Not logged in [Login - Register]
 Sciencemadness Discussion Board » Fundamentals » Chemistry in General » looking for DACS strip chart recorder software Select A Forum Fundamentals   » Chemistry in General   » Organic Chemistry   » Reagents and Apparatus Acquisition   » Beginnings   » Miscellaneous   » The Wiki Special topics   » Technochemistry   » Energetic Materials   » Biochemistry   » Radiochemistry   » Computational Models and Techniques   » Prepublication Non-chemistry   » Forum Matters   » Legal and Societal Issues   » Detritus   » Test Forum

Pages:  1
Author: Subject: looking for DACS strip chart recorder software
Hazard to Others

Posts: 104
Registered: 16-12-2010
Member Is Offline

Mood: No Mood

looking for DACS strip chart recorder software

Hello all, I am wondering if anyone can point me in the direction of a link to open source DACS strip chart recorder software. If free isn't possible I can afford 100-$200 at most for the software the program is for an old Gow Mac 350. Please any help on this topic would be appreciated. NEMO-Chemistry International Hazard Posts: 1560 Registered: 29-5-2016 Location: UK Member Is Offline Mood: No Mood Do you mean one of those pen charts? SHADYCHASE54 Hazard to Others Posts: 104 Registered: 16-12-2010 Location: CaNaDay! Edmonton Member Is Offline Mood: No Mood Actually the pen chart recorder is what I would like to avoid. I am attempting to determine a means to digitize the recorder and run the system through computer rather than finding a pen cart recorder. I know this is possible, compatible software exists however finding what could be considered antiquated software has proven frustrating. The software I have found are sadly incompatible apparently to advanced. Found one that was compatible with Gow Mac 580 or something something similar however I am running a 350 and cannot risk the $$on the hope that it might function. If anyone can offer sage advice please do I implore you. Thanks. NEMO-Chemistry International Hazard Posts: 1560 Registered: 29-5-2016 Location: UK Member Is Offline Mood: No Mood  Quote: Originally posted by SHADYCHASE54 Actually the pen chart recorder is what I would like to avoid. I am attempting to determine a means to digitize the recorder and run the system through computer rather than finding a pen cart recorder. I know this is possible, compatible software exists however finding what could be considered antiquated software has proven frustrating. The software I have found are sadly incompatible apparently to advanced. Found one that was compatible with Gow Mac 580 or something something similar however I am running a 350 and cannot risk the$$$ on the hope that it might function. If anyone can offer sage advice please do I implore you. Thanks.

Maybe its me being stupid, or maybe your shit at explaining.
Lets start again....

I assume you have some kind of device, maybe something like a data logger? What is the make and model of this device? What does it do?

Or you have software and no device. Or you just want some software that does something?
NEMO-Chemistry
International Hazard

Posts: 1560
Registered: 29-5-2016
Location: UK
Member Is Offline

Mood: No Mood

As a rule of thumb, anything that normally connects to a chart recorder can easilly be interfaced to a variety of software. This is not normally expensive, unless you want specific software. Or put another way, you have your heart set on a pirate copy of software and wont consider using any other software.

Pen charts are analog, so interfacing to a computer is easy via a Arduino or other micro controller and a £2 cable.
From there you can then use some shit like visual basic and build your own software, or better yet use Matlab and labview to do really cool shit, or normally we can find software to do what you want.

Crowfjord
National Hazard

Posts: 390
Registered: 20-1-2013
Location: Pacific Northwest
Member Is Offline

Mood: Ever so slowly crystallizing...

Labview is a good one, though I suppose it isn't open source. I used it in my undergrad research to chart the output of a cyclic voltameter. I can't remember what I used for the analog to digital interface, though.

[Edited on 13-1-2018 by Crowfjord]
NEMO-Chemistry
International Hazard

Posts: 1560
Registered: 29-5-2016
Location: UK
Member Is Offline

Mood: No Mood

 Quote: Originally posted by Crowfjord Labview is a good one, though I suppose it isn't open source. I used it in my undergrad research to chart the output of a cyclic voltameter. I can't remember what I used for the analog to digital interface, though. [Edited on 13-1-2018 by Crowfjord]

I think you can get a student version or a free type version. I am not sure, i have the student one. I also think you can get a similar software that is open source.

But depends what you want to do, i assume its draw a graph. You could just import a CSV file into excell and have a macro do it.
As for the interface thats the easy bit.

