Windmill Software Ltd
Data Acquisition Intelligence

Charting and Excel
June 2001

The Newsletter for PC-Based Data Acquisition and Control
Issue 35           June 2001
--------------------ISSN 1472-0221----------------------

Hello again and welcome to our 35th issue. We only send 
this newsletter to people who have subscribed - should 
you wish to cancel your free subscription please visit

* Windmill News: 
  - More free technical support resources
  - Leaflets in pdf format now available for download
* Monitoring renewable energy
* Data acquisition and control conferences and 
* Excel Corner


Windmill News

More Free Technical Support Resources

Our thanks to everyone who downloaded the free ComDebug 
software. This trouble-shooting software lets you 
read data from almost any RS232, RS422, RS485 or 
Modbus device. 

As with all our software, we offer free technical 
support for ComDebug. The first places to look for 
support are ComDebug's on-line Help and our 
web-based FAQ - which now has more answers. See
If you don't find what you're looking for, use the 
FAQ support form to send in your question.

Copies of ComDebug are available from


Leaflets in PDF Format

We're adding leaflets in pdf format to the web site, 
starting with our COMIML leaflet on automatically 
acquiring data from serial instruments. To download your 
copy go to
If you would prefer to receive a printed copy - just 
fill in your postal address instead.


Other New Pages

To find out which pages on our web site are new or
recently revised, see our Site Overview at


Monitoring Renewable Energy

A University Centre for Renewable Energy is testing an 
energy efficient trial home. Both this and the Centre 
building itself are equipped with photovoltaic solar 
panels to convert sunlight into electricity. The 
University needed to assess the performance of the solar 
panels, and chose Windmill software to do so.

The Windmill system calculates the panels' power output 
and conversion efficiency, displaying the cumulative and 
instantaneous values both graphically and as a table. 
Windmill also logs temperature, wind speed, solar 
radiation, direct current, DC volts, power into the 
electricity grid and power out of the grid.

The data is acquired using Microlink 1500 units provided 
by Biodata ( These units are 
distributed around the two buildings, communicating with 
the central PC over RS485 cables.

For more information about monitoring energy, please 
contact Windmill Software - [email protected]

Previous issues of Monitor have discussed temperature 
and wind speed measurement. These are archived at


Exhibitions and Conferences

Continuing our bimonthly list of exhibitions and 
conferences related to data acquisition and control.

Control & Instrumentation China 2001
3-6 July 
Intex Shanghai People's Republic Of China 
One of nine engineering shows running concurrently and 
catering to the huge China market.

Automation 2001
4-6 September
Helsinki Fair Centre Finland
Comprises an extensive exhibition and seminar program.

ISA 2001
11-13 September
Houston Texas USA
The premier instrumentation, systems and automation 
conference in North America. This year features 700 
exhibitors, over 25 training courses and nearly 100 

Automation Europe
18-20 September
Paris France
Billed as "the automated installation industrial 
performance event", companies will be exhibiting their 
automation, instrumentation, communication, monitoring, 
test and measurement equipment. 13000 visitors are 
expected to attend.

Interkama 2001
24-28 September 2001
Dusseldorf, Germany
A biennial event showcasing industrial communication, 
automation and measurement.


Excel Corner: Charting Resources

We had a good response to last month's article on 
charting with Excel (archived at Continuing 
with this theme therefore, here are some other resources 
with useful charting tips, tricks and tutorials.

Usenet: microsoft.public.excel.charting
  Chances are that whatever your problem, either it will 
  already have been answered or someone will be able to 
  offer a solution or explanation. Make sure you read 
  the closest thing they have to a FAQ before posting,
  namely Chip Pearson's "Hints And Tips For New Posters 
  In The Excel Newsgroups".

Application Professionals
  A very commonly requested Excel feature is the ability 
  to add labels to XY chart data points. Here you can 
  download a utility to do just that. Two versions are 
  available - one for Excel 5/95 and one for 
  Excel 97/2000.

Stephen Bullen's Excel page
  Amongst other examples, has a series of charting 
  utilities. Unlike many sites this one clearly shows 
  under which version of Excel each spreadsheet example 
  will work.

element k journals
  Explains how to plot only the most recent data, for 
  example data from the last 30 days. As new data arrives, 
  the chart automatically updates.

Excel Charting Tricks from PC Magazine
  A tutorial incorporating a series of charting tips.

The Excel Logic Page
  Examples of sophisticated use of charts.

* 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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