Test & Measurement Software
FreeVIEW-Sound-PRO - turns you Soundcard into a FFT Analyzer
Nearly all of today's PCs, Laptops and Tablet-PCs are equipped with an additional or on-board sound card or sound system. Now it can be turned into a 2, 4, 6 or 8 channel measurement system. Free-of-charge for Schools and Universities !
FreeVIEW-Sound-PRO is a virtual instrument application application software turns a Desktop, Laptop or Tablet-PC into a
- Data Logger
- Data Analyzer / FFT Analyzer - max. 8 channels simultaneously !
FreeVIEW-Sound-PRO can be used with all sound cards, onboard sound systems and external sound systems which supports Microsoft® Windows® multimedia API.
The sample rate is unlimited only dependent on the technical level of the sound card or the sound system. For example sound cards with up to 192kHz sample rate per channel and 2, 4, 6 or 8 input channels and 2 output channels both with up to 24 bit resolution and up to 192kHz each channel simultaneously can be used.
FreeVIEW-Sound-PRO is intended for people who don't want or need to program their own applications and just want to capture, store and post process data offline or online.
User feedback - Using FreeView-Sound-Pro and Agilent VEE 7, I have now got simultaneous, two channel, 24 bit DAC and ADC at 200kS/s, which is much better than what I could achieve with any of the software applications that I have been using to date.
- Oscilloscope: Online display, shows directly captured data with trigger.
- Storage mode without trigger also available.
- Data logger: Writes data directly to disk for high speed operation without display.
- Offline display shows data that was written to disk in binary. Data reduction/compression methods (+) available as well for viewing large amounts of data.
- Chart recorder: for low speed recording up to 5kHz. Shows data while it is captured.
- Data analyzer: Data or signal post processing using simple text-based formula input. Extension to the Offline Display. Result is shown again in XY graph window. 8 formulas/graph windows, called "virtual channels", available. Without entering a formula, 8 separate graph displays plus the main display window exist that can be scrolled/zoomed independent of each other.
- Designed for Microsoft Windows® 95/98/ME,XP, Vista® and Windows7® operating systems.
- Stand-alone application, does not need installed programming language or additional application.
- Works with huge files up to 2GByte size, that is equivalent to 1G samples.
- Space-Saving data storage, only two byte for one data point needed.
- GUI based, 800x600 screen resolution minimum required, 1280x1024 recommended for data analyzer. 1600x1200 points needed for showing all displays without overlap.
- Works with up to 8 channels at once.
- Zooming and panning implemented.
- Two markers in the display area for easy measurement and event
- Up to 8 virtual channels - Data of one or multiple input channels is preprocessed by user-defined formula and shown. There are lots of applications for these virtual channels: Conversion of physical units, for example, if thermocouple elements are used, or power calculation of two channels voltage and current, spectrum analysis, data filtering, only to give a few examples.
- Displays up to 65000 points per channel and more, depending on RAM and computer speed.
- Data reduction methods for accessing and displaying very large amounts of data:
- Skip: Data in between in skipped, only every N-th point is shown. N ranges from 2 to 32768.
- Min/Max: A data pair is calculated from a block of N points. The pair indicate minimum and maximum value of the data set.
- Mean: The arithmetic mean value of N data points is calculated and shown.
- Seperate displays for input and virtual channels.
- Shows current computer's load. Issues warning messages if load is too high.
- Supports all card's features:
- Trigger capability
- All input voltage ranges
- Differential inputs
- Print Screen facility. Also usable with monochrome printers because different point types (signs) can be set. Supports color as well.
- ASCII data export directly from display window: Formatted numbers in real data format are written to disk. Data can be post processed with all major applications like ORIGIN, FLEXPRO etc.
For writing applications, the FreeVIEW-Sound driver can be used directly with
- Borland Delphi 5 and higher
- Agilent VEE / HP VEE / DT VEE
- Microsoft® Visual Basic®
- Microsoft® Visual C++®
Example programs are included in the software package. FreeVIEW plus data logger / scope recorder software, in a special version for sound cards only, is included!
