British company Windmill Software has announced the Windmill 7 data acquisition software suite for Windows 7, Vista and XP. The software lets users read and control up to 10 laboratory instruments over RS232, RS422, RS485 and Modbus. It comprises fully-featured applications to chart and log data, control outputs, and send data directly to other programs like Excel. Windmill works with instruments communicating with American Standard Code for Information Interchange (ASCII) or binary messages.
With a flexible approach to extracting data values, it is suitable for collecting readings from the majority of serial instruments that can be plugged into the computer's com port. These include laboratory scales, particle analysers, titrators, fluorometers, data loggers, motion sensors, gas analysers, pH transmitters, power meters, GPS receivers, and conductivity meters. Equipment from different manufacturers can be used in combination and many channels of data can be accepted from each instrument.
The package also includes a program to monitor com port communications. This enables users to see all bytes sent and received, and non-printing characters like carriage returns. Called ComDebug, the software shows the state of the input and output lines to the computer's com port.