Record the weight from a scale or balance to a file

Connecting your scale to a PC and recording the weight should not be a difficult task. However, data logging software available from scale manufacturers is often expensive, difficult to use or not very reliable. This is why I started developing Simple Data Logger a few months ago.

Simple Data Logger (SDL) writes the weight received from a scale or balance to a file, optionally adding date and time. The CSV files generated by SDL can easily be opened in Excel and other spreadsheet applications for further processing and visualization.

Recording the weight from a precision balance using Simple Data Logger

SDL currently supports the following connections:

  • COM port: RS-232, USB, Bluetooth SPP, etc.
  • Ethernet: Raw TCP format.

Note: Your scale has to send data in ASCII format.

Simple data logger is currently still under development. However, it has proven to be reliable in numerous tests and can also cope with high data rates (e.g. 80 values/s) and very large files.

Get started recording weight values with Simple Data Logger

Connect your scale to your computer, download and install SDL, then follow these steps to configure the software:

  1. Device tab: Device tab in Simple Data LoggerIf your scale or balance is listed in SDL, simply select it and press the set default parameters for device button. Otherwise, select “generic measuring instrument” and enter the interface parameters manually.

    Set the radio button to match your connection: COM port (RS232, USB VCP, Bluetooth SPP) or TCP/IP.

    Make sure that you’ve specified a terminator (a.k.a. delimiter, the last character your scale sends in each line of data) or a timeout (e.g. 100ms, SDL will process received data if no additional data is received during this time).

  2. File tab:File tab in Simple Data LoggerChoose a file for the recorded data. SDL will create if for you if it does not exist (otherwise, data will be appended).

    Choose (or enter) a date and time format or select “None” from the list if you do not want SDL to add the date or time. Pick a decimal separator (for numeric values) and value separator (used to separate values from each other). Common settings are “Dot” as the decimal separator and “Comma” as the value separator (e.g. in the USA) or “Comma” as the decimal separator and “Semicolon” as the value separator (e.g in Germany).

  3. Start tab:Start tab in Simple Data LoggerPress the start button to start recording data. It will be shown in the event log and will be written to the chosen file. Press stop to stop data logging and close the file.

Process the weight values in Excel (or other spreadsheet applications)

Provided that you’ve made the right settings in the File tab, you can easily open the CSV file in Excel (or other spreadsheet applications like Google Docs, OpenOffice/LibreOffice Calc). The weight will be recognized as a number, allowing you to make further calculations (i.e. calculating the total weight as shown below):

CSV file with weight alues opened in Excel for processing

Links and further information