Tag Archive: data acquisition system

CAS Debuts New Portable High-Speed Data Acquisition System

Delphin Expert Key 200

CHESTERLAND OH—October 3rd, 2011

CAS DataLoggers has teamed up with Delphin Technology to introduce the new Delphin Expert Key 200 Portable Data Acquisition System, the latest high-speed, plug-and-play solution for data acquisition of measurement and process data, experiments and product testing, and automation of machinery and test stands. This compact device’s wide areas of application range from fault troubleshooting, reliability testing, process and laboratory automation, and research and development. Two Expert Key 200 models are available: the Expert Key L pop-up tabletop device for industrial applications, and the Expert Key C model for laboratory uses and installations in control cabinets. Together these high-accuracy units are an ideal solution for projects requiring a compact yet powerful device.

The new Delphin Expert Key 200 Data Acquisition System has been specifically designed for laboratory and experimental applications including automation of measurement processes, process visualization, and experiment, trial and test stand automation. This latest generation of data acquisition system comprises a complete hardware and software package in a lightweight, portable unit with benchtop enclosure, suitable for both tabletop and wall-mounted usage (200L model) and in a panel mount enclosure (200C model).

A true plug and play device, the Delphin Expert Key200 lets users start collecting data as soon as the device is connected to a PC via USB or Ethernet, making configuration and setup quick and simple. The Expert Key 200 offers 28 universal analog inputs which can be connected to mV, volt, 20 mA signals, thermocouples, and RTD sensors, enabling any physical value to be acquired including temperature, pressure, and flow-rate. A universal digital input is available for acquiring status, frequencies or impulses, and a counter input is also included. All inputs and analog/digital outputs are universal and galvanically-isolated to protect against earth loops. Sensors and actuators are connected via plugs located on the side. The Expert Key 200 also features plug-in screw terminals for secure connections and a maximum sample rate of 100 kHz. Measurement data is saved as scaled and linearized to the device (e.g. PSI, ft/sec, GPM). Scaling is pre-configured for all current thermocouple and RTD sensor types, even for large applications, and signal conditioning is also included. Experiments can be controlled or events triggered via analog, digital or by a PWM output.

Free ProfiSignal Go professional PC software is included for the online and offline monitoring and analysis of measurement data. This user-friendly software enables set-up and online or offline monitoring as well as measurement and data analysis. ProfiSignal Go also interfaces with other third-party applications including LabView and Diadem, and data can be exchanged with other systems using an OPC server or Modbus TCP. An OCX interface is also provided to interface with custom programs. The Expert Key gains added value through a comprehensive complete package including ProfiSignal Go and a multitude of software interfaces and drivers for the problem-free integration of external systems, saving the expense of having to acquire additional software.

The Expert Key 200L is designed for table-top and wall-mounted usage, with mounting brackets included in the delivery along with a power supply adapter. A pop-up detachable lid enables a clear overview of connections. Sensors and actuators are connected via plugs located on the sides. The L model has universal capability and is particularly suited to laboratory, servicing and testing environments. The Expert Key 200C model has the same design as the L model apart from the metal housing design, which enables the devices to be installed in cabinets or 19” rack systems. The Expert Key can also be supplied without housings to enable OEM solutions.

Providing a wide input array for a broad range of applications, the Delphin Expert Key 200 Data Acquisition System is a cost-effective solution for analog data acquisition and laboratory applications, jumpstarting projects while fitting easily into project budgets.

Check out the Delphin Expert Key 200 product page at http://www.dataloggerinc.com/products/Expert_Key_200_Data_Acquisition_System/153/, and view the CAS inventory of portable data loggers at http://www.dataloggerinc.com/products/Expert_Key_200_Data_Acquisition_System/153/?cid=24.

For further information on the Delphin Expert Key 200 Data Acquisition System, other devices in the Delphin data acquisition line, or to find the ideal solution for your application-specific needs, contact a CAS Data Logger Applications Specialist at (800) 956-4437 or visit the website at www.DataLoggerInc.com.

Contact Information:
CAS DataLoggers, Inc.
12628 Chillicothe Road
Chesterland, Ohio 44026
(440) 729-2570
(800) 956-4437
sales@dataloggerinc.com
http://www.dataloggerinc.com

Low-Cost Solutions for Chip and Board Level Tests

ADwin Real-Time Data Acquisition Systems

CHESTERLAND OH—September 19, 2011

Depending on the complexity of analog and digital technology-based IC chips and electronic boards, there are different test solutions available for R&D and production line testing. While complex and expensive chips and boards are tested with large, sophisticated testers, more cost-effective test solutions are a necessity when testing low-cost chips and boards. A real-time system with a modular architecture such as the ADwin family of data acquisition devices makes an ideal and cost-effective platform to provide the necessary field tests of mixed signal testing for chips and boards. The ADwin system offers a selection of I/O cards including parallel analog I/O modules, parallel digital I/O modules, digital input modules with individual thresholds (comparator inputs), and large memory buffers for waveform storage, all with precise deterministic timing of all signals. Besides all these testing functions, the system can also be used as a FLASH programmer, providing the application with the high synergy of combining testing and programming in the same system.