A simple £5 Arduino board and £2 cable will sort that, use a rsr232 to USB cable, connect device to the ADC pins on the micro and use the RS232 peripheral in the micro to output the data as serial over the cable.

Something like xterm could pick that up and record to a CSV file.

with more details i could prob sort something easy enough
Hazard to Others

Posts: 104
Registered: 16-12-2010
Member Is Offline

Mood: No Mood

Thank you for the explanation regarding interfacing a Gow-Mac 350 gas chromatograph from analog ports to a digital port. What I am hoping to find is a windows compatible program to chart and measure the compounds' abundance as they leave the column. I have some experience with TLC however no experience with GC as such the equipment is new to me and I expect a moderate learning curve. So thank you again for any advice you can or already have provided. I am presently looking into Matlab and Labview to see if they will work out for me.
Crowfjord
National Hazard

Posts: 390
Registered: 20-1-2013
Location: Pacific Northwest
Member Is Offline

Mood: Ever so slowly crystallizing...

Once you get your output converted and graphed, you will then need to calculate the area under the curves to determine amounts present in the sample analyzed. Some calculus will be required if the equation for the curve can be figured out, or more simply, the trapezoidal approximation using the raw data. This is what I used in school to quantitate caffeine in drinks via GC-FID years ago.
Hazard to Others

Posts: 104
Registered: 16-12-2010
Member Is Offline

Mood: No Mood

 Quote: Originally posted by SHADYCHASE54 Hello again I decided I wasn't being very clear with my request as I hadn't time to really think about it. I have an old Gow Mac 350 gas chromatograph. I need to convert the analog output to 24bit digital. Now that I have looked into this a little more I realize I do not simply want chart recording capabilities I would like all the analytic bells and whistles that can be had for GC chart recording as well as analysis. I have bought a book on hacking ardino so hopefully this will help me with the a/d converter any further advice pertaining to the project of getting this basic GC operational would be appreciated.

NEMO-Chemistry
International Hazard

Posts: 1560
Registered: 29-5-2016
Location: UK
Member Is Offline

Mood: No Mood

I need to think on this, there is an interface unit used for scientific equipment, it has 6 ports. in essence all it does is take serial data from the machine, and converts it into a format for the software.

They are not expensive, then again what they do isnt hard.
You should be able to get hold of a copy of total chrom software by elmer perkins. That will give you all the info you need and graph everything and then some.

The output from your machine draws a graph, it simply outputs a voltage that a graph recorder then uses. This is no different to any other GC. Except most newer ones then send the data as RS232 or similar.

I am positive you dont need 24bit data, no pen recorder could use data approaching that kind of resolution. A 10 bit ADC is more than good enough. thats 1024 resolution. What is the max voltage output on the back?

I still see no reason why you couldnt sample the output with a micro, then just have the micro send out the data in serial format. Total chrom would look for a serial port, this is where the USB cable i spoke of comes into play.

The cable sets up a serial port via USB, so you would map the software to that port, the only real problems you have are as follows

1) What is the mx peak voltage the pen chart sockets output?

2) What kind of speed does it do it at?

You would normally set the pen chart for X cm per min, this is the speed that the GC outputs the data. To convert it, you really need to run a sample and connect an oscilloscope to the output. That would tell you everything you need to know.

I would mix a couple of solvents up and run them, then sit and watch the scope for the peaks. From that you would get a good idea what to set the serial baud rate too.
Also it would let you know what kind of resolution you need. None of this is hard, but all of it is impossible without information.

I will go see what info i can find on your machine, but 100% for sure, if it outputs to a pen chart, then you can interface it to something like total chrom Gas chromatography software, that basically acts like a digital pen recorder, but it can work out the area ect etc etc. All the bells and whistles you want.

Hazard to Others

Posts: 104
Registered: 16-12-2010
Member Is Offline

Mood: No Mood

NEMO-chemistry I have a quick question do you think this would work as an adc for my old GC?
https://www.dataq.com/products/di-1100/
NEMO-Chemistry
International Hazard

Posts: 1560
Registered: 29-5-2016
Location: UK
Member Is Offline

Mood: No Mood

no thats over complicated and i think the wrong voltage

EDIT
Sorry there is two GD threads on the go!

