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gmart
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Ideas and suggestions included in Signal Express 2011

I would like to highlight the ideas and suggestions that were implemented in SignalExpress 2011 that came from this forum:

 

  1. New Processing>>Analog Signals>>Zero Offset step (message #2).
  2. On the Data View tab, click the down arrow of the Add Display button to select the new Waveform Chart display, which displays buffered waveform data signals. (message #3).
  3. New shortcut key for importing a TDMS file - CTRL+I (message #4).
  4. In the Project View, right-click the step and select Disable Step from the context menu to disable the step so the step does not run when you run the project. (message #5).
  5. LabVIEW SignalExpress 2011 includes the following changes to the Save to ASCII/LVM step (message #7):
    • Next available file name in the If file already exists pull-down menu is renamed to Next available file name, per iteration. The If file already exists pull-down menu also includes the Next available file name, per run option, which creates a new file for the data each additional run of the project, appending the next sequential number to the filename.
    • On the File Settings tab, the Reset relative time checkbox resets the relative time to 0 at the beginning of every new signal when you place a checkmark in the checkbox.
  6. When deleting logs from a Project, the default option is to delete the log from the project but keep log on disk (message #15).

Thank you for all of your ideas and suggestions. Please keep posting your ideas as they are greatly appreciated.

George M
National Instruments
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OKors
Posts: 228
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Re: Ideas and suggestions included in Signal Express 2011

I'm not sure how much control R&D has with the way signals are passed from one step to the other but I have a few issues that have been driving me crazy lately, especially with the new Zero Offset step.

 


 

  • Better Step handling of mixed signal types

The Zero Offset step is a very welcome addition but is there a way to just have ONE Zero Offset step per project file?
This question could also apply to any step (in the example below the Amplitudes and Levels step for instance)

 

Here's an example:

My latest test setup had 4 signals; two Voltage (LVDT and load cell), one Custom Voltage (string pot) and one Strain (single uniaxial strain).

I needed to offset zeros on three of those signals (LVDT, string pot and strain). These were three different signal types that required me to add three different Zero Offset steps. Couldn't the Zero Offset step be a single step that you can add any and all types of signals to and zero them all at once?

 

To add to the clutter in the Project Step window, I needed to view each of these signals as scalar signals so I could graph them according to my needs. Now I have to go and add 4 Amplitudes and Levels steps in order to capture the 4 signals. Here's what my Project Step window looks like:

DAQmx Acquire

Votage

Custom Voltage

Strain

Zero Offset

String Pot

Zero Offset 

LVDT

Zero Offset

Strain

Aplitudes and Levels

LVDT

Aplitudes and Levels

Load

Aplitudes and Levels

String Pot

Aplitudes and Levels

Strain

Save to ASCII

 

And this was only 4 channels! No doubt this is very combersome and becomes confusing  the more signals get added to the test.


 

 

  • Zero Offset- On Demand requires a 'dummy' run to be acquired

    When I need to zero an offset using the On Demand option I'm required to log a couple seconds of "dummy" data in order for SE to see where the current offset is. This in turn requires me to momentarily Disable Step in the Save to ASCII step each time (for some tests this is once per iteration). I feel there should be some 'behind the scenes' data capture going on.
    Suggested Improvement: when you click Zero Now, SE should take a sample on it's own without having to log any data.

 

 

  • Zero Offset Step window clean-up suggestions

    When selecting a channel to zero, "zero offset data" should update to show the currently selected channel type. As of now I have to manually rename this zero data signal.

 

zerooffset.jpg

 

Furthermore, does the "offsets ready 2" and "avg. counter 2" need to be in there? Seems cluttered.

 

 

 

BTW, thanks for the update George. All the new features are a very welcome addition!

SCXI- 1000 Chassis w/ 1346 adapter
PCI 6281 DAQ card
SCXI- 1520 Bridge Board w/ 1314 Terminal Block (x2)
SCXI- 1180 Feedthrough Panel w/ 1302 Block
Signal Express 2012.
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OKors
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Re: Ideas and suggestions included in Signal Express 2011

I forgot I was going to add a copy of my .seproj file to show the bulk in the Project Step window

SCXI- 1000 Chassis w/ 1346 adapter
PCI 6281 DAQ card
SCXI- 1520 Bridge Board w/ 1314 Terminal Block (x2)
SCXI- 1180 Feedthrough Panel w/ 1302 Block
Signal Express 2012.
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Re: Ideas and suggestions included in Signal Express 2011

How would you rank various solution options?

  1. SignalExpress currently has the feature to create subgroups. Support a feature to combine groups into a new named group.
  2. Allow signals to get added to the 'Input signals' list by dragging new signals to the input; also enable multiselect in the 'Input signals' pull down. 
  3. Provide option for DAQmx Acquire step to output all channels in single group?

Steps would have to handle the different units appropriately.

 

Seems like it is okay that the same configuration applies to all input signals (valid?). 

 

Is the critical need just to link one click to a shared restart, zero now, etc. type of functionality?

Doug
NI Sound and Vibration
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OKors
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Re: Ideas and suggestions included in Signal Express 2011

How would you rank various solution options?

  1. SignalExpress currently has the feature to create subgroups. Support a feature to combine groups into a new named group.
    I'm aware of the subgroups feature, but still, you can only add 'like signals types' to a new subgroup (that i'm aware of anyway). Not only that, creating subgroups each time is combersome and time consuming.

