Windmill Software Ltd
Windows Engineering Software

Monitor
January 2006

-------------------------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 
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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/

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