Help to users going from PicoLog5 to PicoLog6?

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LarsW
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Help to users going from PicoLog5 to PicoLog6?

Post by LarsW »

I have been using PicoLog with different PicoTech products for many years. Now I have somewhat reluctantly installed PicoLog6 on one of my computers, and my first impression is that some things are easy (setting up a measurement for example), but some things are not trivial (at least not for me), for example how to save to a file and then start a new measurement, how to export, how to change the axes... . The problem is not that features I want do not exist; rather that I do not know where they are. However, I have - over the past couple of days - solved some of my problems by trial and error, but (and this is my question) is there a manual or training videos covering all features (I have seen four good Picolog6 videos with Ziko on youtube, but they only cover how to start a measurement, not how to scale the graph or how to stop, save and export...)?

AndrewA
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Re: Help to users going from PicoLog5 to PicoLog6?

Post by AndrewA »

Regards Andrew
Technical Specialist

LarsW
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Re: Help to users going from PicoLog5 to PicoLog6?

Post by LarsW »

Thanks for the link. It is well described how to connect loggers and start measurements, but I have problems with exporting and this is not described in any detail. Here are the the questions&comments I have:
- After stopping a logging and saving the data, the filename that I gave when saving (as .picolog) should appear. Now, nothing appears and I have to start typing the name again.
- Also add a .txt-export that only exports the data without any headers.
- When exporting, I am (sometimes, seebelow) asked for the sampling rate (of the export), which seems to be set to a default of 1 s, which makes a user who has sampled at another rate confused; better to give the default as the sampling rate that has been used, and (before that) ask the user "do you want to change the sampling rate when exporting?".
- As I log at 5 s, but get the default sampling rate of 1 s when I want to export, I wonder how the software extrapolates between the measured data points? I guess that this is what I should enter as "Last, Measured, Min, Max", but this makes no sense to a user that does not want to change the sampling rate on exporting. As above, hide these options for users that do not want to resample their data (most users will not want to do this).
- If I bring my measured .picolog-files to another computer for evaluation, I have to go to settings and chose the directory where I place the files as default, as it is not possible to view files in other directories from the Files-icon. This is irritating as I may have files in many folders. Why not have a standard Windows file search window under Files?
- When I open files for exporting them, I sometimes (but seldom) automatically get the Configure Data Table window where I can chose for example the number of decimals to export with. This seems to be connected to what file I open. For most files I directly get the window where I chose the export file type, without having the possibility to, e.g., set the number of decimals. As default number of decimals is 3, I could therefore not export the files that I have measured with enough accuracy for them to be useful (until I found a workaround: do all exporting steps, but cancel the last (saving) step, locate the Settings icon in the Data Table and use it to open the window where decimals can be changed, close it, and then start the export procedure again - now with the correct number of decimals).
- Final comment: please release the .picolog file format so that I can write a MATLAB script that imports .picotec files to the MATLAB workspace without first having to export them. This would be immensely useful, and save me from having to decipher the file format.
PS. The above sounds negative, but I am am using many, many of your good products and therefore having some problems now with the transition to Picolog 6. :D

LarsW
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Re: Help to users going from PicoLog5 to PicoLog6?

Post by LarsW »

One more thing:
- I miss the Sampling Number being shown during measurement. This is a good way to orient oneself, for example if one wants to make notes of things happening during a measurement, it is easy to just note "s14328", instead of having to write down the time "2 days 14 h 23 m".

LarsW
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Re: Help to users going from PicoLog5 to PicoLog6?

Post by LarsW »

Still no answers to my questions.

Half a year later I have downloaded the latest stable version of PicoLog6 and found it to be similar to the previous version.

Is everyone happy with PicoLog6 except me?

Kieran
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Re: Help to users going from PicoLog5 to PicoLog6?

Post by Kieran »

Hi LarsW,

My name is Kieran Winstanley, I'm the product manager for data loggers. Firstly please accept my apologies for the very late reply, this one slipped through the net. Please be reassured that we're listening :)

Thank you for the detailed feedback below, I have attempted to address each of your questions and concerns below, some may require more feedback from you. My answers are preceded with [KW], your questions are in Italic type:

-Thanks for the link. It is well described how to connect loggers and start measurements, but I have problems with exporting and this is not described in any detail. Here are the the questions&comments I have:

- After stopping a logging and saving the data, the filename that I gave when saving (as .picolog) should appear. Now, nothing appears and I have to start typing the name again.

