Windmill Logger to collect data and after collection has finished import it into Excel. Alternatively, you can collect data with Excel in real-time by using an Excel macro to read data from the Windmill DDE Panel.


  1. If you do not see data in ComDebug's Message screen:
    • Try connecting the Orion to alternative COM ports
    • If using a USB-RS232 converter, its settings must also match those used by the balance, see our USB-Serial converter page for help, especially point 7.
    • Check your cable, if possible try swapping the cable for another.
    • If still nothing see our Trouble-Shooting Serial Port Connections page.

Further Information:
Windmill Serial Port Driver Settings
Getting Started with ComDebug and COMIML
COM Port Settings
Orion APlus Instruction Manual

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