-------------------------Monitor------------------------ The Newsletter for PC-Based Data Acquisition and Control Issue 126 www.windmill.co.uk January 2009 --------------------ISSN 1472-0221---------------------- Welcome to the first Monitor newsletter of 2009. I hope you it useful, but should you want to remove yourself from our mailing list please go to https://www.windmill.co.uk/newsletter.html CONTENTS ======== * Windmill Notes: Measuring Torque * Excel Corner: Quickly Inserting Symbols * DAQ News Roundup ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ Windmill Notes: Measuring Torque ________________________________________________________ Torque is the tendancy of a force to cause rotation. Its SI unit of measurement is the newton metre (Nm) but in the USA pound-inches or pound-feet might be used. It can be measured with a torque meter. If the meter has an RS232 output, you can use Windmill software to capture its measurements. With Windmill you can log and chart the torque data, and send it in real-time to other Windows programs like an Access database or an Excel spreadsheet. You have a choice of two Windmill programs: COMIML and LabIML. COMIML is part of the Windmill 6 suite of software and has many more facilities than LabIML - details at https://www.windmillsoft.com/daqshop/rs232-modbus.html LabIML is part of the Windmill 4.3 suite of software and is free to Monitor subscribers. How to connect a Torque Meter to a PC ================================================ Here is how to configure the free software to log data from the meter. There are three basic steps. 1. Run the Windmill ConfIML program and enter your meter's communication settings. 2. Run the Windmill SetupIML program and choose names and units for your data. 3. Run the Windmill DDE Panel or Logger program to display or save data. Once you have configured the Windmill software in future you can go straight logging data. * Windmill ConfIML This program detects and saves a record of the hardware you want to use, in our case a torque meter. 1. Start ConfIML and Press the Add button. 2. Select LabIML RS232 ASCII Instrument Handler. 3. Type a name for the torque meter, a description and enter 1 for the number of channels of data. Press OK. 4. Enter your instrument's settings. These should work for most torque meters - Reading Protocol: Request/Response Background - Timeout: 1000 mS - Data Persistance: 5000 mS - Returned Message Length: 16 - Instrument Initialisation String: Leave blank 5. Click the Channels button and tell Windmill how to find and extract the data needed - Make sure that Read channel is checked - Enter the engineering units in which your meter will send the data, eg Nm - You can ignore the maximum and minimum settings: these are just a guide for chart scaling etc. - Check your manual to find the format of your torque meter's data stream. An Omega torque meter, for example, sends a 16 character data stream. The 7th character gives the polarity (positive or negative) and the next 8 give the data values. - For the example above, in the ConfIML Reply Parse String enter: \I06\E08. This instructs Windmill to ignore the first 6 characters and to extract the next 9. 6. Enter the communication settings used by your meter, eg: - Baud: 4800 - Data Bits: 8 - Parity: None - Flow control: None Again, check your manual for your settings. 7. Save your settings, close ConfIML and start SetupIML. * Windmill SetupIML With the SetupIML program you can name units, set alarms and so on. 1. Choose to Create a New Setup and enter a name and description. This can be anything you like. 2. From the Device menu select LabIML. 3. Your data channels will be shown as a numbers like 10000, 10001. Double click a channel number. 4. Type name for your channel, eg Torque and make sure Enable for Input is checked. 5. Save your settings in a *.ims file, close SetupIML and run DDE Panel or Logger * Windmill DDE Panel 1. From the File menu select Load Hardware Setup and choose the *.ims file you just saved. 2. Connect your channels. You should see your readings in DDE Panel. 3. Proceed similarly for the Logger programs. * Getting the data into Excel You can use the Windmill Logger program to collect data, and after collection has finished import it into Excel. Alternatively, you can collect data with Excel in real-time by using an Excel macro to read data from the Windmill DDE Panel. For more details see our Excel page at https://www.windmill.co.uk/excel/ * Trouble-Shooting If you are having problems receiving data from your torque meter, right-click the LabIML icon on the tool bar and select "Debug Options". If the LabIML Debug window says "Parsing Failed", go back to the ConfIML window and edit your Reply Parse String. For more information contact [email protected] ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ Excel Corner: Quickly Inserting Symbols ________________________________________________________ Imagine you wish to insert an Ohm symbol into your Excel spreadsheet. One way to do this is to: 1. Type W into a cell. 2. From the Format menu select Cells. 