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ProSample Controller for SDI

ProSample Controller for SDI

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Published by David Sherman

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Published by: David Sherman on Aug 04, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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ProSample Controller for SDI-12 Logger
version 2.05Scienterra Ltd225 Whiterocks RoadOamaru, 9492New Zealandinfo@scienterra.comFor sales inquiries, please contact:ENVCO Environmental CollectiveUnit 7, 74 Upper Queen StreetNewton, Auckland 1010New Zealandinfo@envco.co.nz
The purpose of the ProSample Controller is to control the triggering of an automatedwater sampler. Usually, it is desirable to take multiple water samples at various timesduring a flood event, but this is often difficult to automate with a standard data logger and sampler. The ProSample Controller allows a researcher to start sampling at aspecific water level, and take subsequent samples at appropriate times.It does this by eavesdropping on the SDI-12 communication between a data logger anda water level instrument. The ProSample Controller parses the water level data, withoutaffecting the normal communication between the logger and the instrument. It thenuses this data, together with a user configuration, to determine an appropriate action for the triggering of samples.Samples can be triggered by water level; by a fixed time interval; or by a fixed amountof discharge, as calculated by a rating curve.
User Configuration
Appendix A gives a detailed description of the wiring between the data logger, the SDI-12 water level instrument, and the ProSample Controller.At power-up, the unit is ready to operate. However, there are several parameters thatshould be adjusted before deployment, to configure the unit for its particular site. Asimple RS232 interface is provided to allow these configurations.To connect, use a terminal emulator program like Hyperterminal or Teraterm. Set thecommunication for 115200 baud, no parity, 8 data bits, 1 stop bit. Plug a straightRS232 serial cable (
null-modem) into the supplied three-pin serial dongle. Thedongle should affix to the circuit board at the three-pin connector adjacent to the greenscrew terminals.The ProSampler continues to be in normal operation mode until the user hits <esc>three times. This activates the menu mode. While menu mode is active, the other functions of the ProSample Controller are suspended.
NOTE: Remember to exit the menu mode after you are done with theconfiguration!
Hit ‘x’ to exit. Failure to do so will leave the unit in configurationmode, and it will not function.After the third <esc>, the following menu appears on the screen:Menu level = 0 Main Menu0: SDI-12 address [0]1: SDI-12 index [1]2: Trigger level [20.000]3: Reset level [19.000]4: Inhibit time (s) [45]5: Max number of samples [24]6: Sampling method (1=time, 2=level, 3=discharge) [1]7: Sampling interval [3600]8:9: File I/OPress a key to select, or x to exitPressing the key that corresponds to the number before the option allows you to changethe value of that option. For example, pressing ‘2’ will allow you to change the trigger level.
SDI-12 Options
The ProSample Controller has no SDI-12 address, as it does not communicate directlywith the logger. Instead, the SDI-12 configuration is set to match the SDI-12 settings of the water-level instrument, which is also present on the bus.The first menu option, SDI-12 address, should match the SDI-12 address of the water level instrument. This tells the ProSample Controller which instrument to eavesdropon.The second option, SDI-12 index, tells the ProSample Controller if the water level datais first, second, third, etc. in the SDI-12 data response. For example, suppose the water level is at 3.456 metres. If the SDI-12 water level instrument responds to a poll with"0+3.456" then the SDI-12 index should be set to 1, as the data is first in the list.However, if the water level instrument includes additional data in the response, then perhaps the water level data does not appear first. For example, for the response"0+21.9+3.456+M", the SDI-12 index should be set to 2, as the water level data issecond in the list. This information will be in the SDI-12 water level instrument’suser's manual.
Trigger level, Reset level, Inhibit function, and Maximum samples
These parameters define when sampling will start and stop.Sampling begins when the water level rises above the "Trigger level.” Keep in mindthat the ProSample Controller uses the raw data as it comes from the water levelinstrument, so the configuration should be in the same units as the SDI-12 data.Subsequent samples are performed until the water level drops below the "Reset level.”After such a drop, the water level must rise above the “Trigger level” for sampling tocontinue.After any sample is triggered, the sampler will take some time to fill a flask. If subsequent triggers occur during this period, bad things might happen (e.g., flask overfilling, mechanical jams, etc.) For this reason, subsequent triggers can be inhibitedin the ProSample Controller using the “Inhibit time” function. When a sample starts, atimer runs for a specified number of seconds. If the next trigger occurs before this"inhibit timer" expires, the ProSample Controller will wait to trigger the next sample.The next trigger will occur when the inhibit timer expires. Set "Inhibit time" to equalthe number of seconds that it takes for the water sampler to complete a sample. Youmay wish to add a few extra seconds, to prevent overlap.The sampling program is terminated when the number of samples reaches the specifiedmaximum. Note that accessing the menu mode will reset this counter.

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