The Newsletter for PC-Based Data Acquisition and Control
Issue 106 www.windmill.co.uk May 2007
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* Windmill News
* Excitation in Data Acquisition
* Excel Corner: Choosing Markers in a Scatter Chart
* DAQ News Roundup
New Staff Member...
We're pleased to welcome a new member of staff to
Windmill - Asad Syed. Asad has replaced Ben Worthy who
has moved to Leceistershire for family reasons. If you
ring Windmill with a sales or technical support request
you may find yourself talking to Asad.
Asad graduated at UMIST with a degree of Electrical and
Electronic Engineering. He went on to complete a
masters degree in Computer Integrated Manufacturing and
Management at the University of Huddersfield. He worked
in the finance industry before joining Windmill. Born
and bought up in Burnley in the Northwest of England,
he loves the scenery of the pennine moors which
surround the town.
We have recently had a problem with our technical
support form on the web. Although it looked like the
form had been sent successfully, when it got to us it
was blank. So our apologies to anyone who requested
support via the web site and didn't receive a reply.
If you still need help please re-submit your request at
Excitation in Data Acquisition
In data acquisition, excitation is the voltage or
current applied to a transducer.
Many transducers need a power supply. The signal from
these transducers is either a voltage or a mA current.
For many transducers the supply will be low voltage DC
(direct current), but for transducers based on
capacitance measurement an AC (alternating current)
supply may be required.
When purchasing a data acquisition system you should
check that your measurement hardware can be equipped
with power supplies suitable for providing the
excitation voltage(s) you need. Because the choice of
power supply will depend on the number and type of
transducers, it's best to draw up a list of transducers
and their excitation requirements. The information
needed includes voltage range and current requirements,
and for AC excitation voltages, the frequency used.
Excel Corner: Choosing Markers in a Scatter Chart
Last week we were asked "Can I choose the type of marker
used in a scatter chart". The answer is easy.
1. In your chart double-click a data marker which you
wish to change. The Format Data Series
2. Choose the Patterns tab.
3. Select the style of marker you wish.
For more tips on using Excel for data acquisition and
DAQ News Roundup
Welcome to our roundup of the data acquisition and
control news. If you would like to receive more
timely DAQ news updates then grab our RSS newsfeed
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read it via e-mail, mobile phone or a newsfeed viewer.
New noise discovery promises to improve sensors
More sensitive sensors based on semiconductor
electronics could result from new findings by
researchers from the United States, Norway and Russia.
Their research has yielded a decisive step in
identifying the origin of the universal "one-over-f"
(1/f) noise phenomenon; “f” stands for "frequency."
Source: Argonne National Laboratory
Electric fields could give subs 'fish-like' sense
Robotic and uncrewed submersibles could operate
more effectively by mimicking the way some fish probe
their surroundings with electric fields, say
researchers. Some fish can generate their weak
electric fields over short ranges to help navigate,
identify objects, and even communicate with other
fish. By studying the biomechanics of these "weakly
electric fish", scientists have now come up with an
artificial electric-field sensing system. They say it
could ultimately give robot submersibles the same
additional sensory capabilities.
Source: New Scientist
ISA Announces New Recommended Practice for HMI Task Analysis
The new document provides guidance and suggests an
approach for conducting a task analysis as part of the
design and development of new control rooms and systems
for power plants and for supporting major control room
Network 20000 times faster than broadband
Co-operating universities have created a high-speed,
regional optical network that will enable their
researchers to better share data and collaborate
with colleagues around the world. Called the Broadband
Optical Research, Education and Sciences Network
(BOREAS-Net), the network consists of a ring of optical
fibre cable and other equipment that allows four
universities to connect to national research and
commercial networks based.
Source: The University of Iowa
Industrial Networking Growth in Asia-Pacific Driven by Ethernet Adoption
According to a study published by VDC, the global
market for network infrastructure products for industry
will increase by 25% through 2011. Of the three
regions covered in the research - Asia-Pacific,
Europe and Americas - the highest overall market
growth is forecast for the Asia-Pacific region.
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