Logging / SmartLog for Windows

 

This Windows software logs data from your instruments for uploading to the TeamSurv site. It will also show all the incoming data, giving you a graph of depth against time, and a chart view of your track. Data can come in from one or two NMEA0183 ports.

Data is logged to the hard disk whilst you are at sea, and then when ashore you can upload it to our servers on the internet. If your computer has an internet connection (e.g. Wi-Fi in the marina, or a laptop that you take home and connect to broadband), the data can be uploaded directly to our server using the internet connection. Alternatively, you can export the data to a USB memory stick, and then upload the data from there through logging in to the TeamSurv web site.

The software will run under Windows XP, Vista Windows 7, 8 or 10, including both 32 and 64 bit versions.

Smartlog depth plot

Downloading and Installing

The software is available as a free download to any registered users - if you haven't registered yet, just go to the registration form. To be able to upload data to the server, you need to complete the logger application form so we can allow you to upload data. There are no restrictions on who may download or use the logger.

Download the software and double click on the program's icon to start the installation. If you get a security warning saying that the publisher could not be verified, just click on Run. The message is just saying that we have not paid to submit the program to Microsoft. If the software is already installed, you will be asked if you want to uninstall the software before reinstalling - this is generally recommended. When the installation wizard comes up, click on Next, and then Next again after checking the installation directory. The software is now installed. You can start the software by using the shortcut on the Desktop, or the SmartLog entry under Start/Programs.

Configuration

There are three aspects to configuring the software: entering your user details; setting the COM Ports; and entering details about your instruments.

User Details

To be able to upload data to the TeamSurv server directly from the program (as opposed to through the web site), you need to enter your TeamSurv user name and password. Also, if you haven't already done so, you need to have completed the logger application form.

The window shows the location of the log files created by the program, and allows you to give a default location for the export folder. If you want to upload data to the server through the web browser, you will typically export it first. This may well be a USB drive, or a folder on your Desktop or in your My Documents folder.

As the software is translated into different languages, you will be able to select your language.

When you click on Save, if your computer is connected to the Internet it checks your user name and password with the server, and advises you if there is an error. Otherwise, it checks this when you try and upload data.

Smartlog for Windows user account setup screen

COM Ports

To receive NMEA data, you must specify one or two COM ports. Access the COM port dialog box through Configure|COM Ports in the menu

Use the drop-down boxes to select one or both COM ports and set the speed. All COM ports installed on the computer are displayed in the list, with those already in use shown as greyed out. If you are just using one input port, you can use either the primary or the secondary COM port. Standard NMEA0183 data runs at 4800bps, though AIS data uses 38400bps.

Smartlog for Windows COM port configuration

Instruments

It is important that we have details of the instruments you use, so we can include corrections when modelling data, sSo you need to go through the calibration process when you first start using the software, and repeat it whenever you make any changes to your instruments. You will find the calibration under the Configure menu. A series of screens take you through the process, as described in the calibration page, where you will find full details.

Viewing and Logging Data

Once everything is configured and calibrated, using the logger is easy - just click on the green "Play" button, or in the menu go to Logging|Start. To stop logging data, click on the red "Stop" button, or go to Logging|Stop. You can then upload the data to the server, using the Upload menu.

You can view the data as a track on a chart, a graph of depth against time, a table of data or as the raw NMEA data. Switch from one view to another by clicking on the tab.In the status bar at the bottom of the window, it shows your current position and depth, and the status of each COM port. A green light flashes whenever a valid NMEA message is received, or a red light when an invalid message is received.

Chart View

The chart display shows your position and track over a coastline. Note that the coastline is for guidance only, and is not accurate enough for navigation.

The coastline can be displayed at a number of resolutions, or no coastline displayed at all. Select the resolution to be loaded under the Resolution menu. If you have a slow computer, you may find it helps to use a lower resolution coastline.

You can also toggle on and off the display of different layers of information, using the Layers menu. Choices are for the chart, the boat's track, and the boat's current position. Note that this just determines what is displayed, so switching off the chart layer here does not enhance performance, unlike changing the chart resolution.

The other menu items allow you to zoom in and out and pan the chart. Under the Zoom menu, you can zoom in to the boat's position or the track, or zoom out to the world. You can also backtrack through your previous views.

SmartLog for Windows track view

Graph Display

The graph display shows a time plot of depth against time. If you run the cursor over the depth contour, the time and depth values are displayed by the cursor.

By default, the time axis shows the most recent data as it comes in at the right hand side, over the last 10 minutes. The vertical axis is always self-scaling. To display older data, drag the slider under the graph to the left; to return to showing the newest data, drag the slider completely to the right. To zoom in, hold down the left mouse button and drag the cursor across the graph; to go back a level with a zoom or pan, right click and select Un-Zoom.

Smartlog for Windows depth plot

Data Display

The Data display simply shows the decoded data coming in from the NMEA stream. Not all data is shown, just that relevant to the TeamSurv project.

Smartlog for Windows data display

NMEA Display

The NMEA display shows the incoming raw NMEA data. To make it easier to read, click on the Pause button (this just pauses the display, not the data logging). Click on Clear to clear the display.

The NMEA display shows the incoming raw NMEA data. To make it easier to read, click on the Pause button (this just pauses the display, not the data logging). Click on Clear to clear the display.

Smartlog for Windows NMEA Display

Uploading Data

You have two options for uploading data: either direct to the server, or exporting the data to a CD or memory stick, and uploading it via the TeamSurv web site.

Direct to Server

Click on this option, and the logger will use your internet connection to connect to the TeamSurv server, and upload all logged data and calibration files. This is the easiest and quickest method, but is not recommended if you are using a mobile or satellite phone. When uploading, it uses the user name and password you supplied when configuring the software.

Upload to Memory Stick

This lets you move or copy log and calibration files from the program's data folder to another location, so you can easily move them to another computer to upload via the web site. Set the output folder, which defaults to that set up in configuration. Tick Move if you want the copies to be moved to the new location, which stops old files clogging up your hard disk. Now move the files to another computer, and log on to the TeamSurv web site. Go to Data | Upload, and you can upload your logged data.