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

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



Signal Express/Sound & Vibration Measurement Suite has a lot of nice things going for it.


Some suggestions for improving Signal Express/Sound & Vibration Measurement Suite:

  • Improved memory handling - this software often runs out of memory for very simple tasks. Just opening a project can sometimes be enough.
  • Release a 64-bit version. SE/S&VMS is hampered by its ~1.2GB RAM limit. 
  • Why not autoconvert tmds ver 1.0 files? It is very strange not to support its own file format, albeit, an older version thereof.
  • Filters take time to settle. This is natural, but can be better handled in replay mode simply by taking a chunk of data, say from 0 to t1 seconds, that covers the settling time and reversing it time wise and start the filter from there. It will then have settled nicely when covering the -t1 to 0 reversed time chunk.
  • Define too many (~15 or so) User Units and the software goes silly buggers for some reason.
  • I fail to see the use/logic in the Voltage range definition for the DACmx Step when the EU is edited. It should be removed or at least be auto updated. As it now stands, ony must first punch in the EU, get the step to define the appropriate Voltage range, update the Volt range before measurement can commence. This is just unnecessary.
  • Replay of sound and export of wav files would be useful as this sometimes is the very best way of understanding what is going on. Even better would be export of sound and signal animation. [I know that there is a VI for wav export, but it only works for older versions and has not been kept up to date]. 
  • Why not support a simple, e.g. Excel based, transdcer database?
  • There should be a way to tag data more effectively than just by its name. Most measurement systems suppport. Measurement ID #, Dof (Scalar, +X,-X, etc), Component ID.
  • UFF import/export should support Measurement ID #, Dof (Scalar, +X,-X, etc), Component ID or it becomes irrelevant.
  • UFF import/export should support Frequency Response Function (FRF)?
  • Why not add crosspower as an option to the FRF step?
  • Add double impact detection to the FRF step.
  • In Replay mode, one cannot replay, say 3 impact, skip 2 to continue with another 4 without resetting the FRF averaging function.
  • One must divide TDMS files in to suitably sized chunks to stand a chance in post processing the data. This opens some challenges
    • The selection of a particular channel for plotting across many tdms files is tedius and ineffective. To compensate, I use the batch process function, access a single channel and multiply it by unity before saving the data - all just to more simply be able to pick and plot the data. It would be very useful to instead be able to select all logs and to pick a single channel for plotting.
    • On the same note a simple multi-click to select the color for the plot would be very useful - in particular if two curves are to be superposed across several TDMS files.
    • The case selection in the Batch Process Logs dialog would benefit from a Shift-Click option or a Shift-arrow scroll multi-Log selection option. 
  • Why not allow the TDMS time stamp to be edited/offset in the properties dialog? When doing measurements wrt a system clock, one does not always get the correct time and post measurement alignment is necessary.
  • The Project Documentation window can be very effective for reporting where whole subchapters can be edited with predefined figure text etc. It would become further useful if the user could add its own variables (numbers, A, B, C etc) such that e.g. Figure 1.2 could easily be updated to Figure 2.2, tdms time stamps could be accessed etc.
  • The HTML route for exporting data from the Project Documentation works - but is exotic. Why not add export to Excel/Word/simple figure export by copy/paste as is the case in other views?




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Message 71 of 93

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

Hi again


Also, I currently have a project where the project file is ~2.8 MB.Opening this project takes ~15 minutes with 100% CPU load and eats up ~480 MB RAM.


Doing the simple operation of taking a single channel, multiplying it by 1x and saving the data ito a new TDMS file starts to eat RAM and the project runs out of RAM after having processed 15-20 files in this manner, which necessitates opening/closing the project.


A surprising feature which I just discovered is that simply minimizing the project window and then opening it again seems to reset RAM consumption - this time all the way down to 1.8 MB - not even simply starting SE eats that little RAM. Run the project window minimized and RAM adds up again, so toggling back/for th between opened and minimized states is what seems to trigger the RAM reset.


Clearly something is amiss?


By the way, I currently run the 2010 release, but this RAM issue has been there all along in previous versions and, I belive, is there also in the current release.




