T&D World Magazine

Datastick Software Upgrades for its Handheld Vibration Analyzers Include Datastick Review

New versions 1.7 of the Datastick Spectrum software suite -- including the completely new Datastick Review software utility -- for its PDA-based VSA-series Vibration Spectrum Analyzers for predictive, conditions-based maintenance will ship this week.

The Datastick Spectrum software suite for handheld VSA-series Vibration Spectrum Analyzers includes Datastick Spectrum software for vibration data collection and analysis, Datastick Manager file-management utility, and a new utility called Datastick Review. With Datastick Review, the user can compare past vibration measurements with current measurements on the handheld itself for immediate historical analysis. These programs are all included in Datastick's PDA-based VSA-series Vibration Spectrum Analyzers which work with Palm OS handheld computers. Datastick simultaneously announced its upgraded version 1.7 of Datastick Reporting System for VSA software for machine histories and vibration analysis on desktop PCs.

Most of the software enhancements came about as the direct result of customer requests and from direct observation of customers using the VSA system.

"I was sitting in on one of our recent vibration training seminars and I noticed some people were confused about how to switch back and forth between waveforms and frequency spectra," said Steve Sabram, Datastick's president and chief technology officer. "Once I could see the exact difficulty, I designed a more direct way to make the switch. I made a test software build and I had them try it out in the next day's seminar. It was an immediate hit."

Customer feedback was also responsible for a major change in the way Datastick Spectrum displays overall vibration: the user interface was revised to make it easier for inexperienced users to collect simple overall vibration data for trending, while still allowing seasoned vibration experts the freedom needed to perform more detailed vibration spectrum analysis using their own custom vibration severity thresholds.

Working directly with customers performing data collection and management from large numbers of inspection points resulted in streamlined data collection and management features.

Datastick Review, the newest addition to the Datastick Spectrum software suite, has been in the works since fall 2006. It allows the user to make instant comparisons between current and past vibration data on the handheld itself. The user interface is similar to that of Datastick Spectrum, and the cursor display tools are exactly the same.

"Customers have been asking for this capability and I'm glad to say it's here," said Michael Scandling. "It's been in beta test for a couple of months now and our testers say it's just what they needed. They're happy and that makes me very happy, because it's part of Datastick's DNA to be responsive to customer needs."

Datastick Reporting System (DRS) for Windows-compatible PCs has also been elevated to version 1.7. DRS automatically builds machine histories in Microsoft Excel on the PC with data imported from the handheld running Datastick Spectrum. The new DRS version 1.7 has improved peak detection and logarithmic display, both of which resulted from customer requests. DRS 1.7 also has improved file filtering, graphic display, and code optimization, which have resulted in an overall speed increase.

Datastick Spectrum displays all the vital waveform or FFT spectral information on one screen on the PDA, making it even more efficient to use. Data can be shown in terms of acceleration, velocity, or displacement with the option of showing overall vibration and vibration alert levels in any view. Versatile cursor-point tools enable precise zooming and numerical readout of any data point. They can also show the harmonic relationship between any two data points. An "Add Note" feature allows the user to attach written observations to individual waveform or spectrum captures.

After the data is captured on the PDA, the user exports it to a Windows-compatible PC via file synchronization or by direct transfer on a Secure Digital (SD) memory card. Once on the PC, the data is imported into the desktop DRS software for further analysis using waveform and spectrum graphics, and comparison using stacked spectra and waterfall graphs as well as numerical tables.

Handhelds supported include: Palm TX handheld computer for the Datastick VSA-1214 and VSA-1215 Vibration Spectrum Analyzers and Palm Tungsten(TM) T3 and Garmin iQue 3200, and Garmin iQue 3600 for the Datastick VSA-1212 vibration spectrum analyzer. An optional ruggedized case protects the system in rough industrial environments.


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