It can add the date and time and further information to the captured weight values. It supports connections over COM ports (RS-232, USB virtual COM port, Bluetooth SPP) and TPC/IP (acting as the client).
SDL comes with many profiles for popular scales and balances. Advanced features include the ability to request the weight from the scale in user-defined intervals (polling).
The CSV files generated by Simple Data Logger can be easily opened in Microsoft Excel and other applications for further processing and data visualization.
Here you will all of our articles about Simple Data Logger.
Most class I and II weighing instruments use what is called an “auxiliary indicating device” with a “differentiated scale division”1: On the display, the final digit or digits are visually distinct from the others. This is also the case with Ohaus SJX scales that have been verified (e.g. the SJX6201M):
This digit is enclosed in square brackets when the weight is sent over one of the optional interfaces (such as RS-232, USB, or Ethernet). Example:
By default, our software does not capture a digit that comes after a non-numeric character. This can be easily fixed in two steps. We’ll use screenshots from Simple Data Logger as an example, but the procedure is basically the same for our 232key virtual keyboard wedge software2.
1. Change the regular expression used to capture the weight
In the Input tab, click the Customize button and replace the regular expression with the following one:
This will ensure that the opening square bracket and the last digit are also captured (shown in blue in the Event Log):
Remove the bracket
The string we’ve now captured is not a number because it contains a bracket. Writing it to a file like this would make things complicated when processing the data later.
Fortunately, you can easily remove the bracket: Go to the Process tab, check Enable Editing, and enter the opening square bracket “[” in the Remove characters field:
SDL will now properly write the complete weight as a number to the CSV file, which can be opened in Excel or other programs:
Important: If you are utilizing our software in connection with a verified scale, please ensure that such usage is compliant with the regulations and requirements of your local jurisdiction.
Milliseconds are not first-class citizens in Excel. There’s no MILLISECOND equivalent to the SECOND function and you will not find a predefined time format that includes hours, minutes, seconds and milliseconds.
This does not mean that Excel cannot process time values with milliseconds. The only requirement is that they are in a format that Excel recognizes. You should also assign a custom format to the cells so that you can easily read the values. I will explain these two aspects in this article and present solutions to common millisecond related tasks and problems. If you’re only interested in a brief summary, jump to the TL;DR at the end.
Note: I’m using US region settings for this article. Other regions may require different formats, e.g. “hh:mm:ss,000” for Germany (with a comma instead of a dot).
Time formats with milliseconds recognized by Excel
Internally, Excel stores time values as fractions of a day (24 hours). This means that 12h are represented as 12÷24 = ½ = 0.5 (half a day) and 3h as 3÷24 = 0.125. In this representation, 1ms is only a tiny value: 1ms ÷ (24h × 60min/h × 60s/min × 1000ms/s) = 1÷86400000 ≈ 0.000000011574074 (compare this to the numeric precision of Excel).
This makes the calculation of time differences very easy, but entering values in this way is not particularly user friendly. Fortunately, Excel also recognizes the following format and similar variants:
Example: “01:23:45.678” stands for one hour, 23 minutes, 45 seconds and 678 milliseconds. You do not have to type leading zeros (or trailing zeros in the milliseconds part).
Numbers entered like this or read from a file in this format are converted to fractions of a day. However, they are not displayed correctly until you assign a corresponding custom format to the cells, as explained below.
There is also an elegant alternative to this solution: You can simply multiply the time value by 86400000 to convert it into milliseconds. This works because of the internal numeric format used by Excel where 1 is equal to 24h = 24h × 60min/h × 60s/min × 1000ms/s = 86400000ms.
Use an easier format to manually enter times with milliseconds
The time values with milliseconds used for the examples above were already available in the “hh:mm:ss.000” format required by Excel. But what if you must enter many time values manually? Maybe you prefer a format that only uses dots so you can keep your hand on the numeric keypad, e.g. 1.25.54.010 instead of 1:25:54.010.
For Excel to recognize these values as times, they must be converted to the “hh:mm:ss.000” format. However, if you use the SUBSTITUTE function to replace all dots with colons, you wont preserve the last dot. The solution is to limit SUBSTITUTE to replace only the first occurrence of a dot and then apply it again to replace the second dot, leaving the last one intact. The required formula looks complicated but is actually simple (it assumes the value you want to transform is contained in cell A2):
Please try it out before you manually enter hundreds of time values using the dot format. It worked fine for me:
TL;DR (too long, didn’t read)
Make sure that your time values are available as hh:mm:ss.000, e.g. “01:23:45.678”.
Assign the following custom format to your cells: [hh]:mm:ss.000.
The new Ohaus Navigator series consists of a total of 18 scales (incl. 4 LFT models) with a maximum capacity from 220g up to 22kg and a readability starting at 0.01g. As usual in this segment, all scales use load cells with strain gages.
Note: Available models and characteristics may differ depending on your region. This article refers to scales available in Europe as of May 2019.
Differences to the previous Navigator scales
The NVL series (Navigator XL) with its unusual elongated shape is no longer available:
On all new scales, the upper side of the housing is now white, and the red display framing is more discreet. Another difference is the even higher contrast of the display:
The touchless IR sensor has been removed from all scales except the LFT models.
Interface options and accessories continue to be available
Numerous interface options are available, making these scales particularly interesting for data transfer to a computer: RS-232, USB device (virtual COM port) and Ethernet.