DATAQ Instruments Application Notes and News

Common DI-245 Installation Problems and Resolutions

On This Page

Symptoms

Cause

Resolution

Verify that you’re installing the correct software

Make sure that the device drivers are properly installed

Make sure that your DI-245 is installed on one of the first 32 COM ports

Follow the procedure for installing the DI-245 on a Windows XP machine

Update the DI-245 firmware

Verify that previously installed hardware/software does not conflict with WinDaq

Create a Debug710.log file

Applies To

Symptoms

After installing WinDaq for your DI-245 you may encounter one of the following error messages/issues:
• “No DATAQ Instruments Devices Found”
• “Error Communicating with the Device”
• The device that you are installing is not listed in the DATAQ Instruments Hardware Manager
• Missing Hardware ID

Cause

These error messages/issues could result from one or more of the following:
• You’ve installed the wrong software
• The device drivers were not installed properly
• The DI-245 is installed on an unsupported COM port
• You’re installing the DI-245 on a Windows XP machine
• Your DI-245 has outdated firmware
• A conflict with previously installed hardware/software

Resolution

To resolve these issues, follow the steps below.

 

Verify that you’re installing the correct software

You can download the installation executable (dataq_starterkits.exe) for your DI-245 here.

 

Make sure that the device drivers are properly installed

If the instrument is plugged into the PC before the installation is complete, or if sufficient time isn’t allowed for the driver to install once the unit is plugged into the PC, the driver may not install properly.

Ensure that your DI-245 is listed in the Windows Device Manager under ‘Ports (COM & LPT)’ and ‘Universal Serial Bus controllers’.

To do so:

  1. If it isn’t already, connect the DI-245 to your PC.
  2. In the Windows Control Panel select ‘Hardware and Sound’ and choose ‘Device Manager’ from the ‘Devices and Printers’ group.Installation Problems and Resolutions
  3. Your DI-245 USB device should be listed in the Windows Device Manager under ‘Ports (COM & LPT)’ and ‘Universal Serial Bus controllers’.Installation Problems and Resolutions
  4. If your DI-245 is listed in the Windows Device Manager under ‘Ports (COM & LPT)’ or ‘Universal Serial Bus controllers’, but not both, right-click on the DATAQ DI-245 under ‘Ports.Installation Problems and Resolutions

The DI-245 may also appear as ‘Other Devices’ or an ‘Unsupported Device’. If so:

  1. Right-click on the ‘Unknown device’ and choose ‘Uninstall’.
  2. Unplug your DI-145, DI-149 or DI-155, and plug it back in again.
  3. Wait a minute or two for Windows to locate and install the device driver.

Does the DI-245 now appear under both ‘Ports (COM & LPT)’ and ‘Universal Serial Bus controllers’? If not proceed to the next step.

 

Make sure that your DI-245 is installed on one of the first 32 COM ports

DLLs are installed for the first 32 COM ports only.

To determine the COM port number that your device is installed on (and change it if necessary):

  1. If it isn’t already, connect the DI-245 to your PC.
  2. In the Windows Control Panel select ‘Hardware and Sound’ and choose ‘Device Manager’ from the ‘Devices and Printers’ group.Installation Problems and Resolutions
  3. Your DI-245 should be listed in the Windows Device Manager under ‘Ports (COM & LPT)’ on one of the first 32 COM ports.Installation Problems and Resolutions
  4. Assuming that the device is installed on an unsupported COM port:
  1. Right-click on ‘DATAQ DI245 (COMxx)’ and choose ‘Properties’Installation Problems and Resolutions
  2. Click the ‘Port Settings’ tab and click the ‘Advanced’ buttonInstallation Problems and Resolutions
  3. Click the ‘COM Port Number’ pull-down menu and choose a COM port between 3 and 32.Installation Problems and Resolutions

Run the DATAQ Instruments Hardware Manager. Does the DI-245 show up with a Status of ‘Available’? If so, run WinDaq. If not proceed to the next step.

