Windmill Software Ltd
Windows Engineering Software

June 2003

The Newsletter for PC-Based Data Acquisition and Control
Issue 59           June 2003
--------------------ISSN 1472-0221----------------------

Welcome to Monitor, the newsletter for data acquisition 
and control.  Today we're pleased to launch a new version 
of Streamer, our high speed data collection software.  It 
now has transient capture capabilities and can measure 
strain, temperature, pressure, current and voltage.

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* Windmill News: Streamer version 6 now available
  - Capturing Transient Events
  - Measuring Strain
  - Charting Data
  - Exporting Data
* Excel corner
* Data acquisition and control exhibitions



We're happy to announce Version 6 of Streamer, the data 
acquisition software which saves up to 100000 readings 
per second to disk.  You can now use Streamer to monitor 
voltage signals, thermocouples, strain gauges, and 
balanced bridges like pressure transducers.

Version 6 adds transient capture capabilities to 
Streamer, so you can see what happened before and after 
an event.  Streamer will continuously collect data, 
holding it in memory until an event occurs.  It only then 
saves the data to disk.  This means that if you don't 
know when an event will occur, it won't fill your 
disk with superfluous readings when 

You tell Streamer about the event by entering high or low 
signal levels to be crossed on one or two data channels.  
When these conditions are met data capture begins.  
Alternatively, if you don't need transient capture 
facilities, you could trigger data collection simply by 
pressing the Start button in Streamer or by waiting for a 
digital signal from some external machine or instrument.

A further improvement in Version 6 is Streamer's new 
ability to balance strain gauge bridges.  The output from 
unstrained bridges can be large in comparison to the 
changes that would be caused by strain. This would 
require a wide voltage range, the changes consequently 
being measured with poor resolution.  However you can now 
balance the bridge, subtracting the reading to make the 
bridge outputs show zero.  This remains in force until 
you re-balance, so all readings are as changes relative 
to the zero level.

You can view several charts of data as Streamer 
collects it.  By choosing different time scales this 
lets you see, for example, long- and short-term trends.  
With the Replay program you can play back waveform data:
fast-forwarding, rewinding, zooming in and out and 
copying areas of interest.

Streamer can save data in a variety of formats.  These 
include ASCII for loading into software like Excel, and 
binary for compact file storage.  Streamer runs under 
Windows 98 and later.

For more on the new Streamer contact Windmill Software at 
[email protected]



Just a quick Excel tip this month, on the speedy 
adding up of a column of numbers.

Position the cursor in the cell beneath the last entry 
in the column.  Now press the Alt key whilst typing an 
equals (=) sign.  Hit the Enter key and the sum of the 
column is calculated and displayed.

For tips on using Excel with Windmill see



Continuing our bi-monthly listing of exhibitions and 
conferences related to data acquisition and control.

Process Control & Instrumentation / Metrology 2003 
16-20 July 2003
Bangkok International Trade Centre Thailand
Includes PC-based industrial control, field 
instruments, transducers, automation, industrial 
software, SCADA, environmental equipment and 
scientific instruments.

Automaatio 2003
9-11 September
Helsinki Finland
Finland's automation event.

IEEE AutotestCon 2003
22-25 September 
Disneyland Anaheim California USA 
Conference focusing on automated test and related 
technology for military, government and aerospace 

30 September - 3 October
Messezentrum Wien Vienna Austria
Austria´s largest trade fair devoted to electrical engineering, 
electronics and automation.

* 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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