-------------------------Monitor------------------------ The Newsletter for PC-Based Data Acquisition and Control Issue 160 www.windmill.co.uk November 2011 --------------------ISSN 1472-0221---------------------- Welcome to November's newsletter. This month we welcome the return of the Excel corner, with tips on entering data. Our Windmill news is that we've redesigned our thermocouple monitoring hardware to make for a more compact system. Our next issue will feature an article on data acquisition over TCP/IP, and news of free logging software for Ethernet and Internet devices. I hope you find the newsletter useful, but should you wish to remove yourself from our mailing please go to Monitor Newsletter CONTENTS ======== * Windmill News: Windmill Redesign Thermocouple Monitor * Excel Corner: Speedy Formula Updates * DAQ News Round-up ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ Windmill News: Windmill Redesign Thermocouple Monitor ________________________________________________________ Thermocouples are popular temperature sensors because they are cheap, versatile and sturdy. They comprise two dissimilar metals joined together, making a continuous circuit. If one junction has a different temperature to the other, an electromotive force (voltage) is set up. This voltage varies with the temperature difference between the junctions. If the temperature at one junction is known, the temperature at the other junction can be calculated. Our new, compact, 593 unit is an isothermal box for accurate monitoring of one of the junctions of the thermocouples. The insulated 593 holds a cold junction sensing RTD (resistance temperature device) with an associated constant current source (0.8 milliamps). The RTD measures the temperature at the thermocouple's termination point. This reference temperature is used with the analogue input channel's voltage reading to calculate the required temperature. The cold junction is automatically connected to an auxiliary channel on the data acquisition unit (for example a 751 or 752 unit) and compensated for in software. The channel is read directly showing the cold junction temperature in Celsius, or in your preferred temperature units. The 593 also offers protection from high voltages when series resistors are fitted. Noise problems can be solved by fitting an input filter and broken thermocouple leads can be detected. It is easily connected to the data acquisition unit with a ribbon cable. Further Reading: 593 Thermocouple Connection Box Computerised Temperature Measurement ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ Excel Corner: Speedy Formula Updates ________________________________________________________ When setting up a column of calculations, most of us simply drag the top-most entry down. However, you can use a much more efficient method: Excel's "data table". This is especially useful if the formula you have entered is likely to change. For example, column A contains a list of weights in grams. Column B converts these weights from grams to kilograms, using the formula A*1000. You later decide you want the data not in kilograms but in milligrams. To do this using a data table: 1. Select Columns A and B, to the extent of your data. 2. From the Data menu select Table. A box appears. 3. Enter the top data cell into Column input cell, eg A1. Leave the Row input cell blank. Press OK. 4. If Cell B1 is empty then a list of zeroes are shown in column B 5. In cell B1 enter your formula. The results are shown throughout the column: no clicking and dragging needed. Now if you change the formula in cell B1 it will be changed throughout the column. For more tips on using Excel see http://www.windmill.co.uk/excel/ http://www.windmill.co.uk/excel/excel-charting.html ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ DAQ News Round-up ________________________________________________________ Welcome to our round-up of the data acquisition and control news. If you would like to receive more timely DAQ news updates then either grab our RSS newsfeed at https://www.windmillsoft.com/monitor.xml or follow us on Twitter at http://twitter.com/#!/DataAcquisition New Report Urges More Detailed Utility Metering to Improve Building Efficiency A new report recommends systematic consideration of new metering technologies that can yield up-to-date, finely grained snapshots of energy and water usage in buildings to guide efficiency. Source: NIST https://www.nist.gov/el/submeter-110811.cfm Study Shows Business Case for Industrial Ethernet A report by the Aberdeen group shows that best-in- class manufacturers are deploying industrial Ethernet across plants to improve network, operational and corporate performance. Source: Aberdeen Group http://tinyurl.com/industrialethernet Researchers develop steering wheel with health sensors A Munich-based research team has developed a steering wheel embedded with sensors to monitor the health of drivers. Source: The Engineer https://www.theengineer.co.uk/ Magnetic tongue to produce tastier tinned tomatoes A "magnetic tongue" can predict the taste of tinned tomatoes. The sensor could help food manufacturers tweak their production methods to maximise flavour. Source: New Scientist http://www.newscientist.com/ ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ * 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/monitorindex.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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