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microprofiling:m_profiler_howto

Measurements of microprofiles using m-Profiler

m-Profiler is a standalone Win32 application for microprofile measurements, allowing a complete control of the sensor positioning and signal acquisition (see screenshots)

Installation instructions

are written here.

How to measure with m-Profiler

  1. Start LINPOS-server and establish communication with the motor (Learn more).
  2. Start m-Profiler.
  3. Click on the “Motor” icon and connect to the LINPOS-server.
    • Use IP address 127.0.0.1 if the LINPOS-server is running on the same PC as m-Profiler, or use the PC’s IP address if the PC is different and they are both connected via LAN. Use the TCP/IP port number that is used by the LINPOS-server.
    • Click “Accept” to establish communication.
    • After this the motor position should be displayed in the lower-right corner of m-Profiler.
  4. Click on the “DAQ-device” icon (red-yellow) and connect to the DAQ device.
    • Select type of the device (check on the device) and its ID, which is the DevX number that you noted in MAX (Learn more about DAQ device installation).
    • Set sampling frequency to 10000, avg. to 2000
    • Select to which channels your sensors are connected, select the sensor names
    • Select the digital channel to which you may have connected a digitally controllable device
    • Click “Accept”. This will enable you to read analog signal from the selected channels and set the selected digital output to high (1) or low (0) using the bulb icon.
  5. Click on the DAQ-display icon (red-blue graph) to open a window where readings from each analog channel can be displayed and recorded.
    • Specify the time interval in which the readings will be displayed/recorded
    • Check the “Record data” checkbox if you want to record the data in selected channels, specify the output filename by clicking on the “Open file” icon. Do not type the filename in the text field, as you may make a typo mistake, which could result in data loss if the directory does not exist.
    • Check channels which you want to have displayed/recorded in the “Active channels” listbox.
    • Highlight a channel (by clicking on it, but not un-checking it!) whose readings you want to have displayed in the top-right corner of the graph.
    • Click on the “Start” button to start display/recording of the signal in all selected channels.
    • By double-clicking on the graph, you can adjust the y-scale. You can have up to 4 options of fixed scales, among which you can alternate by pressing Ctrl+1 – Ctrl+4. You can also specify the auto-scale range. This is useful for automatic scaling of the y-axis to a particular sensor signal. Use Ctrl+A to auto-scale the graph.
    • When recording, you can, at any time, write a text in the comments text field, and click on the diskette icon (or press F9) to write this comment into the specified output file as lines preceded by a hash (#) character.
    • Note that the output filename’s suffix is initially DAT, and automatically changes to 0, 1, 2, …, after a certain number of readings (~5000) have been recorded. This is a safety feature to avoid possible corruption or loss of the entire data-set by some unforeseen forces.
  6. When measuring profiles, do not close the “DAQ-display” window. It is useful to see whether your signal has indeed reached a steady state at each depth, which it should. It is also handy to type any comments there during the measurement, like you would into a lab-book. It is always useful to record sensor readings when measuring profiles.
  7. Specify output filename for the micro-profile data (this will be an *.MPR file, MPR=micro-profile). Again, do not type it into the text field but use the diskette icon instead.
  8. Specify the measurement and profile settings:
    • Number of readings at each depth
    • Pause between readings at each depth
    • Resting time at each depth before the readings are recorded
    • Number of profiles to be measured
    • Pause between profiles
    • Check “automatic profiling” if you want to measure profiles. If this is un-checked, the motor will not move and the measurements will be done at the current depth (useful for calibration).
    • Specify the depth positions for the profiling. Click on the help icon to learn about their meaning.
    • Click “update” to update all settings.
    • Type a comment in the comment field, giving some simple description to the measurement you are just about to start (this may serve as a lab-book note).
  9. Click on the “tooth-wheel” button to start the measurement.
    • Sound effects for motor arrival events are very useful. You can be sure that the measurement is progressing smoothly by hearing the “blobs”.
    • Sound effect at the end of the measurement is also very useful. You can hear that your measurement has just finished even from the room next door!
    • You can type comments that will be written into the MPR file anytime during the measurement, and click on the diskette icon to record them.
    • You can change any of the measurement settings during the measurement by clicking on the up/down buttons or by typing the new value into the relevant field. Press “update” to update the settings.
    • You can stop the measurement (i.e., stop the motor movement + data recording) any time by clicking on the “de Beer” button (the one with a crossed out exclamation mark).
    • You can change the scale of the graph by double clicking on it and setting the scale range. Again, you have up to 4 options of fixed scales, changeable by Ctrl+1 – Ctrl+4.
  10. The measured data is recorded in the following format.

Important notes

  1. The profiles are stored in an *.mpr (micro-profile) file, the time-series in a *.dat file. When a certain number of lines (~5000) have been reached in the *.dat file, its extension is automatically changed to 0, then 1, then 2, etc.
  2. Make sure that the Regional settings on your system are set as follows: decimal separator: . (dot), number separator: , (comma, i.e., the number should read as 12,345.78), date format: dd/MM/YYYY, date separator: / (slash), time format: hh:mm:ss (i.e., no AM or PM, the date/time should read as 01/04/2008 09:00:00). This is important for compatibility reasons, particularly when using mprplotter to view and analyse output files generated by m-Profiler.
  3. Keep the number of channels recorded in the output files the same in each created output file. This will make it consistent and thus much easier to handle later with the programs used for data analysis (mprplotter).
  4. Write good notes into the provided text field at the beginning of every measurement. This will make your life easier when looking at all the profiles much later.
  5. If something doesn’t seem to work, close all the programs, start them again and proceed according to the steps in this manual. Also make sure you have the latest version of the programs installed, as the problem that you are facing may have been fixed already (see Keeping up-to-date).
  6. Do not get frustrated if something does not work. The programs were written by a human being, and are operated by a human being (you), and they do what they are programmed or “told” to do.
  7. The program allows you to do practically everything that you may find useful when measuring profiles. If you feel like having another useful feature added to the program, let us know by email.

m-Profiler as server

Additionally to the interactive control of the microprofile measurements through m-profiler's GUI, m-Profiler has also server capabilities which allow it to be controlled remotely using a set of ASCII commands sent to it via TCP/IP protocol. This control can be done, e.g., with G-client.

  1. Click on the server icon, set the TCP/IP port (e.g., 5550), and start the server.
  2. Use the following commands to control m-Profiler server:

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microprofiling/m_profiler_howto.txt · Last modified: 2013/09/10 11:19 by lpolerec

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