-------------------------Monitor------------------------ The Newsletter for PC-Based Data Acquisition and Control Issue 147 www.windmill.co.uk October 2010 --------------------ISSN 1472-0221---------------------- Welcome to Monitor. I hope you find the 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: Interfacing a Denver Balance * Excel Corner: Transposing Axes * Data Acquisition and Control News Roundup ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ Windmill Notes: Interfacing a Denver Balance ________________________________________________________ With Windmill software you can log data from a Denver balance, and other instruments with RS232 ports, on a Windows computer. Our subscribers can download a free copy of Windmill 4.3. Alternatively you can purchase a later version of Windmill from https://www.windmillsoft.com/daqshop/rs232-modbus.html There are three basic steps to starting to log data from a balance using Windmill software. 1. Run the ConfIML (Windmill 4.3) or ComDebug (Windmill 6) program and enter your balance's communication settings. 2. Run the Windmill SetupIML program and choose names and units for your balance's data. 3. Run the Windmill DDE Panel, Logger or Chart program to display, save or chart data from your balance. Once you have set up the Windmill software you can in future you can immediately start logging data. Different models of Denver balances have different factory settings. We've listed some of them at http://www.windmill.co.uk/denver.html * Windmill ConfIML This program detects and saves a record of the hardware you want to use, in our case a Denver balance. You can configure your balance to send readings in a variety of ways. Windmill can cope with any of them, but you must make sure that Windmill's settings are the same as the balance's. 1. Start ConfIML and Press the Add button. 2. Select LabIML RS232 ASCII Instrument Handler. 3. Type a name for the balance, a description and enter how many channels of data you will be collecting (one if you are just recording weight). Press OK. 4. Enter your instrument's settings, for example.. - Reading Protocol: Request/Response On Demand - Timeout: 5000 - Instrument Idle or Wait Time: 0 - Returned Message Length: 16 - Instrument Initialisation String: Leave blank 5. Press the Channels button. Here you enter the command needed to request data, and instructions for extracting the data. The command to request data (the Prompt String) is Escape followed by P, Carriage Return and Linefeed. In ConfIML's Prompt string this appears as \C027P\C013\C010 Depending on your balance settings, it might reply with a message comprising 16 characters, for example + 123.45 g CRLF Where leading zeroes are replaced with spaces, CR is carriage return and LF is linefeed We just want to extract the value 123.45. To do this we could search for + then extract until g. Enter this information in the Parse String of ConfIML. This appears as \S"+"\E"g" 6. Enter the communications settings being used by the balance. The factory settings for a Denver Summit balance for example are... - Baud: 1200 - Parity: Odd - Data Bits: 7 - Stop Bits: 1 - Flow: Hardware Some other Denver balances though use Software Flow control (Xon) though: check your manual. 7. Save your settings, close ConfIML and start SetupIML. * Windmill SetupIML With the SetupIML program you can set units, alarms and so on. 1. From the Device menu select LabIML. 2. Your data channel will be shown as a number like 10000. Double click this channel. 3. Type name for your channel and make sure "Enable for Input" is checked. 4. 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 weight channel. You should see the correct weight in DDE Panel. 3. Proceed similarly for the Logger or Chart 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 in real-time by writing an Excel macro to read data from the Windmill DDE Panel. For more details see our Excel page at http://www.windmill.co.uk/excel/ * Trouble-Shooting If you are having problems receiving data from your Sartorius balance, right-click the LabIML icon on the tool bar and select "Debug Options". 1. If the LabIML Debug window says "Parsing Failed", go back to the ConfIML window and edit your Reply Parse String. 2. If the LabIML Debug window shows a garbled message coming in, check that the balance is set up to communicate with the PC rather than a printer and is sending ASCII messages 3. If no data is shown in LabIML, try changing the flow control to software or Xon/Xoff. Also check the cabling. 4. If you can't fix the problem, fill in the form at http://www.windmill.co.uk/faq.html Tell us what steps you have taken so far, if you have received any error messages and send us a copy of your *.aid file, which you'll find in your Windmill folder. Monitor subscribors can download version 4.3 of the Windmill software for free. A newer, easier-to-use version of the data acquisition software suite is available from https://www.windmillsoft.com/daqshop/rs232-modbus.html Further Reading: Denver Instrument Manual http://www.denverinstrumentusa.com/ Parsing Data http://www.windmill.co.uk/parse.html ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ Excel Corner: Transposing Axes ________________________________________________________ We were asked recently "How do I Transpose the x Axis on the line-type chart to become the y axis? The answer is simply 1. Right-click on the chart and choose Source Data 2. Copy the "Category (X) axis labels" reference to the Values box, and vice versa. If you have a question on using Excel for data acquisition please get in touch. For more on data acquisition with Excel see http://www.windmill.co.uk/excel/ http://www.windmill.co.uk/excel/excel-charting.html ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ 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.html for notes on how to display the live news on your own web site. NPL Celebrates 50 Years of the SI It's the 50th anniversary of the International System of Units (SI). Measurement today is so embedded it often plays an essential but overlooked role. At the centre of it is the SI - the standard system of measurement units for scientists worldwide. Source: National Physics Laboratory http://www.npl.co.uk/50-years-of-the-si 'AquaPad' controls robot dive buddy You would balk at getting an iPad wet, but a tablet computer has now been designed to work under the sea - not to allow divers to check e-mail, but so that they can communicate with underwater robots working in hard-to-reach or dangerous locations. Source: York University http://research.news.yorku.ca/ MEMS and Sensors for Phones in Growth Surge The mobile phone market is changing extremely quickly. According to Research and Markets it appears that in 2010 we are at a turning point in the history of MEMS and sensors for handsets: the market for MEMS and sensors will experience double digit growth. Gyroscopes, pressure sensors, motion sensors and environmental sensors are amongst those expected to take off. Source: Research and Markets http://www.researchandmarkets.com/ All-electric spintronic semiconductor devices created Electron spin could become the universal language of computers – now it has been created and measured electronically in a standard semiconductor Source: New Scientist http://www.newscientist.com/ NIST Identifies Five Smart Grid Standards NIST has identified five "foundational" sets of standards for Smart Grid interoperability and cyber security that are ready for consideration by federal and state energy regulators. The standards, produced by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), focus on the information models and protocols important to efficient and reliable grid operations as well as cyber security. Source: National Institute of Standards and Technology https://www.nist.gov/ ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ * 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@example.com http://www.windmill.co.uk/ https://www.windmillsoft.com/
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