24 April 2012
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-------------------------Monitor------------------------ The Newsletter for PC-Based Data Acquisition and Control Issue 165 www.windmill.co.uk April 2012 --------------------ISSN 1472-0221---------------------- Thanks for subscribing to Monitor. This month we are delighted to announce a new Ethernet-based data acquisition and control unit: the Microlink 851. The 851 uses the the TCP/IP protocol so you can also communicate with it over the Internet In addition we have articles on how to show spatially- referenced data from Excel as a moving track on Google Earth; and about the benefits of Ethernet systems. I hope enjoy the newsletter, but should you wish to remove yourself from our mailing please go to Monitor Newsletter CONTENTS ======== * Windmill News: Windmill Announce Microlink 851 Ethernet Unit * Benefits of using Ethernet for Data Acquisition * Excel Corner: Tracking Paths on Google Earth * DAQ News Round-up ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ Windmill News: Windmill Announce Microlink 851 Ethernet Unit ________________________________________________________ We are extremely pleased to announce the new Microlink multi-function, data acquisition and control unit. The Microlink 851 connects to an Ethernet network and lets you: - Measure voltage, temperature, strain, pressure, pH and current through 16 differential (or 32 single-ended) analogue input channels - Switch up to 32 digital outputs - Monitor up to 32 digital inputs - Count events or frequency with up to 8 counters - Comes complete with Windmill 7 software and free technical support for life - Choose one of four analogue input ranges, selected with Windmill software individually for each channel - Use Windmill software to select the resolution of the data, from 12- to 18-bits: choose high throughput or high resolution - Connect one, ten or hundreds of 851s to one network - Transfer data to Excel and other Windows software - From just £595, 965 USD or 730 Euro (other modules may be needed to monitor temperature, strain, etc) Go to http://www.windmillsoft.com/daqshop/acquisition-control.html for more information or e-mail [email protected] ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ Benefits of using Ethernet for Data Acquisition ________________________________________________________ Ethernet offers a good, low-cost, option for distributed measurement and control. You may add data acquisition devices to existing Ethernet systems: saving installation costs and time. Speed-wise it is faster than serial communications. As with all distributed systems, you can place data acquisition hardware close to sensors, reducing cabling costs and errors produced by noise. Ethernet uses the TCP/IP protocol so you can access data over the Internet. More Ethernet Systems... ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ Excel Corner: Tracking Paths on Google Earth ________________________________________________________ Today's Excel Corner explains how to show spatially referenced data from Excel, as a moving track of readings over time on Google Earth. You can do this when you save data readings along with their latitude and longitude co-ordinates, and the times that the readings were taken. For example, you might be measuring conditions on a moving train: any wheel slip in poor weather for example. With a Windmill system you could record co-ordinates from a GPS receiver, data from the wheel-slip detection mechanism, wheel speeds and other details. Subscribers to the Monitor newsletter can download a trial of Windmill. Once the data is collected you need to transfer it to Excel and make sure it is organised properly for Google Earth. We covered how to do this for static data in last month's Monitor, archived at http://www.windmill.co.uk/monitor164.html. To show moving tracks on Google Earth you also need a column in Excel headed "TimeWhen". Windmill saves two columns of time data: one containing the date and one containing the time You need to combine these into one in the format: 2012-03-22T07:30:15Z Where T separates the date from the time. Z indicates that the time is UTC (Greenwich Mean Time) If your time zone is different, instead of Z put - for example - +03:00. More details are at https://developers.google.com/kml/documentation/kmlreference#timestamp In Excel... 1. Combine the contents of the date and time columns into 1 new column, eg column F. - In an empty column in Excel enter this formula =TEXT(A2,"yyyy-mm-dd")&"T"&TEXT(B2,"hh:mm:ss") This combines the date and time, adds a "T" between them and formats the result as text. 2. Copy the formula down for each row. 3. Select all the new date/time entries and copy them to the clipboard. 4. Click cell A2, from the Edit menu select Paste Special. 5. Paste as values. 6. You can now delete the Time column and column F. 7. Change the title of Column A from "Date" to "TimeWhen" 8. Finally, add a new column with the title "LineStringColor". Fill the rows in this column with the name of a colour, for example Yellow. Getting the Data into Google Earth ================================== Now your spreadsheet is ready, you need to convert it to kml format. The easiest way to do this is to use the online tool provided by EarthPoint at http://www.earthpoint.us/ExcelToKml.aspx. Save the file and then open it in Google Earth. Adjust the settings of the Google Earth slider to show a moving path of your data. Further Reading: ================ Collecting Data from a GPS Receiver Getting Data into Excel Excel into Google Earth KML Tutorial ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ 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 http://www.windmillsoft.com/monitor.xml or follow us on Twitter at http://twitter.com/#!/DataAcquisition Real-time GPS sensor could give earlier quake warning Super-precise sensor networks promise to deliver almost instant warnings when strong earthquakes hit, and assess their magnitude more accurately Source: New Scientist http://www.newscientist.com/ Double Digit Growth for Building Automation Institutional User Markets IMS Research forecasts the market for building automation equipment in institutional users, such as education and hospitals, will see double digit growth over the coming three years. Source: IMS Research http://imsresearch.com/ Industry Group Established for Wireless Smart Meters An industry group - Wi-SUN Alliance - has been formed to establish a system to certify a logo for ensuring the interconnection and promoting the use of smart meters in the global market. Source: Tech-On http://techon.nikkeibp.co.jp/ Innovative blanket could monitor your health A network of tilt sensors embroidered into green taffeta fabric, allows a blanket to wirelessly create a 3D model of itself on a computer in real time. And by adding sensors for temperature, pressure, humidity and heart rate, it could become the ultimate comforter. Source: The Star http://www.thestar.com/sciencetech/ ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ * 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/ http://www.windmillsoft.com/
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