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Measuring VelocityTo measure the speed or velocity of a projectile, a precision timer can be used to measure the exact time it takes for that projectile to travel a fixed distance. The DAQ module shown above incorporates a timer with a 1ÁS resolution and two trigger inputs to start and stop the timer. These trigger inputs can be attached to simple trip wires, or optical beam detectors, which are placed at a known distance from each other. As the projectile passes across these two trigger points, the exact time is recorded and returned to the host PC. The velocity can then be calculated using the "distance" and "time" data.
Stackable CapabilityStackable refers to the ability to connect multiple units together and share a single communications port of a host PC, laptop, or Single Board Computer (SBC). The communications bus uses a stratagem based on the Carrier Sense Multiple Access (CSMA/CD) protocol. Carrier Sense (CS) is the monitoring of the data bus for a period of inactivity before a DAQ module is allowed to begin its own transmission. Multiple Access (MA) means that once the bus is free, every DAQ module in the network has an equal opportunity to transmit a frame. And Collision Detection (CD) uses non destructive bit wise arbitration to preserve the integrity of a data frame when two or more DAQ modules try to transmit at the exact same time. And since the data frame that wins arbitration remains intact during a collision, there is no additional communications delay when a collision occurs no matter how often it happens.
Host CommunicationsTo communicate with the DAQ modules, commands are sent to the individual units by including a header character at the beginning (the address) so that it can be routed to the appropriate unit. If using multiple units connected together, the DIP switch for each unit should be set to a different position so that it will be assigned a different header character. Each DAQ module has its own command set used to configure it, operate the functions, and to read data from it. These commands are listed in the product data sheets. A typical command string looks like this:
If using our ModCom HMI software, the carriage return is not necessary because ModCom automatically inserts this at the end of each command string. ModCom has a communications dialog box which can be used to transmit individual commands to the DAQ modules and see the data coming back. This is helpful in learning the style of the