------------------------Monitor------------------------- The Newsletter for PC-Based Data Acquisition and Control Issue 43 www.windmill.co.uk February 2002 --------------------ISSN 1472-0221---------------------- Welcome to Issue 43 of Monitor. Thanks for filling in last month's survey. The results are below. We only send this newsletter to people who have subscribed - should you wish to cancel your free subscription please visit https://www.windmill.co.uk/newsletter.html CONTENTS ======== * Windmill News: Survey Results - How we used your Survey Responses - Wish List of Topics to be Covered in Monitor - Your Windmill Questions Answered * Data Acquisition and Control Exhibitions ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ Windmill News: Survey Results ________________________________________________________ If you completed last month's survey - many thanks. It's still not too late if you wish to send us your opinions: the questions are now on the web site at https://www.windmill.co.uk/monitor42.html How we used your Survey Responses ================================= All suggestions for improving the software have been passed to Windmill's managing director for his consideration. We received a varied list of items you'd like to see covered in Monitor, which we've summarised below. We also had a few questions on using the software - see later for the answers. Wish List of Topics to be Covered in Monitor ============================================ Our survey produced many suggestions for future Monitor topics, which we've categorised here under 5 topics. 1. Application Stories Several people wanted real-world examples of how Windmill is being used. To make this a regular feature we need your input: please tell us about how Windmill is helping your project. E-mail the editor at [email protected] 2. Using Windmill This was another popular category of request. Suggestions included "Getting started with the free software" and "Trouble Shooting". We already have quite a bit of information on using Windmill on the web site. For instance, Issue 19 of Monitor had tips on getting started with Windmill: https://www.windmill.co.uk/freesoftware.html and technical support answers at https://www.windmill.co.uk/techsupp.html Details on using the individual Windmill programs are in their on-line Help. For the latest versions of the Help see https://www.windmill.co.uk/help.html If you feel these resources fall short, let us know. 3. Visual Basic and other Programming Tips We ran a series of "Visual Basic Corners" in earlier editions of Monitor. These are archived at: https://www.windmill.co.uk/monitor13.html https://www.windmill.co.uk/standard.html https://www.windmill.co.uk/rs-232.html https://www.windmill.co.uk/magazine.html https://www.windmill.co.uk/activex.html https://www.windmill.co.uk/monitor21.html If you have any VB tips you think would benefit our readers, please send them in and we'll be pleased to publish them. 4. Subjects Previously Covered Some suggestions were for topics we've already covered, such as GPIB, choosing a data acquisition system and USB. You can see a list of previous Monitor editions at https://www.windmill.co.uk/newsletter.html Plus we plan to provide a more comprehensive index to all back issues in a future edition. If there are subjects you think we haven't covered in enough detail and could do with revisiting, let us know. 5. Other Suggestions We've noted all your topic suggestions and have plenty to work on for coverage over the rest of the year. Your Windmill Questions Answered ================================ Our survey raised a few questions on using Windmill. In some cases we've replied directly, others are answered here. You might also like to look at our on-line faq. How to incorporate software gauges and graphs in Windmill? For software gauges you need the Windmill Graphics program. With Graphics you draw a background in any painting package and save it as a bitmap. You then drop "live" items, like analogue gauges, onto the background. For more details see https://www.windmill.co.uk/graphics.html For reviewing graphs of previously saved data use the Windmill Replay program https://www.windmill.co.uk/replay.html For real-time graphing use the free Windmill Chart program. https://www.windmill.co.uk/chart.html * How to introduce ramp functions like those used in recipes for brewing beer? Ramp functions are provided by our Test-Seq software. This sends commands and data to other Windows programs, or directly to the hardware inputs and outputs. The command, or test sequence, file is a text file which you can easily create in a text editor or word processor. Some typical Test-Seq operations - Monitor channels for alarms. - Perform PID control. - Display a dialogue box that lets the operator select the next action. - Wait until a value from an input channel complies with that specified, for example Wait Temperature > 20. - Change channel attributes, for example change the units of a temperature channel from Celsius to Fahrenheit, or the range of a voltage channel from ± 10 volts to 0-10 millivolt. - Ramp output values up and down. For more details of Test-Seq see https://www.windmillsoft.com/daqshop/test-control.html * How to take out the fake instrument? The "fake instrument", or signal generator, lets you play with Windmill without the need for any measurement hardware to be attached to your computer. To remove the signal generator: 1. In the Windmill SetupIML program, open your hardware setup file (*.ims). 2. From the Mode menu choose Select Channels. 3. Double-click each of the SigGen channels. They are now greyed-out and will be ignored by the other Windmill programs like Logger and DDE Panel. 4. Save the *.ims file and close SetupIML. * How to plot an xy diagram? The free Windmill Chart program plots data against time. However, with Windmill you can collect data from your device and send it in real-time to other software like Excel. You can then create your x-y diagrams in Excel. For more details see our Excel interfacing and Excel charting pages. https://www.windmill.co.uk/excel/ https://www.windmill.co.uk/excel/excel-charting.html If you have any other questions that are not answered here or in the FAQ, please fill in the form at https://www.windmill.co.uk/techsupp.html#info ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ Data Acquisition Exhibitions and Conferences ________________________________________________________ KOFA Korea International Factory Automation System Exhibition 6-8 March Seoul Korea http://www.kofa-expo.com/ ISA 13-14 March Burton-on-Trent UK The first European show organised by the Instrumentation, Systems and Automation society. It comprises four conference sessions running parallel each day, plus a two-day exhibition. https://www.isa.org/ World of Industry 14-17 March Istanbul Turkey Showcasing the latest technology in manufacturing. Includes automation, process control, sensor systems, energy management and data acquisition. http://www.bilesim.com.tr/ Pittcon 17-22 March New Orleans USA Laboratory science conference. http://www.appcluster05.com/pittcon2002splash.cfm Science & Technology India 10-12 April 2002 Pragati Maidan New Delhi India Combines Environment India, Water India, Instrumentation India and Industrial Automation India. http://www.exhibitionsindia.com/ Hannover Messe 15-20 April Hannover Germany 6,950 exhibitors from 60 nations covering factory automation, microtechnology, industrial IT and energy management http://www.hannovermesse.de/index.html Instrumentation North 1-2 May Leeds UK http://www.instrumentation.co.uk/ Instrumentation and Control Expo 9-12 May Bombay India 2nd International exhibition and conference for instrumentation, control and automation. http://www.india-tech.com/menu/instrumentation.htm Sensors Expo 20-23 May San Jose California USA Brings together the technologies that are shaping sensing, data acquisition, control and communications. http://www.sensorsexpo.com/ Drives & Controls 28-30 May NEC Birmingham UK Conference for drives, automation and control. http://www.drivesexpo.com/ ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ * Copyright Windmill Software Ltd * Reprinting permitted with this notice included * For more articles see https://www.windmill.co.uk 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 https://www.windmill.co.uk/newsletter.html and an index of articles at https://www.windmill.co.uk/newsletter.html 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] https://www.windmill.co.uk/ https://www.windmillsoft.com/
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