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Message 72 of 93

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

Import Logged Signals from another Project issue




The "Import Logged Signals from another Project" does not work if the path to the folder containing the original Project and Log folders has changed after being created.  This was corrected for the original Project several revisions ago.  It apparently was not corrected for the Import function.  I need this to work so that Engineers can Import the Log data for review using the LE version of Signal Express (I capture the data on one computer then copy it to the network so the Engineers can access/review it).  A better alternative would be to allow LE to open all Projects for the purpose of Log data review.  I suggested this approach previously in this thread (on 3/7/2011) but I have not heard/seen anything addressing that suggestion. 


It doesn't make sense to me that the LE version splash screen has a selection to "Hide Unlicensed Steps" but won't let you open the Project even if this is selected.  Regardless of the status of this checkbox I can only "Activate" or "Exit".  If I could "Hide the Unlicensed Steps" and open the Project in order to review the Log data, I wouldn't have to bother with using Import.  Better yet, allow the LE user to see all the steps in order to establish the parameter settings at the time the data was captured.  Find some other method for "locking out" LE instead of Hiding the Unlicensed Steps.


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Message 73 of 93

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

How about a Signal Express Step that would take a single frame picture via a GigE camera for each iteration of the Project?  Then allow these "synchronized" pictures to be displayed in SE along side the rest of the DAQ data in Playback Mode.  This would allow for some level of "video documentation" of a test in SE.

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Message 74 of 93

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

Limit Test Step "Failed Signal" as a Waveform


I am running into this issue again.  It would be handy if I could extract only the data values that Fail so that I could take the average of them.  I am trying to take the average of five peaks in a time domain signal.  I am using the Limit step to set the peak threshold.  I would not want the threshold values inserted into the waveforn since this would throw off the average.  I am able to export the Limit Test Failed Signal to Excel and average the column (Excel ingores the NaN's in the column) but I would like to be able to perform this from within SE.

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Message 75 of 93

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

Copy/Paste Graphs with non-default Properties


I would like to copy/paste a Graph that has modified Properties so that I don't have to individually set the Properties for every Graph on the Data View.  I might have 10 Graphs on a single Data View and changing the Properties individually is time consuming.

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Message 76 of 93

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

I would like to add to this.  I have started using the Project Documentation tab as a location for my Test Notes (description of the test, hardware used, results...).  However, the engineer who needs this information and has LE on his computer cannot open the Project and therefore cannot read the Test Notes. 


Once again (from above) "I feel that LE should allow the Projects to be opened and viewed so that the Engineer can determine the manner in which the data was captured (Steps, order, settings, etc.) and be able to review/export the Log data" and review the Project Documentation.

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Message 77 of 93

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

These improvements are great. Now, if you could just add some video capabilities...

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Message 78 of 93

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

Test Documentation via Video/Audio


I just ran a test where it would have been valuable to have been able to include test video/audio to explain and demostrate the differences in acquired DAQ data.  I have evaluated other DAQ systems that have this capability.  You have to admit that it is a highly useful feature and with today's technology is should be available (in some form) in all DAQ systems.  I am waiting on the day when it becomes a reality for Signal Express.  Until then, I guess that I just keep posting...

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Message 79 of 93

Add custom Start/Stop functions to Save to ASCII step

Add automatic start/stop logging functions that will allow the test to run continuously but only acquire data during specific intervals over time. 
For instance: I have a test that requires acquisition of strain data measuring bolt-up and relaxation strains over the course of 24 hrs. The engineer requests that data is acquired as follows:

  • Start acquisition during torque-up and for the first two minutes (10Hz)
  • Record 1 minute of strain data every 5 minutes for 2 hours (1Hz)
  • Record 1 minute of strain data every hour for 22 hours (1Hz)

I feel like an additional step could be created which would tie into the Save to ASCII step. It would be triggered by the RUN button and based on relative time (starting from the press of the RUN button).

In the step configuration you could add start/stop markers with a time variable between markers.


This is just a high-level overview of an "idea" but if this is something worthy of implementing I'd be happy to offer more thoughts and suggestions to how the step could function.



Also, I realize the Recording Options has a feature like this available but the output files when using the Record option are not useful for how we handle data files. Perhaps the Start/Stop feature within the Recording Options could be ported over to its own step?

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 2014.
Win7 Enterprise
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Message 80 of 93