Warthog Systems LabHelper X
          gathering data
            using LabHelper

LabHelper's screen display during data acquisition varies with operational mode and the number of channels.  Users can vary the colors of the screen stripcharts (from the screen colors option of the 'VIEW' menu).  The following discussion refers to the built-in "standard" colors specified in the standard 'LabHelper prefs' file, and may not be the ones the user prefers.

  •    A typical CHART mode plot window is shown here:

    The plot areas (1 to a maximum of 16) are dark gray, with pale blue grid lines and lettering.  Data are plotted as yellow lines extending left to right across the screen.  The information shown in the plot areas and the data bar varies with sampling rate.  At high sampling rates, the yellow data bar at the top left of the screen, shows only the sample number and the maximum number of cases.  At slower sampling rates, the data bar shows the sample number, the time, the percent completion, the time to go, and the maximum number of cases.  If Autorepeat is selected, a small window in the first channel's plot area shows the current file name under which data will be stored.  Except at high sampling rates, channel values (the last value recorded for each channel) appear in the plot area(s); this is under user control.  At the bottom of the plot area are tics showing an elapsed time scale.  If one of the external device control modes is operating, a yellow-on-blue legend reading " '-' for ref, '+' for sample " appears in the lower part of the screen below the plot areas.  In this example:

    • 3 markers ("a", "b", and "c") have been entered
    • channels 1 and 3 are interfaced to external switching devices (both show periods of 'zero' value, indicating they are not being recorded)

    If you are using a 'compressed' view mode (selected with the chart view button on the Display Setup window; not shown here), the degree of view compression is shown in the lower left of the screen, together with a graphical index.  This old view shows a graphical representation of screen usage in the upper right (small white and green squares); in current versions a progress bar indicates how many samples remain available.

    Top of page

    If your screen is wider than 640 pixels, a small yellow window showing the backup status appears in the lower right corner (automatic backup is not selected in this example).

  •    The Toolbar lets you control acquisition by clicking icons instead of using the keyboard (both options work when the toolbar is visible).  You can select either a white or dark toolbar background in the 'Preferences' option in the 'LabHelper X' menu.  The icons should be mostly self-explanatory.


    • The red 'X' halts acquisition and opens the Options window (same as hitting the ESC key).

    • The '||' icon pauses acquisition and opens a window that lets you adjust channel scaling or sample rate.   You can write a short note if you wish; this will appear in the file's comments.   Acquisition is halted while this window is open:


    • The right triangle resumes acquisition.

    • The 'pen' icon lets you enter a note of up to 250 characters in real time (during acquisition); the note(s) can be read when the file is analyzed in LabAnalyst X and are aligned to the time at which the note was written, with a marker in the file.   Note that you can edit your text only with the backspace/delete key; clicking the cursor doesn't work.  Also, this process may slow sampling if you are acquiring data at high speed:


    • The '+' icon adds time (same as hitting the 'Return' key).

    • The 'circling arrow' icon opens a window that plays back the entire set of acquired data; acquisition continues in the background.   Hit the 'resume' icon (right triangle) to close this window.

    • The 'hourglass' icon shows the time remaining until the next reference reading.

    • The 'disk + clock' icon forces an immediate backup save.

    • Finally, the icon with up and down triangles switches between reference (click the bottom half with the downward-pointing triangle) or sample (click the top half).

  • Top of page

  •   Markers (to indicate important events, timing, or other uses) are entered by hitting any letter or number key; they appear as vertical lines on the plot areas.  Markers are stored in the data file and can be displayed during data analysis.  To enter the Options window (for saving data and other operations), hit the ESC key.

    • If you are coming to the end of a chart record and you need to continue recording, hit the 'return' key, or click the toolbar '+' icon.  This will add another screenwidth of cases to the maximum number of cases (up to the maximum sample size).  This works in both CHART and SCOPE + CHART modes. 

  •    In OSCILLOSCOPE mode, the single plot area is dark blue, with pale blue grid lines and white lettering.  Data points are in yellow.  The data bar shows only the maximum number of points on the screen.  A small window in the plot area shows the file name and suffix under which the next screenfull of data will be stored.  At the bottom of the screen are instructions for saving screens of data (hit the TAB key), or exiting to the Options window (hit the ESC key; see below).  At the bottom of the plot area are tics showing an elapsed time scale.  Markers are not allowed in Oscilloscope mode.

    Top of page

  •    In OSCILLOSCOPE PLUS CHART mode, the topmost plot area functions like the regular Oscilloscope mode, with dark blue plot area, pale blue grid lines, white lettering, and erasable yellow data points.  During intermittent sampling, the plot area for scope data is red, not blue.  The plot areas for chart channels are the 'usual' dark gray, with light blue grid lines and lettering, and yellow data lines.  The data bar shows the trace length of the chart screen, and at slow oscilloscope sampling rates it also shows the number of points recorded on the chart channels.  A small window in the plot area for the scope channel shows the file name under which the next screenfull of data will be stored.  Channel values do not appear, and markers appear only in the plot areas for chart channels.  Markers can be entered by hitting any letter or number key, or they can be entered automatically by the computer when oscilloscope screens are saved.  Automatic markers are a sequence of numbers running from 0 to 9, with the sequence repeating up to a total of several thousand markers.  You can still enter markers manually by hitting any letter or number key.

    The view compression and screen indicators are as described for chart mode, above.

    To store the currently-displayed oscilloscope screen, hit the TAB key.  To enter the Options window (for saving the chart channels and for other operations), hit ESC.  At the bottom of the plot area are tics showing an elapsed time scale.

    go to: