barcode reader in asp.net AVR PROJECT 6: ASTRODAT: A STAND-ALONE DATA ACQUISITION SYSTEM in Software

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268 AVR PROJECT 6: ASTRODAT: A STAND-ALONE DATA ACQUISITION SYSTEM
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15.9 Fabrication
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The AstroDat system was prototyped on a general-purpose PCB. All components were socketed for testing ease. The backup battery for the RTC and regulators for the power supply were also placed on the PCB. The system was then connected to an astronomical photometer for field use. The system drew operating voltage ( 9 V) from the photometer, which was regulated to 5 V by the regulators on the AstroDat PCB. The total current consumed was 12 mA with both the LEDs (power ON and the Activity LED) glowing. This power could be reduced further if one decides to put the processor in sleep mode between the Timer1 interrupts (Figure 15.13).
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15.10 Design Code
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The design code for the AstroDat project is available on the accompanying CD in the code directory in the file astrdat.asm. The code was written as a single program broken up into several subroutines. The code has been written with two interrupt subroutines: one for the Timer1 interrupt and the other for interfacing the Acquire key as INT0. The important design choice that I made early on was regarding the way the data was to be stored. Since the system ADC provides 12-bit data, it would take up two bytes for storing it (although some savings could be done by sharing the unused four bits with another data sample, I decided not to do so). Instead, I used the concept of tagging the data, for ease of data recovery and reduction. Thus the unused four bits are used to tag the data, and looking at the tag one can tell if the word is a data word or not. Similarly, different tags were used for the time information as well as to mark the start and end of a data set. The format of these tags is illustrated in Figure 15.14.
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Once the data has been acquired in the field and has been stored in the EEPROM, it is eventually brought back to the base. Here the AstroDat system is connected to a PC serial
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FIGURE 15.13 Completed AstroDat circuit board inside a plastic enclosure.
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15 14 13 12 11 10
0 Start Tag
Bit Values
Set Number
Bit Location
15 14 13 12 11 10
0 End Tag
Bit Values
Set Number
Bit Location
15 14 13 12 11 10
0 Data Tag
Bit Values
Sign Bit
Data Bits
Bit Location
15 14 13 12 11 10
0 Time Tag
Bit Values
Year
FIGURE 15.14 Format for the various tags.
270 AVR PROJECT 6: ASTRODAT: A STAND-ALONE DATA ACQUISITION SYSTEM
port. A separate RS-232 to TTL converter PCB was built that connects to the communication port of the AstroDat system at one end and the PC serial port on the other. This was done to minimize power consumption by the RS-232 signal translation components that are not needed during the actual data acquisition process. The EEPROM data is downloaded and stored into a file as described in the AstroDat User s Guide. The file is an ASCII file and can be inspected. However, I have written a C program to read the file and recover the data for further analysis and plotting. One such plot is illustrated in Figure 15.12.
15.12 AstroDat User s Guide
The AstroDat system operates in two modes: Menu mode and Acquisition mode. The Menu mode is selected when the user presses the Menu switch after reset. To operate the system in Menu mode, the AstroDat system is connected to a PC serial port running some sort of terminal emulation program, and the Menu key is pressed. The sequence in which the two keys can be pressed is illustrated in Figure 15.15. The data acquisition system designed is used to store data from an analog source with time delay between two acquisitions being programmed by the user. The device is first initialized by the user at the base. For this purpose, a Menu switch is provided. After the system has been initialized as required, it is taken to the field for data acquisition. The data is stored as blocks; each block of data is called a set. The start and end of a set is controlled by the user by pressing the acquire switch. The data samples in a set are separated by a time delay, which is programmed by the user at the base. Also, the device has the capability to store the time at which the first observation in a set was recorded. Data stored in the EEPROM has tags that help to interpret the data. Each set of observations is identified by a unique set number. Each set of observations will have a start tag (containing the set number) in the beginning of the set and a stop tag indicating the end of the set. The actual data samples are identified by a data tag. Also, each start tag is followed by a time tag that indicates the time at which the first observation of the set was recorded.
System initialization The Menu switch is used for interaction between the system and the user. It helps the user to initialize the real time clock (RTC), change the time interval (delay value) between two observations in a set, download data from the system, etc. To initialize the circuit, the following steps are to be followed: 1) 2) 3) 4)
Connect the port P1 to RS-232 board. Connect serial port of the PC to the RS-232 board. Connect power supply to the appropriate pins on the system board. Load VTERM (or any other terminal emulation program) on the computer.
The terminal is set up to communicate with the following features: i) New line ON ii) Wrap around ON iii) Data bits 8
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