[KW] Just so I am clear on this question, do you mean after you save the picolog file, and try to export the data, the filename should be the same as the .picolog? If so, we had an open feature request to default the export filenames to the graph title which I’ve just prioritised.

- Also add a .txt-export that only exports the data without any headers.

[KW] The problem with ASCII formats like this with a data logging package that can record up to 360 channels @ 1 ms resolution each is that it has the potential to record Gigabytes a day, ASCII files are 3 to 4 times larger than equivalent binary files. Buuut in the latest beta release that goes stable in a couple of weeks, we introduced HDF5 format that MATLAB is compatible with. I have example code to help you along if you need it.

- When exporting, I am (sometimes, see below) asked for the sampling rate (of the export), which seems to be set to a default of 1 s, which makes a user who has sampled at another rate confused; better to give the default as the sampling rate that has been used, and (before that) ask the user "do you want to change the sampling rate when exporting?".

[KW] – Your suggestion is very valid for your unique application, and perhaps Pico has made a rod for it’s own back in making PicoLog too flexible, you see the problem is that you can have up to 20 devices or 360 live channels, each with a different sampling rate, so the chance of a default value is low. We have slow temperature loggers, and faster sampling voltage loggers so when customers are using multiple devices at once, PicoLog’s table view will have to resample at a particular rate. We could actually improve this, so when all the channels are one rate, we default to the actual sample rate. So, yes, we have noted this improvement and feature requested.

- As I log at 5 s, but get the default sampling rate of 1 s when I want to export, I wonder how the software extrapolates between the measured data points? I guess that this is what I should enter as "Last, Measured, Min, Max", but this makes no sense to a user that does not want to change the sampling rate on exporting. As above, hide these options for users that do not want to resample their data (most users will not want to do this).

[KW] – If you sampled at 5s and exported at 1s, you’ll get repeated samples.

- If I bring my measured .picolog-files to another computer for evaluation, I have to go to settings and chose the directory where I place the files as default, as it is not possible to view files in other directories from the Files-icon. This is irritating as I may have files in many folders. Why not have a standard Windows file search window under Files?

[KW] – You can click or drag any .picolog file from anywhere (although this was fixed for this in the current 6.1.16 beta on the website as the feature broken.

- When I open files for exporting them, I sometimes (but seldom) automatically get the Configure Data Table window where I can chose for example the number of decimals to export with. This seems to be connected to what file I open. For most files I directly get the window where I chose the export file type, without having the possibility to, e.g., set the number of decimals. As default number of decimals is 3, I could therefore not export the files that I have measured with enough accuracy for them to be useful (until I found a workaround: do all exporting steps, but cancel the last (saving) step, locate the Settings icon in the Data Table and use it to open the window where decimals can be changed, close it, and then start the export procedure again - now with the correct number of decimals).

[KW] – Could you email (or send me a dropbox/drive link) a capture to me that behaves unexpectantly? kieran@picotech.com


- Final comment: please release the .picolog file format so that I can write a MATLAB script that imports .picotec files to the MATLAB workspace without first having to export them. This would be immensely useful, and save me from having to decipher the file format.
PS. The above sounds negative, but I am am using many, many of your good products and therefore having some problems now with the transition to Picolog 6. 😃


[KW] – Would the HDF5 file format mentioned earlier help you at all?


- I miss the Sampling Number being shown during measurement. This is a good way to orient oneself, for example if one wants to make notes of things happening during a measurement, it is easy to just note "s14328", instead of having to write down the time "2 days 14 h 23 m".

[KW] – The sample number can be viewed in the table view and therefore as an export when you configure the table view. See below: Does this answer your question?
sample_number.PNG
sample_number2.PNG
Still no answers to my questions.

Half a year later I have downloaded the latest stable version of PicoLog6 and found it to be similar to the previous version.

Is everyone happy with PicoLog6 except me?


[KW] - I'll finish with this, PicoLog 6 was designed to be as flexible as it could be. Data logging applications cover a very wide range of applications for us, from manufacturing, process control, product design and validation, laboratory, test and calibration, research and education.. the list goes on. Basically anyone who wants to measure temperature, which is the 2nd most measured parameter in today's world, second only to time! It tries to be all things to all users, and out of 35,000 users this year, we received around 20 or so feature requests. Each one is considered, but of course if 1 person asks for a feature, we can't immediately impliment it for 1 user unless it has wider appeal.

Keep the feedback coming in, and let me know if you need assistance with that HDF5 file export.
Kieran
Pico Technical Support
Forum Moderator

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