3. Choose Symbol as the font. All well and good, but if you try to copy the Ohm symbol to another cell you are presented with the W again. You then have to repeat the process. If you will be inserting lots of Ohm symbols it is quicker set up a macro and assign it a shortcut key. Create a blank macro using the Record Macro feature (Tools menu > Macro), then edit it so it contains this: Sub Macro1() ActiveCell.FormulaR1C1 = "W" With ActiveCell.Characters(Start:=1).Font .Name = "Symbol" End With End Sub To assign it a shortcut key: 1. From the Tools menu select Macro. 2. Choose your Macro and select Options. 3. Enter a shortcut key in the ctrl box, w for example. Now everytime you click a blank cell and press Ctrl w, an Ohm symbol will be entered (Ω). If you wish just to apply the symbol font to any character you enter in a cell, just remove the ActiveCell.FormulaR1C1 = "W" line from the macro. Now if you type, say, m in a cell and hit Ctrl w, a μ symbol appears. Related Topics: Data Acquisition in Excel https://www.windmill.co.uk/excel/ ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ 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 at https://www.windmillsoft.com/monitor.xml. Read https://www.windmill.co.uk/newsfeed.php for notes on how to display the news on your own web site, read it via e-mail, mobile phone or in your browser. Flying eye maps rain forest's health An imaging device that maps the biodiversity of tropical rain forest could help monitor damage from deforestation and logging. A laser scanner linked to a spectrometer on board an aircraft fires visible light towards the ground and analyses the wavelengths that are reflected from the leaves. This generates a three-dimensional map of the chemical composition of the trees, from the canopy to the forest floor, and hence the biodiversity of the forest. Source: New Scientist http://www.newscientist.com/ Poor-man's supercomputing goes industrial Grid computing technology has long been the darling of cash-strapped academics in desperate need of raw processing power. Now a European research effort has created a portfolio of tools and services that can finally bring the power of grid computing to industrial applications. Source: ICT Results http://cordis.europa.eu/ictresults/ Taking the Stress Out of Magnetic Field Detection A carefully built magnetic sandwich that interleaves layers of a magnetic alloy with a few nanometers of silver has dramatically enhanced sensitivity: a 400-fold improvement in some cases. This material could lead to greatly improved magnetic sensors for a wide range of applications from non-destructive testing to medical devices and high-performance data storage. Source: NIST https://www.nist.gov/ Potential for Wireless Communications in Factory Automation Wireless communication and its associated benefits are now well established in the commercial and consumer environments. However, a recent report from IMS Research on wireless communications in factory automation shows that obstacles not found in the office environment continue to hinder adoption. Currently, the biggest obstacle to adopting wireless communications for machine builders and end users alike is reliability. The presence of heavy machinery that can interrupt wireless signals, together with the increasing importance of gathering dependable, detailed machine data has convinced most, for now at least, that wired solutions are best. Source: IMS Research https://technology.ihs.com/ New Delivery Models Will Drive LIMS Market Growth According to the Arc Advisory Group, the worldwide market for LIMS is expected to grow by 2.9% over the next five years. "Small and medium laboratories currently utilizing home-grown systems may find the Internet hosted model a more affordable option for LIMS," according to Senior Analyst Paula Hollywood. Source: Arc Advisory Group http://tinyurl.com/d6e2v2 ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ * Copyright Windmill Software Ltd * Reprinting permitted with this notice included * For more articles see https://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 https://www.windmill.co.uk/newsletter.html and an index of articles at https://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] https://www.windmill.co.uk/ https://www.windmillsoft.com/
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