The new version of Streamer software is now available from Biodata Ltd. Streamer runs under Microsoft Windows and logs data to disk at up to 100 000 samples per second. Its new features include:
The new DDE facilities let other Windows applications (such as Excel spreadsheets) share the data Streamer is collecting. These applications may be on other computers, anywhere on a network. You could set up a macro in Excel, say, which reads the data, analyses it and prints out a report. The other applications can also send commands to control Streamer remotely.
More triggering options have been added to Streamer. You can start collecting data when a software button is pressed, when an external trigger signal is received by the hardware, or when a selected input crosses a chosen threshold. You could even set up DDE links and use a spreadsheet to instruct Streamer to start logging.
You can connect over 200 input channels (pressure transducers, thermocouples, strain gauges, etc) to Streamer. All types of input channel are configured using one program: SetupIML. This lets you, for example, to choose the channel names, sampling rates, offsets, filters and clock and trigger sources. It also creates a default set-up for your hardware, to get you started. Streamer converts the input readings to the engineering units of your choice. New units are selected by choosing a scale and offset setting from the default units. For example, the default unit for thermocouple logging is °C. To display temperatures in °F set a scale of 1.8 and an offset of 32.
Streamer can now chart data in real-time time with a choice of "paper" and "pen" colours, "paper" speed, refresh rate, grid settings and superimposed or separate "pen" traces. As large records can be stored on a hard disk file, Streamer together with the appropriate hardware can function as a digital chart recorder or replace an FM tape recorder.
You can save data in several file formats, including ASCII, FAMOS and binary. ASCII files can be loaded into a wide range of software. FAMOS format is optimised for the FAMOS waveform analysis package. Binary is the most compact format.
A ReView program is included with Streamer. This lets you examine the data files graphically, after data acquisition is complete. Four waveforms can be displayed at once and you can repeatedly zoom into places of interest. ReView is optimised for speed of display so it is the ideal way of paging through long data files to look for significant events. You could then save these for further analysis.
You can use Streamer with portable, desk-top and distributed systems. It's been used in many applications, including brake testing in trains and recording dynamic stress in fan blades in moving vehicles. It handles Ethernet instruments, RS232 instruments, GPIB instruments and PC plug-in cards. The Streamer package costs £950 for hardware configuration, logging, charting and review.