Windmill Software Ltd
Windows Engineering Software

July 2003

The Newsletter for PC-Based Data Acquisition and Control
Issue 60           July 2003
--------------------ISSN 1472-0221----------------------

Hello, and thank you for subscribing to Monitor.  Today 
we're pleased to announce that you will be able to use 
either the Windmill or Streamer software with the latest 
Microlink transient capture equipment.

We only send Monitor to people who have subscribed - 
should you wish to cancel your subscription please do 
so at

* Windmill News: New measurement equipment uses 
  Windmill and Streamer software
* Excel Corner: Saving charts as .gif files


The new Microlink 770 plugs into the USB port of a PC 
and monitors up to 16 thermocouples, strain gauges, 
pressure transducers and so on.  You can use it with 
either our Windmill or Streamer software: with Streamer 
it can achieve up to 100000 readings a second.

Windmill and Streamer let you log, chart and review 
data. The readings can be imported into other Windows 
software like Excel and Access. 

The design of the 770 and the versatility of the 
software gives the system many benefits:

- It is quick to install and easy to use.

- A 16-bit analogue-to-digital converter gives high 
  resolution readings.

- Independent input ranges let you mix different types 
  of measurements - thermocouples and 4-20 mA process 
  signals for example - without losing resolution.

- For more accurate timing than your computer's clock 
  allows, you can connect an external crystal-
  controlled clock.

- You can use the 770 to switch on other equipment 
  simultaneously with the start of data capture.

- You can save data both before and after an event 
  (pre- and post-trigger data).  Useful for seeing, 
  for example, what happened immediately before a 
  fault occurred.

- A digital input into the Microlink lets other 
  equipment trigger data capture.

- Alternatively wait until 1 or 2 readings cross a 
  threshold before automatically starting to collect 
  data.  For example, when the temperature goes above or 
  below your set points.

- You can exclude channels from a scan if necessary.  
  This lets you use the 770 with different set-ups 
  without having to rewire.

- You can set both the interval between reading each 
  channel (thermocouple, strain gauge, etc), and how often 
  all channels are read. For example, you may choose to 
  wait a millisecond between reading each channel, but 
  after the last channel has been read pause for 10 
  seconds before starting again.

For more information contact Windmill Software (e-mail: 
[email protected], tel: +44 (0)161 226 4591) or see
Microlink USB Data Acquisition
High Speed Data Acquisition


You want a copy of your Excel chart on your web page.  
The most efficient format in which to save it is as a 
.gif file, but which is the best way to do so?

1. In Excel 97, you can create gif files from charts by 
   choosing to Save As HTML.  However, this isn't 
   available in other versions of Excel and is less than 
   ideal as it also saves superfluous HTML code.

2. A better way is to select the chart and copy it to 
   the clipboard. Start a graphics program like Jasc 
   Paintshop Pro or Corel Photo-Paint, and paste the 
   chart.  You can now save the chart as a .gif file.

3. You can write a macro to create a .gif file.  For 

Sub Create_GIF()
Dim mychart As Chart
Set mychart = ActiveSheet.ChartObjects(1).Chart
mychart.Export FileName:="c:\windmill\Mychart.gif", FilterName:="GIF"
End Sub

The above code will save the first chart in the 
worksheet.  To instead save the currently selected 
chart just one line is necessary.

Sub Create_GIF()
ActiveChart.Export FileName:="c:\windmill\Mychart.gif", FilterName:="GIF"
End Sub

(Note, the macros need at least Excel 97 to work.)

For more on creating .gif files from charts see
For tips on using Excel with Windmill see

* 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

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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