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December 2001

Windmill Software Ltd
Data Acquisition Intelligence
Call now: +44 (0)161 833 2782

The Newsletter for PC-Based Data Acquisition and Control
Issue 41       December 2001
--------------------ISSN 1472-0221----------------------

Welcome to 2001's final edition of Monitor. We wish you 
a peaceful and prosperous New Year, and hope you enjoy 
the newsletter. Should you wish to cancel your free 
subscription, however, please go to

* Windmill News: Windmill Monitors Fish Farming Research
* Excel Corner: Labelling XY Scatter Charts
* Data Acquisition Exhibitions

Windmill News: Windmill Monitors Fish Farming Research

The Seafish Industries Research Station, in Scotland, is 
studying fish farming. To stay healthy the cod, hake, 
halibut and so on need a continuous flow of water. The 
Station therefore pumps 110 tons of seawater per hour 
into their tanks. Monitoring and maintaining this 
recirculating  flow, and other environmental details, is 
essential. To ensure this they chose a Windmill Software 

The system measures water temperature, air temperature, 
water flow rate, dissolved oxygen concentration, 
salinity, pH, light level, water level and various alarm 
switches. Windmill provides mimic displays of the site 
showing pictures of the tanks and their current data 
values. Every 30 minutes the software logs the data to 
the computer's hard disk. Alarms sound and are telephoned 
to support staff should conditions not be optimum.

The acquired data is broadcast over the site network 
using the Windmill Repeat program. This lets each 
department log their own data sets incorporating data 
gathered both locally and around the site.

The Research Station needed a system that was reliable, 
expandable, easy-to-use and didn't cost the Earth. 
Windmill met all these requirements and is helping 
maintain a healthy fish population.

For more details see our
Monitoring Fish Farming application story
or contact
[email protected]

Excel Corner: Labelling XY Scatter Charts

In Excel you can choose from many types of chart. One of 
the most useful for scientists and engineers is the "xy 
scatter chart", where an independent variable is plotted 
on the x-axis and variables dependent upon this plotted 
on the y-axis. However, Excel does not make it easy for 
you to label the individual points.

For example, imagine you have 20 sample points each with a 
latitude (x), longitude (y) and a temperature value. You 
would therefore have three columns of data: x, y and 
temperature. You want to label the x-y points with their 
temperature data. You could write your own macro to do 
this, but much simpler is to use one of the macros or 
utilities which are already available for download from 
the web.

From Rob Bovey of Applications Professionals: The XY Chart 
  A free add-in utility for Excel 5, 95, 97 and 2000. This 
  is quick to install and easy-to-use: it adds an 
  "XY Chart Labels" option to the Tools menu. You can 
  automatically add labels to individual points or to an 
  entire series at once. You can also move labels. Go to 
  the Free Utilities section to download.

From John Walkenbach of J Walk & Associates: PUP 2000
  For Excel 97, 2000 and 2002. This suite of utilities costs 
  $39.95, but you can download a free 30-day trial. It comes 
  with clear installation instructions and comprehensive 
  on-line Help. Amongst other facilities, it lets you add, 
  format and change the position of xy labels. An updated 
  version will be available in January offering over 
  90 other utilities and functions plus 4 strategy games.

  For Excel 97, 2000, XP and 2003. An add-in costing $19.95. 
  It allows you to easily re-arrange the labels, rename 
  them, change their orientation or delete them.

We hope you found this month's Excel corner useful. For 
details of getting real-world measurements into Excel see

For more tips on charting with Excel see

To download the free Windmill 4.3 and LabIML software, 
which lets you log, chart or send to Excel data from
instruments with RS232 ports, just subscribe to this 


Data Acquisition Exhibitions and Conferences

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

International Conference On Quality, Reliability and Control
26-28 December
Mumbai India
This conference covers automotive control, signal 
processing and expert systems.

LabAutomation 2002
26-30 January
Palm Springs California USA

13-14 February
NEC Birmingham UK
British event dedicated to sensors, measurement and 

13-14 March
Burton-on-Trent UK
ISA's first European instrumentation conference and 
exhibition, which it had postponded, is now scheduled for 
March. It comprises four conference sessions running 
parallel each day, plus a two-day exhibition.

Science & Technology India
10-12 April 2002
Pragati Maidan New Delhi India
Another rescheduled exhibition, this time combining 
Environment India, Water India, Instrumentation India 
and Industrial Automation India.


* Copyright Windmill Software Ltd
* Reprinting permitted with this notice included
* For more articles see

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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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