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PC sensor recording system


For the nonprogrammer, the task of setting up a PC sensor recording system can be at minimum a daunting task. While some devices, like the ROI-USB, may come with pre written software that allows collection of the data in a relative simple fashion; there a number of applications where the simple display and recording of data, even if it is scaled data, may not be enough. Real time calculations such as air flow, or real time specialized plotting such as temperature versus position, are beyond the capabilities of simple menu driven software.

Excel is one of the most widely available data processing programs. It ships pre installed on many PCs or is easily installed by your company IT professional. It is readily available at local business supply vendors, it can be picked up the same day if necessary. 

Finding someone who can use it is not difficult at all; Excel is used as a common application by research, sales, administrative, and clerical staff alike.

Excel, a commonly used spreadsheet program, allows a user with business software experience to setup a data collection, and display application; taking advantage of the macros and charting tools available within Excel. It allows a greater flexibility than preconfigured software, and a greater simplicity than using a software development environment.

The connection of a device like the ROI-USB to Excel is made simple in part by using a device server, it allows a simple connection to Excel.

With the ROI-USB; Excel can come alive, with real time readings of environmental data. Keep track of: temperature, pressure, light intensity, and a variety of other parameters; continuously updated real time in Excel. 

Setting up a custom data acquisition and monitoring application, can be as simple as; using the sample ROI-USB Excel spread sheet, and adding: charts, bar graphs, formulas, etc.

With ROI-USB-Thermistor values updating in Excel real time, it is very simple to add a multi channel bar graph, to add a "Thermometer" style display to the screen of the PC. All that is needed is to: 

1) add a processing formula linked to the measurement cell, such as the Thermistor Voltage to Temperature equation

2) use the chart wizard with the new temperature cells highlighted, to select a column graph

The result is a temperature display updating real time similar to a red liquid thermometer.

ROI-USB and Excel allow real time thermometer style PC display of thermistor temperature data.

The values of the bar chart will update real time. Just as a thermometer changes height with temperature, the bar chart will change height with temperature; creating the effect of a group of virtual thermometers.

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