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Testing PCsensor's TEMPerHUM Part 1 - Windows XP (Software Logging)

January 15, 2018

Testing PCsensor's “TEMPerHUM”

Phase 1: Testing PCsensor's “TEMPerHUM” in Windows XP environment

At first I wanted to test this sensor device in Microsoft Windows environments for which the producer dispatched an end-user software, named also TEMPerHUM, in its version 25.6 that at the time (mid-2017) was sent on a mini-CD alongside with the sensor in the box. For that purpose I used an old test desktop computer that was configured for dual-boot with Linux and Windows XP, and where I already had installed .NET Framework 2.0 and 3.0 …

... but it appeared that both those versions of .NET were not enough up-to-date for installing the version of TEMPerHUM v25.6 I received with the sensor. Therefore I had to install a little bit older version of TEMPerHUM v24.4.4 that I found on the PCsensor's website ...

However, the installed software worked fine. Upon its activation, it automatically recognized the sensor device and started logging monitored temperature, humidity, and dew point. I noticed that the software opens new file named as (this all): 2017-9-22 13h54m8s.csv, each time a user starts the software, and it can be seen that the filename includes both the date and time of starting the software. The content of a file looks like this:

1 , 26.26 , 58.77,17.55 , 22/09/2017 13:54:13
2 , 26.26 , 58.77,17.55 , 22/09/2017 13:54:15
3 , 26.25 , 58.73,17.53 , 22/09/2017 13:54:24
4 , 26.25 , 58.70,17.52 , 22/09/2017 13:54:26

The first column (E.g. number 4) is a sequential number of reading the temperature & humidity after the software was activated; the second column (26.25) is the temperature in Celsius, the third (58.70,17.52) is relative humidity & dew point, the fourth are date & time of the actual line's readings. Once again, the file name is this all: 2017-9-22 13h54m8s.csv

Please note that the time in the filename (13h54m8s) is just few seconds ahead of the time in the first line of reading in that particular session (13:54:13). That seems logical because loggings should start after opening a new file. Secondly, by looking to the lines 1 & 2 only (or 3 & 4 only), you can notice that new readings are performed and logged every 2 seconds. As a result, the curves in the diagrams above are pretty flat in such short periods of time because neither the temperature nor the humidity usually change so fast. Finally, a 9-second time 'gap' in between the line 2 and the line 3 resulted after a mouse click to the “STOP” button (on the left side above). Resuming the session is done by a mouse click to the “GO” button. The file remains the same.

At the moment of writing this test report, I did not find a method for transferring the monitored data from the logged files into an amateur radio software that would periodically (1-2 times per hour) retransmit the actual data to the air by using a VHF amateur radio station. The planned software for that purpose is YAAC 1.0-beta111(28-Jun-2017) and the plan is to contact the software's author to see what is possible to do. It should be mentioned that PCsensor's TEMPerHUM v24.4.4 gives an opportunity to choose the path in Windows where it stores the monitored data files, as well as if they are stored as .TXT or .CSV files, but not to choose some other file name format or anything else regarding the files.

As we discussed, it was needed to have .NET Framework 4 installed on a Microsoft Windows based computer in order to install software TEMPerHUM in the newest version 25.6 so I found installation package of .NET Framework 4 and started the installation procedure … 

So far – so good. After the installation appeared to be finished, I checked the status in Control Panel, Add or Remove Programs, and found .NET Framework 4 Client Profile & Extended to be there.

Then I started installing TEMPerHUM v.25.6 from a CD that accompanied PCsensor's TEMPerHUM temperature & humidity sensor device. This time the software installer did not complain about the absence of the 'proper' .NET Framework version … 

On the first sight it looked like that only the colors used in the graphical appearance of the program have been changed (in comparison with version 24.4.4) because there were no new features visible. On the other side, the installation package in version 25.6 was more than double larger in size than the installer in version 24.4.4 so it was unclear why it was significantly larger when there were no visible improvements in the software. In fact, all the features I tested in the new version were exactly the same as those in the older instance of the software. (We can only hope that software authors did not insert some 'hidden' features that are not visible to the end users.)

Last update: January 15, 2018

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