-------------------------Monitor------------------------ The Newsletter for PC-Based Data Acquisition and Control Issue 82 www.windmill.co.uk May 2005 --------------------ISSN 1472-0221---------------------- Welcome to Issue 82 of Monitor. This month we have two articles about wireless data acquisition, including notes on connecting your RS232 instruments to WiFi networks. We hope you find the newsletter useful, but should you wish to cancel your subscription you can do so at http://www.windmill.co.uk/newsletter.html CONTENTS ======== * Windmill News: People Counting without the Wires * Data Acquisition over Wireless Networks * Data Acquisition and Control Exhibitions ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ Windmill News: People Counting without the Wires ________________________________________________________ By counting their visitors stores, banks, galleries and other businesses can evaluate their advertising campaigns, plan their staffing levels, see how many people are inside the building at any moment, and so on. Automatic people counting systems are available that connect directly to a PC running Windmill software. And Windmill can now collect the people counts over WiFi wireless networks. Previously the people counters were connected to the PC over RS232, RS485 or Ethernet cables, or via a modem. As Windmill can now communicate with the counting units over WiFi, installation can be speeded up and cabling costs saved. For more on people counting with Windmill see http://www.retailsensing.com/footfall-counters.html#Logger ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ Data Acquisition over Wireless Networks ________________________________________________________ With wireless communications, measurement and control devices talk to the PC over radio waves. There are several types of wireless networks, including Bluetooth, ZigBee and WiFi. In this article we're concentrating on interfacing instruments over WiFi (short for Wireless Fidelity). WiFi networks conform to the IEEE 802.11 specifications. The first 802.11 specifications were introduced in 1997 and these have been regularly amended. Each new version of the specification has a different letter at the end - IEEE 802.11a and IEEE 802.11g for example. The differences between the versions include the frequency at which they operate and the speed of data transfer It is very easy to enable your PC for WiFi communications: just plug an adaptor into the USB port. Many new computers come with a WiFi card built-in. One way to think of a Wifi network is as an Ethernet network without the Ethernet cables. Both types of network consist of a base station (or router) and a network adaptor for each PC or data acquisition device on the network. Why use WiFi for Data Acquisition? ================================== With wireless communications you can save cabling costs and installation time. The networks are useful in electrically noisy or hostile environments, and if you often move your measuring device from place to place What about Instruments with RS232 Ports? ======================================== You can use instruments with RS232 ports over WiFi. To do this you need a serial device server. This will usually come with driver software which makes your instrument appear as if it were connected to the COM port. You can therefore use any data acquisition software which reads RS232 instruments to log data from your balance, GPS receiver, multimeter, fluorometer, force gauge, torque meter, pH transmitter, etc. We of course recommend the Windmill COMIML software to automatically collect data from whatever instrument you have connected (https://www.windmillsoft.com/daqshop/rs232-modbus.html). Further Reading =============== IEEE Wireless Standards Zone http://grouper.ieee.org/groups/802/#802.11 COMIML Data Acquisition Software https://www.windmillsoft.com/daqshop/rs232-modbus.html ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ Data Acquisition Exhibitions and Conferences ________________________________________________________ Here are the next set of exhibitions dedicated to data acquisition and control. Sensors Expo and Conference 2005 6-9 June Chicago USA Dedicated to exploring the most up-to-date innovations in sensor technology, including: physical sensors, sensor networks, instrumentation and controls, intelligent systems, machine-to-machine communication, wireless sensing and IT technology http://www.sensorsexpo.com/spring04/V41/index.cvn ISA EXPO CONTROL Mexico DF, Mexico 15-17 June Covers sensors, transmitters, robotics, instrumentation and control systems. http://www.isamex.org/ Process Control, Instrumentation and Metrology 2005 Bangkok, Thailand 16-19 June International exhibition and conference for process control and instrumentation, measurement, test, calibration equipment and quality control. AUTOMAATIO Helsinki Finland 6-8 September One of the foremost automation fairs in Northern Europe. Sectors covered include: process automation, remote systems, automation engineering and information systems in industry. http://www.finnexpo.fi/ MICONEX Shanghai China 15-18 September International fair for measurement, instrumentation and automation. http://www.miconex.com.cn/manager/English/aboutus.html IRCHEM Dublin Ireland 20-22 September For all those involved in the chemical, pharmaceutical, processing and medical devices industries. Content includes production equipment, instrumentation, environmental management systems, automation systems, safety equipment, packaging and handling technology. http://www.irchem.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/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 protected] http://www.windmill.co.uk/ https://www.windmillsoft.com/
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