Designing, prototyping, and testing systems such as mass-market IC chips and boards for electronic toys, inexpensive control units, washing machines, dishwashers, electronic tools, and many other applications requiring strong, integrated digital and analog data acquisition and signal generation hardware. The most efficient solution is to run all these functions on a single system—a system that provides users with a flexible selection of many different analog and digital I/O modules, a scalable system in number and type of I/Os, and synchronized functionalities with precise timing between all I/O modules. ADwin systems have all of these features and are characterized by deterministic execution of intelligent data acquisition and control applications. This is achieved through a local CPU (DSP) controller, the real-time heart of every ADwin system. The CPU is responsible for all real-time functions and guarantees a deterministic process execution entirely independent of the PC and its workload. ADwin systems work in close cooperation with PCs running Windows, but there is a clear job partitioning: the ADwin system’s job is to execute fast and deterministic processes in real-time, while the PC performs standard functions such as graphical user interfaces for applications, visualization of data, and database accesses. ADwin systems add real-time capability to the PC, so if the Windows PC crashes, the ADwin system will continue to run, maintaining the integrity of the application.

These high-speed systems have a deep onboard memory and contain an Ethernet-based communication interface allowing multiple distributed test systems at a single PC or workstation and also feature excellent driver support for a single system running Windows, Linux, and Unix. The software allows the selection of the smallest ADwin system for applications with a very limited number of I/Os, while the code is compatible to applications with hundreds of I/Os using bigger ADwin systems. Additionally, FPGA-based modules provide nanosecond precision for customized functions in I/O modules, such as special hardware triggers or interfaces like SPI or I2C.

Key features of these chip and board testing applications include multi-channel arbitrary, analog and digital waveform generator, synchronized analog/digital stimulation of the Device Under Test (DUT), and measurement of the DUT responses with parallel, synchronized analog/digital inputs. Sequencing instructions are stored in a DSP with large memory and extremely fast real-time reaction time of 300 nanoseconds to control the complete system.

Synchronized analog/digital stimulation of the DUT is also possible. For high-speed arbitrary waveform generation and the stimulation of the DUT, the ADwin-Pro system provides multi-channel analog and digital output modules. The analog output modules have a parallel design, so that all channels can be updated synchronously without any phase shift between the channels. Parallel updating is a great advantage, especially if these signals need to be correlated to each other for the application. This update technique is achieved by using one DAC per channel, with one register per DAC. Therefore it’s possible to first write new values to the control registers for all channels and then start the conversion for all channels with a single command.

Using a single module, 4 or 8 channels are available. If an application needs more channels, additional modules can be used simultaneously. Here too, all channels on several modules convert synchronously through one single instruction. Depending on the application, the update rates for the stimulation are in the range of kHz up to MHz.

A local RAM buffer on the I/O modules allows storage of waveforms. The allocation of this local RAM can be done freely, so it’s possible to store multiple wave forms of different sizes, or a single large waveform. Each output can be linked to any waveform in the buffer, and each output can have its individual output rate. It’s important to note that it’s possible to perform the waveform generation in an adaptive way, so that (based on responses at analog/digital input signals or counter/timer values) the output can be modified within microseconds.

The ADwin-Pro’s parallel analog measurement modules acquire all channels synchronously, without any phase shift between the measurement channels. Parallel sampling is a great advantage if measurement signals are correlated to each other. This measurement technique is achieved by using one ADC per channel. If an application needs more channels, more modules can be used simultaneously. As above, all channels on several modules convert synchronously through one single instruction with the values of all channels being processed online in the same sampling step. Modules with 4 and 8 channels are available, and again, if an application needs more channels, they system can simply use more modules simultaneously.

Internal RAM on each module is available as a memory buffer for measurement data. With this architecture, users will find it’s possible to acquire the values of all channels with up to MHz sample rates. The RAM buffer can be used, but it is always possible to read single values directly and to build a real-time intelligent software trigger in order to run the DUT arbitrary waveform generation in an adaptive mode.

New digital and analog I/O modules for the ADwin-Pro-II system are equipped with a programmable onboard TICO CPU that offers the development of application-specific functions running at MHz speed. Functions not available on standard I/O modules can be included via TICO code on these modules, so it is possible to run the following: sequence controlling, high speed application-specific counters, custom serial interfaces like SPI, Manchester-Code, I2C, etc. Also available is an equivalent analog input module with up to eight ADCs, an FPGA, and RAM. These modules are the base for extremely fast programmable customer-specific functions for pre-processing of the analog signals. The major advantage is the speed of TICO-based solutions; the routines generated for these digital and analog boards are run with nanosecond-level timing precision. Additionally, ADwin systems in general are very precise. In the standard configuration, the ADwin CPU reacts on any event within 300ns if it comes from a timer, a digital, or other event sources, allowing code to run on a standard ADwin system with cycle times of microseconds.

In addition to the CPU, there is a large local memory area for program code and measurement data. The communication between the ADwin system and the PC is via Ethernet or USB. Fieldbus interfaces allow the connection to PLCs while a bootloader supports complete stand-alone operations of the ADwin system. Additionally, drivers are available for a wide range of PC programs under the Windows, Linux or MAC operating systems. Programming tools for the ADwin system include ADbasic or Matlab®/Simulink®.

For further information on the ADwin-Pro, the ADwin-Pro-II, other ADwin real-time data acquisition systems, or to find the ideal solution for your application-specific needs, contact a CAS Data Logger Applications Analyst at (800) 956-4437 or visit the website at www.DataLoggerInc.com.

