The Newsletter for PC-Based Data Acquisition and Control
Issue 137 www.windmill.co.uk December 2009
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* Excel Corner: Adding Alarm Limits to Charts
* DAQ News Roundup
* Data Acquisition and Control Exhibitions
Excel Corner: Adding Alarm Limits to Charts
If you use Windmill software to collect readings you can
set alarm levels for each series of data. When a reading
is taken outside this limit it provokes a response in
software. In the Windmill charting software this
manifests itself as the chart trace being shown in a
different colour. Markers are also inserted on the
How do you show readings in alarm on an Excel chart? One
way is to draw a horizontal line at each alarm level.
The method for this is very similar to the moving grid
line we discussed in October's Monitor.
1. To draw an alarm marker across the Excel chart you
need to add another series of data. This series has
just two points: one to set the start of the line and
one to set the end. Assuming you had the time of
data collection 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
- In Cells D1 and D2 enter the alarm level.
2. Highlight and drag Cells C1 to D2 onto the chart.
This will draw a straight line across the chart,
showing the alarm level.
You can also use this method to insert horizontal lines
at the maximum, minimum, average and median values in
the chart. In our example, to draw a line at the
maximum value, insert =MAX(B:B) in cells D1 and D2.
Excel charting tips
Excel data acquisition tips
Charting with Windmill
Data Acquisition and Control News
Baubles used to study water channels under ice sheets
Tiny orange balls made from Christmas tree baubles
could shed new light on how Greenland's Ice Sheet
will respond to a warming world. Scientists have
shown how the 4cm spheres can go through water
channels that run under glaciers and be recovered
afterwards. When equipped with sensors, these balls
can gather data on how this meltwater is lubricating
the movement of the ice.
Smart Grids for Sensors
According to a new report from NanoMarkets, the
rollout of the Smart Grid will create significant
new opportunities for sensor manufacturers. The
report claims that building the new Smart Grid
infrastructure will generate $11.4 billion revenue
for sensors and related products.
New fast gas detectors
A new generation of optical sensors is enabling the
development of robust, long-lasting, lighting-fast
trace gas detectors for use in a wide range of
Want fresh air? Give your house a nose job
A heat-exchange system based on the temperature-
regulating trick of the kangaroo rat could keep house
air fresh without losing heat.
Source: New Scientist
Sizing up the sorting issue
Reducing the need for manual sorting is one of the big
challenges for automation systems, and the development
of ever more advanced machine vision technology is
playing a key role in meeting it. Now a team of
specialists in the field has used image-processing
techniques to help the retail sector reduce the time
and cost needed to deal with one of the most basic
tools of its trade - the humble size tag.
Source: The Engineer
Data Acquisition Exhibitions and Conferences
The quarterly update of data acquisition and control
exhibitions around the world.
Unveils new technology related to laboratory automation.
Automotive Testing Expo India
Covers all aspects of testing, evaluation and quality
engineering technologies, services and equipment.
28 Feb - 5 March
Conference on laboaratory science for all who use
analytical instrumentation, equipment and techniques.
Includes industrial automation, instrumentation,
measurement, intelligent building systems
With high-tech manufacturing, packaging, materials,
automation and design, Medtec UK presents the latest
technologies and tools for medical device manufacturing.
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