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Colorado State University

  • Easy for students to use
  • Transparent to user
  • Full two way serial communication with ability to send commands to radioactivity monitor
  • Interfaces with any software program such as Microsoft Excel

Colorado State University Physics Department needed to monitor radioactive decay from radon gas in air samples. They wanted to use an Excel spreadsheet to monitor the data as this was easy for the students to learn and use since they are familiar with the spreadsheet interface. The WinWedge Standard provides the serial Input/Output capabilities to the spreadsheet. Therefore, WinWedge automatically transfers the serial data in real time to the spreadsheet for graphing and analysis. Commands are sent out by WinWedge to the radioactivity monitor by pressing mouse activated "buttons" in the Excel spreadsheet.

Before Brian Jones, the Laboratory Coordinator, discovered WinWedge he says they were "using a simple BASIC program that was, frankly, unacceptable." Before finding WinWedge he had considered using HP Instrument Basic as this is able to automate some elements of data collection and display. However this would have required programming and the interface produced would not have been as intuitive to the students as a spreadsheet interface such as Excel.

He chose WinWedge for its ease of use, its ability to provide a serial interface into Excel (and all other PC applications) and its completely transparent operation to the students (they just see the data "popping" into Excel).

Brian Jones had a few comments to add when we asked if he was happy with WinWedge - "I am very pleased with the WinWedge. It is exactly the tool I need for our application, and it was a real godsend." He said he was particularly pleased with its ease of use and that he would recommend WinWedge "absolutely" for laboratory data collection like this. He closed by adding "Thanks for making a great product!!"

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