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18 April 2016

Windmill Software
Data Acquisition Intelligence
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Collecting Data from a Quadra-Chek 2000

Windmill software lets you continually log data from a Quadra-Chek 2000, and other instruments with an RS232 serial port, on a PC running Windows. All data is time-stamped and can be imported into Excel either during or after data collection. Our Windmill data acquisition software is currently reduced from £145 to £50. Alternatively, subscribers to the Monitor newsletter (ISSN 1472-0221) can download free logging software: ComDebug. This lets you log data from one instrument and save it in a text file. After collection is finished data can be imported into Excel.

ComDebug Settings for a Quadra-Chek 2000

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.


COM Port Settings

These should match those actually in use by your Quadra-Chek 2000. The default settings are given below. Make sure that the Quadra-Chek is set up to talk to the Computer (Xon/Xoff) and not a printer (Hardware). To do this, on the Quadra-Chek: Press the 5 key (setup), scroll down until RS232 appears and press Enter. Scroll down until Protocol appears and make sure Xon/Xoff is selected.

Comm Port: Select the port to which your instrument is connected.
Baud Rate: 4800
Data Bits: 8
Parity: None
Stop Bits: 2
Flow Control: Xon\Xoff

Data Format

Data format: ASCII
Prompt Command: Use an ASCII string representing a front panel key, followed by a carriage return (use the NonPrint menu to enter this). For example, PRINT<CR> or X<CR>
Example data string: X -1234.567 mm <CR>
Where <CR> is a carriage return character (013).
Example parsing: Search: X
Ignore Until: -.0123456789
Extract Until: <space>
where <space> is a space character (press the space bar, don't type<space>).
This would capture the X co-ordinate. To capture the Y co-ordinate:
Search: Y
Ignore Until: -.0123456789
Extract Until: <space>

Instrument Timing

Read: In the Background
Timeout: 1000 ms
Instrument Idle or Wait Time: 500 ms
Data Persistence Time: 1000 ms

Trouble-Shooting

  1. Press the Print button on the Quadra-Chek: you should see data from it appear in ComDebug. If not you may have a cabling or communication problem.
    • try connecting the fluorometer to alternative COM ports
    • If using a USB-RS232 converter, its settings must also match those used by the Quadra-Chek, 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.
  2. If, on pressing Print on the Quadra-Chek, nonsensical data is received in ComDebug, you may have the Quadra-Chek set up to talk to a printer rather than a computer. Use the Setup up and down arrow keys to change the RS232 protocol to Xon/Xoff.

Further Information:
Quadra-Chek 2000 Operation Manual
Windmimll results in 90% efficiency improvement for a company using a Quadra-Chek 2000 optical measuring system
Getting Started with ComDebug and COMIML
Technical Support COM Port Settings