Monday, February 9, 2009

QUARC: Channel Selection Dialogs

Some of the highly anticipated new features of our upcoming 1.2 version of QuaRC are the added Channel Selection and Channel Selection From Image Dialogs.

The Channel Selection Dialog is a generic user interface window to choose a list of channels from the set of I/O channels available for the data acquisition card being used. As an example, the screen capture below depicts a QUARC Channel Selection Dialog employed to select a set of some of the digital inputs available for the Quanser Q8 board. More specifically, the list on the left shows the available I/O channels from which the user may choose. The list on the right shows the channels that have already been selected:

Digital Input Selection using the Channel Selection Dialog

The Channel Selection Dialog is available for all of the data acquisition cards supported by QuaRC (totalling 46 in QuaRC 1.2!) and is typically accessed from either a HIL Initialize block or any other QuaRC HIL block used in I/O interfacing.

In addition, the Channel Selection Dialog works in concert with the Channel Selection From Image Dialog, which represents an interactive picture of the currently selected data acquisition card's external connector or terminal board. The Channel Selection From Image Dialog is a generic interface allowing the user to precisely mouse select a set of I/O channels directly from a picture of the HIL card's external connectors as well as visualize the locations of the I/O pins and/or connectors previously selected from the standard Channel Selection Dialog. This is illustrated in the screen capture below where the digital inputs from our previous selection are located and marked on the Q8 terminal board:

Digital Input Selection using the Channel Selection From Image Dialog

Sometimes the connection pins can be quite small and it becomes necessary to magnify the image to be able to see all the different channels/pins. This is why zooming in and out of a desired area of the image can be easily performed with the Channel Selection From Image Dialog so that I/O channels can be accurately identified and selected. As an illustration, the screen capture below shows in detail the previously selected Q8 digital inputs on the magnified Q8 terminal board digital header:

Board Magnification using the Channel Selection From Image Dialog

Last but not least, the Channel Selection Dialog also identifies and shows potential conflicts between selected and selectable channels. The screen capture below provides an example where the Q8 bidirectional digital lines which were previously selected as digital inputs are marked as potential conflicts if they were to be also selected as digital outputs:

Digital Output Selection showing Potential I/O Conflicts

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