Introduction

The Multi-PIP allows users to measure plant impedance at frequencies between 10Hz and 100kHz. It is highly configurable in both number of measured points on a plant and frequency measurements at each plant point. The Multi-PIP can be configured to display data in real time, or enter an ultra low-power mode where it will wake itself up at a scheduled interval to take measurements for days to weeks on end.

Software


The Multi-PIP software consists of three main tabs with a device information and connection section that is always displayed

Connection

The USB Connection section of the software will display all currently attached Multi-PIPs.

  • The user can search for devices by clicking the magnifying glass

  • Detected devices will show up the in device list

  • Clicking connect will connect to the device currently selected in the device list

    • When a device is connected the connect button will turn red, and display “Disconnect”

Device Information

The device information section of the software will display information about the currently connected device

Information Field

Description

Name

Configurable name given to a specific device

Unique ID

Manufacturer assigned serial number for the device

Time

Current time as read by the device

Battery Remaining

Estimation of the current battery percentage

Temperature

Internal temperature of the device

Storage Remaining

Space remaining on the device for storing measurement data

Configuration

The configuration tab is where the user can set up the parameters for their data collection. The window is broken into four main sections.

Measurement Settings

This section is where the user defines what frequencies the Multi-PIP should measure. Every probe pair specified in the probes section will take measurements based on the configuration defined in the measurements section. A measurement is defined as a single frequency sweep that is configured in this section. Each probe pair can have multiple measurements defined as needed for a specific application. The table below describes the function of each of the measurement panel entries.

Once all changes have been made to setup an experiment the user must click the apply settings button to apply the desired configuration to the connected Multi-PIP

Field

Description

Notes

Enabled

If checked, the set of frequencies specified by this row will be measured for all selected probes

Enabling more than one row allows for specifying different densities of frequencies piecewise across multiple ranges. Unchecked lines are saved for future user use.

Start (Hz)

The start frequency for a specific frequency sweep

User defined

# of Points

The number of points to be taken for this frequency sweep.

User defined

Increment (Hz)

The discreet change in frequency between each individual point in this sweep

user defined

End (Hz)

The last (highest) frequency that will be measured by the sweep

Calculated from start frequency, number of points, and frequency increment

Settle Cycles

Time to wait between producing the stimulus signal and attempting to read the return signal

Increasing this value can sometimes improve measurement accuracy especially at low frequencies as the cost of measurement run time and battery life

Run Time (s)

Estimated time that this frequency sweep will take to run

Calculated from the frequencies of interest, settle time, and number of measurement points

Interval (min)

Number of minutes to wait between measuring all specified frequencies for all specified probes.

Probe Select

The probes section allows the user to define which pairs to measure at each scheduled interval. The user specifies the outgoing (TX) signal and the incoming signal (RX) path to two of the front panel connectors.

The probe is specified by the combination of its column A-D and its row 1-4 This configuration will map which connectors are associated with specific probes on the plant or in the soil. The user can also give each probe pair a name for easy tracking and identification of each measurement.

Each defined probe pair is also assigned a device mode. The selected mode will impact the range of load impedances and frequencies over which the Multi-PIP will be able to acquire accurate data. The same probe pair may be measured using multiple modes, though distinct probes must be added as in the example below.

Mode Enable

This section allows for addition, removal, and enabling of up to four device modes (including the default mode). All modes present on the device will show in this list, and the checkbox next to each mode indicates whether it is enabled for use in a measurement.

Button

Description

Load

Loads a Multi-PIP mode from *.csv file.

Save

Exports a Multi-PIP mode file as a *.csv

Delete

Permanently deletes a Multi-PIP mode file from the device memory. Note, this button disabled with the default mode.

Once a mode is enabled, the ‘Mode’ drop down in the ‘Probe Select’ section will include the enabled mode names. This way, the same probe pair may be measured in multiple different modes.

Control

Button

Description

Apply

Applies the settings specified in the Configuration tab to the device

Revert

Reverts the settings in the Configuration tab to the ones last applied to the device

Import

Imports a saved device configuration from a file on your filesystem (*.mpcfg extension)

Export

Exports the device configuration to a file on your filesystem. Note: settings in the Configuration tab must be applied before they can be exported

Start

Starts the device taking data based on the specified device configuration settings. Note: settings in the Configuration tab must be applied before measurements can begin

Stop

Stops the device from taking data if it is currently set to do so

View Data

The view data tab allows the user to pull data from the connected Multi-PIP device for visualization within the software, or export to .csv files for detailed analysis. The plot will update based on user input from the configuration parameters. The table below describes the functions of the different elements on the view data tab.

