Windmill Software Ltd
Data Acquisition Intelligence

web data acquisition
February 2001

The Newsletter for PC-Based Data Acquisition and Control
Issue 31       February 2001
--------------------ISSN 1472-0221----------------------

Hello. We have had a record number of new subscribers 
this month - welcome to you all. In this issue we have 
another example of how you are applying Windmill, this 
time to monitor the flow of powder. We also bring news 
of serial trouble-shooting software to be launched in 
March. Thank you to everyone who filled in our survey 
last month. If you missed it, or have not yet got round 
to filling it in, you can do so at

We only send this newsletter to people who have 
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* Windmill News
  - Measuring powder flow
  - GPS update
  - Coming soon, new serial trouble-shooting software
* Data acquisition and control conferences and 


Windmill News: Measuring the Flow Rate of Powder

Scientists in a Department of Pharmaceutical 
Technology wanted to monitor powder "flowability". 
They planned to measure the mass flow rate of a 
powder by letting it flow through an orifice 
directly upon an A & D electronic balance. They 
needed to continuously log readings from the balance, 
storing them alongside the time the readings were 
taken. From the mass change per unit time they 
could then calculate the flow rate in grams per 

They connected their balance to a PC using an RS232 
cable, and were looking for software to capture the 
required data. The software they found was 
Windmill. It not only did everything they wanted - 
it was also free!

The free Windmill 4.3 suite of software includes a 
driver for laboratory instruments with RS232 ports. 
Called LabIML, this collects data from the balance 
and passes it to other Windmill applications: 
Logger, Chart, DDE Panel, etc. You can also pass 
data to third party Windows programs like Excel, 
for real-time analysis.


Windmill News: GPS Update

The GPS article in last month's Monitor proved very 
popular, with several requests for more information. We 
have therefore created a web page expanding the 
explanations and instructions for connecting a GPS 
receiver to a PC. You can find this at


Windmill News: New Serial Trouble-Shooting Software to 
be Launched next Month

March sees the launch of our new terminal emulation 
software, ComDebug. This shows you exactly what is 
happening at the COM port. You can see the commands and 
data sent to your instrument, and its reply. If you have 
problems communicating, ComDebug helps you quickly 
identify and correct the problem. 

For more details, and to discover how to download 
ComDebug for free, read next month's Monitor.


              Exhibitions and Conferences               
Every other month we list forthcoming exhibitions and 
conferences related to data acquisition and control.

28 February - 3 March
Manufacturing IT
Bologna Italy
Exhibition and conference on integrated systems for 
industrial enterprise manufacturing & control.

6-9 March
Paris-Expo Porte de Versailles Paris.
A biennial exhibition bringing together 
telecommunications, industrial electronics and 
automotive sections.

National Manufacturing Week
5-8 March
McCormick Place Complex Chigago Illinois USA
North America's premier marketplace for buyers and 
sellers of products, services and technologies that 
support and integrate all the functions of the 
manufacturing process. Includes industrial automation 
and design engineering.

4-9 March
New Orleans Louisiana USA
Held since 1950, the primary goal of this 
conference remains the education of scientists. 
This year's highlights include a celebration of the 
100th anniversary of the National Institute of 
Standards and Technology. A conference and 
exposition on laboratory equipment and chemical 
analysis: including software, electrodes, sensors 
and instrumentation.

13-15 March
Drives & Controls
ExCel Docklands London UK
This international exhibition and conference covers 
motor control, automation, energy saving, environmental 
developments, communications and the ubiquitous e-
commerce. They've even chartered and subsidised trains 
from around the country to deliver you to the door.

13-16 March
Interchimie, Mesucora, Salon du Laboratoire
Paris Nord Villepinte France
International show of equipment and material 
transformation techniques. On show: production 
equipment, process monitoring, measurement, control, 
instrumentation and laboratory automation.

23-28 April
Hannover Fair 2001
International fair featuring Factory Automation, 
Industrial IT & Software, MicroTechnology, Motion, 
Drive & Automation and Research & Technology

* 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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