Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Software for monitoring 8 digital inputs with Dallas 1-Wire DS2408 on MicroLan- ssds041

Software for monitoring 8 digital inputs with Dallas 1-Wire DS2408 on MicroLan- ssds041:

'via Blog this'

If you have a MicroLan adapter, a DS2408, and digital inputs wired to the DS2408, then this page is for you! (If you don't have those things, you may want to learn a bit about MicroLans!) 

If connecting up hardware "isn't your thing", you can buy a nice 8 channel I/O board with all sorts of worthwhile features from the long established HobbyBoards. 

This page describes and gives you access to a program to monitor the inputs connected to the DS2408. The program draws a graph showing their state, and records the data in a log file.New features have been added to the program since the version shown in the screen shot. 

Screenshot of DS041 

You don't have to pay anything to try the program. However, if you want it to work fully, or if you have been using it long enough to see what it does, then you have to buy a license to continue using it. 

To try the program, download the zip file. Unzip it. You will get several files.... the .exe file (application), a help file, an ini file and a readme text file which mostly only repeats things already on this page. 

You do not have to "install" the program. 
The program will not "do things" to your computer, the registry, etc. 
The program is fully self contained.... you don't need arcane .DLLs, etc, to run it. you do, as with any 1-Wire work, have to have a working 1-Wire environment, hardware and software. 

Click here to download the zip. 

The rest of this page tells you more about the program, in case you weren't willing to download it to see how good it is. 

Not shown in the screenshot: An additional panel where you can have a graph of the values in the two counters of a DS2423 chip, and of temperatures (2) from DS1820 or DS18B20 chips. (Or from one of each.) 

Look again at the screenshot, showing a similar program in action.... 

Don't worry too much about all the options... Concentrate on the graph. 

"Now" is always at the right hand edge. As time passes, the display scrolls to the left. (The green line is gradually lost.) 

The rows can be re-labeled just by editing the ini file (and re-running the program.) The screenshot you see is real data taken from a home heating system. Blue regions represent the heat being off; red shows the heat on. The heat has not been on in the office; in "KBD" it has been switching on briefly about twice an hour. The vertical blue bar marks midnight; the vertical green bars mark 2am, 4am, 6am, etc. The program was started at about 11am the day before the plot shown, and the screenshot was saved at about 7am. 

Note that in almost every case, the red bars do not extend across the whole vertical width of the bar they are part of. When the red bar extends half way across the bar, it is saying that the heat was on for about half the time represented by that narrow sliver of the bar. Only in the Kitchen and Living Room was the heat on for almost all of any measuring period, for any time covering the whole of a column of a bar. 

DS041 records the data as it is read. If the program is stopped, and later restarted, old data is re-plotted on the graph. The program which generated the screenshot is not capable of recording or re-plotting the data. The diagonal green line shows the portion of the graph which represents time before the program was started. If the screenshot were taken of DS041, and if the program had been running for about 36 hours, the full width of the graph would show blue bars with red bits in them. If the program had been started, say, 18 hours ago, the green diagonal line would still be present, behind the bars, and ending about half way across the graph. 

You can change, independently, how often the inputs are tested, and how often the graph scrolls. Thus a variety of requirements can be served. 

I'm afraid the program is not "hub friendly"... it will not "see" chips downstream of a hub unless you close the relevant switch "by hand". 

You can usually see the output from a DS041 in operation by visiting one of my FarWatch installations, a system letting users monitor premises from afar. 

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