Contact Information:
CAS DataLoggers, Inc.
12628 Chillicothe Road
Chesterland, Ohio 44026
(440) 729-2570
(800) 956-4437
sales@dataloggerinc.com
http://www.dataloggerinc.com

New Module Available for ADwin Real-Time Data Acquisition Systems

HSM-24V External Module Features 32 Digital Channels

CHESTERLAND OH—September 14, 2011

CAS DataLoggers in partnership with ADwin is proud to announce the new HSM-24V External Module now available for ADwin real-time data acquisition and control systems, providing 32 digital I/O channels fully compatible with 24-volt signals commonly found in industrial applications. The channels can be configured to be inputs or outputs in groups of 8 and also offer short circuit protection. Additionally, the HSM-24V module has a built-in DIN rail mounting clip to facilitate easy installation in control cabinets. When configured as inputs, built-in hardware filtering reduces the potential of interference from external electrical noise. Each channel also has an associated LED indicator to provide an immediate visual status indication.

The HSM-24V is perfect for digital inputs or outputs that don’t require the microsecond response time of the digital I/O built into the ADwin system; for example, to read the status of manual switches, door or interlock switches, or proximity sensors. It can also be used to activate relays, solenoid valves or to turn on indicator lamps. The HSM-24V connects to the ADwin system via the LS bus, a bi-directional serial bus supporting up to 15 addressable modules allowing a maximum of 480 I/O points. The LS bus is supported on all three ADwin platforms: the ADwin-Light-16, the ADwin-Gold-II, and the ADwin-Pro.

ADwin’s sophisticated devices provide users with a comprehensive set of capabilities for high speed data acquisition and control, including analog inputs and outputs, digital inputs and outputs, counters, and other options including CANbus and serial interfaces, signal conditioning modules, and Fieldbus interfaces. The architecture of the ADwin system is optimized to provide precise, deterministic operation with response times measured in useconds. A high performance local DSP controller manages the data acquisition hardware and works in cooperation with a PC via a shared memory interface that provides transparent access to data and control variables. In this way the system is partitioned to share the load such that the DSP in the ADwin system controls all time-critical tasks while the PC is free to handle the user interface, data presentation and data storage.

Furthermore, ADwin systems are freely programmable, using either the ADBasic real-time IDE or alternatively the graphical model based Simulink® software package from Mathworks®. ADwin systems are compatible with computers running under Windows, Linux, Mac, or Unix. Driver packages are available for virtually all common PC development tools including VB, VB.NET, C/C++/C#, Java, Phyton, LabVIEW, WinCC, Matlab, Simulink, VEE, Dasylab, and many more. Check out the ADwin product overview page here.

For further information on the new HSM-24V module, the advanced line of ADwin data acquisition devices, or to find the ideal solution for your application-specific needs, contact a CAS Data Logger Applications Analyst at (800) 956-4437 or visit the website at www.DataLoggerInc.com.

Contact Information:
CAS DataLoggers, Inc.
12628 Chillicothe Road
Chesterland, Ohio 44026
(440) 729-2570
(800) 956-4437
sales@dataloggerinc.com
http://www.dataloggerinc.com

How to Select a Portable Data Acquisition System

Choosing the Ideal Solution for Any Application

CHESTERLAND OH—September 13, 2011

Portable data acquisition systems are used worldwide to capture data and conduct routine testing of vital infrastructures such as mass transit systems, power grids, and bridges, as well as heavy industrial processes and applications. These powerful yet compact data acquisition devices play an important role in the testing and monitoring of many critical systems, and selecting the most suitable device for a given application requires careful consideration. The ideal portable data acquisition system for most users is a compact, lightweight unit powered by either a self-contained battery or a single DC power source, requiring no other connection to function other than the sensors being monitored. Operating in remote areas, a user interface and means of communication with the device become vital features. Signal conditioning such as gain and filtering as well as high-capacity non-volatile data storage are other important considerations.

When selecting a suitable portable data acquisition system for their specific applications, users face a bewildering choice of available manufacturers, models and specifications. Each system has its own configurations that make some units more suitable than others for certain applications. Additionally, purchasers must first consider several demanding requirements not necessary for traditional laboratory devices. Any existing and potentially damaging environmental extremes including temperature, excessive humidity, liquids, dust, shock and vibration should be carefully considered. Other relevant questions to ask include whether the data acquisition equipment can support the particular mix of sensors that will be used, as well as determining if the device has adequate memory and storage to support the specific project.

Before deciding on a specific manufacturer or solution, users need to form a clear idea of the results they require of any system they’ll be using. Sampling rates, as just one factor, are available in a wide variety from as low as once per day to higher than a million per second. Anticipating the future project’s needs today will save precious time and money on installation. Data acquisition system designs range from the simple to the complex, with an attendant variety in performance, features, and cost. Fortunately, in the face of all these options, fundamental guidelines are available for portable data acquisition equipment users to consider before making their purchase.

Of course, the main function of data acquisition systems are their basic function to accurately record data, and here the wide spectrum of degrees of accuracy attainable by units available on the market can make this a more involved decision than expected. A reliable constant, though, is that the accuracy of field measurements is heavily based upon the sensors being used. For most sensors that have been calibrated in the laboratory and installed in the field, accuracies in the range of 0.01 % to 1 % of full scale are typical, with many other sensors having less accuracy. The particular system’s input types must also match project requirements–for example, an application requiring extensive analog measurements would benefit from the portable Delphin Expert Key 200 series of data acquisition system, which features a full 28 analog inputs.

