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28 September 2015

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Monitor - ISSN 1472-0221
The Newsletter for PC-Based Data Acquisition and Control
Issue 206

Welcome to Monitor, the data acquisition and control newsletter. In this issue two stories of taking measurements with your computer.

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* Nickel Recycling Researchers use Windmill Software
* Windmill Questions: Getting data from Digital Gauges
* Excel Corner
* DAQ News Round-up

Nickel Recycling Researchers use Windmill Software

Researcher Parisa Sadat Abbasi Jahromi is investigating efficient recovery of pure metallic nickel from nickel waste byproducts.

As part of her experiments she is using two balances (Sartorius Talent TE4101 scales). These she connects to a computer running Windmill software. The software records the weight on the scales every 15 seconds for the duration of each test.

Jahromi used the Windmill ComDebug software to enter the balances' settings and then the Windmill Logger software to regularly collect data.

Sartorius Balance

The default com port settings for a Sartorius Talent balance are
Baud Rate: 1200
Data Bits: 7
Parity: Odd
Stop Bits: 1
Flow Control: Hardware

More about interfacing a Sartorius balance is at

You can read about the research at
Application of an Ion Exchange Loading Correlation for Nickel Recovery from a Ferrous Containing Solution by Parisa Sadat Abbasi Jahromi

Getting data from Digital Gauges


Hello I am looking to get data from a digital gauge through serial to usb and into open office PC running windows 7 64-bit. Can you help?


Yes. Download the Windmill software trial and free ComDebug package from Use ComDebug to collect data from the digital gauge and then open the data file in Open Office.

You need to ensure that the settings in ComDebug and the Serial-USB converter match those being used by your digital gauge.

  1. Run the ComDebug program.
  2. Select Create a new Windmill Instrument File.
  3. Choose Serial and fill in your gauge's communication settings - baud rate, com port, etc.

Further reading:

Getting started with ComDebug
Tips on Using USB-to-Serial Converters for Data Acquisition
Connecting a Sylvac Digital Gauge

Any questions on using Windmill you'd like to see answered here, just ask: [email protected].

Excel Corner - Deleting Links

Have you ever been frustrated by Excel cluttering up your worksheet with active hyperlinks, when all you wanted was a text reference? You can easily get rid of them with a simple macro.

Sub RemoveHyperlinks() 
End Sub

Further Reading

For more Excel tips see If you have a question on using Excel please contact [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 - @DataAcquisition - or grab our rss feed.

Robots help map deep marine conservation zone

Scientists have used a unique combination of marine robotics and ship-based measurements to produce the first true three-dimensional picture of submarine canyon habitats. The information captured in this new set of maps ranges in scale from the 200 km canyon down to the size of an individual cold-water coral polyp.
Source: SCUBA News

Global Soil Moisture Sensor Market to grow by 16%

Soil moisture sensors are very helpful in protecting water resources and understanding the ever-changing climate. With the demand for reduction in critical water resource, the soil moisture sensors market is expected to have a wide scope of applications in areas such as agriculture, sports turf, weather forecasting, forestry, research studies and construction. The growth of the soil moisture sensor market is driven by gradual shift in the climatic conditions, environmental regulations and improved productivity, according to a report published by Research and Markets.
Source: Research and Markets

Tantalizing discovery may boost memory technology

Scientists have created a solid-state memory technology that allows for high-density storage with a minimum incidence of computer errors.
Source: Rice University

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