- 32 bit driver on top of Microsoft® Windows® multimedia API.
- The driver uses an additional FIFO buffer for intermediate storage. Sampled data can be retrieved in arbitrary length. The synchronous data capture is decoupled from block-like data processing. No data gets lost! This is a significant enhancement over the double buffer principle enforced by the original multimedia interface.
- Scaled data is returned in volts unit.
- Simple programming interface using only a few functions open(), close(), read(), write() and ioctl().
- Full error handling.
- Shares the features, the interfaces, the style and the experience of ELAN data acquisition PCMCIA Cards and USB DAQ BOX drivers.
Sound card properties
Not every measurement that can be performed using a full-featured data acquisition card can be also done by a sound card or a profi sound system. There are major differences that one should know:
Sound cards limitations
DC voltage measurements are not possible. Sound cards use capacitors in the signal path, so any DC level is removed. This means also that there is a lower frequency limit because of the highpass characteristic of the capacitor in line. The lower cutoff frequency is card dependent. The input impedance is low. Measurements are done using the line input. Real data acquisition cards have impedances of 1 to 10MOhm. In general sound cards have a much lower impedance, ranging from 600 Ohm to 47kOhm. One could use the microphone input for better sensitivity, but the noise floor is higher, and many cards output a voltage for microphone supply. If that input is used, a capacitor for blocking this voltage is necessary! Data acquisition cards can measure voltages with high accuracy (+/-1% or better). Furthermore they provide different measurement ranges. In contrast the sound cards recording level is set by a slider. There's no initial calibration; it must be performed by the user. The input voltage range used for sensor input is +/-10V in general. Sound cards with line input provide an input range of about +/- 400mV. The microphone input is much more sensitive. Only sensors with low voltage AC output and low output impedance are suitable! No trigger facilities. Data acquisition cards usually can wait for a so-called trigger event that starts the data capture. Common trigger events include "input voltage above or below level" or "rising edge" or "falling edge at level" detected. To some degree this limitation can be overcome by software. The calibration problem remains, so the trigger level will not be very accurate. Only two single-ended channels are available. Most data acquisition cards provide 8 or 16 channels that can be switched to single ended "unsymmetric" or differential "symmetric" inputs if signals differ in ground level. Professional audio equipment provide different inputs, for example, symmetric XLR inputs. Sound cards advantagesA clear advantage of sound cards in comparison to most data acquisition cards is that two channels are captured at the same time using two A/D converters or at least two sample and hold devices. Data acquisition cards usually use one A/D converter and a multiplexer. For that reason multiple channels are scanned one after another and not in parallel. Phase shifts can be caused, such cards are not suitable for vibration analysis or phase measurements. The ELAN AD142 PCMCIA Card are an exception because they are equipped with 2 x 14bit A/D converters that run up to 300kHz. A stereo (dual) D/A converter is present. It shares the same limitations as the inputs, nevertheless it can be used for waveform generation, closed loop applications in conjunction with the A/D converter and many other applications.
Sound cards advantages
A clear advantage of sound cards in comparison to most data acquisition cards is that two channels are captured at the same time using two A/D converters or at least two sample and hold devices. Data acquisition cards usually use one A/D converter and a multiplexer. For that reason multiple channels are scanned one after another and not in parallel. Phase shifts can be caused, such cards are not suitable for vibration analysis or phase measurements. The ELAN AD142 Card are an exception because they are equipped with 2 x 14bit A/D converters that run up to 300kHz. A stereo (dual) D/A converter is present. It shares the same limitations as the inputs, nevertheless it can be used for waveform generation, closed loop applications in conjunction with the A/D converter and many other applications.
Sales & Support
HACKER - DatenTechnik
Sales & Support
53498 Bad Breisig
Phone: +49 2633 200360
FAX: +49 2633 200361
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