Likewise, the sampling speed of DAQ systems must also be taken into account when determining accuracy. The device must acquire signals quickly enough to avoid any loss of the data. The necessary data acquisition speed is calculated by using Nyquist’s Sampling Theorem, which states that a signal must be sampled at twice the frequency of the spectral signal components which are of interest in order to accurately reconstruct the waveform. The Delphin Expert Key 200 series mentioned above has a 100kHz maximum sample rate.

Also vital to many users’ considerations are the environmental conditions which the device will be subject to. Portable data acquisition equipment is naturally susceptible to damaging environments, such that ruggedized packaging of the DAQ unit itself, as well as its electrical components, is an essential manufactured precaution to ensure both device and data integrity. For example, portable DAQ equipment used in heavy industrial applications often needs to withstand a broad temperature range. In the absence of ruggedized models, a portable enclosure may give adequate protection for the system. In these harsh environments, and to retain their portability, DAQ systems need to be as compact and lightweight as possible. Further, beyond withstanding these environmental extremes, portable data acquisition units need to be able to survive in high shock and vibration environments such as the trunk of a car or onboard an airplane, or just as a result of the occasional accident such as being dropped by its owner. Other sealing and packaging precautions such as watertight housing should be under review for aquatic applications such as flow rate measurement and wastewater monitoring which partially or completely immerse the device.

For remote applications where access to a standard 120V AC power outlet isn’t available, electric power to the system can be provided either through an internal battery pack, or the user can connect an external wire to a DC power supply. Additionally, in order to conserve power and avoid unnecessary processor loadup, users with minimal processing requirements can select a lower performance CPU and rely on a capable storage system.

When analyzing recorded data and exporting to other formats, many users rate software primarily by how user-friendly it is, which often depends on graphical interface style, menu navigation and help tips. Continuing with the earlier example, the Delphin Expert Key 200 series features ProfiSignal software for data storage, display and analysis.

Choosing a portable data acquisition system featuring internal signal conditioning capabilities can greatly improve system quality and performance. Different types of signal conditioning include amplification, attenuation, and filtering. As always, the specific application involved and the types of sensors used to make the measurements will decide the type of signal conditioning required—to measure temperature, a device will probably need to use thermocouples or thermistors. Thermocouples produce a voltage that varies with the temperature, but connecting a thermocouple to a data acquisition system creates a cold junction point at the terminals that acts as a thermocouple itself. Signal conditioning is required to compensate for this, or else the recorded temperature which is taken from the total voltage will be altered by the additional voltage of the cold junction point. Signal conditioning can also be used for signal amplification to mitigate any noise distortion, and is also useful when a DAQ device is connected to other transducers such as strain gauges, accelerometers, etc.

When designed to monitor remote unattended systems, suitable DAQ devices have communications capabilities utilizing telephone connections or wireless systems to download data to remote PCs. They also require ample built-in storage and user interfaces to enable setup and control. Advanced solutions use built-in testing capabilities allowing users to sit back as the system acquires the data.

Taking into account all these specifications when choosing the right portable DAQ device is certainly an involved process, but one made easier by always keeping the needs of the present and any future applications foremost in mind. Check out the Delphin Expert Key Data Acquisition System product page here.

For further information on the Delphin Expert Key 100-200 series of portable data acquisition devices, other Delphin data acquisition devices, or to find the ideal solution for your application-specific needs, contact a CAS Data Logger Applications Analyst at (800) 956-4437 or visit the website at www.DataLoggerInc.com.

Contact Information:
CAS DataLoggers, Inc.
12628 Chillicothe Road
Chesterland, Ohio 44026
(440) 729-2570
(800) 956-4437
sales@dataloggerinc.com
http://www.dataloggerinc.com

Underhood Thermal Management and Engine Cooling Analysis

Delphin Data 64 KTM Temperature Measurement System

CHESTERLAND OH—September 13, 2011

Malaysian automobile manufacturer Proton needed to test the underhood thermal management and engine cooling performance in their new manual 5-speed Proton Persona 1.6 M/T Line test car. The thermal test program was designed to check underhood part performance in order to ensure that the parts were working within design requirements after being exposed to high temperatures during driving and climbing. Engine cooling analysis testing was performed to verify cooling performance under various types of driving patterns including high-speed runs, while idling, and hot soak and dead soak. To collect enough temperature data to get a complete picture of the Persona’s thermal distribution and engine cooldown, Proton’s automotive engineers needed high-performance, flexible data acquisition devices for use in their test setups, supporting large numbers of channels able to connect to the very broad range of thermocouple types the program would rely upon.

The Proton plant installed four Delphin Data 64 KTM Temperature Measurement Systems in its test chamber and in the trunk of the test car, with three of the units acting as slaves to increase the number of channels available to the master. These compactly-constructed measurement systems were protected within industrial-grade 19-inch rack enclosures, with 250 of their 256 available channels used for the thermal management tests. During engine cooling analysis testing, the KTM devices were used to measure the temperature of the engine cooling system, (radiator and water temperature in a water jacket), the pressure of the test car’s A/C system, and engine revolution (RPM), requiring about 85 channels.

