DeLoad FAQ

From dataTaker Wiki (FAQ)

Deload Host Software Frequently Asked Questions


Contents

Obsolete software notice

DeLoad is obsolete software. The information in this section may be out of date and may not be up to dated.

Overview

What does DeLoad actually do ?

DeLoad is a light weight software utility which runs under Windows, and has been designed to make the process of unloading data from dataTaker data loggers quick and simple. It supports RS232, modem and TCP/IP connections to dataTakers, and allows data to be unloaded to a local or network hard drive in either csv (comma separated values), dlr (DeLogger or Deview), or HTML format, and if required saved to a Microsoft Access database. Data files can then be sent to a remote location via email and FTP. DeLoad can automatically search for dataTakers conected to local RS232 ports. DataTaker installation administrators can quickly and easily set DeLoad configuration details offsite and then transfer the details in the form of simple text-based files to onsite computers as required. DeLoad can be run by the Window's scheduler to automatically download data from dataTakers at regular intervals, and can be set to run in invisible mode so that data unloading is performed in the background. DeLoad can create desktop icons which point to a dataTaker and can be used to either unload data or send a command or program from a file. Deload also allows you to send a dataTaker program to a dataTaker's internal Flash memory, such that it runs whenever the dataTaker is reset.

How does DeLoad work ?

Installation

Can I install DeLoad "over the top" of an exisiting installation?

No, you must first uninstall Deload using the Window's 'Add / Remove Program' control panel, and then you can re-install Deload.

Can I have multiple installations of DeLoad ?

Yes. Install DeLoad more than once and just choose different installation directories to have more than one copy of DeLoad running on the same computer. Note that the icons created on the desktop and in the start menu by the DeLoad installation will point to the last installation of DeLoad. You must manually add new shortcuts which point to the deload.exe and deloadop.exe files in the other installation directories.

Note also that there is a file in the DeLoad installation called install.ini. This file is used by DeLoad to determine if this is the first time it has been run, by checking to see if the file is empty. After the first run, DeLoad puts a message in the file with the time and date. Versions of DeLoad prior to 2.34 were shipped with install.ini not empty, and as a result multiple installations didn't work. The key point is that this file must be empty at least once before DeLoad Options is run, and then an entry is written to the Window's registry recording DeLoad's installation directory. If you aren't sure, just delete the contents of install.ini, save, then run DeLoad Options. Do this for each installation of DeLoad, and then multiple installations will work correctly. For versions of DeLoad 2.34 and later, you don't have to do anything as install.ini is shipped empty.

If I re-install DeLoad, will my dataTakers in DeLoad Options and other settings remain ?

Yes, dataTakers and settings are preserved when you re-install DeLoad, providing you re-install into the same directory as the previous version.

Should I be using the latest version of DeLoad, or doesn't it really matter that much ?

You should definitely be using the latest version of DeLoad. Version 2.34 in particular addresses some issues when using radio modems and how the connectiom timeout is dealt with.

When I try to install DeLoad on XP, a box keeps popping up telling me to reboot, even after rebooting.

This is an unresloved issue with the Deload installer. If you are having this problem, boot up Windows in safe mode (hit the F8 key whilst Windows is loading), and then install DeLoad.

Unloading Data

Where does unloaded data get saved to ?

DeLoad saves unloaded data from dataTakers to the directory specified in the Unload Options tab for dataTakers shown in DeLoad Options. By default this is set to c:\datataker. Under this directory are additional directories named either by a default setting for example DT80 on Com 3 if the description field in Unload Options is blank, or named by what's in the description field.

What special characters should I avoid?

Do not use the & character anywhere in programs for DT5xx series dataTakers as this is used to detect the end of unloads

What happens if a connection is lost during an unload?

When unloading using ulast, if the connection to the dataTaker is lost for more than the connection timeout, the date,time stamp is saved for the last full record saved. This means that a maximum of 1 record will be lost for ulast unloads where the connection is lost during an unload

The length of data records unloaded by DT80/800 dataTakers and converted to CSV format is checked, and any errors counted and the number copied to a file called LostDT800CSV.txt in the dataTaker's unload directory. Incorrect lengths can be caused by the connection to a DT80/800 being lost during an unload.

Why don't the heading columns match the data?

If you add the 'NL' no log channel option eg: RA1S 1V(NL) to measurements being made by a datataker, the headings that appear in the unload files may not match up to the data below, as the 'NL' option stops data being saved but does not remove the heading. This is a limitation of dataTaker operation. To overcome this problem, if you have to use NL, make sure that in the dataTaker program all measurements that are logged come first. Then in the unload file there will just be headings at the end with no data for the measurements that have the 'NL' option.

Can I unload a job that is not current?

For DT80, DT81 and DT800s, if there is no current job DeLoad asks you to choose a job to unload data for. The job you choose is then made current and an H command is sent.

Do I need to use unique names when putting data into a database?

Make sure that measurement names in dataTaker programs are unique if you want to save data to an access database or else and error will occur when deload tries to create the database

Why is there no data in the file created by deload?

