View Full Version : Purchased 3-axis looking to get data

01-21-2009, 01:29 PM

Newbie here. Just purchased a 3-axis and ran the Phidget program and saw the data.
Can anyone direct me to a simple Java or VB program (or any program) that will record the data?

Thank you.

01-21-2009, 01:54 PM
How is it being delivered? Over a serial port? What does it look like? What is a 3-Axis? Which operating system?

01-21-2009, 01:57 PM
Sorry, using the USB ready phidget 1059 device on vista.
Any advice is appreciated.

01-21-2009, 02:03 PM
Would that be the three axis accelerometer or the three axis compass?

01-21-2009, 02:07 PM
I'm going to assume the Accelerometer. I assume that it doesn't use true USB, instead it uses an FTDI style glue logic. If that's the case then just open your serial port with a terminal.

01-21-2009, 02:36 PM
I actually purchased an accelerometer just like this from trossen:
It came with the USB plug.

when you say open a terminal do you mean open a windows terminal?
I downloaded Eltima terminal software and only had access to a com port and TCP (modem)
usb was not an option.
Thank you

01-21-2009, 02:44 PM
I'm talking about something like hyper terminal. When you connect the phidgets board to your computer does windows detect a serial port? You can check this by looking under "Ports (COM and LPT)" in the device manager. If so then you can just treat the data like anything coming down a serial port. This is mostly conjecture since I don't have a phidgets board.

01-21-2009, 02:52 PM
Windows terminal will work, I recommend RealTerm - http://realterm.sourceforge.net/

It has great logging - even time date stamping and hex logging.

01-21-2009, 02:52 PM
I see.
Looks like Vista's device manager recognizes it as a "USB Human Interface Device."
No options to get in like a terminal. Any thoughts?

**thanks andren, will attempt.

01-21-2009, 02:56 PM
yikes, vista doesn't like Realterm...god I hate vista.
Apparently I need a driver that disguises the USB as a serial port.

01-21-2009, 03:25 PM
Did you run it with admin privs.?

I can't be of much help, I'm afraid. I won't let Vista near any machine I own longer than it takes to yank the old drive out, throw it in the safe (for warranty purposes), and throw a new drive in formated with XP. ;)

01-21-2009, 03:28 PM
forgive my ignorant question but did you download the phidget library file from the website for your device ?

Have you previously installed the Phidget library? If so, you can skip this step.
To install the library go to www.phidgets.com (http://www.phidgets.com) >> Downloads >> Release.
Select the PHIDGET.msi file.
A dialog box will appear asking if you would like to open the file or save it to your computer. You
can do either, but if you are unsure just select "Open" and follow the instructions.
Do you want to update a previously installed Phidget library? If so, you must remove the old
library when prompted to do so.

01-21-2009, 06:28 PM
I did install the MSI software and the motion graph displays the axis data.
But there is no option for collecting the raw data. Any advice besides terminal emulation?

01-21-2009, 06:40 PM
The sample code in this document (http://www.phidgets.com/documentation/Phidgets/1053.pdf) looks pretty easy to understand. Compile/link/install against the Phidgets API. It's a console application, so you can simple run it and redirect its output to a text file, like

myaccelerometerprogram.exe > outputfromaccelerometer.txt

01-21-2009, 06:55 PM
Oh great, thanks for taking the time to assist. I will work on it.
Also, I was very impressed with the LIDAR system - good work.

01-22-2009, 04:03 PM
Just found an excel macro called "accelerometer datalogger" on the phidget download site under VBA section...no need for programing, just so folks know who need this simple function :tongue:
(one would think this would be mentioned in the little info sheet that comes with it)

01-22-2009, 04:11 PM
Typically when I need to log data I will write a little program that receives the data and spits out the raw values separated by commas into a raw text file with a "csv" extension. This can be easily imported into excel or Open Office. Make sure you end each data set with a newline ("\n") so Excel knows when to end the row.

If you have more than 65536 data points then it won't fit into excel. I have been successful taking that data and piping it through GnuPlot to generate the needed graphs.

01-22-2009, 04:14 PM
Right, the next hurdle Im sure...looks like this macro only accepts 1000 data points.
Good opportunity to wade into VBA since Excel has the editor built in I guess.
Thanks for the heads up and the gnuplot tip.

btw do you prefer gnuplots over excel plots?

01-22-2009, 05:03 PM
It depends. If I'm just plotting raw data without any math involved then I'll use Gnuplot. If I need to easily manipulate the data and tweak it on the fly then Excel is a bit better.

Edit: I typically only use Gnuplot when I have a lot of data to look at. It makes it much easier to script it out than to import all of the data sets in excel

01-22-2009, 05:59 PM
Just in case some folks want to see what the data looks like in this excel macro I am including a picture. This is good stuff for scientists who have no programming expertise to get this data. You can specify the recording rate in the column.