Have you ever wanted Short Cut to support more sensors? Although Short Cut supports many sensors, you may have found that the sensor you want to measure is not on the list. What do you do then? How do you add that sensor to your datalogger program? In this article, we’ll discuss how you can easily create your own custom sensor files in Short Cut for use in your programs.
The Short Cut Program Generator is a software tool to help novices and experts create datalogger programs in five easy steps. As an added benefit, Short Cut also creates for you a printable wiring diagram. Short Cut comes bundled with LoggerNet and PC400 software. You can also download the tool free of charge from the Short Cut download page.
The content of this article assumes that you are already familiar with the five steps to create a datalogger program using Short Cut and that you are ready to create your own custom sensor file. If you’re fairly new to Short Cut, you can learn the basics by watching the videos on the Short Cut web page.
Short Cut has a Sensors folder titled “Generic Measurements” with several different types of measurements. If you know what type of output your sensor has, you may be able to use one of these generic measurements—especially if you will only be programming for that sensor once. Generic measurements, however, are probably not the best choice when you have a sensor that you use often and you don’t want to edit the generic measurement every time you use the sensor. If you create a custom sensor, it will save you time and effort later.
In this example, we’ll walk through the steps of how to create a custom sensor in Short Cut. For this example, imagine the following:
With Short Cut running, the first step to create a custom sensor is to select Tools | Options from the menu at the top of the screen. In the Options dialog box that opens, select the Enable Creation of Custom Sensor Files checkbox, and click the OK button.
To add your tensiometer to the list of sensors in Short Cut, follow these steps:
When you’re done editing, your custom sensor screen may look something like this:
In this example, the Long Name field creates a new folder titled “Custom” where the new sensor will be found the next time you want to use it in a CR1000 program.
Now that you have created your custom sensor file, it will show up in the Available Sensors and Devices field whenever you use Short Cut to write a CR1000 program. The display looks like this:
Because some of the fields were hidden from view, the only editable items in this window are the sensor name and the measurement units.
Note: If you want to use your custom sensor on other datalogger models, you will have to repeat the steps outlined here. In Short Cut, be sure to select a different datalogger.
Tip: Regularly make a backup of your Campbellsci working directory to preserve all of your custom sensor files, datalogger programs, and especially your datalogger data.
When you create custom sensor files in Short Cut, you enable this tool to more effectively help you create datalogger programs. With a little bit of practice, you can add a whole suite of non-standard sensors to Short Cut and create datalogger programs and wiring diagrams faster than ever.
If you have any custom sensor programming questions, post them below.