Bug: Channels get mixed after some time

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ckunert
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Bug: Channels get mixed after some time

Post by ckunert »

Hello,

I am using a PicoLog 1216 with Picolog 6.1.18.
I experienced several times now on different PCs the following problem.

The channels measurement values get mixed after some time, so that the initial assignment (CH1 is named Alpha, CH2 is named Beta...) is not valid anymore (Alpha is showing values from CH11, Beta is showing values from CH3...).

The values in the log file are continous, so there is no hint that shows me that this bug has happened. As some acquisitions run several weeks or months, this is quite annoying and makes it useless as the measurements cannot be assigned anymore.

First this happened on an old PC (Win7, 2GB Ram). Then we upgraded to a Win10 + 4GB RAM PC but the problem still occured.

It seems to happen, when the RAM is almost full (e.g. Malware scanner runs once a day for a certain time or opening another RAM occupying application). The reason can of course be another one, but as a first hint for finding the cause, I would investigate in that direction.

I hope you can provide help.

With kind regards

Christian

Martyn
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Re: Bug: Channels get mixed after some time

Post by Martyn »

We are investigating this issue and would like you to send in a .picolog file showing the channel swapping to support@picotech.com and the team will be able to follow up on this with you.
Martyn
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ckunert
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Re: Bug: Channels get mixed after some time

Post by ckunert »

Hello Martyn,

thank you for the quick reply. I wrote an email to the suggested address. As a reference, I attached a picture here to show what it looks like in the picolog file.
Attachments
Channel Swapping.PNG

MOME49
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Re: Bug: Channels get mixed after some time

Post by MOME49 »

Hello,

we use PicoLog 1216 since several years and work with the PicoLog 6 Software, actually version 6.1.17), very happy with it.

Last week we encountered the same problem as reported by ckunert (38761) under topic 41287: Bug: Channels get mixed after some time.

Application: datalogging of 16 sensor signals, capture 1/s, runs of 10 or 6 minutes; then saving data as picolog-, pdf- and csv-files. The following pictures show a sequence of 4 testruns, so testrun 2 signals follow up to testrun 1 signals, etc.

Problem: after saving the first run (see Testrun_1.png), exporting data and
deleting data on desktop, a new run is started. Here we see channels get mixed up
(see Testrun_2.png): sensor of channel 16 is displayed as channel 6, previous channel signal 9 is now found on channel 1, etc.
The next runs shows even new mixing up again (see Testrun_3.png and Testrun_4.png). The 4th testrun is stopped, data deleted and PicoLog programm closed/shut down.
Restarting the application will result in a display which cuts off the channel informations on the right half of the desktop and no possibility to close the application (see PicoLog_crash.png). Thus: you need to close the application in task manager. When restarting the application again, it works correctly for just one run only (as Testrun_1.png) and gets mixed up on the following run again.

- The error happend sudenly after hundreds of normal runs and stays on since then.
- Actually our turnaround (closing PicoLog 6 with task manager and restarting again) allows to use the application but it's annoying (..and it worked fine before).
- If you do NOT recognise the error you will perform recordings and data handling with wrong channel assignments which is FATAL for your results.
- As to the PC: Intel i7-CPU with Windows 10, 16 GB memory. Is dedicately used for this specific application since 2 years with PicoLog 6 and same PicoLog hardware.
- We deinstalled the PicoLog 6 application including all drivers associated (6 in the list, for USB, etc.) and reinstalled PicoLog 6.1.17 (and no further updates!), but the bug remained unchanged.
- For sure the sensor hardware has not been mixed up. We also exlude a hardware problem with the PicoLog 1216 boxes, as we tested two different boxes and got the same errors and resp. no errors on a different PC).
- Notice: When channels are mixed up, e.g from channel 1 to channel 10, then the corresponding sensor signal (original 1) data is processed and displayed according to the calculations registered for channel 10 (e.g. "equation" or "table" curve adjustment).
- Until now the problem has not occured on a different PC with W7 and with same or different PicoLog 1216 hardware, same sensor hardware and doing the same data
exportation.

The observations made here are pretty similar to the blog posted by GGGGGGG under the topic: PicoLog 6.1.18 Display Issues After Export. There is an even older post (2014) from tech2 under the topic: Mixed up channels.

Hoping strongly you can identify the source of the problem and solve it soon.
With kind regards
MOME49
Attachments
PicoLog_crash.png
Testrun_4.png
Testrun_3.png
Testrun_2.png
Testrun_1.png

MOME49
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Re: Bug: Channels get mixed after some time

Post by MOME49 »

Follow up to my post of this morning and as a result of some more trials:

It seems that the error with channel mixing up only happens when you export data, most probably as .csv. When a run is saved as .picolog and a new run started directly afterwards (with no export), there is no channel mixing up effect. But the export in between seems to provoke the channel mixing.

Two weeks ago the PC has been updated (incl. MS Office 365) which may have created the bug. As we could not get rid of it by deinstalling and reinstalling the PicoLog application (version 6.1.17), it may well be an interference from Windows/MSO/DLL.
The second laptop which didn't showed the error even upon exporting .csv files has no MS Office installed, but Open Office 4.1.10 - this is just a hint.

Best regards
MOME49

Martyn
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Re: Bug: Channels get mixed after some time

Post by Martyn »

Can you please email support@picotech.com we would like to provide you with a test version of the software to check this out.
Martyn
Technical Support Manager

Martin Lintzgy
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Re: Bug: Channels get mixed after some time

Post by Martin Lintzgy »

I have this problem, too.
Wasted me a lot of time. Logging 16 channels, for a couple of days then Channels 4 & 8 swapped over, simultaneously with channels 5 & 9.
Attachments
picolog Swap.PNG

Martin Lintzgy
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Re: Bug: Channels get mixed after some time

Post by Martin Lintzgy »

Tech support just dont respond.
They sent a beta version, that didnt fix the issue.
The problem is the same over several windows 10 PC's. - occurs after several hours of logging.
The channels randomly swap around - sometimes several times over the space of a week, swapping back and forth, random mix up.
I am now looking around for another logger.
The LabJack U3-LV looks to be a similar product, that might work properly, as I am finding the Picolog useless.

mchamley
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Re: Bug: Channels get mixed after some time

Post by mchamley »

We've been suffering with this problem for months too, using Picolog 1216 dataloggers and Picolog 6.1.18. It can happen with only one datalogger connected or with a few, and it can happen after only a few days or it can work for a few months before the channels swap. It can also affect a few channels or all of them. In most cases the voltages we're logging are close to each other, and when the channels swap it seems to swap some internal calibration values at the same time, so the traces no longer line up and we can't identify which channels the data corresponds to, so affected data is useless to us. In some cases the channels seem to swap with unused channels, so the data is lost entirely. This bug particularly problematic when some test event happens at night or over a weekend or holiday and we're unable to trace which channel it occurred on.

Unfortunately when I contacted support they acknowledged that this is a known bug, but were unable to indicate when this issue might be addressed. The fix wasn't included with Picolog Cloud 6.2.0, and against the background of previous problems we had with unrecoverable database corruption with an earlier version of Picolog 6, without a resolution to the channel swapping bug we're reluctant to upgrade in case we run into new bugs. This bug is really frustrating - it's costing us (a business unit in a multi-billion dollar per year corporation) test time and losing us valuable test data. As it is the product isn't fit for purpose as a datalogging solution. If Pico would like me to run a debug version of the driver concerned in order to help find the bug then I would be happy to do.

If this issue isn't resolved we'll have no choice but to use products from a competitor. If anyone has any suggestions of similar products from another company they would be welcome.

Martin Lintzgy
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Re: Bug: Channels get mixed after some time

Post by Martin Lintzgy »

I have been complaining to their tech support for months about this.
Here is the response:
"Thank you for your update and we apologize that the fix might take a while."
Maybe 10 years?
Other postings, same issue, from 2014
viewtopic.php?t=14331

I see it affects their Picoscope products, too.
https://www.picoauto.com/support/viewtopic.php?t=10171

I suspect they sub out their software, and dont have the means with inhouse engineers to sort this.
It will kill their company in time, as the word gets out.
If anyone can find a similar product that works properly, please post here, after bookmarking.

