-------------------------Monitor------------------------ The Newsletter for PC-Based Data Acquisition and Control Issue 90 www.windmill.co.uk January 2006 --------------------ISSN 1472-0221---------------------- Welcome to our first issue of 2006. This month we discuss how researchers into climate change have been using Windmill to monitor and control environmental conditions. We also give an index of articles published in previous newsletters. You've told us you are interested in reading about real-world applications of data acquisition systems. For us to tell these stores we need your help - if you are using Windmill please get in touch and tell us about your system. Either e-mail [email protected] or fill in the form at http://www.windmill.co.uk/application.html If you have tried using Windmill but have had problems, e-mail us and we'll try and sort them out for you. We hope you find Monitor useful, but should you wish to cancel your subscription you can do so at http://www.windmill.co.uk/newsletter.html CONTENTS ======== * Windmill News: Windmill Aids Climate Change Research * Excel Corner: Combining Stacked and Clustered Column Charts * Index to Previous Articles ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ Windmill News: Windmill Aids Climate Change Research ________________________________________________________ Atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration and temperature are increasing. Periods of low water availability are expected to increase in Mediterranean and other ecosystems. Researchers in Spain at the Institute for Natural Resources and Agricultural Biology of Salamnca (CSIC) and the University of Navarre, have simulated predicted increases in CO2 and temperature and investigated the effects on crops. To monitor and control environmental conditions they used Windmill software and a Microlink 751 data acquisition unit which they connected to their PC's USB port. Much of previous research on elevated CO2 has been done in fully-controlled environments using constant temperature and electric lighting. Plant behaviour in the field frequently differs from that in such facilities. The Spanish researchers used temperature gradient tunnels to more realistically simulate aspects of the effects of future enviromental change. Their near-field technique had the added benefit of being enormously cheaper than other similar experiments. CO2 Concentration, Temperature, Humidity and PAR Measurement The temperature gradient tunnels contained measuring and control equipment. Carbon dioxide concentration, for example, was continuously monitored by an infrared gas analyser. Ventilated temperature and humidity sensors and air probes connected to another infrared gas analyser were placed 60 cm above the plants. Quantum sensors were placed on top and inside each tunnel to record photosynthetically active radiation (PAR). The data was continuously recorded by a computer using the Microlink 751 DAQ unit and the Windmill software. CO2 Cylinders Opened and Closed under Windmill Control As well as the standard Windmill software suite, which includes logging and charting modules, the researchers used the Windmill Test-Seq programming tool. With this they controlled solenoid valves which kept open or closed one of two sets of CO2 cylinders supplying the gas to the elevated CO2 tunnel. When CO2 concentration decreased below a fixed level, signalling that one of the cylinder sets was exhausted, the corresponding valve was closed and that of the other set opened. Test-Seq was also used to sequentially measure CO2 concentration at several places in the tunnels with the same infrared gas analyser. The programme successively opened for a fixed time interval one of the six solenoid valves sampling the air in the tunnels. Windmill Test-Seq is easy to use with no prior programming experience needed. It simply interprets a text file of commands that are designed for data acquisition tasks. Converting Analogue Measurements to Digital Values The Microlink 751 captured the analogue measurements and converted them to digital values that could be stored by the computer. Each 751 unit can capture data from 16 sensors and probes of various types. It can also switch digital outputs and hence could be used to control the solenoid valves according to the commands sent by the Windmill software. Further Reading =============== Aranjuelo, I., Irigoyen, J.J., Perez, P., Martinez-Carrasco, R. and Sanchez-Diaz, M. 2005. The use of temperature gradient tunnels for studying the combined effect of CO2, temperature and water availability in N2 fixing alfalfa plants. Annals of Applied