Windmill Software Ltd
Data Acquisition Intelligence

torque meter sensors
October 2001

The Newsletter for PC-Based Data Acquisition and Control
Issue 40       November 2001
--------------------ISSN 1472-0221----------------------

Thank you for subscribing to Monitor and welcome to 
Issue 40. We hope you enjoy it but should you wish to 
cancel your free subscription please go to

* Windmill News: Windmill Software's Tenth Anniversary
* Capturing Data from a Torque Meter
* Sensors: Where to Go for Information

Windmill News: Windmill Software's Tenth Anniversary

This year Windmill Software celebrates its tenth 
birthday. We'd like to take this opportunity to thank 
all of you who have used our software over the last 

We started in 1991 with the premise that Microsoft 
Windows would become an extremely popular operating 
system. As we were a new company we could start with a 
clean sheet and design our software specifically for 
Windows, as opposed to cobbling together new versions of 
existing DOS-based packages. To take advantage of 
Windows' ability to run several programs at once, we 
made our software modular. You could buy only those 
parts of the system you needed with no necessity to pay 
for features you might never use. It also meant that 
Windmill systems could be easily expanded should 
requirements grow. 

Over the years our range of software has grown, and the 
programs have evolved - often in response to your 
suggestions or requests. We are especially proud of our 
latest offering - Windmill and COMIML. This package 
lets you log and chart data from, and control, almost 
any instrument connected to a PC over Modbus, RS422, 
RS485 or RS232 links. 

We've embraced the Internet and the opportunity it 
offers to distribute software, and, indeed, to offer 
some of our software for free. Over 11000 copies of the 
free Windmill 4.3 software suite and the new ComDebug 
terminal emulator have been downloaded from our web site 
so far. And of course, without the Internet we could not 
send you this newsletter. Our distribution has increased 
from when we used to post a paper publication to a few 
hundred addresses, to our current e-mail circulation of 
12210 people.

We look forward to developing more data acquisition and 
control software over the next ten years, continuing to 
simplify and lower the cost of your measurement tasks.

For a list of all the Windmill modules, see

To send for free product literature go to

Capturing Data from a Torque Meter

Torque is a force that tends to cause rotation. Its SI 
unit of measurement is the newton metre (Nm) but in the 
USA pound-inches or pound-feet might be used. It can be 
measured with a torque meter. If the meter has an RS232 
output, you can use the free Windmill software to 
capture its measurements. With Windmill you can log and 
chart the torque data, and send it in real-time to other 
Windows programs like an Access database or an Excel 

For an example of how an escalator manufacturer is using 
Windmill to record torque, see

Sensors - Where to Go for Information

A sensor is a device that can detect a physical 
quantity, such as temperature, pressure or light level. 
There are many web sites covering sensors, and we've 
picked some of the best to recommend to you. Some of 
these provide articles about sensors. Some offer 
mailings lists and forums for sensors discussion. All 
provide useful information.

Firstly a reminder of our own Monitor archive. We often 
discuss sensors here, in particular see:
Issue 1, Transducer monitoring
Issue 5, How to use your PC to measure temperature
Issue 17, How to use a PC to measure strain
For more articles see our archive index

This site is dedicated to sensors and measurement 
equipment. It includes new products, a problem page where 
you can post your sensing requirements or difficulties, 
application stories and tutorials on how different types 
of sensors work.

Engineeringtalk is the first place to look for the 
latest product news on sensors, instrumentation and data 
acquisition. They pride themselves on the timeliness of 
their site, publishing press releases as they are 
announced and weeks before they appear in trade 
magazines. A free weekly newsletter summarises the top 
product launches.

Sensors Magazine
A publication devoted to sensors. It includes news from 
the sensors industry and a library of technical 

National Physical Laboratory
Beginners guides to measurement from the UK's national 
standards laboratory.

Global Spec Technical Library
A series of articles on sensors.

ISA-The Instrumentation, Systems, and Automation Society
View posts to ISA's sensors forum or subscribe for the 
information delivered by e-mail. No need to be a member 
of the society


Sensor Technology Information Exchange A forum for exchanging information on sensor technologies and needs. Sensors Portal No original information here, but a library of links to sensor articles published on other web sites. ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ * 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]


To receive Monitor every month please fill in your e-mail address below. We will not pass your address to any third parties, nor send you any unsolicited e-mail.

Monitor Archive


Subscribe to Monitor
for more articles and tutorials


You will receive an e-mail asking you to confirm your subscription. On doing so you will be sent details of how to download the free software. If you don't receive this e-mail please contact [email protected].

You can read an archive of previous issues on our Data Acquisition Intelligence site.

Cancel Subscription

You can cancel your free subscription at any time - just return to this page or follow the instructions in the newsletter.

Previous Issue Next Issue