-------------------------Monitor------------------------ The Newsletter for PC-Based Data Acquisition and Control Issue 135 www.windmill.co.uk October 2009 --------------------ISSN 1472-0221---------------------- Welcome to Monitor, the data acquisition newsletter. I hope you find it useful, but should you wish to remove yourself from our mailing list please go to http://www.windmill.co.uk/newsletter.html CONTENTS ======== * Windmill Notes: Interfacing an ICP DAS I-7000 Module * Excel Corner: Automatic Chart Updates and Moving Grid Lines * DAQ News Roundup ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ Windmill Notes: Interfacing an ICP DAS I-7000 Module ________________________________________________________ ICP DAS I-7000 is a series of analogue and digital modules which connect to the computer over RS232 or RS485. You can use Windmill software to send and read data to and from these modules. There are two Windmill programs which will get data from these modules: COMIML and LabIML. COMIML is part of the Windmill 6 suite of software and has many more facilities than LabIML - details are at https://www.windmillsoft.com/daqshop/rs232-modbus.html LabIML is part of the Windmill 4.3 suite of software and is free to Monitor subscribers. Using Windmill with an ICP DAS I-7000 ================================================ Here is how to configure the free LabIML software to log data from an ICP DAS I-7000 analogue input module. There are three basic steps. 1. Run the Windmill ConfIML program and enter your communication settings. 2. Run the Windmill SetupIML program and choose names and units for your data. 3. Run the Windmill DDE Panel or Logger program to display or save data. Once you have configured the Windmill software you can in future go straight to logging data. * Windmill ConfIML This program detects and saves a record of the hardware you want to use. 1. Start ConfIML and Press the Add button. 2. Select LabIML RS232 ASCII Instrument Handler. 3. Type a name for the module and a description. Enter the number of channels of data you will be collecting (8 in our example below). Press OK. 4. Enter your module's settings: These depend on exactly what you want from your system, but these settings should get you started. - Reading Protocol: Request/Response - Multi Background - Timeout: 1000 milliseconds - Data Persistence: 5000 milliseconds (assuming you are taking readings more often than once every 5 seconds) - Returned Message Length: 58 - Instrument Initialisation String: Leave blank. The "Request/Response – Multi Background" sets the device to request data and respond while working in the background. The data persistence is how long Windmill will consider the data to be current. This must be longer than the rate at which you plan to read data. 5. Click the Channels button and tell the software how to extract the reading from the string of data received. - Make sure that Read channel is checked - You can ignore the maximum and minimum settings: these are just a guide for chart scaling etc. - Prompt String: enter the command needed to request a reading. For example, to request an analogue input reading from all channels of a module, you would enter #AA\C013, where AA is the address of the module and \C013 is a carriage return. #04\C013 say. - The module will send back a string of data in the format: >(Data)(cr) > tells you that you sent a valid command (Data) is the data string (cr) is a carriage return. For example, if a module had 8 channels it might send back >+05.123+04.153+07.234-02.356+10.000-05.133+02.345+08.234 You need to tell Windmill how to extract the data from this reply. To do this for the first channel (channel 0) you could search for the > then extract the next 7 characters. In the ConfIML Reply Parse String enter: \S">"\E7 For a request/response instrument, the parser goes back to the beginning of the string for each channel. So for the next channel, Channel 1, you could search for >, ignore the next 7 characters and then extract up to the next + or -. Repeat for the rest of the channels. For more details on parsing see http://www.windmill.co.uk/parse.html 6. Enter the communication settings your module is using, eg: - Baud: 9600 - Data Bits: 8 - Parity: None - Flow control: Xon/Xoff 7. Save your settings, close ConfIML and start SetupIML. * Windmill SetupIML With the SetupIML program you can name units, set alarms and so on. 1. Choose to Create a New Setup and enter a name and description. This can be anything you like. 2. From the Device menu select LabIML. 3. Your data channels will be shown as a number, for example 10000. Double click a channel number. 4. Type name for your channel and make sure Enable for Input is checked. 5. Save your settings in a *.ims file, close SetupIML and run DDE Panel or Logger * Windmill DDE Panel 1. From the File menu select Load Hardware Setup and choose the *.ims file you just saved. 2. Connect your channels. You should see your readings in DDE Panel. 3. Proceed similarly for the Logger programs. * Getting the data into Excel You can use the Windmill Logger program to collect data, and after collection has finished import it into Excel. Alternatively, you can collect data with Excel. For more details see our Excel page. * Trouble-Shooting If you are having problems receiving data, right-click the LabIML icon on the tool bar and select "Debug Options". If the LabIML Debug window says "Parsing Failed", go back to the ConfIML window and edit your Reply Parse String. Note that with RS232 connections Windmill can collect data at speeds of up to 5 readings per second, or one reading every 0.2 seconds. Don't try to run Windmill any faster otherwise you may inadvertently slow the system down. If you still have problems, or are interested in the Windmill settings for a different instrument, fill in the form at http://www.windmill.co.uk/techsupp.html. Further Reading =============== Parsing Messages http://www.windmill.co.uk/parse.html _______________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ Excel Corner: Automatic Chart Updates and Moving Grid Lines ________________________________________________________ Recently a reader asked us how he could insert a horizontal grid line from the last data value of his Excel chart. His chart changed regularly as new rows of data were added to the spreadsheet. We couldn't tell him how to insert such a grid line, but we have an easy work around which achieves the same result. Read on to find how to draw a horizontal line across the chart which moves with the last data point. You can download a spreadsheet illustrating this at http://www.windmill.co.uk/excel/chartline.xls 1. Create an xy scatter chart which automatically updates when new data is added. For how to do this when using Windmill to collect your data, see Issue 62 of Monitor at http://www.windmill.co.uk/monitor62.html#Excel. 