I dont know, I need a day or so to look up the data sheets etc. Give me a couple of days and I will see what I can find as a cheap bolt on for you

[Edited on 30-1-2018 by NEMO-Chemistry]
NEMO-Chemistry
International Hazard

Posts: 1560
Registered: 29-5-2016
Location: UK
Member Is Offline

Mood: No Mood

Do you have a pen recorder for it?
If you do what voltage settings do you use?

if you dont can you kind of run a sample?
If you can kind of run a sample do you have a Multi Meter?
If you do can you run a sample, stick the multi meter on the out puts. IF your multi meter has min-max setting to capture min and max voltage, use that. if it dosnt sit and watch, record the max output voltage.

Honestly with a little work I am 100% sure you can do this for under $20. I am also 99% sure you can plonk the data into the computer and have it do all the grunt work and calcs you need, price range from free to whatever what to spend. But honestly if it can work a pen recorder then it can be done cheaply and it can be done well. If you can solder great, if you cant then we can get around that. Dont worry about code etc....... Thats easy to get or do. SHADYCHASE54 Hazard to Others Posts: 104 Registered: 16-12-2010 Location: CaNaDay! Edmonton Member Is Offline Mood: No Mood I would firstly like to say thank you for sticking with me on this project. Unfortunately I don't have a pen chart recorder so I guess that leaves me with option 2 running a sample I am going to have to transfer my new argon cylinder into an old CO2 cylinder so that I can refill with helium, as it is the only carrier to be used with this model. Meaning it will take me a bit to order the proper transfer valves. I have been hesitant making an ADC via Arduino as I am a little intimidated with the coding requirements. Regardless I will be ordering both the Arduino mini ➕ Uno, breadboard kit. For the actual a/d converter should I also order something like an ads1015 12bit ADC? Again many thanks for your help. Attachment: breton2000[1].pdf (16kB) This file has been downloaded 41 times wg48 International Hazard Posts: 722 Registered: 21-11-2015 Member Is Offline Mood: No Mood  Quote: Originally posted by SHADYCHASE54 I would firstly like to say thank you for sticking with me on this project. Unfortunately I don't have a pen chart recorder so I guess that leaves me with option 2 running a sample I am going to have to transfer my new argon cylinder into an old CO2 cylinder so that I can refill with helium, as it is the only carrier to be used with this model. Meaning it will take me a bit to order the proper transfer valves. I have been hesitant making an ADC via Arduino as I am a little intimidated with the coding requirements. Regardless I will be ordering both the Arduino mini ➕ Uno, breadboard kit. For the actual a/d converter should I also order something like an ads1015 12bit ADC? Again many thanks for your help. Why not use an ADC card for your PC. You may be able to get a USB one these days. Check on ebay. SHADYCHASE54 Hazard to Others Posts: 104 Registered: 16-12-2010 Location: CaNaDay! Edmonton Member Is Offline Mood: No Mood NEMO-. I uploaded a PDF that may fill in some holes. Wg48 thank you for your suggestion however I am extremely unsure of my ability to find the proper ADC PC card install and format for whichever GC charting software I settle on. NEMO-Chemistry International Hazard Posts: 1560 Registered: 29-5-2016 Location: UK Member Is Offline Mood: No Mood Quote: Originally posted by wg48  Quote: Originally posted by SHADYCHASE54 I would firstly like to say thank you for sticking with me on this project. Unfortunately I don't have a pen chart recorder so I guess that leaves me with option 2 running a sample I am going to have to transfer my new argon cylinder into an old CO2 cylinder so that I can refill with helium, as it is the only carrier to be used with this model. Meaning it will take me a bit to order the proper transfer valves. I have been hesitant making an ADC via Arduino as I am a little intimidated with the coding requirements. Regardless I will be ordering both the Arduino mini ➕ Uno, breadboard kit. For the actual a/d converter should I also order something like an ads1015 12bit ADC? Again many thanks for your help. Why not use an ADC card for your PC. You may be able to get a USB one these days. Check on ebay. For this project the card would cost too much and they are restrictive, an arduino cuts out alot of problems including drivers. It uses a rs232 to usb cable that costs$2-$3. The code is the least of the problems, the net is full of code that will do it. Actually the arduino is simply a go between, its only function is read the voltage and spit it out in serial format, in code terms this is 3 hours from never seeing an arduino to learning how to program it to that! But we wont be cruel, we can sort the code for you, its roughly 30-60 mins work tops. Dont get the gas yet, i will track down some info, if you got any idea of a manual or what kind of pen plotter, then I can start working out the voltage. The more I learn about this, the more I am sure this is$10-$20 project tops including pc software that will do anything you want. I need some time purely because I am busy, the other reason you dont get a pc card is safety for the pc. These old machines are better off directly connected to a special cheap cable. ANYTHING at all that out puts to a pen chart, simply needs a bog standard 10 bit ADC capable micro. Once we know the max out put voltage I can sort a resistor divider and maybe if needed a opamp for you. I doubt you will need the opamp though. Oh and zero need for thanks, i will stick with it for as long as I can help. So far i am pretty convinced this should be nice and easy. I have had immense amounts of help from this site, so dont thank me, its just real nice to be able to give a little back. [Edited on 30-1-2018 by NEMO-Chemistry] NEMO-Chemistry International Hazard Posts: 1560 Registered: 29-5-2016 Location: UK Member Is Offline Mood: No Mood Just read the PDF You will need a opamp, but the good news is you will get great resolution. My fear was the output would be above the arduino handling level, if it was me I would go pic micro route. Simply because I prefer them and they are native 5V. Arduino will be fine, the opamp is simply to increase the output voltage to a level where the arduino can deal with it easily. It sounds complicated to you, but its not, and it falls into the simple to guide someone catergory. paying$100 for a ADC data aq is stupid for this. simple arduino and cable and mic in matlab or labview and you have a system that can do anything you likely to throw at it.
wg48
International Hazard