Data Logs

This is a list of all data logs stored on the device. A new data log is created each time the “Start” button in the Configuration tab is clicked. Each data log is named with a “YYYYMMDD_HHMMSS” timestamp which corresponds to when that log was created. The data plot can be zoomed and panned using the mouse

Button

Description

Sync

Re-Syncs the Data Logs list from the connected Multi-PIP

Download

Downloads and plots the currently highlighted data log in the list from the connected device. Can take several minutes for large datasets. The data log currently downloaded is bolded in the list

Save

Exports a data log as a *.csv file after it has been downloaded

Delete

Permanently deletes a data log from the device after it has been downloaded. Cannot be undone

Y-Axis

Selects what data to plot versus time for the currently downloaded data log. Can plot the impedance magnitude in ohms, the ratio of the impedance of frequency A to frequency B, or the impedance phase angle in degrees

Probe

Selects which probe’s data to plot in the currently downloaded data log. Also shows the name assigned to the selected pair in the Configuration tab. If different modes were used in measurements, the probe pair is hyphenated with the mode name.

Frequency A & B

Selects which two frequencies from the dataset to plot. Checkboxes allow one or both selected frequency data to be plotted in the Impedance or Phase plots.

Live View

The Live View tab allows the user to take and view data on a single probe pair in real time. None of the data taken on this screen is logged, and it cannot be used if the device is currently taking scheduled measurements. This tab is primarily useful for establishing physical continuity of probes as they are being attached to a plant.

Live Data

Displays data taken in a strip chart. Can view any of the three returned parameters

Probe Pair

Control to allow the user to select which probe pair to measure. Can be changed in real time, and can switch transmit vs receive channel by clicking a probe that has already been selected.

Parameters

Displays the instantaneous values of the measured parameters. Also allows the user to adjust the output frequency being measured as well as the device mode.

Plot

Contains controls which change the number of points to show on the strip chart and which of the measured parameters to plot. Buttons will start and stop measurement, and clear the plot area.

Tool Strip Items

Some auxiliary functions are made available through the application toolstrip. Below is a table describing the functionality of each tool strip menu item.

File

Export…

All Measurement Data

Exports all data logs stored on the Multi-PIP as .csv files for post processing to a selected folder on the user’s filesystem.

Event Logs

Exports the connected Multi-PIP’s internal event log to a selected folder.

Delete…

All Measurement Data

Deletes all stored measurement data on the connected device. Cannot be undone.

Event Logs

Deletes the connected Multi-PIP’s internal event log. Cannot be undone.

Exit

Exits the application.

Device

Flash Firmware

Forces a firmware update on the connected device. Note, if the device firmware does not match the software version, a firmware update will be required upon connecting to the device.

Reboot

Reboots the device selected in the Connection list.

Factory Reset

Resets all device configurations to the factory defaults.

Help

Application Logs...

Opens the folder on your filesystem which stores the application event logs.

About...

Displays application information.

Status Strip Items

The strip at the bottom of the application shows the current status of data collection that is in progress.

Field

Description

State

“Started” - Device is waiting for the specified interval to take its next measurement

“Measuring…” - Device is currently collecting data

“Stopped” - Device is not taking data

Last

The last time the device took a full dataset

Next

The next time the device is scheduled to take a full dataset, based on the configured measurement interval

Count

Total number of full datasets taken since the device last started taking data


Hardware

The Multi-PIP device is designed to be durable and water resistant. When not connected to a PC the manufacturers serial number can be located on the back of the device.

Keypad

The keypad on the Multi-PIP is designed for directional navigation through the display menus, forward/backward navigation, and enabling and disabling the device’s ultra low-power mode. The front panel buttons only provide navigation when not connected to a PC, but the power button will still turn the Multi-PIP display on and off.

Button

Action

Up Arrow

Navigates up when available

Down Arrow

Navigates down when available

Left Arrow

Navigates left when available

Right Arrow

Navigates right when available

Center select Button

Enters the currently selected menu option when available

Back Button

Returns to the previous menu

Power Button

Toggles the ultra low-power mode on and off. Can be held down to cancel measurements in progress.

Display

The following options are displayed by default when the Multi-PIP wakes from ultra low-power mode and can be accessed using the navigation buttons on the front panel.

Status

Temperature

The internal temperature of the device

Battery

The estimated battery percentage of the device and whether or not it is currently charging (indicated by a lightning bolt icon)

Last

Timestamp for the last single dataset taken by the device

Next

Timestamp for the next scheduled dataset to be taken by the device

Count

Number of datasets taken since the device began taking scheduled data

Logging

Start

Starts the device taking data at scheduled intervals based on the configuration set in the PC application, and creates a new data log

Stop

Stops the device from taking any more scheduled datasets

Live Measure

Probe Pair

You can select the probe pair by using the center star button from the live measure page which will bring up the probe configuration window. In this window you can use the up/down arrows and the select button to choose the probe pairs of interest.

Frequency

Using the left and right arrows the user can select the stimulus frequency of the live measurement. The user can cycle between 100 Hz, 1 kHz, 10 kHz, and 100 kHz.

Response

Shows the impedance in ohms and the phase angle in degrees of the selected probe pair and frequency

View Settings

Device Info

Using the center star button will display a submenu showing the unique device ID as well as the user assigned device name

Probe Pairs

Using the left and right arrows, each probe pair configured to be measured from the PC software (and its corresponding user-assigned name) can be scrolled through and viewed

DateTime

Shows the current date and time tracked by the device.