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19 December 2017

Windmill Software Ltd
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Monitor - ISSN 1472-0221
The Newsletter for PC-Based Data Acquisition and Control
Issue 232, December 2017

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* Your Data Acquisition Questions Answered
* Spreadsheet Corner
* Data Acquisition News Round-Up
* Measurement and Control Exhibitions

Your Data Acquisition Questions Answered


"I have been trying to get a comparator (Heidenhain ND1200 Quadra-Chek) to communicate with a computer and stumbled across your ComDebug software. I'm completely new to this, and if all I can do is get the data to output into something I can port to Excel, I'll be happy. Right now I'm not sure how to parse the data because the sections of data are broken up by "009" characters. If I try to parse up to the next "009", the program tries to look for a 0, 0, 9 string, not the single unit "009". Do you have any advice on this?

Thanks immensely (because even if you can't help with this issue - your website/program has been quite helpful already)."


Thanks for your question and kind words! To parse the 009 you need to use the NonPrint menu in the Reply Parser. You could first search for the "009" character.

  • Choose Search as the Action then select NonPrint Decimal from the NonPrint menu.
  • Type 009 into the box that appears. It will be shown as \C(009) in the Parameters column.

Entering the 009 character

The next action will occur after the 009 character, and so you could extract until the next 009 character if you wished.

More on the ComDebug software is at

Spreadsheet Corner: Automatically Resizing Columns

This tip applies to both Excel and Calc (OpenOffice and LibreOffice).

To quickly automatically size the column to its contents just double-click the column separator next to the column letter. A simple but little-used trick.


For more spreadsheet tips see and

If you have an Excel question 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.

Scientists track sharks by sampling seawater

Current methods of baiting, hooking and filming sharks and other large fish are invasive, costly and require teams of scientists spending much time at sea. New study shows that a sample of seawater can provide the identifiable tracks of numerous species of shark.
Source: SCUBA News

Boaty McBoatface

Simple system to locate marine mammals

Researchers have developed an underwater acoustic system that locates marine mammals, underwater vehicles and other sound sources in the ocean, using no more than a single hydrophone as a receiver.

Pan-European drone project detects toxic gases in disaster zones

Drone project is using photonics to detect toxic gases in the atmosphere following events such as wildfires, chemical explosions and volcanic eruptions.
Source: The Engineer

Professor develops sensor network to help manage winter roads

A road surface temperature sensor which provides real-time data on road conditions is set for adoption on the UK's road and motorway network.
Source: University of Birmingham

Future cars could automatically detect and report potholes to keep roads safe

Connected road vehicles could be used to look out for potholes and transmit their location
Source: Engineering and Technology

Robofish floats about tracking antibiotics in the Great Lakes

The idea is to put sensors on the robots, which do actually look like fish, so that you can gather data from different locations in an automated manner
Source: New Scientist

Measurement and Control Exhibitions

The quarterly update of data acquisition and control exhibitions around the world.

Electrotest Japan

17-19 January 2018
Tokyo Japan
Asia's leading exhibition specialising in test, inspection, measurement and analysis for electronics manufacturing.

Smart Factory Expo

17-19 January 2018
Tokyo Japan
Exhibition for smart factory technologies and IoT solutions.

Euro Lab

14-16 March 2018
Warsaw Poland
International trade fair of analytical measurement and control.


19-23 March 2018
Dresden Germany
Design, automation and test exhibition.


19-23 March 2018
Dresden Germany
International industrial dimensional metrology conference.

MACH 2018

9-13 April 2018
Birmingham UK
Biennial exhibition of the best innovations and latest developments in the manufacturing technologies sectors.

Smart Factory Expo + Automation World 2018

28-30 April 2018
Dresden Germany
Sensors, control, measuring instruments, SCADA, process control systems, environmental control, etc.

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Telephone: +44 (0)161 833 2782
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E-mail: [email protected]

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