LoadVUE/SensorVUE-Touch User Guide

Overview

LoadVUE software can read between one and four force sensors, depending on the version purchased. (LV-1000 - single sensor, LV-4000 - four sensors)

SensorVUE software can read other types of sensors. In addition to force sensors, it can read torque, displacement, level, pressure and temperature sensors. An unlimited number of sensors can be read and their data can be logged. An unlimited number of graphs can be plotted simultaneously limited only by the computer speed and available memory.

In almost all other respects, LoadVUE and SensorVUE software are functionally identical. The screenshots are captured from SensorVUE but apply to LoadVUE versions as well. LoadVUE and SensorVUE are used interchangeably in this document. Any difference is noted in the relevant section.

Some of the functionality may be limited by particular type of license purchased. For example, uploading data to the cloud may need to be licensed separately.

Feature Comparison

Software LoadVUE LV-1000 LoadVUE LV-4000 SensorVUE Touch
No of Channels 1 4 Unlimited
Type of Sensor Force Only Force Only All (Force, Pressure, Displacement, etc.)

Installation

Insert the CD-Rom into drive. The installation should start automatically. If not, browse to the CD-Rom folder and run Setup.exe to run the installation. The drivers needed to recognize the devices will also be installed automatically.

Startup and Sensor Selection

Click on the SensorVUE shortcut icon on your desktop to to start the program. The software will scan all the serial ports, detect all the Loadstar Sensors devices attached to your computer and display them in appropriate categories.

Detect Sensors

Select one or more sensors to be read and then click Continue to proceed to the main screen of SensorVUE. (You can also uncheck the sensors that you do not want to read and then click Continue.)

In LV-1000 you will be able to select only one sensor and in LV-4000, 4 sensors.

Window Layouts

SensorVUE main screen is shown next. By default the sensor readout windows (text windows) and the graph window will be shown. Depending on the number of sensors peak/low values may be hidden. Log window will also be hidden in the default view.

Docked Windows

Use the following toolbar buttons to control, save and restore the windows that are of interest to you.

Display Button You can rearrange all the windows (text, plots, log) anyway you like and then click the Save Display View button. The layout will be saved and restored when you restart the application. To delete this layout and restore the default layout simply click the Reset button.
Display Button Click on this button to show the text windows only. By default all text windows will be shown. You can minimize windows that are not of interest and then click Save Text View button to save the layout. Whenever you click the Text button again, this layout will be restored.
Log View Button Click on this button to show the log window only. You can resize the log window and then click Save Log View button to save the layout. Whenever you click the Log button again, this layout will be restored.
Plots Button Click on this button to show the plot windows only. By default all plot windows will be shown. You can rearrange the plots and minimize plots that are not of interest and then click Save Plot View button to save the layout. Whenever you click the Plot button again, this layout will be restored.
Reset Views Button Click on this button to delete all saved layouts and restore the default layout. The default layout will depend on the number of sensors. Curren

Reading the Sensors (Operation)

Start Button

After all the settings have been configured, just click Start on the main toolbar to start reading the sensors (and log and plot the readings if selected.).

See various sections below for instructions on logging, adding plots, alarms etc.

Stop Button Click Stop to stop reading.
Zero Button Click Zero to zero the sensors.
Stop Button

When you click Start all existing data in the graphs will be cleared. If you want the graphs to retain the previous data, click the Resume button and the graphs will continue to be plotted without clearing stale data. However depending upon when you clicked the Resume button, there may be a small or large gap in the time axis.

SensorVUE Zoom Button Click on the Zoom button in the tool bar to zoom in on a graph. Using the mouse draw a window on the graph and the contents of this window will be zoomed in while preserving the aspect ratio. Right click anywhere on the graph to zoom out.

Resetting Peak/Low Values

Reset Peak/Low Peak and Low values, when displayed, can be reset at anytime during operation by click on the Reset Peak/Low button. (Peaks and Lows are also reset when the Start button is clicked).

Logging Data

Data from one or more sensors can be saved to an Excel compatible log file. In addition, sensors can be combined to create a virtual 'formula sensor' and data from this sensor can be logged. Any number of formula sensors can be created. See 'Formula Sensors' section below.

SensorVUE Log Window

Click on the Log toolbar button to show the log window.

SensorVUE Log Window
  1. Check the Log to File and option type or select a file to log. Note if you select an existing file, its contents it will be overwritten.
  2. Select the log interval (for example, log every 1 sec, every 10 seconds etc). To record all the data read from the sensors (at a high rate) select the log interval as 'Maximum'. If some sensors are slower than others, you may get repeated readings for these sensors. For very small log intervals, <= 1 sec, the actual interval the logging takes place may not be exactly the specified interval. For example, if you are specified 0.25 sec (250 milliseconds) as the log interval, the actual interval may be between 240 to 260 milliseconds. This is especially true if your system is not equipped with a multi-core processor, if you are logging a lot of sensors, if you have setup alarms, monitoring relays etc.
  3. Click on Log Options... to show the log options window
  4. In the Log Options... window click Select Sensors to Log, then select one or more sensors. An user defined field can also be logged. Peaks and Lows, and Totals where applicable (for ex, multiple force sensors) can be logged as well.
  5. Check the field Log Sensor Readings to File. This will open a File Open dialog box where you can enter a file name. If the file already exists it will be overwritten. To log to a different file, click on Select File.
  6. If you are logging continuously for a long period (hours), select Do not log to screen. Logging to file will proceed but the data will not be shown in the log table on the screen. When logging at 'Maximum' speeds, logging to screen is automatically turned off. However, for improved performance, you should always choose this option if you do not need to see the values on the screen (and are only post-processing the data).
  7. You can add your own field to the log window. (Currently this field will not be uploaded to the cloud). For example, you are testing the damping characteristics of different materials and want to capture all the data in a single log file, you can type 'Material' in the User Defined Parameter Name and add this field to the log. (See above) Then just type the material name, for example, rubber, felt, foam etc in the user defined field in the log window. Any text entered in this field will be logged along with the sensor readings.
  8. If you are graphing the data while being logged, and also logging for an extended period (hours or days), select Graph Logged Readings Only.If you log every 10 seconds for example, only the 10 second interval readings will be graphed (by default all the sensor readings are graphed).
  9. If you have selected the Log On Demand option, data will be logged only when you click the Take one Reading button in the log window
  10. Check the field Upload to SensorVUE Cloud to upload log data to the cloud.