 

Follow the procedure for installing the DI-245 on a Windows XP machine

Customers who still use Windows XP and who want to deploy the DI-245 on that platform can use the following procedure to do so. Installation is the same as for Windows 7 or 8, except that drivers need to be downloaded and installed separately. To do so:

  1. Download DI-245 software from run.dataq.com.
  2. Install the software, which installs everything you need to use the DI-245 except drivers.
  3. When you connect the DI-245, your computer will complain that DI-245 drivers do not exist.
  4. Download a ZIP file containing drivers from this link, and unzip the contents to a folder in a known location on the target XP PC.
  5. Manually install the drivers from the Windows Device Manager. If you aren’t sure how this is done, this guide provides a step-by-step procedure. 
  6. Do not be alarmed by the dialog box stating that a driver may harm your PC. Simply click CONTINUE ANYWAY.
  7. PLEASE NOTE that you need to install two drivers, executing steps 5 & 6 twice, one for the USB port and another for the virtual COM port that the DI-245 hooks to communicate with the PC. The driver file that you downloaded contains both.

Run the DATAQ Instruments Hardware Manager. Are you able to run WinDaq? If not proceed to the next step.

 

Update the DI-245 firmware

Customers who purchased a DI-245 prior to December 2014 may encounter a ‘Missing Hardware ID’ error. These units require a firmware update.

To update the firmware:

Download this archive:
www.dataq.com/resources/ftprog%20245.zip

1. Ensure the starter kit software has already been installed. (.Net and drivers are installed by this.)
2. Unzip the archive to some location.
3. Connect your DI-245.
4. Execute the FT_Prog.exe executable.
5. Ensure the EEPROM tab is selected (default).
6. Press the F5 key to scan for devices. (Only one should show up; with a Product Description of “DI-245″.)
7. Right-click the device and select “Apply Template -> From File” and browse for the template file “DI245 with SN.xml”.
8. Use Ctrl-P to program the device; click Program.
9. Close the programmer utility and unplug/re-plug the DI-245 with a 3 second pause between actions. (Windows will re-associate the drivers with the device.)

 

Verify that previously installed hardware/software does not conflict with WinDaq

It is possible that previously installed hardware/software (printers, digital cameras, etc.) conflicts with the WinDaq installation. To reduce the likelihood of such a conflict disable all programs in your start-up menu.

To do so:

  1. Right-click on the Windows button (click the Start button on a Windows 7 machine) and choose ‘Run’.Installation Problems and Resolutions
  2. Type MSCONFIG in the run window and click the “OK” button.Installation Problems and Resolutions
  3. From the ‘System Configuration Utility’, select the ‘Startup’ tab.
  4. Disable any questionable items (you can re-enable them later).

Run the WinDaq installation program. Did WinDaq install properly? If so there is another application installed on your PC that conflicts with the WinDaq installation. This is not a WinDaq Installation issue, but an issue with the ill-behaved application. Identifying the responsible application is a process of elimination. Once isolated, contact the author of the conflicting application for additional support.

If you continue to experience WinDaq installation problems proceed to the next step.

 

Create a Debug710.log file

The Debug710.log file will provide information pertinent to your installation issue. The support staff at DATAQ Instruments will review the debug710.log file and reply via phone or email with a recommendation.

To create and submit a debug710.log file:

  1. Right-click on the shortcut that you use to run the DATAQ Instruments Hardware Manager and select ‘Properties’.
  1. Add the word debug to the end of the “Target:” line.Installation Problems and Resolutions
  2. Run the DATAQ Instruments Hardware Manager. This will generate a debug710.log file.
  3. Click here to create a support ticket and submit you debug710.log file.

 

Applies To

DI-245

 

back to the top

 

 

 

Common DI-145, DI-149 and DI-155 Installation Issues and Resolutions

On This Page 

Symptoms

Cause

Resolution

Verify that you’re operating system is Windows 7 or later

Verify that you’re installing the correct software

Make sure that the device driver is properly installed

Make sure that your DI-145, DI-149 or DI-155 is installed on one of the first 32 COM ports

Verify that previously installed hardware/software does not conflict with WinDaq

Create a Debug710.log file

Applies To

 

Symptoms

After installing WinDaq for a DI-145, DI-149 or DI-155 device you may encounter one of the following error messages/issues:

  • “No DATAQ Instruments Devices Found”
  • “Error Communicating with the Device”
  • The device that you are installing is not listed in the DATAQ Instruments Hardware Manager

 

Cause 

These error messages/issues could result from one or more of the following:

  • An operating system that is not supported
  • You’ve installed the wrong software
  • The device driver is not installed, or is installed on an unsupported COM port
  • A conflict with previously installed hardware/software

 

Resolution

To resolve these issues, follow the steps below.

 

Verify that you’re operating system is Windows 7 or later

Windows 7 and later are the only Windows operating systems supported. While these devices may install successfully under Windows XP, support for this operating system ended on April 8th, 2014.

Run the WinDaq installation program. Did WinDaq install properly? If not proceed to the next step.

 

Verify that you’re installing the correct software

You can download the installation executable (dataq_starterkits.exe) for your DI-145, DI-149 or DI-155 series instrument here.

 

Make sure that the device driver is properly installed

If the instrument is plugged into the PC before the installation is complete, or if sufficient time isn’t allowed for the driver to install once the unit is plugged into the PC, the driver may not install properly.

Ensure that your DI-145, 149 or DI-155 is listed in the Windows Device Manager under ‘Ports (COM & LPT)’.

To do so:

  1. If it isn’t already, connect the DI-145, DI-149 or DI-155 device to your PC.
  2. In the Windows Control Panel select ‘Hardware and Sound’ and choose ‘Device Manager’ from the ‘Devices and Printers’ group.
  3. Installation Issues and ResolutionsYour DI-145, DI-149 or DI-155 USB device should be listed in the Windows Device Manager under ‘Ports (COM & LPT)’.
  4. Installation Issues and ResolutionsIf your DI-145, DI-149 or DI-155 USB is not listed in the Windows Device Manager under ‘Ports (COM & LPT)’, it may appear under ‘Other devices’ as an ‘Unknown device’.

Installation Issues and Resolutions

          If the device shows up under ‘Other Devices’ as an ‘Unsupported Device’:

  1. Right-click on the ‘Unknown device’ and choose ‘Uninstall’.
  2. Unplug your DI-145, DI-149 or DI-155, and plug it back in again.
  3. Wait a minute or two for Windows to locate and install the device driver.

Run the WinDaq installation program. Did WinDaq install properly? If not proceed to the next step.

 

Make sure that your DI-145, DI-149 or DI-155 is installed on one of the first 32 COM ports

DLLs are installed for the first 32 COM ports only.

To determine the COM port number that your device is installed on (and change it if necessary):

  1. If it isn’t already, connect the DI-145, DI-149 or DI-155 device to your PC.
  2. In the Windows Control Panel select ‘Hardware and Sound’ and choose ‘Device Manager’ from the ‘Devices and Printers’ group.
  3. Installation Issues and ResolutionsYour DI-145, DI-149 or DI-155 USB device should be listed in the Windows Device Manager under ‘Ports (COM & LPT)’.
  4. Installation Issues and ResolutionsAssuming that the device is installed on an unsupported COM portRight-click on the ‘DATAQ DI-1xx (COMxx)’ and choose ‘Properties’:

1. Right-click on the ‘DATAQ DI-1xx (COMxx)’ and choose ‘Properties’

Installation Issues and Resolutions2. Click the ‘Port Settings’ tab and click the ‘Advanced’ button

Installation Issues and Resolutions

3. Click the ‘COM Port Number’ pull-down menu and choose a COM port between 3 and 32.

Installation Issues and Resolutions

Run the WinDaq installation program. Did WinDaq install properly? If not proceed to the next step.

 

Verify that previously installed hardware/software does not conflict with WinDaq

It is possible that previously installed hardware/software (printers, digital cameras, etc.) conflicts with the WinDaq installation. To reduce the likelihood of such a conflict disable all programs in your start-up menu.

