Consort provides software for reading and logging the data coming from our measurement devices. The collected data can be used in spreadsheet software. This document describes how to install the software DIS.
Before installing any software, make sure the device is not connected to the computer by means of the USB.
The software is written for Windows and has been tested on all Windows versions starting from Windows XP up to Windows 8.1. It will be required for the last Windows versions (7, 8.x) to change the compatibility to Windows XP SP3. This will be explained in 1.3.
A suitable RS232 cable is required to connect. This cable should have 2 female DB9 connectors and the line connections should be straight forwarded (1:1). The Consort article code for the correct cable is AK2315.
The Consort meter can have multiple communication ports. In case you're using the USB port, you'll need to install a suitable USB driver. This driver is a required computer system hardware program.
The Consort instruments use USB circuits from FTDI Chip. This company supplies the suitable USB driver in order to be able to communicate with the devices. The latest driver can be downloaded from the FTDI website: http://www.ftdichip.com/Drivers/VCP.htm.
The easiest installation is done by choosing the setup executable to which is referenced in the Comments column of the driver page. Make sure the correct Windows version and Processor Architecture of your system is chosen. After downloading this executable file, it is required to run that program and wait until it has finished, that's it. The driver is automatically and correctly installed.
When installed, it is possible to connect the Consort instrument and, when done for the first time, the Windows system will recognise the USB device and install the correct software. Most probably is this done in two steps, first the USB driver itself, then a VCP (Virtual Communication Port) for other software to be able to communicate with the device. This VCP will be visible in the software as a COMx port (x = any number from 1 to 255) when searching for possible serial communication ports. Try to remember the port when indicated for easier use in the software later.
When the RS232 port is not available in the computer and the device has no USB port, it is possible to use a RS232/USB converter. Making use of a USB converter usually requires also the RS232 cable. When installing a USB converter, make sure a Virtual Comm Port (VCP) is installed by the USB driver. This VCP is a simulation of a RS232 port and is required to be able to connect to the power supply (see previous paragraph).
The software can be downloaded when clicking this link DIS1 (latest version). A window will open to start the download, choose a location where to place the ZIP file.
When downloaded, use the Windows Explorer to navigate to the ZIP file, right-click it and choose to extract the contents. Navigate to the extracted files and start the program setup.exe. The setup program will start, copy some files and show the following window:
Close unnecessary programs and choose OK to obtain the following:
Click the big button to install the software:
Confirm by clicking Continue. The installation of program will continue.
It might be possible that a window opens requesting whether it needs to replace existing files that are newer than the ones it wants to install. Confirm to keep the existing files so the latest files remain intact.
When the complete installation is finished, you'll be able to confirm by clicking OK. The program can opened by choosing the Start menu button and select it from the group Consort.
Now the program has been installed, it will be required to set it up so that the device can be read and the data can be logged.
For newer Windows systems (7 and 8.x), it will be required to set the program compatibility to Windows XP SP3. This can be done by choosing the shortcut that will be used to start the program. Right-click it and choose Properties from the pop-up menu. The shown window will have a tabbed page Compatibility. Choose this page and set the compatibility mode. It might be required to set also the option to run the program as an administrator on the same page. Choose OK to confirm the modifications.
Start the program for the first time and it will create files and sub-folders in the User documents folder: e.g. (My Documents)\Consort\DIS1_Cx Several sub-folders will be created for storing data, configuration and help files. The program will also unzip the help files to this help folder.
When no configuration file has been set yet, it will be required to set the communication settings (COMx port) and which device is being used in the Configuration window that will open automatically.
For all further and more detailed information on the use of the program with the device, choose Help > How To… from the menu bar of the program. On this help page are all possible start questions explained.
One program instance of the DIS software is able to log data from one instrument only. By storing and recalling different configurations, it is possible to set up the software for different devices. It is also possible to run multiple program instances to be able to read and log multiple devices at the same time.
It is possible to use different configurations (e.g. for different devices) when saving the settings with different filenames by using the function File>Save Settings as.
Each file of settings can be recalled with the menu function File>Read Settings.
The program will always start with the last used configration.
The program will also store changes automatically in the configuration file that is being used.
It might be required to log more than one device simultaneously. This can be achieved by starting multiple program instances of which each uses another configuration.
Use the start-up key CFG=x in the target box of the shortcut, where x can be any symbol (single character) and is used to distinguish between the different configurations.
e.g. CFG=1 will lead to configuration files with the extension CFG1.
The procedure to follow: