-------------------------Monitor------------------------ The Newsletter for PC-Based Data Acquisition and Control Issue 178 www.windmill.co.uk May 2013 --------------------ISSN 1472-0221---------------------- Welcome to our May newsletter: I hope you find it useful. Join us at the Google+ Data Acquisition Community for more measurement and control discussion and tips. Should you wish to remove yourself from our mailing please go to Monitor Newsletter CONTENTS ======== * Tips on Using Windmill * Excel Corner: Regularly Saving the Workbook * DAQ News Round-up ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ Tips on using Windmill ________________________________________________________ You can use any combination of hardware with Windmill data acquisition software, including devices communicating over USB, DDE, Ethernet, Internet, TCP/IP, Modbus, RS232, RS422 and RS485. No matter what makes or types of instruments you have, you use the same two Windmill applications to specify hardware settings: ConfIML and SetupIML. ConfIML records which hardware you have, and SetupIML lets you choose how you wish to use that hardware. (IML stands for Interface Management Language.) Start with the Software Signal Generator ======================================== So you can use Windmill without any hardware complications, and see how Windmill works, we have provided a Software Signal Generator. This simulates signals coming from an actual instrument or device. You can use it with all the Windmill programs, who see it as just another piece of hardware sending data. Recording your Hardware ======================= After playing with the Software Signal Generator you'll next want to use real hardware. To do this the first program to run is ConfIML. It detects which drivers are on your computer (those for RS232, Ethernet, USB, etc) and lets you select the appropriate settings for these drivers. Some drivers need very few settings. However, the RS232/RS485/Modbus/TCP-IP driver has many settings you can alter. This is because the driver is designed to work with many different types and makes of instrument. To choose these settings run the ComDebug program. Tailor the System to Your Requirements ====================================== After using ConfIML to record the type of hardware you have - and, if necessary, ComDebug - open SetupIML. Now you can configure the system as you want it - for example specifying which engineering units all the other Windmill programs should use for a particular sensor or instrument. SetupIML scans the hardware and builds a default setup file. Whereas ConfIML sees, for example, a device with 16 analogue input channels that can be used in any number of ways; SetupIML sees, for example, a device with 5 K-type thermocouples called Temperature1, Temperature2, etc, whose measurements should be between 0 and 100 degrees Celsius. SetupIML lets you change these settings, and others, for all types of hardware, no matter how connected to the PC. No matter how large and diverse your data acquisition system, no matter how many different instruments and devices you have connected, the setup details for everything are contained in just one file. You can save a library of these setup files, making it very quick to switch between test rigs and experiments. Logging and Charting ==================== Once you have a setup file, you don't need to run ConfIML or SetupIML again. Simply open Windmill Logger or Chart, choose the setup file to use for this session, and start logging and charting. The data is shown in the engineering units of your choice, against the channel names you have entered, and if you have specified alarm settings, any violations of this threshold are shown in different colours. To summarise: ConfIML specifies what hardware you have, eg serial and USB, and ComDebug defines serial communications. You only need to use these two programs during set-up. SetupIML lets you choose how you wish to use your hardware and Logger and Chart save and show you the data. ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ Excel Corner: Automatically Saving the Workbook ________________________________________________________ When continually data logging Excel, it is useful to regularly save the workbook, so no data should ever be lost. The easiest way to do this is to save after every new reading of data. To do this add this line to your data logging macro: ThisWorkbook.Save In the example macro we gave last month for logging data (archived at http://www.windmill.co.uk/monitor177.html), you could add the save code between the DDTerminate and the Sleep commands, as follows: DDETerminate (ddeChan) ThisWorkbook.Save Sleep SamplePeriod This method is suitable if you are taking readings every minute or at a longer interval. If you are logging data every few seconds, the delay caused by saving the spreadsheet may result in missed readings. More Excel macros - including finding the first empty row and overlaying Google Earth with Excel data - are on our website at http://www.windmill.co.uk/excel/excel-tips.html Have an Excel question or tip? Send it to email@example.com. ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ 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 https://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. Honeypots Lure Industrial Hackers Into the Open Dummy water-plant control systems rapidly attracted attention from hackers who tinkered with their settings-suggesting it happens to real industrial systems, too. Source: MIT Technology Review http://www.technologyreview.com/ Image sensors study the Earth's Vegetation High performance image sensors have been launched into space, specifically designed to chart global vegetation. Source: e2v http://www.e2v.com/ Baby turtles show robots the way For turtle hatchlings struggling to reach the sea, success may depend on having flexible wrists that allow them to move without disturbing too much sand. A similar wrist also helps a robot known as 'FlipperBot' move through a test bed, demonstrating how animals and bio-inspired robots can together provide new information on the principles governing locomotion on granular surfaces. Source: SCUBA News http://news.scubatravel.co.uk/turtles-sand.html Temperature Sensor Market Forecast to Grow The worldwide market for temperature sensors is projected to reach USD 4.5 billion by the end of 2018, according to a report from Global Industry Analysts. Source: Global Industry Analysts http://www.businesswire.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: firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.windmill.co.uk/ https://www.windmillsoft.com/
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