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Civil-Comp Proceedings
ISSN 1759-3433
CCP: 2/3
Edited by: B.H.V. Topping
Paper XXVII.1

Data Acquisition and Communications using Unattended Computers

R.L. Sack, J.J. Pinkard and J.S. Haldeman

Department of Civil Engineering, University of Idaho, USA

Full Bibliographic Reference for this paper
R.L. Sack, J.J. Pinkard, J.S. Haldeman, "Data Acquisition and Communications using Unattended Computers", in B.H.V. Topping, (Editor), "Proceedings of the Second International Conference on Civil and Structural Engineering Computing", Civil-Comp Press, Edinburgh, UK, pp 309-315, 1985. doi:10.4203/ccp.2.27.1
Measuring the forces imposed on buildings by snow accumulation poses unique instrumentation problems. The experimental site is typically difficult to access, and the data must be monitored regularly at frequent intervals. The hardware and software to satisfy these objectives with unattended computers were developed over two seasons of study. Transducers of various kinds were monitored at two remote test sites; each location was equipped with a data-logger controlled by an independent computer. A third microcomputer, located on campus 300 km from the acquisition sites, received the data. The campus computer, running unattended, is programmed to telephone each site at a prescribed time to receive and store the data on soft disc. Commercially available software proved inadequate for performing the required tasks. In addition to providing the means of receiving and storing data, the programs described were designed t o accommodate: a) repetitive calling for test purposes; b) unattended operation over extended periods; and c) allowance for certain specific error conditions. The spreadsheet LOTUS 1-2-3 was found particularly useful and convenient for handing files, editing data and plotting results.

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