Monitor - ISSN 1472-0221
The Newsletter for PC-Based Data Acquisition and Control
Issue 222, February 2017
Welcome to Monitor, the data acquisition and control newsletter. Thanks for subscribing. Don't forget that you can download our data logging and troubleshooting software, ComDebug, from https://www.windmill.co.uk/comDebug/comdebug.zip.
You can download Monitor as a pdf file from https://www.windmill.co.uk/monitor/monitor222.pdf.
Windmill software lets you interface Vitrek HV meters, and other instruments with RS232 serial ports, to a PC running Windows. The software to collect the data from the voltage meter, and other devices, is available from https://www.windmillsoft.com/.
To use Windmill to collect data from a Vitrek HV meter:
Run ComDebug and choose Create a New Windmill Instrument File.Choose Serial Communications and enter the Com port settings which match those your meter is using, for example
|Baud||Select a baud rate on the meter via its Configuration Screen, eg 9600, and choose this.|
|More Information:||4700 Precision High Voltage Meter Downloads|
Requesting and Receiving Data
After entering the COM port settings, choose to Edit Message 1. Use the NonPrint menu to enter the <CR> character.
|Example Prompt Command||Measurement query command followed by a Carriage Return, eg|
|Example data string received||12 characters starting with a + or -|
|Example Parsing||Step 1 : Add Action : Ignore until +-|
Step 2 : Extract : Extract Until <CR>
Assign a channel to hold the data you extract.
Click Step to check whether data is correctly extracted.
In the Main Menu select Edit the Instrument Timings.
|Data Persistance||Longer than your sampling rate, so data doesn't expire between readings.|
|Instrument Idle Time||0|
|Timeout||at least 100 milliseconds|
Does it Work?
In the Message Screen click Run to check that everything is working. Save Settings and Create a Windmill Device in order to use the Windmill Logging and Charting programs.
For more information contact [email protected].
Your software works with our Mettler weight. My problem is that I have to take measurements while the weight is changing. (I need to take measurements each second, while i empty a bag of fluid in a container on the weight.) When the weight isn't changing it works fine, but when I start the flow of the fluid, and the weight is changing constantly, I get errors. Is there a way, to get data out, while the weight is changing continuously?
Instead of using a command to request a stable reading, use a command to immediately transmit the next weighing result without waiting for stability. For example, depending on the model of your balance, the command SI rather than S. You could alternatively set the balance to continually send weighing results. In this case make sure that, in ComDebug, you choose "Read in the Background".
If you have a question about using Windmill contact [email protected], [email protected] or call +44 (0)161 833 2782
Simulated ransomware attack shows vulnerability of Industrial Controls
Cybersecurity researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have developed a new form of ransomware that was able to take over control of a simulated water treatment plant. After gaining access, the researchers were able to command programmable logic controllers (PLCs) to shut valves, increase the amount of chlorine added to water, and display false readings.
Source: Georgia Tech
Conductive rubber is breakthrough for soft electronics
Researchers have developed a thermally conductive rubber material that represents a breakthrough for creating soft, stretchable machines and electronics.
Source: Carnegie Mellon University
Pioneering chip extends sensors' battery life
A low-cost chip that enables batteries in sensors to last longer, in some cases by over ten times, has been developed by British engineers.
Source: University of Bristol
Tipping points and their early warning signals
Large-scale sensor networks for structural health monitoring are becoming increasingly common, but there is currently no implemented method for pinpointing problems before damage occurs. A new algorithm to do this can be added to existing systems, according to the National Physical Laboratory.
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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]