MOME49
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Re: Bug: Channels get mixed after some time

Post by MOME49 »

After noumerious tests I found the root cause of the channel mix-up:

- The problem is not related to the Picolog version (in use: 6.1.17 and 6.1.18), nor is it related to exporting csv or pdf files, nor to RAM size or similar. PicoLog runs fine.
- There is definitely an interference/incompatibility with the Microsoft EDGE browser. The channel swapping happens every time MS Edge IS STARTED and shifts all channels. See picture from attached file "view_42_run_6.1.18.pdf".
- During the logging test run I started MS Edge which resulted the first channel swapping at time 14s. Then I closed MS Edge and launched it again, with a second channel swapping at time 34s. And repeated the procedure a third and fourth time, all within the same test run. Each time the channel swapping happened again shifting the channels to a new set.
- Analysing the data in the .csv file revealed that all channels are swapped and by the same shift length.
- Calculation within a channel remains at this channel, calculations are not swapped, but applied to a wrong input.
- If channel swapping happens due to MS Edge and you close the PicoLog window it is not properly shut down. Restarting of PicoLog results in a reduced sized window not allowing to close the application. Thus PicoLog must be shut down by the task manager kill action.Then it restarts properly.
- The swapping problem is related to the use of MS Edge. A simple workaround is to use Firefox browser and Foxit pdf reader instead of MS Edge during Picolog logging. Since I haven't observed any channel swapping.

This information was passed to Picotech but unfortunately not published or worked up yet. Therefor I submit it directly here in this blog. Pls report your experiences with the workaround (and make a short test with PicoLog and MS Edge to see the effect).
Best regards
Mome49

mchamley
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Re: Bug: Channels get mixed after some time

Post by mchamley »

Second attempt to attach examples of Picolog plots when this happens.

mchamley
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Re: Bug: Channels get mixed after some time

Post by mchamley »

MOME49 wrote:
Thu Dec 23, 2021 8:00 pm
After noumerious tests I found the root cause of the channel mix-up:

- The problem is not related to the Picolog version (in use: 6.1.17 and 6.1.18), nor is it related to exporting csv or pdf files, nor to RAM size or similar. PicoLog runs fine.
- There is definitely an interference/incompatibility with the Microsoft EDGE browser. The channel swapping happens every time MS Edge IS STARTED and shifts all channels. See picture from attached file "view_42_run_6.1.18.pdf".
- During the logging test run I started MS Edge which resulted the first channel swapping at time 14s. Then I closed MS Edge and launched it again, with a second channel swapping at time 34s. And repeated the procedure a third and fourth time, all within the same test run. Each time the channel swapping happened again shifting the channels to a new set.
- Analysing the data in the .csv file revealed that all channels are swapped and by the same shift length.
- Calculation within a channel remains at this channel, calculations are not swapped, but applied to a wrong input.
- If channel swapping happens due to MS Edge and you close the PicoLog window it is not properly shut down. Restarting of PicoLog results in a reduced sized window not allowing to close the application. Thus PicoLog must be shut down by the task manager kill action.Then it restarts properly.
- The swapping problem is related to the use of MS Edge. A simple workaround is to use Firefox browser and Foxit pdf reader instead of MS Edge during Picolog logging. Since I haven't observed any channel swapping.

This information was passed to Picotech but unfortunately not published or worked up yet. Therefor I submit it directly here in this blog. Pls report your experiences with the workaround (and make a short test with PicoLog and MS Edge to see the effect).
Best regards
Mome49
That's interesting, though we're using dedicated PCs for this that aren't assigned to any other task, they're connected to a dedicated engineering network with no internet access, so don't even have virus scanners, etc to interfere with things. Basically the only things we run on these particular PCs are PicoLog, and Windows explorer when we take backups of the logged data (and after that, PicoLog is checked for correct operation before closing the RDP session). It sounds like it may be worth me checking the windows event log to see what might have happened around the same time as the channel swapping.

BTW, I've tried a few times to attach examples of our channel swapping problems, in particular showing the discontinuities that cause us particular problems, but the attachments never make it through to the published posts.

mchamley
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Re: Bug: Channels get mixed after some time

Post by mchamley »

I've had a look through the windows event logs and can't see anything that seems related to the channel swapping events, and in fact there's often nothing in the logs at a similar time to the channel swapping. I do hope that someone in Pico Tehcnology will focus some attention on this issue, it's all well and good making PicoLog prettier and adding cloud functionality, but when the fundamentals of logging data reliably fall by the wayside you'll lose customers.

Martin Lintzgy
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Re: Bug: Channels get mixed after some time

Post by Martin Lintzgy »

Interesting regarding Edge.
We use a dedicated machine to log data from battery discharge over a period of several days to a couple of weeks.
The machine is unattended and does not have any other open apps.

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