-------------------------Monitor------------------------ The Newsletter for PC-Based Data Acquisition and Control Issue 139 www.windmill.co.uk February 2010 --------------------ISSN 1472-0221---------------------- Welcome to Monitor, the data acquisition and control newsletter. Thanks very much to all who filled in our survey: your responses were very useful and we'll be addressing the topics and issues you raised in the next few newsletters, starting below. If you didn't complete the survey last month but would like to give us your opinions and requests, please go to http://www.windmill.co.uk/monitor138.html#survey and send us your comments. I hope you find this newsletter 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: Automatically Starting Logging * Excel Corner: Finding Readings * DAQ News Roundup ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ Windmill Notes: Automatically Starting Logging ________________________________________________________ One of the questions raised in our survey responses, was how to start logging data as soon as Windmill Logger was launched. This is very easy to do – you just need to edit its command line. 1. Right click the Logger icon and select Properties. In the Target box you will see something like "C:\Windmill\LOGGER.exe" 2. Change this to read "C:\Windmill\LOGGER.exe logsetup.wlg /AUTO" Where logsetup.wlg is the name of your file which contains all your custom settings: logging speed, time stamp, type of log file and whether older files should be overwritten for example. You will have saved this the first time you used Logger. 3. If you just want to load your settings into Logger, but not automatically start collecting data, type "C:\Windmill\LOGGER.exe logsetup.wlg" instead, missing out the /AUTO switch. Version 4.3 of Logger is free to newsletter subscribers. A later version, with more features, is available as part of the Windmill 6 package. This, for instance, lets you start logging when a reading crosses an alarm threshold or when your equipment sends new data. More details at http://www.windmill.co.uk/logger.html Further Reading: Monitor 73: Starting and stopping Logger with Excel http://www.windmill.co.uk/monitor73.html ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ Excel Corner: Finding Readings ________________________________________________________ A useful Excel function is VLOOKUP. You tell it what to look for in the first column of a table, and it will read across that row and return an answer. You specify how many columns to the right Excel should look. For example, you have logged how many people enter a shop every day. In the first column is the date. In the second column is the number of people. To find how many people entered on 14th February you would use =vlookup("14/02/2010",$A$2:$B$366,2,false) Firstly comes the date: 14/02/2010 Secondly the range of the data table: $A$2:$B$366 Thirdly how many columns across to look up: in our case 2 Lastly either true or false. False tells VLOOKUP to search for an exact match. True will find the nearest value. To use True you should always make sure your data is sorted. In our date example, you need to make sure that the first column is formatted as text and not as dates. When you import the logged data into Excel, in the Text Import Wizard select text as the format of the date column. Further Reading =============== Excel charting tips http://www.windmill.co.uk/excel/excel-charting.html Excel data acquisition tips http://www.windmill.co.uk/excel/ If you have an Excel question you would like answering, please let us know. ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ 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 http://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. Piezoelectronics gets green makeover A new generation of lead-free piezoelectric materials could lead to greener actuators, sensors and even ultra-dense data storage. The new materials, which generate an electric field when squeezed, copy the crystal structure of conventional piezoelectric materials but use bismuth instead of lead. Source: New Scientist First open specification for battery-less wireless sensors The EnOcean Alliance is publishing the first open specification for energy harvesting wireless sensors which ensures interoperability between products of different manufacturers. The specification contains 50 equipment profiles supporting the development of building automation, such as switches, remote controls, sensors, sensor combinations and data of every kind. Source: EnOcean Alliance Variable Speed Drives in Home Appliances to Double by 2013 The use of inverter-based variable speed drives (VSD) in home appliances is forecast to double over the next five years according to IMS Research. Currently, appliances with VSD account for just one in eight new appliances - mainly air conditioners and washing machines. Variable speed motor controls allow greater efficiency, more reliable performance and quieter operation. Source: IMS Research Ocean Robots to Monitor Oil Spills Swarms of miniature robotic ocean explorers could one day help predict where ocean currents will carry oil spills. Source: SCUBA News Efficiency gains for wind turbines A new type of hydraulic technology could be used to build more reliable and less expensive transmission systems for wind turbines, its developers have claimed. Source: The Engineer ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ * 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/ http://www.windmillsoft.com/
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