A portable, all-inclusive device for multi-channel temperature measurement, the Delphin 64-KTM data acquisition system featured 64 channels of universal thermocouple inputs of every type including types E,J,K,L,N,S,R,T,U–providing plant engineers with a great deal of flexibility for high-precision, 24-bit resolution temperature measurements and achieved, depending on thermocouple and measurement area, an absolute accuracy of < 0.2 K. The modular design enabled the other 64-KTM units to be slaved to a master by simply connecting the additional devices, potentially processing over 5,000 measurement channels this way. The 64-KTM devices performed stand-alone data logging and recorded the test data with a partitionable 1 GB internal memory storing up to 128 million data records. The memory's independent data recording capability provided data security for long-term measurement runs. Integrated engine speed pulse measurement (rpm) was featured, as well as integrated high and low pressure measurement based on strain measurement. The sophisticated 64-KTM systems offered many features to ensure high-accuracy measurements, including differential inputs with 110V isolation and galvanic separation to prevent measurement errors from earth loops. Inbuilt network filters for 50Hz or 60Hz networks suppressed any power supply interference, and cold junction compensation served to isolate measurements from environmental interference and ambient temperature fluctuations. Scaling was provided as required. An Ethernet interface allowed easy integration into the plant’s network. Convenient data evaluation was then made available at any PC workstation in the plant. The 64-KTM also had interfaces for Modbus and Profibus and a TCP interface to a network was also available for online measuring. Proton engineers set up many of the channels for limit values, calculations and event processing. These channels enabled the computation of characteristic values during measurement runs, and also included the calculation of moving averages and enabled monitoring and alarm functions. The master system was able to transmit e-mails or portray limit value violations within an alarm table. Live data analysis and post-treatment was provided with the user-friendly ProfiSignal Basic evaluation software, included free with the device. Plant engineers appreciated its intuitive configuration and also utilized ProfiSignal for measurement data archiving and online/offline measurement data analysis. A driver was also available for all current measurement technology software or OCX driver. The Proton plant’s test programs benefited in several ways from installing the four Delphin data 64 KTM temperature measurement systems, the most immediate of which was the large number of channels available for the auto plant’s demanding test applications. The devices’ universal thermo connectors were easy to use and enabled quick and simple attachment of the many different types of thermocouples used in testing, with each measurement made at a high resolution and accuracy. Ethernet interface increased data accessibility, while the included ProfiSignal configuration software was an intuitive tool for plant engineers to archive, evaluate, and analyze the test data. Check out the 64 KTM Temperature Measurement System product page here.

For further information on the Delphin Data 64 KTM Temperature Measurement System, other Delphin data acquisition systems, or to find the ideal solution for your application-specific needs, contact a CAS Data Logger Applications Analyst at (800) 956-4437 or visit the website at www.DataLoggerInc.com.

Contact Information:
CAS DataLoggers, Inc.
12628 Chillicothe Road
Chesterland, Ohio 44026
(440) 729-2570
(800) 956-4437
sales@dataloggerinc.com
http://www.dataloggerinc.com

New LINBus Communication Card for ADwin-Pro-II Systems

For ADwin Real-Time Data Acquisition System Solutions

CHESTERLAND OH—August 30, 2011

The new Pro-II-LIN-2 card now available for ADwin-Pro-II systems provides convenient LIN communications capabilities that can be used to test different types of sensors, switches and other mechatronic devices in distributed automotive applications. The card, which is fully compatible with the LIN 2.1 interface standard, has 2 single wire LIN serial communications ports that can be individually configured as a master or slave with transfer rates up to 19,200 kBit/sec and standard or enhanced checksum verification. Each port features 64 message boxes, each with a programmable identifier header, that can be used to send or receive data packets up to 8 bytes. Depending on the card configuration, master or slave, the appropriate bus termination is automatically selected to ensure reliable communications. All 4 transfer operating modes are available, including master send, master receive, slave receive and slave send. A library of functions is available to initialize, configure, read data and write messages. Additionally, the card provides additional timing diagnostic information including the total message transfer time and the response time from request to the receipt of data.

The Pro-II-LIN-2 card is just one of over 80 different plug-in cards available for the ADwin-Pro-II real-time data acquisition and control system. These customizable cards provide a comprehensive set of capabilities for high speed data acquisition and control including analog inputs, analog outputs, digital inputs, digital outputs, counters, signal conditioning, and CANbus, Flexray, serial and EtherCAT interfaces. The architecture of the ADwin data acquisition system is optimized to provide precise, deterministic operation boasting usecond response times. A high performance local DSP controller manages the data acquisition hardware and works in cooperation with a PC via a shared memory interface that provides transparent access to data and control variables. In this way the system is partitioned to share the load such that the DSP in the ADwin system controls all time-critical tasks, while the PC is free to handle the user interface, data presentation and data storage.

The ADwin-Pro-II system is freely programmable, using either the ADBasic real-time IDE or alternatively the graphical model-based Simulink® software package from Mathworks®. All ADwin systems are compatible with computers running under Windows, Linux, Mac, or Unix. Driver packages are available for virtually all common PC development tools including VB, VB.NET, C/C++/C#, Java, Phyton, LabVIEW, WinCC, Matlab, Simulink, VEE, Dasylab, and many more. Check out the ADwin-Pro-II data acquisition system product page here.