 

2. Allow signals to get added to the 'Input signals' list by dragging new signals to the input; also enable multiselect in the 'Input signals' pull down. 
If I'm reading this correctly you're saying, for example, have one A&L and/or one Zero Offest step in the Project Step window and drag and drop (or multiselect) any available signals from the DAQmx Acquire step into these steps WITHOUT creating duplicate steps for each signal type.

If so YES!!!
So long as mixed signal types could be selected and added to a single step I think this would be a huge solution. I realize this may not work for all signal types but for voltage, strain and custom voltages I don't see why not.

This solution option would eliminate all the pains associated to passing mixed signal types through commonly used steps as demonstrated in my project file.

 

3. Provide option for DAQmx Acquire step to output all channels in single group?

Steps would have to handle the different units appropriately.

 I don't think this would be necessary if solution 2 was an option.

Seems like it is okay that the same configuration applies to all input signals (valid?). 

I work with mostly voltages, strain, and custom voltages where excitation is necessary. The main reason I pass the signals through the A&L step is so I can view multiple signals in real-time in a scope chart graph. So for my needs the same configuration could apply to all input signals

 

Is the critical need just to link one click to a shared restart, zero now, etc. type of functionality?
Yes and No. A one-click shared restart, zero now function would be great but the biggest pain is the way SE handles each signal type in a different group which forces you to create multiple indentical steps for each group.

If the step options would handle and accept all signal inputs as if they were the same, you would not need a "shared" restart, zero-now functionality.

 

 

I hope I addressed your questions appropriately without causing any confusion...

SCXI- 1000 Chassis w/ 1346 adapter
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SCXI- 1520 Bridge Board w/ 1314 Terminal Block (x2)
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Signal Express 2012.
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luckyboy
Posts: 8

Re: Post your improvement ideas & suggestions for future Signal Express releases.

Singnal express

 

I am a big supporter of signal express, but some newer scopes like dui-tron has moved ahead of signal express do to the folowing: Has video capabilities along with data signals, another big improvement for data logging. I just need signal express to be able to capture video and display it with some sort of viewer along with analog data signals.. I do understand that i could build some sort of lab view VI and incorperate it into signal express but that defeats the purpose of signal express. Some of the lower tech. cant write in lab view. Do i need to switch to dui-tron scope or do you think this capability is possible in the near future? This would put Signal express back on top and it would be very marketable with these new options.

 

 

Thanks for your time

Trusted Enthusiast
DFGray
Posts: 2,796
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Re: Post your improvement ideas & suggestions for future Signal Express releases.

Thanks for your feedback, but we would like to verify what you want:

 

  1. Do you want a step or logging option to stream video to disk and display it?
  2. Do you want a way to replay scope data like a video (you can do this currently with playback of logs)
  3. Do you have a link to dui-tron?  A google search was less than revealing.

I think you want item 1, but wanted to be sure.  Thanks for posting feedback!

Using LabVIEW 2011 - 2013 on Windows 7 64-bit
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luckyboy
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Re: Post your improvement ideas & suggestions for future Signal Express releases.

Goggle Dewe tron sorry for misspelling it. What would be fantastic would be the following: I do not ever use the logging system. I typically do not run live so i trigger the event for aprox 5 to 10 sec then it shows up on the graph after it times out. i have hoped that there is a way to also do this with video within signal express. The ultimate goal for us is to adventually be able to sync video and data signals. Please continue with direction as I have multiple user for this application. If you want to contact me by phone it may be easier to explain some of the applications. Thanks for speedy reply.

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OKors
Posts: 228

Re: Post your improvement ideas & suggestions for future Signal Express releases.

I've inquired about this long ago, and I agree that video-feed support in Signal Express would be highly beneficial.

The Dewetron data acquisition system has the ability to take a video stream and add it to the display alongside the other graphs; similar to how you can arrange multiple Signal Express display types into one Data View.

The Dewetron’s recording functionality is very similar to SE’s ‘playback’ feature- in that you can replay the data file and even speed up or slowdown the playback speed. Its time-synch'd so all your analog signals match up with the video. You can save the data file to ASCII (data signals only) or export the whole window to AVI video format.
We have an older Dewetron system we use for impact testing. The video is valuable because you can see the moment of impact along with any analog signal channels (load, velocity, etc.) all on one screen.

 

The Dewetron’s video capability is a separate “add-on” and is hardware dependent (this may have changed in their newer systems but ours is a standalone addition). The system comes with its own video signal processor (A-D) and cam module (like a multiplexing unit). The cameras themselves are nothing fancy; power to the camera and BNC back to the video processor. As far as a Dewetron’s Data Acquisition unit goes it’s pretty standard as well.

 

Live video feed while monitoring your other channels is an invaluable option, but if it’s something that only higher-end platforms will support (PXI-e) it may not be worth the upgrade for those of us using SCXI.

 

SCXI- 1000 Chassis w/ 1346 adapter
PCI 6281 DAQ card
SCXI- 1520 Bridge Board w/ 1314 Terminal Block (x2)
SCXI- 1180 Feedthrough Panel w/ 1302 Block
Signal Express 2012.
Win7 Enterprise
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luckyboy
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Re: Post your improvement ideas & suggestions for future Signal Express releases.

Thanks for your Comments,

 

you seemed to know exactly what I'm talking about. I have also done some bullet impact testing where it would have been nice to have synced my high speed video with my analog signals coming in. Signal express would be top of the line scope and data acquisitions acquiring if it had this capabilities.