Version 0.9.0 – combine multiple lines into one row

With the new features in version 0.9.0, Simple Data Logger takes a big step towards the release of version 1.0 (planned for next Monday).

Combine multiple lines into one row

This is best explained with an example: We’re using a counting scale and it sends the (net) weight, count and average piece weight to the PC (each in a separate line):
Multiple lines received from counting scale

While we want to capture all of these values, we do not want them to appear in individual lines (rows) in our CSV file. Instead, these three values should be written into one row (as three columns).

This is now possible with Simple Data Logger by using the Combine setting in the Process tab:
Process tab

The result is one row containing three values:
3 lines combined into one row
Without this setting, the values would have been written into three separate rows:
3 separate rows

Ignore “empty” lines

In the example above, you may have noticed that the counting scale sent a fourth line containing only the carriage return and line feed characters. By selecting “Ignore received lines consisting only of white-space characters“, we don’t have to consider this row when setting the desired number of columns.

This settings also affects synchronized polling with a delay: “empty” lines are not considered to be an answer from the device and do not prompt SDL to repeat the polling command.

Show sent data in the event log

Until now, only data received form the connected device was shown in the event log even though SDL already had the ability to send commands. This sent data is now shown in green (the screenshot also shows the reply from the scale and the captured weight value):
Event log with sent dataYou can change this behavior in the Settings tab:
Settings tab

Line numbers and custom comments

SDL can add line numbers as well as a custom comment (e.g. the project or sample name) to each row. You’ll find these settings in the File tab:
Add additional informationResult:
Line numbers and comment

Bug fixes and UI improvements

We’ve fixed a bug which caused SDL to stop data collection when a number conversion error occurred. The error is now logged, but SDL does not stop.

We’ve also harmonized the positioning and margins of the user interface elements to make SDL easier and more pleasant to use.

Version 0.8.0

New features and improvements in version 0.8.0 of our data logging software:

Easily set the correct formats for your language and region (locale)

You can set the date, time and CSV formats by simply clicking on a button in the File tab (which shows your current language/region name):
Formats for English (United States)The formatted current date and time are shown to the right of the format boxes as examples.

It is, of course, still possible to manually change the format settings, i.e. to include milliseconds or to use a 24h time format.

Localized day and month names can be used by deselecting the “invariant culture” checkbox:
Formats in French (localized)

Flow control (handshaking)

Simple Data Logger supports XON/XOFF software flow control and RTS/CTS hardware flow control for RS-232 connections (as well as a mode that uses both). You can also enable the “data terminal ready” (DTR) and “request to send” (RTS) control signals by clicking on the corresponding button:
Flow control (handshaking)Some serial devices require one or both of these signals to be set before they will send any data to your PC. Please note that you cannot manually set the RTS signal when using RTS flow control.

A write timeout can be set in the Timer tab (default value: 500 ms). This is important when using flow control (handshaking) to prevent the port being blocked indefinitely on write operations:
Write timeoutTo disable the write timeout, set it to -1 (not recommended).

Additional COM port information shown in the event log

The RS-232 connection parameters, control signals as well as the polling command, timer/delay and write timeout are shown in the event log when opening the COM port:
Event log COM port information

This should simplify troubleshooting when we ask you for a screenshot.

Better display and handling of errors

Errors and important messages are shown in red in the event log:
Error messages

To trigger the errors above, we removed an RS-232 to USB converter while the port was open.

We’ve also fixed a bug which caused the application to exit when certain unusual errors (like the one above) occurred while using a timer to send commands (polling).

Reload user settings

Simple Data Logger saves all settings automatically when the application is closed. If you’ve made changes you want to undo, you can press the Reload button in the Settings tab to restore the last saved settings:
Reload user settingsThe Reset button is also still there and will reset everything to the application default values (as if you were running Simple Data Logger for the first time).