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30 March 2015

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Monitor - ISSN 1472-0221
The Newsletter for PC-Based Data Acquisition and Control
Issue 200, March 2015

Welcome to the 200th issue of Monitor! We've been publishing the newsletter for over sixteen years and in that time have covered many measurement and control topics. For those who haven't been with us for all that time, all our articles are archived on the web site. See the full list below. And if there is anyone who has been a subscriber since the early issues, please get in touch - we'd love to hear from you.

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* Monitor: 200 Issues of Articles
* Windmill Questions
* DAQ News Round-up

Monitor: 200 Issues of Articles

Web link: Monitor Index

We've covered a lot of subjects in our 16 years - here are links to the main articles in each issue - hope you find it useful.

The subject index shows the progress of technology. For instance, our issue on communications between computer and instruments in 1998 made no mention of wireless networks. These didn't become popular for data acquisition until some years later.

Many of the articles though, are still as relevant now as when we wrote them.

You may reprint any of our articles providing you credit the author (Windmill Software unless otherwise stated) and place a link back to the source on the Windmill web site.

Communications | Data Acquisition and Control Articles | Interfacing Instruments | Windmill Notes | Applications of Data Acquisition | Windmill Products | Other


Data Acquisition and Control Articles

Interfacing Instruments

Windmill Notes

Applications of Data Acquisition



Note: You may reprint any of our articles providing you credit us as the author and place a link back to the source on the Windmill web site.

Questions on Using Windmill

Web link: Download Data Logging Software


I am trying to file date log from a USB-to-RS485 converter. I use the ComDebug without problem communicating with the converter. How do I log the data into a text file based on specific interval (say about every 1 minute)?


You can use either ComDebug or Windmill Logger to collect data. With ComDebug

  1. Select the File menu and enter the name of the file to which you want to save the data.
  2. Click Sample Rate to choose the speed of logging.
  3. Click Start to log data.

To use Logger.

  1. If you haven't already done so, run ConfIML then SetupIML to create and save a hardware setup file (*.ims).
  2. Run Windmill Logger and load the hardware setup file.
  3. Select Settings from the Menu bar and enter your sampling interval.
  4. Press the Start button (or choose to log on alarm or when new data arrives.

Setting some of the Logging Options

Further Reading:
Windmill Logger:
or click the Help button on the Logger or ComDebug program.

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 - @DataAcquisition or grab our rss feed.

Sensor sniffs out methane in deep sea vents and cows

Researchers have developed an instrument that can rapidly and precisely analyse samples of environmental methane to determine how the gas was formed.
Source: SCUBA News

Bee behaviour mapped with RFID tags

A tiny new tracker designed to monitor bee behaviour is being tested by ecologists at Kew Gardens in London.
Source: BBC

Pencil sketches turn paper into a sensor

Simply drawing with a pencil on paper turns out to be a great way of making cheap, but high-quality, sensors .
Source: New Scientist

Pens filled with high-tech inks for do-it-yourself sensors

A new simple tool developed by nanoengineers at the University of California, San Diego, is opening the door to an era when anyone will be able to build sensors, anywhere.
Source: Eureka Alert

Light source could be used to make chip-scale gas sensors

European researchers have developed a frequency comb that they claim could be used for the real-time sensing and measurement of gas molecules.
Source: The Engineer

Need for speed: Why computers stopped getting faster

Dizzily increasing PC power used to be a given. No longer - speeds stalled a decade ago and only a radical reboot of computing will accelerate things.
Source: New Scientist

Scientists testing use of free vehicles for lower-cost ocean exploration

First developed in the 1930s, free vehicles are untethered ocean sensor packages that are deployed from ships and collect valuable information about the ocean environment in areas that are difficult for humans to access. Until recently, the extreme pressure at the deepest parts of the ocean and limitations in buoyancy technology prevented free vehicle use in these areas. Recent developments in ceramics have changed this.
Source: NOAA

* 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 other publication, providing the above notice
is included and a link back to our website is in place.

For previous issues by subject see

As a thank you for subscribing we offer you the ComDebug data logging and Com port trouble-shooting software for free. Log data over RS232, RS422, RS485 or Modbus. Also included is a free month's trial of the Windmill 7 logging, charting and control programs.

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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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