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Picolog on Netbook records at one third speed

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Picolog on Netbook records at one third speed

Postby RichB » Tue Nov 09, 2010 8:35 pm

Hello,

I've been using Pico products for at least seven years and I've come across something out of the ordinary.

I'm using Picolog to record data once per second for 43200 seconds, (12 hours) then start a new file and continue recording. A typical recording session would be several weeks of continuous logging. I used to be able to do this successfully with earlier versions, such as 5.15.xx, with TC-08s. I have the recorder and sampling set properly, such as I used to do with TC-08.

My problem is that Picolog keeps time much more slowly than the PC clock. I'm running Picolog 5.21.5 on 32 bit Windows XP Home with one Picolog 1216. I'm using all sixteen channels, three channels with scaling.

For example, I recorded one file this morning. The file properties show a time created of 9:16:23 and the time last modified of 9:57:30. I know these times are correct from looking at my watch.

Looking at the data using Pico Player in spreadsheet view, with time displayed as 'time of day', the first row shows 9:16:30 and the last row shows 9:35:56. In round numbers, elapsed clock time was 45 minutes, Picolog recorded time was 15 minutes, a three to one slow down.

I've attached two files, the plw file and a screenshot of the file properties.

Any suggestions?

Thanks, Rich.
Attachments
Phil-120_Properties.JPG
Phil-120.PLW
(99.1 KiB) Downloaded 239 times
Last edited by RichB on Wed Nov 24, 2010 2:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Picolog records data at one third speed

Postby ziko » Mon Nov 22, 2010 2:34 pm

Hi Sorry for the delayed response, this forum post somehow got past me.

I am trying your exact same setup on my computer to see if I have this problem.

When you say you start a new file, do you mean you do a repeat immediately or after a specific time or do you manual start it again.

Is the first run not working or is it the subsequent files?

Kind regards
Ziko

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Re: Picolog records data at one third speed

Postby RichB » Mon Nov 22, 2010 4:03 pm

Hello Ziko,

I set picolog for repeat immediately, so picolog creates the new file.

The slow down occurs on the first file and all subsequent files.

I'm running picolog on a netbook with Win XP. To save energy, the netbook slows the processor whenever you aren't actively typing. For example, when typing the processor runs at full speed, 900 MHz. After stopping typing, the processor slows to about 480 MHz. This seems to be the source of my problem.

Changing power settings in the netbook does not change the slow down. I posted a trouble ticket, number TS00034433.

For this long term data logging project, I purchased five netbooks and five Pico 1216 USB loggers. My manager is not too happy, but we are working around this slow timing business as best we can.

Rich.
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Re: Picolog on Netbook records at one third speed

Postby RichB » Wed Nov 24, 2010 2:17 pm

Hello Ziko,

I found out a little more about this timing issue on my netbook.

While using the netbook for a few tasks, I loaded up Crystal CPUID (RTC function) so I could watch the processor speed in real time. Turns out the processor goes to full speed whenever there is a significant processor load, such as loading a program or running an intensive calculation. Typing on the keyboard does not bring the processor back to full speed.

So as a test, I loaded Prime 95 and let it run in the background while running Picolog. The processor was running at full speed the entire time and Picolog kept perfect time while logging.

The cooling fan on the netbook also had to run at full speed, so it makes me wonder how long the netbook will hold up with 100% CPU utilization.

Rich.
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Re: Picolog on Netbook records at one third speed

Postby ziko » Tue Nov 30, 2010 2:13 pm

Hi RichB,

Thank you for your feedback you have also posted this on the helpdesk, so in order to avoid any confusion I will leave the communication via the helpdesk, I will post the final outcome here.

Kind regards
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Re: Picolog on Netbook records at one third speed

Postby RichB » Thu Jun 14, 2012 12:22 am

Hello,

It's been a while since I checked on this topic. As far as I know, I haven't heard anything from the help desk on this topic. I'd like to get confirmation that the trouble ticket is still open?

Thanks, Rich.
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Re: Picolog on Netbook records at one third speed

Postby Hitesh » Thu Jun 14, 2012 8:16 am

Hi RichB,

Have you tried the latest version of PicoLog (5.22.6)?

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Re: Picolog records data at one third speed

Postby TinWhisker » Thu Jun 14, 2012 8:47 am

RichB wrote:I'm running picolog on a netbook with Win XP. To save energy, the netbook slows the processor whenever you aren't actively typing. For example, when typing the processor runs at full speed, 900 MHz. After stopping typing, the processor slows to about 480 MHz. This seems to be the source of my problem.

Changing power settings in the netbook does not change the slow down. I posted a trouble ticket, number TS00034433.


If your comfortable changing your BIOS settings, look for a setting akin to 'Speed Step' or 'Variable Frequency' within the CPU settings and change this to off.

You may even be able to set a CPU frequency between its min/max to hold it.

A CPU at full speed does not mean it will run hot constantly, only when the load increases (it'll get hot quicker though).
I don't think PicoLog consumes that much, so the fan should kick in/out as needed.

The educated guess at the problem is the program being non-frequency aware - so it doesn't notice the speed drop, thus when timing, say 1 MS at 900MHz is X thousand cycles, but that X thousand at 480 MHz takes considerably longer.
The issue isn't there when at startup/fixed CPU frequency as the timer may use that instance to calculate it's timers.
If the speed stepping system offered a call-back of sorts, it may allow programs to be notified of speed changes, allowing the timers to update.


With that, you may be able to fix the speed at 480 MHz. This way you consume less power and the program should run correct for long logs.
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Re: Picolog on Netbook records at one third speed

Postby RichB » Thu Jun 14, 2012 12:49 pm

Hello,

Hitesh,

I have not tried the latest version of Picolog. Looking through the release notes for the versions after 5.21.5, I don't see any changes listed that seem related. Do you think something might have been changed and not recorded in the release notes?

TinWhisker,

I double checked this morning, the BIOS for this netbook is very simple and does not have any options related to speed. I also made sure that the netbook has the latest version of the BIOS for this model.

Thanks, Rich.
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Re: Picolog on Netbook records at one third speed

Postby RichB » Thu Jun 14, 2012 5:39 pm

Hello Hitesh,

I downloaded and installed the latest Picolog version, 5.22.6

After logging a test run for just under two hours, the time stamp seems to be spot on. The PC clock time, the file properties time, and the time logged in the spreadsheet view all agree. I'll run another test overnight, just to be sure.

So to answer my own question, apparently the time logging routines have been fixed, without an explicit listing under the release notes. I guess this issue must fall under the category of 'minor bug'!

Thanks for fixing up Picolog!

Rich.
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Re: Picolog on Netbook records at one third speed

Postby Hitesh » Fri Jun 15, 2012 10:41 am

Hi Rich,

Thanks for letting us know. If you can let us know how the second test goes that would be great.

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Re: Picolog on Netbook records at one third speed

Postby RichB » Fri Jun 15, 2012 12:50 pm

Hello Hitesh,

I let Picolog 5.22.6 run overnight, creating new files using the repeat immediately option. Each file has the right time stamp on each sample, and the time stamps agree with the windows explorer file properties.

So this confirms that some revision somewhere after 5.21.5, up to 5.22.6, has resolved the time stamp issue. So for anyone else that has issues with the time stamp being slow, update your software to at least 5.22.6 and the issue should be resolved.

Thanks again!

Rich.
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