-------------------------Monitor------------------------ The Newsletter for PC-Based Data Acquisition and Control Issue 175 www.windmill.co.uk February 2013 --------------------ISSN 1472-0221---------------------- Hello and welcome to February's edition of Monitor. Today we've excited to announce a new way to use Excel to collect data from measurement instruments, with the launch of our Real Time Data software. What's more, the new software is free to anyone with the Enhanced Windmill package. More information below. For more data acquisition news and tips follow us on Twitter - @DataAcquisition. I hope you enjoy this issue, but should you wish to remove yourself from our mailing please go to Monitor Newsletter CONTENTS ======== * New Way to use Excel for Data Logging and Control * Excel Corner: Real-Time Data Acquisition * Interfacing a Sartorius Balance * DAQ News Round-up ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ New Way to use Excel for Data Logging and Control ________________________________________________________ We are delighted to launch our Real Time Data Server which sends readings from your data acquisition devices to an Excel spreadsheet, and lets you use Excel to control devices and output channels. Windmill Real Time Data Server is free to owners of Enhanced Windmill, or costs just £50 or 60 Euro if bought as an add-on to the standard Windmill. It can transfer data over USB, Internet, Ethernet, Modbus, RS-485, RS-422, RS-232 and TCP-IP. Any of the vast array of devices which can be handled by Windmill, can also be connected to Excel. Other features include * Alarm monitoring with automatic output control on alarms (eg switch equipment on when a reading goes into an alarm state) * Choose how often to read data from devices * Choose how often to update the data in Excel * Time of readings recorded * Configure instruments by making selections in Windmill software: choose alarm thresholds, engineering units, channel names and so on * Easy to use * Free technical support for life * Money-back guarantee Once installed, you simply enter a formula into an Excel cell, or a line into your Excel macros and VBA programs, and Excel will start collecting data. If you already own a copy of Enhanced Windmill that does not include the Real Time Data (RTD) Server, please contact us and we will send you the new RTD Server software for free. (To check, look for windmillRTDserver in your program list.) If you have Standard Windmill you can buy the RTD Server from http://www.windmillsoft.com/daqshop/excel-data-logging.html. Further Reading: ---------------- Enhanced Windmill http://www.windmillsoft.com/daqshop/data-acquisition-software.html Standard Windmill http://www.windmillsoft.com/daqshop/rs232-modbus.html ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ Excel Corner: Logging and Control ________________________________________________________ You've always been able to log data with Excel using Dynamic Data Exchange (DDE). Our new Real-Time Data Server software makes data acquisition easier and more robust. Install the Windmill software and you can then choose: - How often to read data from your sensors and instruments - How often to update the readings in Excel - What to do if an alarm occurs, eg switch equipment on or off To get the data into Excel is easy: just enter a formula into a cell. For example, to show reading from your instrument you would use: =RTD("Windmill_RTD_server.IMLRTD","","Temperature") Where Temperature is the name of the instrument channel from which you want to obtain data. To get the time of the reading use: =RTD("Windmill_RTD_server.IMLRTD","","time") To send data to an output channel use: =RTD("Windmill_RTD_server.IMLRTD","","write(Output1 0)") Where Output1 is the name of the output channel and 0 is the value to send to that channel. You can combine actions, for instance: =RTD("Windmill_RTD_server.IMLRTD","","write(Output1 0) list(Weight, Temperature)") Would read channels Weight and Temperature and write to channel Output1. You can run Excel remotely from your data acquisition and control devices. Imagine Windmill is running on a PC in a laboratory and continually monitoring temperature and pressure. You are elsewhere on the network and wish to see the data in Excel. You would use the call =RTD("Windmill_RTD_server.IMLRTD","192.168.1.100","List(Temperature, Pressure)") Where 192.168.1.100 is the IP address of the PC running Windmill. You could also use the name of the computer running Windmill rather than the IP address. Read more on the Real Time Data Server for Excel at http://www.windmillsoft.com/daqshop/excel-data-logging.html or contact [email protected] If you prefer, you can still use DDE to send data to Excel. Full details at http://www.windmill.co.uk/excel/ ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ Dripping Liquids onto a Sartorius Balance ________________________________________________________ This month a Windmill user contacted us about getting data from his Sartorius balance. He was dripping a liquid onto the balance and logging the result with Windmill. When dripping slowly the results were accurate, but for faster speeds readings appeared to be missed. The problem was one of stability. The Sartorius balance was only reporting what it considered to be stable readings. However, with fast drops the readings weren't having time to stabilise before the next drop arrived and so the balance didn't report the reading. The solution was to change the setting at the balance's Setup menu, to give a weight reading at a lower resolution. This solved the problem and Windmill is now capturing all readings successfully. For more on interfacing Sartorius balances see http://www.windmill.co.uk/sartorius.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 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 news on your own web site or automatically tweet it. Tongue-tingling interface lets you taste data Tongueduino's electrodes send signals from sensors to the tongue, allowing taste buds to "read" information such as the orientation of Earth's magnetic field Source: New Scientist http://www.newscientist.com/ New formula to understand environmental effects on digital signals As modern signal speeds are pushed to quickly accommodate gigabytes of data, disturbances that were once considered minor, such as weather changes, now become more serious, with the potential to stop systems and corrupt data. Researchers have developed a formula to help understand the effects of humidity and temperature on electronic signals. Source: Penn State Harrisburg http://harrisburg.psu.edu/ Comprehensive Report on Market for Sensors for the Internet-of-Things Industry analyst firm NanoMarkets today announced the release of its new report titled "Sensors for the Internet- of-Things: 2013-2020" The report analyses and quantifies the opportunities for Internet-connected sensor products in six key industry sectors: home automation, commercial building automation, media and gaming, healthcare, the "Industrial Internet" and "transportation and logistics." The report covers both the sensors and the hubs through which they are connected. The A to Z of Sensors Source: Arc Advisory Group http://www.azosensors.com/News.aspx?newsID=5532 IEEE launches Ethernet Study Group IEEE have formed an IEEE 802.3 "Standard for Ethernet" study group to explore the requirements for real-time control in industries such as industrial automation and automotive. Source: IEEE http://standards.ieee.org/ Process Industries Driven by Growth in Developing Nations Looking at various market characteristics, the worldwide automation expenditures in process industries is expected to rebound according to a new ARC Advisory Group study. Source: ARC Advisory Group http://www.arcweb.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/ http://www.windmillsoft.com/
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