Posts: 722
Registered: 21-11-2015
Member Is Offline

Mood: No Mood

OK then how about a USB digital scope then. Comes with the drive and display/storage software for £20

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/iCP12-5mV-u-6-Ch-PC-Analog-USB-Os...

NEMO-Chemistry
International Hazard

Posts: 1560
Registered: 29-5-2016
Location: UK
Member Is Offline

Mood: No Mood

 Quote: Originally posted by wg48 OK then how about a USB digital scope then. Comes with the drive and display/storage software for £20 https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/iCP12-5mV-u-6-Ch-PC-Analog-USB-Os...

The main difference is he wants to work out peak area etc, using the arduino and serial to usb cable, you can transfer the data live straight into 'normal' GC software or matlab.

That way you get alot of the modern function and capabilities of a GC. OK you cant operate the machine remotely etc, but you can use all the GC software to do with the output.

Plus those scope cards are not great TBH, i am biased as i have a real scope, but this is honestly a very simple analogue to digital conversion, then simple serial data streaming of it.

The serial to usb cables are so cheap, they also emulate a serial comm port, so alot of specific GC software would then work with the trace. With a scope card you get the data on the screen but then you got a headache with memory depth and area calculation etc.

But its the OP's choice. I will look into it for him, the fact he has to use helium and yet has a very short column.... i think the problem is going to be separation of peaks, again this is where an arduino wins. You can alter sample rates etc as much as you want. most scopes need the vendor software and driver.

The other way dosnt need a driver (apart from the normal usb HID one).

£20 is a rip off! But it is a decent pic micro in it, the 1mV resolution might be an issue, might!

But if the OP was comfortable with programing in C, then actually that is the kind of micro I would go with. But I would use a instrument rail to rail opamp with it.

Its a great chip that pic, but ideally you would want the bare chip and no code on it. Then we get into having to code in C and....

In this case arduino is just the simple cheap option.

I will check......But I dont remember that particular cip having a 12bit ADC, I thought all 18f series had 10 bit.

EDIT
Only had a quick read of the data sheet, AND checked the errata, seems the chip is capable of 12bit ADC.

I will look into it more, it might be a way around. But depends how locked down it is, dont get me wrong, that chip would do a grand job, the question is will the way they have configured it, work with the software we have in mind.

I will get back to you.

[Edited on 31-1-2018 by NEMO-Chemistry]

[Edited on 31-1-2018 by NEMO-Chemistry]
Hazard to Others

Posts: 104
Registered: 16-12-2010
Member Is Offline

Mood: No Mood

I purchased the ardunio uno and a mini, ADC chip ads 1115\1015, a rs232 cable and a non solder breadboard kit. God knows how long shipping will take? If you can think of anything else I should get feel free to tell me and I'll get on it right away. To this point it has cost me only \$19.00 which isn't an issue as I doubt this will be my last adunio project; the more I read about the possibilities the more exciting it all seems. I am reading a book I bought, "Hacking Electronics" by Simon Monk, just began reading hopefully it will give me a little insight into the topic so that once I begin the project I should have at least an elementary understanding of reading circuit diagrams and some Arduino capabilities. Again thanks for all relevant information provided.
wg48
International Hazard

Posts: 722
Registered: 21-11-2015
Member Is Offline

Mood: No Mood

The adavantage of the USB scope is its ready to go without any additional software other than its own. You would be able to view your graphs and store them its different formates. Its also not limited by its own memory if used in logging mode.