Biology 146: 51-60. Perez, P., Morcuende, R., Martin del Molino, I. & Martinez-Carrasco, R. (2005) Diurnal changes of Rubisco in response to elevated CO2, temperature and nitrogen in wheat grown under temperature gradient tunnels. Environmental and experimental botany, 53, 13-27. Microlink 751 Unit http://www.windmillsoft.com/daqshop/daq-usb.html Windmill Software http://www.windmill.co.uk/windmill.html http://www.windmillsoft.com/daqshop/test-control.html or contact Windmill Software at [email protected] ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ Excel Corner ________________________________________________________ "How do I combine stacked and clustered column charts? Hope you can help!" This e-mail dropped through our mailbox last week, and solution wasn't as easy as we thought it would be. A clustered column chart is the normal sort of column display, where each value is shown as a column. The greater the value the higher the column. Values across a row are shown side-by-side. A stacked column chart piles values from one row on top of each other, so you can compare the contribution of each value to the total. In Excel you can choose either type of chart, but it isn't straightforward to combine the two. However, some clever souls have found a way round the problem. Unfortunately they all rely on your data being organised in a slightly peculiar way. If you want to give it a go then these pages each provide a solution. Bernard Liengme's Excel Tips http://www.stfx.ca/people/bliengme/ExcelTips/ Stephen Bullen's Excel Page, FunChrt4.zip http://oaltd.co.uk/Excel/SBXLPage.asp#Charting AJP Excel Information http://andypope.info/charts/stackside.htm Microsoft's Support Site http://support.microsoft.com/ Further Reading =============== For notes on combining scatter and stock charts see Monitor Issue 39 http://www.windmill.co.uk/monitor39.html#Excel For more tips on using Excel see http://www.windmill.co.uk/excel/ http://www.windmill.co.uk/excel/excel-charting.html ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ Index to Articles Previously Published in Monitor ________________________________________________________ We published the first issue of Monitor in August 1998. Since then we have covered many issues relating to data acquisition and control. For those who have not been with us throughout that time here is an index to our major articles. And if you have been with us since 1998: thank you very much! A/D Converters www.windmill.co.uk/a-d.html A/D Converters www.windmill.co.uk/adc.html Abbreviations A-G www.windmill.co.uk/monitor22.html Abbreviations H-M www.windmill.co.uk/monitor23.html Abbreviations N-Z www.windmill.co.uk/monitor24.html Accuracy www.windmill.co.uk/monitor50.html Alarms www.windmill.co.uk/monitor68.html Analogue Inputs www.windmill.co.uk/adc.html Analogue Outputs www.windmill.co.uk/monitor36.html Bathymetry www.windmill.co.uk/monitor58.html Bottle Volume www.windmill.co.uk/monitor65.html Brake Testing www.windmill.co.uk/monitor63.html COM Port Settings www.windmill.co.uk/monitor46.html Connecting Equipment www.windmill.co.uk/freewm.html Control www.windmill.co.uk/monitor36.html Control www.windmill.co.uk/monitor71.html Counting www.windmill.co.uk/counting.html Crash Testing www.windmill.co.uk/monitor62.html Current www.windmill.co.uk/monitor69.html DAQ Systems: choosing www.windmill.co.uk/acquisition.html DAQ Systems: choosing www.windmill.co.uk/monitor49.html Data Logging www.windmill.co.uk/monitor20.html Data Logging Software www.windmill.co.uk/monitor73.html Data Logging Software www.windmill.co.uk/monitor78.html Data Logging Techniques www.windmill.co.uk/monitor79.html DDE www.windmill.co.uk/monitor67.html Dewpoint Temperature www.windmill.co.uk/monitor65.html DGPS www.windmill.co.uk/monitor89.html Diesel Engine DAQ www.windmill.co.uk/monitor87.html Differential Inputs www.windmill.co.uk/differential.html Digital Outputs www.windmill.co.uk/monitor71.html Electroforming www.windmill.co.uk/monitor37.html Emission Monitoring www.windmill.co.uk/survey.html Emission Monitoring www.windmill.co.uk/monitor87.html Energy Monitoring www.windmill.co.uk/monitor39.html Engineering Units www.windmill.co.uk/monitor27.html Engine Testing www.windmill.co.uk/testing.html Ethernet www.windmill.co.uk/freewm.html Fieldbus www.windmill.co.uk/freewm.html Filtering www.windmill.co.uk/filter.html Fish Farming www.windmill.co.uk/monitor41.html Fluorescence Mapping www.windmill.co.uk/monitor41.html Freezer Monitoring www.windmill.co.uk/monitor54.html Froude Consine Texcel www.windmill.co.uk/monitor87.html GIS www.windmill.co.uk/monitor28.html GPIB