To do so:

  1. Right-click on the Windows button (click the Start button on a Windows 7 machine) and choose ‘Run’

Installation Issues and Resolutions

 

2. Type MSCONFIG in the run window and click the “OK” button.

Installation Issues and Resolutions

 

3. From the ‘System Configuration Utility’, select the ‘Startup’ tab.

4. Disable any questionable items (you can re-enable them later).

Run the WinDaq installation program. Did WinDaq install properly? If so there is another application installed on your PC that conflicts with the WinDaq installation. This is not a WinDaq Installation issue, but an issue with the ill-behaved application. Identifying the responsible application is a process of elimination. Once isolated, contact the author of the conflicting application for additional support.

If you continue to experience WinDaq installation problems proceed to the next step.

 

Create a Debug710.log file

The Debug710.log file will provide information pertinent to your installation issue. The support staff at DATAQ Instruments will review the debug710.log file and reply via phone or email with a recommendation.

To create and submit a debug710.log file:

  1. Right-click on the shortcut that you use to run the DATAQ Instruments Hardware Manager and select ‘Properties’
  1. Add the word debug to the end of the “Target:” line.

Installation Issues and Resolutions

3. Run the DATAQ Instruments Hardware Manager. This will generate a debug710.log file in the directory where WinDaq is installed.

4. Click here to create a support ticket and submit you debug710.log file.

 

Applies To

DI-145, DI-149 and DI-155 USB products.

 

back to the top

 

 

Dual-Channel Wireless Temperature Data Loggers

DATAQ Instruments is pleased to introduce the EL-WIFI-DTC and EL-WIFI-DTP+. These dual-channel wireless (802.11b compliant) temperature data loggers are capable of buffering over 1,000,000 temperature readings and transmitting that data to a PC via a WiFi router.

dual-channel temperature data loggers

The EL-WIFI-DTC can acquire temperature from -270 to 1300°C (-454 to 2372°F) using J, K, N or T-type thermocouples. Two 1.5 meter K-type thermocouple probes are included.

The EL-WIFI-DTP+ can acquire temperature from -40 to 125°C (-40 to 257°F), with an accuracy of ±0.2°C, using thermistor probes. Two 3 meter thermistor probes are included with the logger.

Both loggers include downloadable EasyLog WiFi Sensor software, allowing you to configure alarms, choose a temperature scale (C or F) and set sample & transmit intervals.

dual-channel temperature data loggers

In addition to setup and configuration, EasyLog WiFi Sensor software allows you to view and analyze  recorded data using a built in graph utility, and save that data in Microsoft Excel format with a single mouse click.

dual-channel temperature data loggers

Additional Reading:

Using Intelligent Oversampling to Extract Important Information

Oversampling is a feature whereby a data acquisition instrument can sample data at a faster rate than what is being reported in the software. Intelligent Oversampling allows the instrument to evaluate the data that isn’t being reported, and yield just the information you’re looking for (average, maximum, minimum, the DC equivalent or frequency, for example).

Our latest YouTube playlist demonstrates how intelligent oversampling works, and shows you how it is used in conjunction with WinDaq data acquisition software to derive average, minimum, maximum, RMS and Frequency data.

Read More On Intelligent Oversampling:

Intelligent Oversampling Enhances Data Acquisition

Intelligent Oversampling Methods Add Measurement Flexibility

 

Starter Kit Helps Win Science Fair Competition

DATAQ Instruments makes data acquisition hardware and software donations from time to time to young people who demonstrate the need for a particular measurement that we can satisfy. Examples are measurements in school projects, science fairs, and even Ph.D theses. We recently learned that two high school students used WinDaq high-speed software that we donated with one of our data acquisition starter kits to win a regional competition. In the words of their sponsor:

Three years ago your company sponsored our science fair project by supplying a software upgrade allowing high speed data acquisition.   Thank You.

science fair 2It took longer than I expected but the project was completed and entered into the 2015 Central Sound Regional Science Fair in Washington State.  The project won the Power and Transpiration Division and was one of seven finalists to compete for two spots to present at the National Science Fair in PA.  They also won the award for using metric units.

