Campbell datalogger

Campbell data loggers


Campbell Scientific manufactures data loggers The Windows application PC208W is used to control the data logger, upload acquisition programs and download data periodically. The version 2.3 offers a socket option which must be used to connect to a TCP gateway and access the wireless network. The data logger is directly connected to a TNC or Spread-Spectrum transceiver using a RS232 level adapter such as the SC32A. Better results were obtained when setting the TNC or transceiver serial port speed to 1200 bps. Below is a synoptic of the system using the TCP-AX25 gateway.

PC208W stores data in comma separated text files. A converter, CpblToDb, used in combination with PC208W, will copy newly collected data into the EMEWS database.


  1. Install PC208W, version 2.3 or higher, following the manufacturer instructions
  2. Configure PC208W to call your data loggers and create the text file. All data loggers must be configured to create their data file in the same directory. The first 4 column in the file must be Station ID, Year, Julian day and Time. File Format must be ASCII Comma Separated and File Mode must be Append to End of File

  3. Make sure that an EMEWS database is available and that an Access or Sybase ODBC driver is configured.
  4. Download and copy CpblToDb.exe into the bin directory of PC208W, usually C:\PC208W\BIN.
  5. Open the Control Panel, ODBC Data Sources and create a new System DSN using the Microsoft Text Driver and called it PC208W. Click on the Select button and choose the directory where Campbell data file are located (see step 2). All data file must be stored in the same directory.

  6. In the Control Panel check your regional settings. Make sure that your default setting use the point as decimal separator and not the comma.
  7. In the EMEWS database create a different channel for each column of your PC208W data files (except the first 4 which are Station ID, Year, Julian day and Time), write down the different channel_id’s.
  8. Copy the file schema.ini into the directory selected in step 5 and edit it to reflect the file format that you are using. The first 4 columns must not be changed. Each Column position is related to a channel_id of the EMEWS database.
    The sample schema.ini provided here has been created for the data file MNR.DAT used by Instituto Internazionale di Vulcanologia in Catania (Italy).
    Each data file must have a different section in schema.ini.
  9. In PC208W create a Task and specify the program cpblToDb.exe and a parameter which is the data file to copy into the database. Set the schedule time so that this process occur after data collection.

  10. On WindowsNT it is possible to install PC208W as a service so that it automatically starts when the machine boots. For details read the following document from Campbell and use the NT utilities provided.


The process should be fully automated, after data collection PC208W will run CpblToDb and copy the data. Check with DbPlot that new data is available.

Visual Basic 6 source code is provided: CpblToDb.vbp, main.bas