www.windmill.co.uk/monitor28.html GPS www.windmill.co.uk/monitor30.html Handshaking RS232 www.windmill.co.uk/monitor74.html HPIB Communications www.windmill.co.uk/monitor28.html Human Machine Interface www.windmill.co.uk/monitor9.html Humidity www.windmill.co.uk/monitor65.html I2C Bus www.windmill.co.uk/monitor56.html IEEE-488 www.windmill.co.uk/monitor28.html IMS Files www.windmill.co.uk/monitor87.html Irrigation www.windmill.co.uk/monitor80.html Isolation www.windmill.co.uk/monitor64.html Live News www.windmill.co.uk/monitor72.html Logging Data www.windmill.co.uk/monitor73.html Materials Testing www.windmill.co.uk/monitor81.html Mettler Toledo Balance www.windmill.co.uk/monitor84.html Modbus Communications www.windmill.co.uk/monitor32.html Modbus and Windmill www.windmill.co.uk/monitor72.html Molytek 2702 www.windmill.co.uk/monitor33.html Multiplexing www.windmill.co.uk/monitor26.html NMEA www.windmill.co.uk/monitor52.html Open Office www.windmill.co.uk/monitor83.html Parallax BASIC Stamp www.windmill.co.uk/monitor85.html Parsing Data www.windmill.co.uk/monitor69.html PID Control www.windmill.co.uk/monitor81.html PLCs www.windmill.co.uk/monitor47.html Pollution - Air www.windmill.co.uk/survey.html Pollution - Water www.windmill.co.uk/monitor75.html Powder Flow Rate www.windmill.co.uk/monitor55.html Process Mimic Design www.windmill.co.uk/monitor9.html Product Testing www.windmill.co.uk/testing.html Programming Tools www.windmill.co.uk/standard.html Quadra-Chek 2000 www.windmill.co.uk/monitor36.html Rainfall Measurement www.windmill.co.uk/monitor23.html Relay Switching www.windmill.co.uk/monitor71.html Remote Sensing www.windmill.co.uk/rs-232.html Replaying Data www.windmill.co.uk/monitor23.html Resistance Measurement www.windmill.co.uk/transducer.html RS232 Communications www.windmill.co.uk/rs-232.html RS232 Handshaking www.windmill.co.uk/monitor74.html RS232 Pins www.windmill.co.uk/monitor42.html RS232 Troubleshooting www.windmill.co.uk/monitor83.html RS422 Communications www.windmill.co.uk/monitor32.html RS485 Communications www.windmill.co.uk/monitor32.html RSS www.windmill.co.uk/monitor72.html RTDs www.windmill.co.uk/thermocouple.html Satellite Navigation www.windmill.co.uk/monitor89.html Seabed Surveying www.windmill.co.uk/monitor76.html Sensors www.windmill.co.uk/monitor40.html Serial Communications www.windmill.co.uk/monitor32.html Signal Conditioning www.windmill.co.uk/filter.html Simultaneous Sampling www.windmill.co.uk/monitor26.html Single-Ended Inputs www.windmill.co.uk/differential.html SI Units www.windmill.co.uk/monitor27.html Standards www.windmill.co.uk/standard.html Strain Measurement www.windmill.co.uk/monitor17.html Switch Testing www.windmill.co.uk/testing.html Teacher Resources www.windmill.co.uk/monitor48.html Telemecanique Altivar www.windmill.co.uk/monitor80.html Temperature Accuracy www.windmill.co.uk/monitor50.html Temperature Measurement www.windmill.co.uk/thermocouple.html Tensiometers www.windmill.co.uk/monitor80.html Thermocouples www.windmill.co.uk/thermocouple.html Timing www.windmill.co.uk/counting.html Train Testing www.windmill.co.uk/monitor64.html Transcell www.windmill.co.uk/monitor81.html Transducer Monitoring www.windmill.co.uk/transducer.html Transient Capture www.windmill.co.uk/monitor59.html Triggering Acquisition www.windmill.co.uk/monitor45.html Torque www.windmill.co.uk/monitor40.html Units www.windmill.co.uk/monitor27.html Universal Serial Bus www.windmill.co.uk/monitor24.html USB www.windmill.co.uk/monitor24.html User Interface Design www.windmill.co.uk/monitor9.html Utility Meter DAQ www.windmill.co.uk/monitor56.html VI Design www.windmill.co.uk/monitor9.html Visual Basic www.windmill.co.uk/activex.html Visual Basic www.windmill.co.uk/monitor13.html Visual Basic www.windmill.co.uk/magazine.html Visual Basic www.windmill.co.uk/monitor20.html Visual Basic www.windmill.co.uk/rs232.html Visual Basic www.windmill.co.uk/standard.html Voltage Measurements www.windmill.co.uk/monitor49.html Voltmeter www.windmill.co.uk/monitor70.html Waveform Generation www.windmill.co.uk/monitor36.html Weather Monitoring www.windmill.co.uk/monitor23.html Wide Area Networks www.windmill.co.uk/freewm.html Wi-Fi www.windmill.co.uk/monitor82.html Wind Speed Measurement www.windmill.co.uk/monitor23.html Windmill Tips www.windmill.co.uk/freesoftware.html Wine Quality Control www.windmill.co.uk/monitor65.html Wireless Networks www.windmill.co.uk/monitor82.html ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ * 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/ http://www.windmillsoft.com/
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