The project used a Proney Brake to measure the power curve of a wind turbine blade set.   The DAQ measured two linear hall effect sensor voltage that measured shaft torque and rotor speed.  From this they calculated wind turbine power as a function of rotor speed.

Enclosed is a picture of the students.  From left to right is Kyle and Kevin, both in 10 grade. Again Thank you and thanks for supporting the science fair community.

Our thanks to Kyle and Kevin for choosing DATAQ Instruments products for their project, and our heartiest congratulations for using them with such success.

EL-USB Battery Issues

We’ve noticed an uptick in the number of customers reporting that the batteries included with their EL-USB series data loggers are ‘dead on arrival’.

The battery included with most EL-USB series loggers is a 3.6V (½AA cell) lithium metal battery.

EL-USB Battery Issues

The problem can occur when a battery is unused for extended periods of time, like during extended transit times from the manufacturer to the end user for a new battery, or left unused at a customer site. In this situation, Lithium batteries can form a non-conductive internal layer; also known as a “passivation” layer.  This is technically a feature of the battery that prevents self-discharge, allowing for longer shelf life. An unfortunate side effect, is a drop in voltage when the battery is initially placed in your EL-USB series logger. The voltage drop can easily be mistaken for a dead battery.

You can remove the passivation layer in one of two ways. The first is to place the battery in your EL-USB series data logger and leave the logger connected to a PC for approximately 30 seconds. After 30 seconds has passed, remove and re-install the battery, resetting the data logger. The overall battery life is not affected.

A second, more immediate method is to momentarily short the battery, positive to negative. This can be done using a wire, or even a paper clip. It only takes a second to clear the passivation layer.

EL-USB Battery Issues

Sub-zero Thermocouple Measurements

Sub-zero thermocouple measurements

Figure 1 — Model DI-245 measurement ranges by thermocouple type.

“One of the best kept secrets in the instrumentation world is that sub-zero thermocouple measurements require thermocouples that are specially qualified for that application.”

Looking at the specs of a typical thermocouple data acquisition system might be a little misleading when it comes to interpreting temperature measurement capability. For example Figure 1 is a snap-shot of the thermocouple  measurement range for our model DI-245 voltage, mV, and thermocouple data acquisition system taken directly from the product’s data sheet. If you believe that measurements of sub-zero temperatures can be accomplished using almost any thermocouple type as implied by the table, you can be forgiven. One of the best kept secrets in the instrumentation world is that sub-zero thermocouple measurements require thermocouples that are specially qualified for that application.

The Sub-zero Thermocouple Measurement Problem

By “sub-zero” I mean any temperature measurement that is less 0 °C. It is generally not possible for thermocouple manufacturers to provide alloys that operate both above and below zero in the same thermocouple wire. And since the vast majority of thermocouple applications are for measurements above zero, that’s where the bulk of thermocouples are guaranteed to operate. Thermocouples for the substantially fewer sub-zero applications must be ordered specifically for that purpose. So, although instruments are designed to make the sub-zero measurements the weak link is the thermocouple itself, especially if it has not been specifically designed for such use. Unfortunately, the danger is that an unqualified thermocouple gives the appearance of working below zero but is actually generating large measurement errors. Likewise, a thermocouple that is qualified for sub-zero work may generate large errors above zero. So, if you make measurements both above and below zero, be sure to have a procedure in place that identifies one thermocouple qualification from the other.

Thermocouple Types for Sub-zero Work

Should you need to perform sub-zero work, generally certified type E and T thermocouples are used in that application. Other thermocouple types exhibit poor characteristics, like becoming brittle, succumbing to corrosion, or generating an exceedingly low EMF at cryogenic temperatures. 

Any reputable thermocouple supplier should be able to provide pricing and availability for thermocouples that are certified for sub-zero work. If that’s what you need, be sure to convey so at the time of your order to ensure accurate measurements using our products or anyone else’s.