2. To draw a line across the chart you need to add another series of data. This series has just two points: one to define the start of the line and one to define the end. Assuming you had the time the data was collected in column A, data in column B and columns C and D free: - In Cell C1 copy a reference to the first timestamp. For example =A1. - In Cell C2 insert a dynamic reference to the last timestamp, which in our example is the last row of column A. To do this enter =INDEX(A:A,COUNTA(A:A),1) - In Cells D1 and D2 enter a reference to the last value. For example =INDEX(B:B,COUNTA(B:B),1) 3. Highlight and drag Cells C1 to D2 onto the chart. This will draw a straight line between the last data point on the chart and the y axis. Notes on the Functions ====================== The INDEX function returns a cell reference at the junction of a row and a column. It takes the form INDEX(range,row_num,column_num) where range is the range of cells containing the one in which you are interested, and row_num and column_num pinpoint the location of your cell in this range. In our example we are interested in the last cell in column A. So our range is all of column A, namely A:A. We now need to know the how many rows down the last data item occurs. This is where the COUNTA function comes in. COUNTA counts the number of non-empty cells in a range. So assuming our data and headings form a continuous column from the top of the spreadsheet, the count will equal the row number of the last data item. If there is a gap in or above your data, just add the appropriate number of cells to the COUNTA function. For example, if your heading was in cell A4 with cells A1 to A3 being blank, you would use COUNTA(A:A)+3 Any questions? Take a look at the example spreadsheet at http://www.windmill.co.uk/excel/chartline.xls Further Reading =============== Excel Charting tips http://www.windmill.co.uk/excel/excel-charting.html Excel data acquisition tips http://www.windmill.co.uk/excel/ Automatically updating charts http://www.windmill.co.uk/monitor62.html#Excel ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ DAQ News Roundup ________________________________________________________ Welcome to our roundup of the data acquisition and control news. If you would like to receive more timely DAQ news updates then grab our RSS newsfeed at https://www.windmillsoft.com/monitor.xml. Read http://www.windmill.co.uk/newsfeed.php for notes on how to display the live news on your own web site. Business Intelligence, like People Counting, Makes Sense for Intelligent Device Market Expectations for the video content analysis (VCA) market have changed over the last twelve months. Over-selling of the technology's capabilities, coupled with technical limitations, such as high false alarm rates, have slowed uptake of the technology. However, according to a report by IMS Research, one application that has the potential to drive growth is in business intelligence such as people counting (http://www.www.retailsensing.com) or queue length monitoring. Source: IMS Research https://technology.ihs.com/ New NIST Method Reveals All You Need to Know About Waveforms The National Institute of Standards and Technology has unveiled a method for calibrating entire waveforms - graphical shapes showing how signals vary over time - rather than just parts of waveforms as is current practice. The new method improves accuracy in calibrations of oscilloscopes, and potentially could boost performance and save money in other fields like remote sensing. Source: NIST https://www.nist.gov/ Radio Waves "See through Walls" University of Utah engineers have shown that a wireless network of radio transmitters can track people moving behind solid walls. Their method uses radio tomographic imaging (RTI), which can "see," locate and track moving people or objects in an area surrounded by inexpensive radio transceivers that send and receive signals. Source: University of Utah https://www.cen.eu/Pages/default.aspx Universal link bids to solve home energy format wars A simple USB-style interface has been designed that could realise the dream of intelligent energy meters that would make electricity grids hugely more efficient and usher in an era of micro-generation. Smart meters are electricity and gas meters that can communicate with energy suppliers and home appliances to ensure that supply and demand match more evenly: power stations can avoid generating excess power and appliances can switch themselves on during cheaper, low-demand periods. Source: New Scientist https://www.newscientist.com/lastword/ Sensor tools enable ocean observatories The National Science Foundation has announced agreement for vast undersea observing network. Called the Ocean Observatories Initiative it will provide a network of undersea sensors for observing complex ocean processes such as climate variability, ocean circulation and ocean acidification at several coastal, open-ocean and seafloor locations. Source: SCUBA News http://news.scubatravel.co.uk/nsf-launches-ocean-observatories-initiative.html ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ * Copyright Windmill Software Ltd * Reprinting permitted with this notice included * For more articles see http://www.windmill.co.uk We are happy for you to copy and distribute this newsletter, and use extracts from it on your own web site or publication, providing the above notice is included and a link back to our website is in place. An archive of previous issues is at http://www.windmill.co.uk/newsletter.html and an index of articles at http://www.windmill.co.uk/newsletter.html Windmill Software Ltd, PO Box 58, North District Office, Manchester, M8 8QR, UK Telephone: +44 (0)161 833 2782 Facsimile: +44 (0)161 833 2190 E-mail: [email protected] http://www.windmill.co.uk/ https://www.windmillsoft.com/
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