FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions

What is Channel 8?

Channel 8 is open source data logging software that runs under Linux. Channel 8 works with A/D converters to display and record up to 8 channels of real-world analog readings. Channel 8 works over your LAN or the Internet via browser to allow remote data display and logging.


What Types of A/D Converters Work with Channel 8?

External A/D converters that connect to a PC via serial port are easily interfaced to Channel 8. You can build a simple A/D converter interface using the instructions provided in the Projects section of this website. Manufacturers of serial port A/D converters include DGH, Dataq, P.H. Anderson and B&B Electronics. See the Links page on this website for further details.


How Do I Write Code to Connect My A/D Converter to Channel 8?

Sample code is given in the Channel 8 Documentation. See the Tech Notes section of this website for a detailed explanation. Most serial port A/D converters communicate using strings of characters and are straightforward to connect to Channel 8.


What is the Best Linux Distribution for Channel 8?

Almost any distribution should work. When selecting a Linux distribution be sure it includes the gcc compiler as well as FTP and Telnet servers.

Slax is a portable Linux distribution that makes a good platform for Channel 8. A CD and USB thumb drive pre-loaded with Slax and Channel 8 are available - See the Links & Resources page.


Can I Customize Channel 8?

Channel 8 is open source software and the complete source code files are included in the download package. The browser interface is based on shttpd, another Sourceforge project. See the Links section of this website.


How Can I Retrieve Data Recorded by Channel 8

Data recorded by Channel 8 is stored in a file called data.txt. This file can be downloaded from the Channel 8 Linux PC using FTP. Alternately, data.txt can be listed on the screen and copied by high-lighting the listing on the browser screen.


Can I Bring Channel 8 Data into Excel?

Yes. The data.txt file is a text mode file and can be opened in Excel after downloading from the remote PC. Data.txt is delimited by spaces and the Excel wizard will automatically place each set of channel readings into separate columns. If you highlight and copy the data from the browser screen, paste it first into Notepad, save to your local drive as a text file - then open in Excel as described above.

A section of data.txt with four input channels recorded, is shown below:

---- Time and Date ----- Chn 0 Chn 1 Chn 2 Chn 3 Chn 4
=========================
Fri Apr 27 18:32:14 2007 0.078 1.615 2.757 3.254 4.349
Fri Apr 27 18:33:14 2007 0.077 1.896 2.911 3.456 4.386
Fri Apr 27 18:34:14 2007 0.084 1.684 2.075 3.668 4.932