Additional Reading:

How To Power Multiple 4-20 mA Sensors

We’re often asked how to power multiple 4-20 mA sensors using a single power supply. While it is possible to do this, the usual cautions apply regarding ground loops and other subtleties. Readers who are new to measurements using sensors with 4-20 mA process current outputs should refer to our earlier article that explains basic concepts and configurations.

Multiple 4-20 mA Sensors, One Power Supply

So, you have multiple 2-wire sensors with 4-20 mA outputs and only one power supply. How can you make this work? Use this step-by-step process:

  1. Take an inventory of the minimum and maximum power supply requirements for each sensor. Choose the highest of the minimum and lowest of the maximum values of all sensors. Then pick a power supply voltage that is roughly half way between these two figures. For example, if the highest of the minimum power supply voltage for five sensors  is 10 V, and lowest of the maximum power supply voltage is 20 V, pick a power supply voltage of about 15 V. The actual value isn’t critical provided that you give yourself breathing room of a couple of volts or so from the two extremes.
  2. Multiply the number of 4-20 mA sensors to be powered by 0.02 and add 20%. This is the maximum current that the power supply is required to deliver in amperes. Again for five sensors, this value is 5 × 0.02 × 1.2 = .12 Adc, or 120 mA.
  3. Unless the instrument used to make the measurement has built-in shunts, you’ll need to add these externally. There are correct and incorrect placements depending upon the instrument, so refer to our earlier article here for complete information.
  4. Connect your sensors, power supply, and shunts (if required) as shown in Figure 1, where:
    • “E” represents the power supply
    • “R” is the shunt resistor. Replace “R” with an open circuit if the instrument has built-in shunt resistors.
    • “V” is the signal connected to the instrument.

That’s all there is to it. Using these guidelines there is no practical limit to the number of 4-20 mA sensors that can be powered by a single power supply, saving space and money.

Schematic of two or more 2-wire 4-20 mA sensors powered by a single power supply.

Figure 1 — Schematic of two or more 2-wire 4-20 mA sensors powered by a single power supply. (click to enlarge)

Active USB Extension Cables Limit Data Loss

Perhaps you have an application that requires your USB-connected data acquisition system to be positioned further from the PC than the 2 to 5 meter maximum USB cable length specification. The USB Active extension cable allows you to position your USB-connected data logger up to 15 meters (almost 50 feet) from the PC.

Active USB Extension Cable

As signals travels through a USB cable, they gradually lose strength, or attenuate. The further the signal travels, the weaker it gets. The end result is data loss. The USB Active extension cable prevents data loss by buffering data entering and exiting the cable. With data transfer rates up to 480 Mbps and no external power required the Active USB extension cable supports both high speed and low speed devices.

Active USB Extension Cable

Using a DATAQ Instruments DI-155 data acquisition starter kit, connected via a 10-meter (almost 33 feet) USB Active extension cable, we were able to record data at sample rates up to 10 kHz, gap free.

Changes to the Built-in Temperature Alert Server

There have been some changes to the server, built into the Temperature Alert TM-WIFI350 LAN-based temperature and humidity data logger. In the past, when typing the IP address of your TM-WIFI logger into a web browser, you were directed to ‘Developer Mode’. In Developer Mode you can set alarms, change connection parameters and enter email notification information. Data is stored locally in developer mode.

Temperature Alert server mode

The most recent version of the Temperature Alert server now directs you to ‘Sensor Cloud Mode’, where you’ll be forced to create a free Temperature Alert cloud account. In Sensor Cloud Mode, data is stored to the Temperature Alert Sensor cloud, where it can be accessed from any PC with an Internet connection. As with Developer Mode, Sensor Cloud Mode allows you to set alarms, view real-time data and enter a single email address where alert notifications can be sent. For a fee, you can send alerts to multiple email addresses, and receive periodic reports.

To avoid having to create an account, click the ‘Switch To Developer Mode’ link, located in the lower right-hand corner of the screen.

Temperature Alert server mode

Additional Reading:

Flood Sensor for Temperature Alert

Additional Features for the Temperature Alert LAN-based Temperature and Humidity Data Logger