Uploading Log Data to SensorVUE Cloud

Data logged to the local file can also be optionally uploaded to SensorVUE Cloud.

Note: Data must be logged to a local file before it can be uploaded.

You can create a SensorVUE Cloud account by going to this URL - SensorVUE Cloud. Register for an account after providing your email, company name, phone number etc. After creating an account on the website, you need to provide the credentials to the desktop software so data can be uploaded to your account. You can do this by selecting 'Cloud...Credentials for Cloud Account' from the menu. Enter your credentials in the window shown. Then click OK and the credentials will be verified.

Once you have setup a cloud account and your credentials have been verified, in the log window you can turn on/off uploading to the cloud using the Upload to Cloud option.

To identify the files that have been uploaded to the cloud, you will be asked to enter description each time you click the Start toolbar button - this will start a new upload session.

Reloading Logged Data (Overlaying Files)

Overlay Button

Log data files can be read by the program and the data can be re-plotted. Multiple log files can be read and plots overlaid on top of one another. Click on Overlay Files button on the toolbar to open the 'Overlay Files' window. Then simply select one or more log files to overlay them.

If you edit the log file any way, the software may not be able to read them.

Plotting Data

Any number of graphs can be displayed in SensorVUE, depending on the memory available and processor speed. Graphs can be configured by selecting Graph...Graph Options menu item. Graphs can have a Y1 and Y2 axes with multiple series on each axis. The x-axis can display either time or one of the connected sensors.

By default a graph with time on the x-axis and the first sensor on the y-axis is created. Edit these options as desired and then add more graphs by clicking the New button. Delete a graph by clicking the Delete button.

In the General Options area enter a title for the graph. You can also choose whether to show the legends and the grids.

Graph-General-Options

In the X-Axis options area, select either scrolling time axis with a specified time range, for example, 10 sec. Only the latest 10 seconds of data are retained in the graph. If you want retain all the data then select the Cumulative option. If you log for an extended period and use the Cumulative option, heavy demand is placed on the processors and memory and this may have an adverse effect on data acquisition. To limit this by default after 250000 points (per graph) plotting will stop. You can increase or decrease this value here by editing the Stop after... field.

You can also select the X-Axis to be non-time - for example, a Force-Displacement graph. In this case you will choose the displacement sensor as the x-axis sensor and the force sensor as the Y1 axis sensor. If you select this option, X-axis can be autoscaled as well as a minimum and maximum can be specified.

Graph-XAxis-Options

In the Y1 axis screen, select one or more sensors that you want to be graphed. If you want to graph 2 sensor readings and want to scale them differently, choose one to be on the Y1 axis and the other to be on the Y2 axis. For each sensor, you can customize colors, line thickness, marker type and marker sizes. The Y1 axis can be autoscaled or a minimum and maximum can be specified.

Graph-XAxis-Options

Configuration of the Y2 axis is similar to the Y1 axis.

SensorVUE Zoom Button

You can click on the Zoom button in the tool bar to zoom in on a graph. Using the mouse draw a window on the graph and the contents of this window will be zoomed in while preserving the aspect ratio. Right click anywhere on the graph to zoom out.

Formula Sensors

You can combine one or more sensors to create a virtual sensor. Simple formulas (using the 4 basic operations: + - * / ) can be used to create a virtual sensor. For example if you are using a force sensor and know the area under the force, you can plot the stress by creating a formula Force/Area. You can then log or plot these virtual sensors just as you would a real sensor. You can also combine formula sensors to create a new formula sensor. You can even use them to control relays.

Click on Tools, Formula Sensors... to create a virtual sensor. The Formula Sensors window is displayed.

Formula Sensors

Each real sensor or an already existing formula sensor is given a symbol. For example in the figure above the force sensor is called S0, and the peak value sensor is called S1. If you know the area under the force you can create virtual stress sensors. For example, if the area A=8.5 you can create virtual stress sensors like so:

Once a formula sensor is created or deleted, you have to restart the program for the settings to take effect.

Note: Creating a formula sensor will have an impact on the speed of data acquisition, plotting etc, since the formula is parsed and evaluated at run time for each reading of the sensor. You should post-process the data if this becomes an issue.

Alarms

You can use the software's alarm feature to set alarms if a sensor reading goes above or below certain values. Multiple alarms can be active for different sensors (but the alarm sound is common.) In addition to audio alarms, you can also let the software send you an email or SMS text message if the readings exceed specified limits. Click on "Tools...Alarm Settings..." to configure the alarms.

Alarms

General Options

SensorVUE Options Button

Click on the Options... button in the tool bar show the General Options window.

General Options

The following options are available:

Text Options