In most cases, if DeLoad tells you that there is no data, then there is no data to unload. This can happen because you have set ULAST for a schedule and no data for that schedule has been logged since the last unload by DeLoad, or if logging has been inadvertently turned off in the dataTaker. Note that if there is a large amount of data stored in a dataTaker and you are using ULAST, there is a delay between the time that DeLoad sends the unload command and the dataTaker actually starting to return data. This is because it takes a few seconds or even 10 of seconds for the dataTaker to find the unload from-point in logged data. You should take this into account when setting the connection timeout for each dataTaker. If you are expecting a large amount of data to be stored for example onto a memory card, you should increase the connection timeout by 30 seconds or so.

What is a schedule ?

A schedule is a group of dataTaker measurements and commands or actions specified in the program running in a dataTaker. Schedules make it easier to organise dataTaker measurments and logged data. DeLoad works with dataTaker data by schedule. Data is unloaded and saved to files according to the schedule letter.

What is ULAST ?

In DeLoad Options there are check boxes for dataTaker schedules named ULAST. When ticked, data for that schedule is unloaded from the end of the last lot of unloaded data for that schedule. In this case, data is appended to files named schedn.csv or schedn.dlr, where n is the schedule letter. ULAST works by DeLoad grabbing the date / time stamp from the last unloaded data record, and saving this to a file in the unload directory named for example DT80A.ini. Next time it unloads, it uses this saved date / time stamp in the unload command it sends to the dataTaker. Date / time stamps are checked for correct format, and if wrong aren't written to file. If ULAST isn't ticked, then data is saved to individual files named datetime.csv or datetime.dlr. These files are written to once, and contain data just from the last unload for a schedule.

Communications

How do I configure a remote modem?

If you are connecting to a remote dataTaker using modems, always make sure that you set the local modem baud rate to equal that of the remote dataTaker

Why can't I connect to my logger?

set the following options;

  • For RS232 or Ethernet connections set the time out to at least 30 seconds
  • For dial up modem connections it should be set to at least 120 seconds.
  • Also for dial in connections set the initializations string to AT

What does the Connection Timeout do ?

The connection timeout setting is vital to correct operation of DeLoad. It determines how long DeLoad waits for responses from a dataTaker before deciding that the connection has been lost. The default of 10 seconds will suit most RS232 and Ethernet connections providing that the dataTaker is not running a large program. For dataTakers running large programs or for modem connections, in particular gsm modems or radio modems, the connection timeout should be increased to 1 minute or longer.

Note that for versions of Deload before 2.30, the connection timeout is specified in the options.ini file, and is a global setting for all dataTakers. For versions of DeLoad 2.30 and later, the connection timeout is set in DeLoad Options by clicking on the SetCom button, and is separate for each dataTaker.

Miscellaneous

Where are options and settings stored for deload?

The following lists shows where various options and settings for deload are stored

  • options.ini - Global options
  • found.ini - All dataTaker details
  • emaillistn.ini - Email addresses
  • datatakermodeln.ini - Date,time stamp for ulasts

Can I configure DeLoad for other languages?

For multi-language versions of DeLoad, you can edit the UseLangFile settings in options.ini to either use the default English text (UseLangFile=False) or to point to a text file in the installation directory of DeLoad. The file name is as specified by the Language setting in options.ini eg: UseLangFile=True and Language=French will make DeLoad look for the file french.txt from which to get language text. The file must contain text as per the instructions in the file english.txt.

What are the deload command line arguments?

deload.exe command line argument examples
Example Comment
deload.exe unloads data from all dataTakers
deload.exe TEST unloads data from the dataTaker with description TEST
deload.exe ::1 unloads data from the dataTaker with an ID of 1
deload.exe ::1 c:\test.txt sends the contents of the file c:\test.txt to the dataTaker with an ID of 1
deload.exe ::1 %RESET sends the command RESET to the dataTaker with an ID of 1
deload.exe ::1 %RESET% opens up the terminal window and sends the command RESET to the dataTaker with an ID of 1
deload.exe &1,9600,n,8,1,H opens up a terminal window connected to com 1 @ 9600,n,8,1 hardware flow control
deload.exe &192.168.1.1:8 opens up a terminal window connected to ip address 192.168.1.1 on tcp port 8

Notes

  1. The ID ::n is created when dataTakers are added in the options control panel and can be seen in found.ini
  2. deload.exe description %command(%) doesn't work - you have to use the ID

Windows Scheduler

Why doesn't Deload run from Windows scheduler?

If you use the add scheduled task wizard in Windows XP and select DeLoad from the list of applications it creates a program name like C:\PROGRAM~1\DELOAD\DELOAD.EXE. Change this to "C:\Program Files\Deload\Deload.exe" (don't forget the quotation marks as they are important). Also change the starting directory to "C:\Program Files\Deload". If you want to add arguments to Deload then make sure they are placed AFTER the closing quote. For example to unload the site "Golly" then set the run field to

"C:\Program Files\Deload\Deload.exe" golly

Another problem that has been seen is a previous instances of DeLoad still running in memory not allowing new instances of DeLoad to run. To check if this has happened open the Task Manager and check the running applications. If DeLoad is already running then force it closed in Task Manager.

If you use the Window's Scheduler to point to icons created using DeLoad Options, you will find that the arguments to deload.exe are missing from the 'Run' box in the properties for the scheduled task. You must manuually add the arguments for this to work. The best way to do this is to right click on the icon created using DeLoad Options, choose properties, then click the 'Shortcut' tab, and copy the contents of the 'Target' box. Paste this into the 'Run' box for the scheduled task. Now Window's scheduler will run the DeLoad icon.

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