For further information on the ADwin-Pro-II data acquisition system, other ADwin DAQ solutions, or to find the ideal solution for your application-specific needs, contact a CAS Data Logger Applications Analyst at (800) 956-4437 or visit the website at www.DataLoggerInc.com.

Contact Information:
CAS DataLoggers, Inc.
12628 Chillicothe Road
Chesterland, Ohio 44026
(440) 729-2570
(800) 956-4437
sales@dataloggerinc.com
http://www.dataloggerinc.com

Diesel Particulate Filter Testing on Vehicles with GPS Logging

Delphin TopMessage Data Acquisition and Control System

CHESTERLAND OH—August 15, 2011

CAS DataLoggers recently provided the data acquisition solution for Twin-Tec, a German developer and manufacturer of environmentally friendly products and technologies for reducing exhaust emissions, including a wide range of diesel particulate filters and catalytic converters for automotive applications. TwinTec was heavily involved in producing products for retrofitting and upgrading already approved vehicles as well as corresponding replacement products. In Germany, the government encouraged all owners through financial incentives to retrofit their filters since many old vehicles had no diesel particulate filtration. Many German automobile owners became interested in adding a particulate filter to their exhaust system in order to protect the environment and benefit from the reduced vehicle emission taxes. Twin-Tec was therefore developing many different retrofit filters for many different brands. Each filter required testing on the road under typical driving conditions to determine filter efficiency—however, virtually every new filter also required a new design due to the wide variety of exhaust systems and their varying temperature and pressure operating levels. During test drives, the filter temperature, pressure, engine speed, idle times, vehicle position and speed all needed to be measured accurately and reliably to ensure that the filter met all required standards. In order to record all the test data, Twin-Tec needed a sophisticated data acquisition device capable of extreme accuracy and fast signal processing and that could capture the wide range of data required in the tests.

Twin-Tec installed a Delphin TopMessage Data Acquisition and Control System with ADVT and DIOT modules in combination with a GPS sensor to record measurement data from the filters in tandem with vehicle position information. The whole system was installed in a small weatherproof enclosure and its sensors were interfaced to the enclosure through special connectors. During the test drive, all test data was recorded on the TopMessage’s internal memory. Engine RPM was recorded through a separate speed meter (DAB 500 from AVL) which was providing TTL pulse output. The pulses were then recorded by the counter and inputs of the DIOT module. The live data was visualized through a mimic interface using ProfiSignal Basic software.

The TopMessage featured 2 slots for analog, digital input, or output cards, as well as an Ethernet interface and CANbus for expansion modules. The analog inputs could be attached to RTD sensors, thermocouples, volt or 20 mA signals, enabling any physical value to be acquired. The measurement data was saved as scaled and linearized to the device, and scaling was pre-configured for all current thermocouple and RTD sensor types. The high measurement accuracy, up to a 24-bit resolution, enabled high-precision measurements without need for any signal amplification. Additionally, the device processed any signal quickly and reliably from just a few thermocouples right up to thousands of measurement points spread over several plant areas. The data acquisition device also featured screw terminal connections and up to 1 GB of local memory. The TopMessage also offered powerful alarm and programming capabilities to allow the device to process measurements and initiate actions on its own. The TopMessage could be used for local data acquisition and logging when connected to a PC; for remote unattended data collection connected to the internet; or as a stand-alone device.

In order to record the vehicle speed and direction, a special NEMA driver for a GPS sensor was developed. This driver was interfaced to the TopMessage through serial RS232 port. A separate COM channel was created for the GPS information like speed, direction, altitude, etc, and all the data was stored directly on the 1 GB TopMessage data logger memory. After the test drive was finished, all the data was analysed with the ProfiSignal software included free with the TopMessage. This user-friendly software provided for the acquisition of measurement, control and test data as well as functions for archiving, analysis, operation and monitoring. It was also possible to convert the GPS data into a KLM file which could be loaded by Google Earth to plot various measurement channels like vehicle speed, filter temperature or pressure of position or engine speed.

Twin-Tec benefitted immediately from installing the Delphin TopMessage data acquisition system in its diesel particulate filter testing program. Filter temperature, pressure, engine speed, idle times, vehicle position and speed were all measured in the test drives using one powerful device. Twin-Tec subsequently used 5 TopMessage systems to more smoothly run the testing. The universal analog inputs made it easy to connect all the temperature and pressure sensors, and engineers found it easy to configure the TopMessage’s ProfiSignal software to show live reading during the test drives. The data acquisition system’s 1 GB internal memory provided storage capacity for several thousand test drive kilometres, and the interface of the GPS sensor also gave Twin-Tec valuable additional information about vehicle speed in combination with engine RPM and particle emission. Additionally, the small and compact size of the TopMessage (200x73x118 mm) made it an ideal fit for installation in the small enclosure. Additionally, internal calculation and logic channels were used to trigger data logging when test conditions were reached.

In the event that Twin-Tec needed to expand the number of channels used, Delphin slave module expansion chassis were also available to expand the TopMessage to a maximum of 1000 hardware/software channels. Up to ten slave devices, each with identical housings and each equipped with two I/O modules, could be attached to a master, with any combination of I/O modules being possible. Check out the TopMessage’s product page here.

For further information on the Delphin TopMessage, additional data acquisition and control systems, or to find the ideal solution for your application-specific needs, contact a CAS Data Logger Applications Analyst at (800) 956-4437 or visit the website at www.DataLoggerInc.com.

