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29 November 2012

Windmill Software
Data Acquisition Intelligence
Call now: +44 (0)161 833 2782

The Newsletter for PC-Based Data Acquisition and Control
Issue 172       November 2012
--------------------ISSN 1472-0221----------------------

Welcome to Monitor. This month we've replaced the 
Excel Corner with an OpenOffice Corner, giving tips 
on getting live data from instruments and devices into 
the Open Office Calc spreadsheet. We're also offering 
subscribers 27% off pH monitoring over USB.

For more data acquisition news and tips follow us on 
Twitter - @DataAcquisition.

We had some problems with our on-line store last month - 
my apologies if you were affected. Everything is now back 
to normal at, and we
have a new special offer on pH measurement.

I hope you enjoy this issue, but should you wish 
to remove yourself from our mailing please go to 
Monitor Newsletter


* 27% Off pH Monitoring via USB

* OpenOffice Corner: Getting Live Data into Open Office

* DAQ News Round-up

Follow @DataAcquisition on Twitter Google+ Data Acquisition News Feed (RSS)

27% Off pH Monitoring via USB

Measuring pH via pH via the computer's USB port
Use your PC to monitor 12 pH 
electrodes or probes with 
the - now reduced - Microlink 
751-pH package. Connect up 
to eight 751-pH units to one PC 
to monitor up to 96 pH probes. Previously available for £1095, 
we are pleased to offer it to you now for just £795.

Included in the price is Windmill data acquisition software, 
which makes setup and data logging very easy.  Our modular 
suite of software also provides charting and alarm indication, 
lets you control other equipment and can send data to Excel 
and other software in real-time.

The Microlink 751-pH uses an integrating analogue-to-digital 
converter which reduces internal noise, and a differential 
amplifier which helps remove external noise. The Microlink 
also lets you monitor temperature, flow, level, 
gas concentration, resistance and other parameters.

Further Reading
More information on the 751-pH package:

Monitor 92: Tips on using your PC to measure pH.

OpenOffice Corner: Getting Live Data into OpenOffice

OpenOffice is similar to the Microsoft Office suite of 
programs, but OpenOffice is free! It includes a 
spreadsheet program called Calc.  Today I'll explain how 
to get live data into OpenOffice's Calc.

Windmill programs communicate with your instruments and 
devices and can send the data directly to OpenOffice.  
If you don't have a copy of Windmill, subscribers can download 
a free trial that will collect data from instruments 
connected over TCP/IP (Ethernet and Internet) RS232, 
RS422, RS484 and Modbus.

To get the live data into OpenOffice you just enter an 
"array formula" there. An array formula returns multiple 
results, rather than just one, so you can see readings 
from all your data channels. You enter an array formula 
by pressing the Ctrl+Shift+Enter keys.

Using OpenOffice with DDE Panel
To get live data from DDE Panel into OpenOffice

1. Start DDE Panel and connect your data channels. 

2. In OpenOffice's Calc, select a row of cells large 
   enough to hold all the channels. 
3. Enter this array formula: 
   don't forget to press the Ctrl+Shift+Enter keys to 
   tell Calc that it is an array formula.

4. The formulas is displayed as 
   and new data appears in Open Office whenever the 
   DDE Panel updates.

To change the update rate, go to DDE Panel and change the 
Refresh Rate there.

Changing the data collection rate with DDE Panel 

Another way to enter the data is

1. In DDE Panel, click the Copy to Clipboard button and 
   select Copy All Channels. 

2. In OpenOffice, choose Paste Special from the Edit menu 
   and select DDE Link. 

3. The array formula given above is automatically entered 
   and the data appears. 

Using OpenOffice with Logger
Windmill Logger collects readings from instruments and 
devices, and saves it in a series of text files. You can 
simultaneously collect data with Logger and show it 
in OpenOffice.

1. Start collecting data with Windmill Logger.

2. In OpenOffice's Calc, select a row of cells large enough 
   to hold all the instrument channels connected to Logger

3. Enter this array formula:
   don't forget to press the Ctrl+Shift+Enter keys to tell 
   Calc that it is an array formula.

Using OpenOffice with several copies of Logger
You can run more than once copy of Logger at a time. 
This is useful, for instance, if you want to log data 
from different channels at different rates. In this 
case you need to change the new  Logger's DDE service name. 
From the Logger File menu select DDE and type in a new 
name. In your formula, change "Logger" to your new name.

Further Reading
For more OpenOffice tips see

For more on array formulas see Monitor Issue 116

Any questions - e-mail [email protected].

________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ DAQ News Round-up ________________________________________________________ Welcome to our round-up of the data acquisition and control news. If you would like to receive more timely DAQ news updates then follow us on Twitter at Student's Sensor Harvests Energy from Earthquakes A wireless vibration sensor could provide a low-cost solution for engineers to monitor the damage of buildings affected by earthquakes. When earthquakes occur, the energy harvested from the vibrations activates the wireless transceiver to transmit the data packets which contain the sensor's identifier. The greater the vibrations, the greater the energy harvested and the more packets that are sent. Source: Victoria University Fertility Technology Could Pinpoint Oil Leaks at Sea Technology used by fertility monitors and pregnancy tests to detect fluorescence could be used for early detection of oil leaks at sea. Source: SCUBA News LIMS Growth Will Be Driven by Need for Real-time Data The worldwide market for LIMS is expected to be relatively flat in the near term, but is expected to experience growth in the next few years according to a new ARC Advisory Group market research study. Source: ARC Advisory Group Ocean Waves to Power Sensor Buoys Harvesting wave energy from the sea will power ocean sensor buoys, eliminating the need for batteries and allowing extended operation of autonomous sensors. Source: SCUBA News RFID and sensor device to help older people stay at home The development of a new device that combines passive radio frequency identification (RFID) technology with movement and location sensors has led researchers to design a low-cost, passive monitoring system that could help keep older people in their homes for longer. Source: Pulse IT Smartphone gives bikes an automatic gearbox Combining an iPhone's sensors and Bluetooth can make changing bicycle gears manually a thing of the past. Source: New Scientist ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ * Copyright Windmill Software Ltd * Reprinting permitted with this notice included * For more articles see 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 and an index of articles at 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]


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