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26 March 2013

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

The Newsletter for PC-Based Data Acquisition and Control
Issue 176          March 2013
--------------------ISSN 1472-0221----------------------

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Monitor Newsletter

* Get Data from Even more Instruments with Enhanced Windmill
* Excel Corner: How to Exclude Extreme Data Values from a Mean
* DAQ News Round-up

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Get Data from Even more Instruments with Enhanced Windmill

In January we announced the launch of 
Enhanced Windmill, which included all 
our software for just £295. We are 
pleased to say that you can now use 
Enhanced Windmill to get data from even 
more instruments and devices. 

Up until now, Enhanced Windmill could communicate with 
data acquisition hardware over Ethernet, Internet, USB, 
RS-232, RS-422, RS-485 and Modbus. We've added the 
Harvester driver to the package, which means that 
Enhanced Windmill can now get data from any instrument 
that can act as a DDE Server.

This opens up your system to many more data sources. 
For example: instrument software from Malvern Industries, 
Quizix (Pumpworks), Bronkhorst, Texas Weather Instruments, 
GE Measurement and Control, Point Six Wireless, Eagle 
Technology, Hexatec, Omega Engineering, Wonderware, 
Echelon, fieldbus networks and others.

Harvester handles up to 10 device drivers or Windows 
applications at once. It supports up to 100 input 
and output channels.


Clients and Servers?

Software engaging in DDE conversations are often 
referred to as clients and servers. A server always 
responds to requests, or commands, from a client. 
The standard Windmill programs can act as DDE servers, 
but not as clients. Harvester, however, turns Windmill 
into a client which can draw in data from any software 
acting as a DDE server.


Example Application: 
Logging Data from a Particle Analyser

A measurement and control system often involves several 
different types of instrument from several different 
manufacturers. The software must be able to cope with 
all these variations

One example of this is using a particle analyser (from 
Malvern Instruments) under computer control. The 
analyser's own internal software decides when it 
needs a sample of liquid and sends this request to 
the Harvester driver. Harvester tells the Windmill 
control software to turn on a pump, supplying exactly 
the right amount of liquid to the particle analyser. 
The analyser sends its results to Harvester which 
passes them to Windmill to be logged and displayed 
alongside data from other parts of the system.


Getting Hold of Harvester

Harvester comes free with Enhanced Windmill. You can 
also add it to the standard Windmill package at a 
cost of £195.


Further Reading:

Enhanced Windmill

More About Harvester

Excel Corner: How to Exclude Extreme Data Values from a Mean

There are often times when you want to calcuate the mean 
or average of a set of readings, but exclude the most 
extreme readings. One way to do this in Excel is to use 
the TRIMMEAN function. This calculates the mean but 
excludes a % of readings: the highest and lowest 
readings to be precise.

The syntax is: 
where array is your set of readings and percent the 
amount to discard. Example, TRIMMEAN(a1:a100,10%)

For example, if you chose to discard 10% of 100 readings, 
10 readings would be discarded: the 5 highest and the 
5 lowest.

If your percentage does not give an even number of 
discards, Excel rounds it down. For example, discarding 
3% of 100 readings would mean Excel removed 1 high 
reading and 1 low reading.

Read more tips and tricks for Excel at

________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ 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 grab our RSS newsfeed at Read for notes on how to display the news on your own web site or automatically tweet it. A fiasco after five years of work on ISA100.12 The ISA100.12 subcommittee co-chair Dick Caro has announced that ISA100.12 has abandoned its work after four years without finding a single convergence solution for wireless instrumentation, according to the Industrial Automation and Process Control Insider. Source: Industrial Automation and Process Control Insider Researchers Develop Real-Time Secondhand Smoke Sensor Dartmouth College researchers have invented the first ever secondhand tobacco smoke sensor that records data in real time, a new study in the journal Nicotine and Tobacco Research shows. Source: Eureka Alert Short-Range Wireless Technology IC Market to Grow The total market for open short-range wireless technology based ICs, i.e. Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, ZigBee, NFC and GPS, is expected to reach almost 5 billion units in 2013 and grow to nearly 8 billion by 2018, according to a report by ABI Research. It is industrial applications that will be the major growth drivers over the next 10 years. Source: ABI Research ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ * 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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