January 2003

The Newsletter for PC-Based Data Acquisition and Control
Issue 54          www.windmill.co.uk        January 2003
--------------------ISSN 1472-0221----------------------

Welcome to the first Monitor issue of 2003, and a happy 
and prosperous New Year to you.  Today we are pleased to 
launch the Windmill 752-RTD system, for extremely 
accurate temperature measurement.  We've also put 
together a package for monitoring thermocouples, which 
is now available from our on-line catalogue.  There 
follows two examples of how Windmill software is being 
used, firstly by a hospital and secondly in 
pharmaceutical manufacturing research.  Finally we would 
be very grateful if you could complete a short survey to 
help us improve this newsletter and our software. 

This issue is so full that we're giving the Excel Corner 
a month off. It will be back in February with more tips 
on naming ranges. 

We only send Monitor to people who have subscribed - 
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* New Year Survey
* Extremely accurate temperature measurement with 
  new RTD package
* Thermocouple monitoring made easy
* Hospital monitoring of liquid nitrogen freezers

New Year Survey

As an aid to improving Monitor, and our technical 
support service, we are again seeking your views. We 
would be very grateful if you could answer these few 
All information is confidential and won't be passed to any third parties. Miss out any questions you don't want to answer. 1. Are there any topics you would like us to cover in Monitor? 2. Have you downloaded either the free Windmill 4.3 data acquisition software suite, the free ComDebug trouble-shooting software, or the demo software? (If none please go to question 5) Windmill 4.3 ComDebug Windmill Demo Streamer Demo 3. Did you experience any problems with the software and if so what were they? (Please say if you resolved the problems, or if you would like our assistance.) 4. We are interested in the instruments you are using with Windmill software. Please could you tell us the make, model and type of instrument? 5. What is your nationality and country of residence? Nationality: Country: 6. In what field of work are you? Field of Work: 7. Any other comments or suggestions on the Monitor newsletter or Windmill software? E-mail: Many thanks for your help. ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ Extremely Accurate Temperature Measurement with new RTD package ________________________________________________________ The new Windmill 752-RTD package has been designed for extremely accurate temperature measurement, with the added benefit of analogue and digital control. It comprises Windmill software and a USB data acquisition and control unit. This unit provides differential inputs to monitor RTDs and voltage signals. You can connect 8 USB units to 1 PC. The units also provide digital input and output, counting, and voltage or current output. The system supports 2 wire, 3 wire, 4 wire and 4 wire compensated resistance measurement. RTDs change resistance with temperature. When the resistance to be measured is small, the resistance in the leads to the RTD can significantly affect accuracy. To address this the 752 unit has a constant current source of 1 milliamp. This gives excellent results for all wiring configurations, including the more accurate 4 wire arrangement. The current flows through the RTD and the voltage drop over the RTD is measured. Using Ohms law the value of the resistance of the RTD is automatically calculated by Windmill. The most precise type of RTD has its resistance element made of platinum when it is also known as a platinum resistance thermometer or PRT. When a PRT is specified to have a resistance of 100 Ohm at 0 degrees C, it becomes a Pt100 probe. Windmill software has built-in linearisation for Pt100 probes. The RTD measurement package costs 1010 GB pounds. For more information see https://www.windmillsoft.com/daqshop/rtd-pt100.html or contact sales@biodataltd.com ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ Thermocouple Monitoring Made Easy ________________________________________________________ Our on-line catalogue now features an easy-to-use thermocouple measurement system. The Windmill 751-TC package comprises a USB measurement and control unit, an isothermal box and our Windmill software. - Each USB unit monitors up to 16 thermocouples or voltage signals - Connect 8 USB units to 1 PC and monitor up to 128 thermocouples - Built-in linearisation for B-, E-, J-, K-, N-, R-, S- and T-type thermocouples - Options to also: + measure strain, pressure and current + switch up to 32 digital outputs, + monitor up to 32 digital inputs + count events with up to 8 counters - Integrating analogue-to-digital converter reduces electrical noise - Use Windmill to select the resolution of the A-D converter from 12- to 18-bits - Automatic recalibration - Free technical support for life The thermocouple measurement system costs 730 GB pounds (around 1105 Euros or 1180 US dollars). For more information see https://www.windmillsoft.com/daqshop/thermocouple-measurement.html or contact sales@biodataltd.com For more on measuring temperature, including potential pitfalls of thermocouple monitoring, see https://www.windmill.co.uk/temperature.html ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ Hospital Monitoring of Liquid Nitrogen Freezers ________________________________________________________ A London hospital is using a Windmill 751-TC system to monitor the conditions of their low temperature liquid nitrogen freezers. These freezers are used to store blood and bone marrow samples of patients in the hospital. The temperature of these freezers is critical as any warming of the samples could render them useless and hamper the treatment of the patient. Each freezer has several thermocouples within it at different levels, to provide a temperature profile of the vessel. The thermocouples are linked to an isothermal box and 751 USB data acquisition unit. Windmill software runs on dedicated PCs and constantly monitors and records the temperatures within the freezers. The hospital uses Windmill software to set alarm levels. This allows warnings to be raised should any temperatures cross a pre-determined threshold. Colours change on screen for example, but more importantly a warning beacon outside the freezer room is activated - alerting any nearby staff to the situation. This is achieved by the digital outputs provided by the 751 unit, which switch on the beacon. Another use of the alarm levels with digital outputs is the linking to an Autodialler. Like the beacon this is activated by a switch on a digital output. However, in this case the unit dials up a selection of pre-programmed telephone numbers and plays a recorded message to the recipients, alerting them to the situation. The Autodialler is also used in combination with the Windmill Alarm Logger software. This allows delays to be inserted between an alarm being registered and an output being switched - useful in reducing the instances of false alarms. If, say, the temperature was to momentarily rise when the freezer lid was opened the alarm would not activate unless the temperature remained over the limit for a certain time, for example if the freezer lid were to be left open. Alarm Logger can also bring up a window on screen to warn of the alarm and require authorised manual intervention to cancel the alarm. This action is then saved in a file so it can be seen when alarms occurred and who was responsible for deactivating them. For more information on the Windmill 751-TC package see https://www.windmillsoft.com/daqshop/thermocouple-measurement.html or contact Ben Worthy at sales@biodataltd.com For more on the Windmill Alarm Logger software see https://www.windmill.co.uk/alarm.html ________________________________________________________ * 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)161 834 6688 Facsimile: +44 (0)161 833 2190 E-mail: monitor@windmillsoft.com https://www.windmill.co.uk/ https://www.windmillsoft.com/


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