Ineffect its a digital pen recorder. The major problem with it is its very limited common mode rejection. As Nemo suggsted it needs a better front end to improve that.

As to how compatible its file formates are with other software you may use I do not know. I guessing that the files could be read by Mathcad, Matlab and Simulink with little if any processing.

NEMO-Chemistry
International Hazard

Posts: 1560
Registered: 29-5-2016
Location: UK
Member Is Offline

Mood: No Mood

 Quote: Originally posted by wg48 The adavantage of the USB scope is its ready to go without any additional software other than its own. You would be able to view your graphs and store them its different formates. Its also not limited by its own memory if used in logging mode. Ineffect its a digital pen recorder. The major problem with it is its very limited common mode rejection. As Nemo suggsted it needs a better front end to improve that. As to how compatible its file formates are with other software you may use I do not know. I guessing that the files could be read by Mathcad, Matlab and Simulink with little if any processing.

I havnt used that software before, but i have used alot of pics. The main issue you are going to face is ref voltage. The picture isnt great but i couldnt see a dedicated voltage reference, so i am assuming the ADC is set to use the internal ref, this is ok normally.

However in this particular case your dealing with mV, when you consider the swing you normally get with any power supply, I start to have doubts.

But the biggest problem is the front end software, What I have in mind is for you to use Total Chrom by elmer perkins, this is industry standard Gas Chromatograph software, done with serial input, it becomes native.

There is no interface or file faffing, inside total chrom is a set up section, you simply pic the com port, the com port is set up by the serial to usb cable, so you dont have to mess with any file conversion.

I do like the pic in the scope, but I think its likely they have set the code in a manner that will frustrate you. But we will keep it as an option.

The big problem is actually your GC, your column is really short, most columns these days are over 30M. The fact you have to use Helium says to me the detector has awful pickup.

So your going to be limited by the machine and its capabilities, but keep in mind the options that you started looking at, these are all expensive and contain features your never going to use.

I wont run through the features of total chrom, but its designed by the second best GC manufacture, and some people who use the best GC company for the GC itself, actually use elmers software to run it.

Dont worry about time to get there, your going to need a half decent multi meter for this project, the opamp you might be able to get as a sample. I would suggest we look at a 100x signal boost, i doubt you will need more.

With the arduino I can alter the code if we need to over sample, so in summary.

The scope thing, I would have jumped at the bare chip in other circumstances, i wouldnt touch the scope version as I dont know what code access if any you will get.

Pics are not beginners chips like an arduino is, the world and his wife,dog can code. Its 32 bit and not 8 bit like the pic. I am talking about the actual chip not the ADC on it.

Personal opinion of mine is, you dont try and use a 12 bit ADC on a 8 bit chip, byt these are personal things.

To give you an idea what the arduino will need to do........

sample voltage X times per mS, output that figure over rs232, job done.

With the scope you need to set up and twiddle, The one thing I might need to do is code in some pre amble to tell total chrom its a GC, this is not hard.

Funny thing is arduino is now owned by microchip who make the pic. It used to be arduino was a toy, and pics were for the serious.

Its no longer true, arduino are now technically past the QDS and into stand alone modules. I hated arduino for a long time, but they have come a long way.

I Have used pics micros and sil labs ARM based ones for a long time, but if this was my project I would go with the duino. You dont need the power of sil labs, pics is too fudge for this, so i opted for simple.

QMR is a problem, but my thinking is the GC has some internal control to damp this, if not this is where home rolled code is needed, we simply slow the sample rate by doing 200 samples per 25mS then average them, out put the average.

That should filter down most noise, keep your expectations reasonable, the GC itself is highly limited. Also keep in mind, once that heating coil goes in oven, its likely game over.

Again I am a HP fan, any other GC is not worthy, so yeah I am biased.
Hazard to Others

Posts: 104
Registered: 16-12-2010
Member Is Offline

Mood: No Mood

I finally found a operations manual for my GC I will try to upload the PDF in hopes that it will be of use to those willing to aid me with constructing a functioning ADC. I am still awaiting parts for the ADC and will make a post when I have everything I need.