TCP/IP and COM port trouble-shooting and data logging software
Charting Data with Windmill 7
We are pleased to offer our Monitor Newsletter (ISSN 1472-0221) subscribers this great new package for instruments communicating over TCP-IP, RS232, RS485, Modbus, Ethernet and Internet. It comprises:
- ComDebug serial port logging and trouble-shooting software. This useful utility doesn't expire and is completely free.
- A month's trial of the Windmill 7 data acquisition and control software, with the COMIML serial driver and Software Signal Generator.
"I have made good use of your free data logging software - thank you."
Mark Stone, Scientist, Idaho National Laboratory
Monitor is a monthly newsletter with articles on data acquisition and control. When you subscribe you will receive an e-mail with details of how to download the free software.
"I enjoy receiving the newsletter. It is the most practical of all the information I receive. The wide variety of uses provides inspiration for solutions to our requirements."
Shane Dunn, Systems Analyst
- Data logging from one instrument connected to the PC's COM port over RS232, RS422, RS485, Modbus or TCP/IP.
- Data saved in text files which can later be imported into Excel or other software.
- Handles ASCII, binary and hexadecimal data.
- Completely free, including technical support for life: this software doesn't expire.
- COM port trouble-shooting:
- Control the state of the PC's serial port output lines;
- See the state of the serial port input lines;
- Quickly identify and correct communication errors;
- See all bytes sent and received, even non-printing characters like carriage returns;
- Send ASCII values, twos complement integers, 4-byte integers, double-words, unsigned integers, single bits, floating point, CRCs etc.
"Outstanding little tool! Best freebie I've ever seen! No problems, it worked perfectly."
J Franks, Industrial Control Engineer
- Data logging with the Windmill Logger program.
- Trend charting with the Windmill Chart program.
- Data display and DDE server with the Windmill DDE Panel program.
- Output control with the AnalogOut and DigitalOut programs.
- Connect up to 10 RS232, RS422, RS485, Modbus and TCP/IP networks and cables with the COMIML driver. (So you might have up to 10 RS232 devices, 100 RS422, 320 RS485 or many Modbus and TCP/IP devices.)
- Data saved in text files and can be sent in real-time to other programs like Excel.
- Runs under Windows 10, 8, 7 (64- and 32-bit), Vista, XP, 2000, 98 and 95.
- Lasts one month, after which you can licence your copy.
The Windmill Trial contains demo setups to get you started. Instructions on using the demos appear after you have installed Windmill. The trial lasts a month, after which, if you want to continue using Windmill, you can licence your copy at our data acquisition catalogue site - http://www.windmillsoft.com/. Even if you choose not to licence Windmill you can continue using the ComDebug program indefinitely.
With a flexible approach to building command strings, and parsing the received data strings to extract data values, the majority of serial analytical instruments are supported. These include altimeters, balances, conductivity meters, data loggers, dial guages, digital indicators, digital thermometers, DMR, extensometers, flaw detectors, fluorometers, force gauges, gas analysers, GPS, gyro compasses, hygrometers, I2C devices, ion gauges, load meters, motion sensors, multimeters, myographs, oxygen electrodes, particle analysers, pH meters, PIC microcontrollers, plcs, pressure transmitters, power analysers, RLC meters, RFID readers, thermoregulators, titrators, solar panel array controllers, sonar and water baths.
Windmill ComDebug reads data from many instruments, including multimeters
You can use Windmill to interface up to 10 instruments at each port, from different manufacturers. For example, serial devices from from Acculab, A&D, Advantec, Ashtec, Avery Berkel, B&B Electronics, Bruël & Kjær, Campbell Scientific, Dataq Instruments, Daily RFID, Dataq Instruments, Datel, Datataker, Denver, Desoutter, Ecom, Fisher, Fluke, Funaro, Garmin, Honeywell, Horiba, Humminbird, ICP DAS, LOVATO electric, Love Controls, Linkcom,, Magellan, Maxim, Mettler Toledo, MecMesin, Metrix, Microchip Technology, Mitutoyo, Motorola, Molytek, Newmar, NovAtel, Nu-Metrics, Ohaus, Omnistar, Omron, Orion, Panametrics, Parallax, Parker, Protek, Quantum Logic, Remontec, Rockwell, San Jose, Sartorius, SG Brown, Siemens, Sokkia, Sylvac, Telegan, Transcell, Tritech, TTi, TSS, Turner Designs, Varian SenTorr, Veris, Voltcraft, Weeder Technologies, Weilheimn, WTW, World Precision Instruments and YSI and many other manufacturers. Many channels of data can be accepted from each instrument.
"Excellent software...very helpful"
- Log only when new data is available from your instrument: when a weight changes on a balance for instance. Even if two items weigh the same, Windmill knows that a change has occurred, so no readings are missed.
- Log to a new data file at regular intervals, every hour or every week for example. This is useful in continuous, long-term logging.
- Log data only when channels are in an alarm state, for example when a temperature reading rises above a set point for five minutes. The temperature is regularly logged throughout this time.
- Log data for a fixed duration, for example during an alarm condition and for ten minutes afterwards.
- Use Excel to start and stop logging.
- Log from different channels at different rates.
- Log from different channels to the same or different files.
- Log data from RS232 instruments alongside Modbus and Ethernet devices.
Setting the Logging Options
Will Windmill work with my Hardware Device?
Windmill data acquisition and control software can log data from instruments that plug into the PC's COM or TCP/IP port and communicates via TCP/IP, RS232, RS422, RS485 or Modbus. USB drivers are also available. If you can answer Yes to these questions then Windmill will work for you.
- Does your instrument communicate via the PC's COM port or TCP/IP port?
- Does it send ASCII, binary or hexadecimal messages?
- Are you running Windows: any version from 95 to Windows 10?
- Does your instrument send its data in real-time?
- Is each data item fewer than 21 ASCII characters or 7 pairs of hexadecimal characters long (excluding engineering units, headers, etc. Eg +123456789.0123456789)?
Differences between Windmill 7 Software suite and ComDebug
After your month is up you can most of the Windmill programs will expire. However, you can continue to use ComDebug indefinitely to log data from one instrument. This table shows what you can do with ComDebug compared to the full Windmill suite.
|Number of instruments connected to the PC:||10||1|
|Start logging when you click Start:||yes||yes|
|Start logging on an alarm:||yes||no|
|Start logging when new data arrives:||yes||no|
|Start logging on a key press:||yes||no|
|Log different channels at different rates:||yes||no|
|Automatically start new data files:||yes||no|
|Highlight channels in alarm:||yes||no|
|Import data into Excel after collection:||yes||yes|
|Import data into Excel in real-time:||yes||no|
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continuing series on RS232 communications. I've learned more about
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