Contact Information:
CAS DataLoggers, Inc.
12628 Chillicothe Road
Chesterland, Ohio 44026
(440) 729-2570
(800) 956-4437
sales@dataloggerinc.com
http://www.dataloggerinc.com

Data Logging With Remote UMTS Access In Natural Gas Dehydration Plants

Delphin Data Acquisition Systems Provide Remote Monitoring Solution

CHESTERLAND OH—August 8, 2011

CAS DataLoggers recently provided the data acquisition solution for a state-owned oil and gas company located in Eastern Europe involved in developing natural gas in distant gas fields. The gas came out of a wellhead for processing in either of two dehydration plants. These plants extract water from the gas before sending it through a compressor station and then pumping it through the pipeline system. However, since the two dehydration plants were based in a remote location, the company needed a standalone data acquisition and logging system to record production and process data from the plant and also to gain remote access to all recorded data. This system would have to be able to perform high-precision measurements and also feature sophisticated alarm and programming capabilities enabling the device to process measurements and initiate actions on its own.

Plant management decided to install a Delphin TopMessage Data Acquisition System in each of the two dehydration plants. Additionally, one ADVT module with 15 analog inputs and one IOIT module with 24 digital inputs for status monitoring were also installed in each plant. The TopMessages were then interfaced via Ethernet LAN to a MoRoS UMTS router to provide remote access functions. In case of an accident in hazardous areas, each complete system was then fitted inside an explosion-proof box outfitted with EX barriers. Within its protective enclosure, each Delphin TopMessage was then interfaced to 3 tank level transmitters using a 4-20mA analog output signal, and also to 3 gas volume conversion devices from VEGA through an RS-422 Modbus RTU interface (see Figure 1).
Figure 1: Functional Application Architecture

The TopMessage data acquisition device was capable of both Ethernet networking as well as direct PC connection (P2P). Its analog inputs could be attached to RTD sensors, thermocouples, volt or 20 mA signals, enabling any physical value to be acquired as needed. The measurement data was saved as scaled and linearized to the device, and scaling was pre-configured for all current thermocouple and RTD sensor types. The maximum 24-bit resolution measurement accuracy enabled high-precision measurements without the need for any signal amplification. Each TopMessage device could be equipped with up to 30 analog inputs or 48 digital inputs, with any possible combination of I/O modules.

Ideal for many different data logging, data acquisition and testing applications, Delphin TopMessage systems perform tasks in the fields of process technology, test engineering, and research and development, offering quick and reliable signal processing from a few thermocouples up to thousands of measurement points spread out over the plant. 1 GB of local memory stored all readings. Housed in its sturdy explosion-proof enclosure, the TopMessage system featured 2 slots for analog or digital input or output cards, as well as an Ethernet interface and CANbus for expansion modules. Screw terminal connections provide secure connections and reliable operation. Additionally, the TopMessage’s small size of 200 x 118 x 90mm made for a quick installation.

The dehydration plant operator based in the save area had a local monitoring PC running Delphin’s free ProfiSignal Klicks software. ProfiSignal Klicks offered a user-friendly development system for programming the data recording and reporting functions with no specialized IT knowledge required. The software also contained functions for automating processes and generating user-defined reports. Operators used the software’s mimic panel to monitor plant performance and also set up input screens for test parameters, test sequences and reports through the Klicks automation programming language. This provided engineers with a flexible software tool for generating their own complete applications. Utilizing the UMTS router, the control room operator at the head office had remote access at all times to the data from the TopMessage device and could see live data and downloaded data from the system memory. Additionally, the data download could be automated by using the scheduler function of the DataService Configurator. The dehydration plant itself was covered by an EDGE G2 mobile communication network.

The oil and gas company gained several benefits from installing the Delphin TopMessage data acquisition system in each of its two dehydration plants. The TopMessage data acquisition device, equipped with the UMTS router, served as an effective solution for this application covering all requirements. Additionally, the TopMessage’s compact size made the system easy to install in the explosion-proof box to guarantee its safety. Additionally, remote access was easily configured with the UMTS router, which also provided networking functions for local PCs and printers. The TopMessage system itself supported many serial interface standards so that VEGA Scan EK220 volume conversion units could be interfaced. The popular ProfiSignal Klicks software was included free to develop an operator user interface, including mimics, and also added reporting functions.

As an option for larger projects, up to 10 Delphin TopMessage Slave Modules could be used as expansion chassis to increase the master unit’s capability up to 1000 hardware/software channels, with all data transfer between master and slave taking place via a CANbus. The slave modules are connected via CANbus to the master with a maximum bus length of 100 meters. Check out the Delphin TopMessage’s product page here.

For further information on the Delphin TopMessage Data Acquisition System, other devices in the Delphin product line, details on any other data acquisition and control system, or to find the ideal solution for your application-specific needs, contact a CAS Data Logger Applications Analyst at (800) 956-4437 or visit the website at www.DataLoggerInc.com.

