Windmill Software updates ComDebug software

September 102013
Windmill Software updates ComDebug software

September 10, 2013 - Windmill Software updates ComDebug, the free serial communication, data logging and trouble-shooting software.

The improvements allow users to:

  • Log data from sensors that send data as a web page
  • Collect data as 4-byte (32-bit) integers, 4-byte words (double words), ASCII characters, hexadecimal, signed bytes, bytes, bits, 4-byte floating point or 4-byte reverse floating point
  • Enter custom commands to extract data or output control messages
  • Easily identify communication problems
  • Communicate more easily with TCP/IP, Modbus, RS-485, RS-422 and RS-232 measurement devices

The custom commands allow ComDebug to extract data even if it is an unusual format. For example, the start of a message from a measuring device might be indicated by only part of a byte whilst the rest of the byte carries data. By entering a custom command, ComDebug can log the just data and ignore the rest. Users can enter custom commands themselves, or Windmill Software is happy to set up a custom command for any instrument.

Another improvement makes it easier to use ComDebug with some Modbus devices. Previously ComDebug read data as 2-byte words. This was inconvenient when the device sent 4-byte words. One user had to open the log file in Excel, concatenate the two hex strings then convert the hex to decimal. Do-able but laborious. Windmill Software have taken notice of his "gotta be an easier way???" plea and added options to collect data as 4-byte words or 32-bit integers.

The software also now has a trouble-shooting screen, so users can see exactly what is being sent to and received from instruments, and identify where any problems may be occurring. The screen shows the outcome of each data reading, the messages sent and received, the data extraction procedure and result, and the time in hundredths of a second since data logging started.

ComDebug communicates with a vast range of instruments over TCP/IP, Modbus, RS-485, RS-422 and RS-232.  These include dial gauges, digital indicators, digital thermometers, force gauges, I2C devices, load meters, multimeters, PIC microcontrollers, plcs, pressure transmitters and power analysers, from manufacturers like Fluke, Garmin, Honeywell, Mettler Toledo, Motorola, Omron, Rockwell Automation, Siemens and Texas Instruments.