Contact Information:
CAS DataLoggers, Inc.
12628 Chillicothe Road
Chesterland, Ohio 44026
(440) 729-2570
(800) 956-4437
sales@dataloggerinc.com
http://www.dataloggerinc.com

Implementation Of PSI-5 Serial Sensor Interface On ADwin Real-Time Data Acquisition Systems

CHESTERLAND OH—August 3, 2011

The PSI-5 communications interface is a 2 wire serial communications interface which is used to interface sensors to Electronic Control Units (ECU) in applications such as accelerometers for airbag systems. Promoted by major auto suppliers such as Bosch and Continental, the PSI-5 interface has been in use for more than 10 years and has shown itself to be both robust and reliable. Figure 1 shows the PSI-5 telegram definition.

Figure 1: PSI-5 Telegram Definition

To minimize the number of wires going to the sensor, the physical layer of PSI-5 is implemented as a 2 wire interface that carries both the signal and power. The sensor data is sent as a series of current pulses which ride on top of the normal sensor supply current. This allows the interface to communicate at up to 250K bits/second and also provides EMC compatibility for conducted and radiated emissions. The standard data packet consists of 13 bits: 10 bits of data, 2 start bits and a parity bit (see figure 1). The data is encoded using a Manchester coding scheme where a 0 corresponds to a rising edge in the middle of the bit transition time and a 1 by a falling edge in the middle of the bit. Typically a dedicated receiver IC is used to read current signal and extract the data.

A pressure sensor manufacturer was looking for a system to simultaneously test multiple sensors using this interface. Rather than try to build a custom solution around the dedicated interface chips, they were looking for an off-the-shelf data acquisition solution that could be programmed to read the raw signal and extract the data. For this project, an ADwin-Light-16 Real-Time Data Acquisition System was selected. A simple comparator circuit was used to convert the current signal to a digital waveform that could be read with standard TTL logic. The ADwin system featured 6 high speed digital inputs allowing up to 6 sensors to be read at the same time. For each digital input, a simple state machine was implemented in software to monitor the incoming data, look for the start bits, read and decode the data.

Figure 2 shows the state machine to read one input. The minimum bit time corresponding to a 0 was 40 useconds; therefore, to allow for small variations in the timing, the state machine was setup to read the inputs at 8 times the expected clock rate, or 5 useconds. A watchdog timer was also provided to allow the state machine to reset in the case of a partial or corrupted transmission. Figure 3 lists the ADBasic code for the state machine to read one sensor. For testing, a second ADwin system was configured to generate various data packets to verify that they could be read correctly.

For this project, it was quite straightforward to create a simple state machine using the CASE structure available in the ADBasic programming environment. The deterministic, real-time capability of the ADwin system allowed the data to be read reliably without the need for specialized receiver IC’s, and the flexibility of the software enabled the different scenarios and failures mechanisms to be tested quickly and easily.

Figure 2: State Machine to Read PSI-5 Data

Figure 3: ADBasic Code For The State Machine to Read One Sensor

EVENT:
newbit = digin(0)AND 01B
inc counter
SelectCase(State)
CASE 1 ‘ wait for high to indicate start of transmission
if (newbit = 01b) then
startcnt = startcnt+1
IF (startcnt > 10) then ‘ need to get >50 usec high to start
state = 2
startcnt=0
endif
endif
CASE 2 ‘ waiting for low start bit
if (newbit = 00b) then ‘first low is start of word
state = 3
numbits = 0
bit_val = 01b
numUnusedbits = 0
counter = 1
fall_time = counter
i=i+1
data_1[i]=0
endif
CASE 3 ‘waiting for low to high transition to mark bit
if (newbit = 01b) then
rise_time = counter
if ((rise_time – fall_time) > 8 ) then ‘ > 40 usec = 1
data_1[i]= data_1[i] + 1 * bit_val
else
data_1[i]= data_1[i] + 0 * bit_val ‘ < 40 usec = 0 endif numbits = numbits + 1 bit_val = bit_val * 2 if (numbits > 12) then
state = 5
par_2 = Data_1[i]
fpar_1 = Data_1[i]*2.0
else
state = 4
endif
endif
CASE 4 ‘waiting for high to low transition to start next bit
if (newbit = 00b) then
fall_time = counter
state = 3
endif
case 5 ‘ 3 unused bits
if (newbit = 00b) then ‘ start of unused bit
state = 6
endif
case 6
if (newbit = 01b) then ‘ end of unused bit
numUnusedBits = numUnusedBits+1
if (numUnusedbits > 1) then
state = 7
ELSE
state = 5
endif
endif
case 7
if (newbit = 00b) then ‘ start of error flag
fall_time = counter
state = 8
endif
case 8 ‘ read error flag
if (newbit = 01b) then
rise_time = counter
if ((rise_time – fall_time) > 8 ) then ‘>60 usec = 1
errorflag = 1
else
errorflag = 0
endif
state = 9
par_3 = errorflag
endif
case 9
IF (counter > 1000) Then
state = 1
counter = 0
endif
ENDSELECT
‘watchdog
IF (counter > 1000) Then
state = 1
counter = 0
endif
par_1 = counter

For further information on ADwin real-time data acquisition and control systems, other data acquisition system product lines, or to find the ideal solution for your application-specific needs, contact a CAS Data Logger Applications Analyst at (800) 956-4437 or visit the website at www.DataLoggerInc.com.

Contact Information:
CAS DataLoggers, Inc.
12628 Chillicothe Road
Chesterland, Ohio 44026
(440) 729-2570
(800) 956-4437
sales@dataloggerinc.com
http://www.dataloggerinc.com