Pitsco Airtech 40ic wind tunnel manual & software required

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flynfrog
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Re: Pitsco Airtech 40ic wind tunnel manual & software required

Post by flynfrog » Tue Jul 31, 2018 12:23 am

I would open up the white box and see what is inside if its the op amps it should be pretty easy to get everything going. What voltage is the power supply?

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Re: Pitsco Airtech 40ic wind tunnel manual & software required

Post by Q-Prof » Tue Jul 31, 2018 5:36 am

Flynfrog,
That was one of the things I wanted the manual for, and/or was hoping that Pitsco would be able to tell me.... no-go so-far. My next step after making an attempt to get the software, was to find out the power supply voltage.

I have a couple of transformer bricks left over after cleaning up the classroom that look like possibilities, but I am not sure which one it is (guessing it must be one of the two). I have not been in the room, nor used the wind tunnel for over 10 years. As for the exact power voltage, initially I was not concerned about the voltage amount, as much as the big elephant for me, which was trying to get the software.

I am thinking that I may do some prying to see what is inside also. I am away from the unit right now, but will be going in about three weeks to take a closer look at it.
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Re: Pitsco Airtech 40ic wind tunnel manual & software required

Post by Brake Horse Power » Sun Aug 12, 2018 9:36 pm

I don't know which university or school you work. I found this report, the test rig is on kingston university. The pc interface looks the same at first sight. Dont know how specific the wheel measuring is in the software?

https://www.scribd.com/doc/129253665/Ae ... gnment-pdf

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Re: Pitsco Airtech 40ic wind tunnel manual & software required

Post by Q-Prof » Mon Aug 13, 2018 2:21 am

Wow, Brake horse Power...
I work with the TDSB in Toronto, and this is worth looking into. The picture does look very similar. There is a power button /box on ours right under neath the wind chamber, but the control box from a distance looks similar. The window is set-up to test wing air foils, where ours has a white base (http://mfranzen.ca/images/pics/classes/ ... nnel-l.jpg)to measure drag and wheel weights of the dragster, but they just might have the software that I am looking for.

Thanks for seeing this and passing it on here, much appreciated. I will try and contact the University to see if they can help me out.
"Quality of life is too valuable to take short cuts. By constantly improving our habits and striving to do our best, will dramatically improve the quality of our lives"

Brake Horse Power
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Re: Pitsco Airtech 40ic wind tunnel manual & software required

Post by Brake Horse Power » Mon Aug 13, 2018 10:36 pm

Your welcome, keep us posted. If this one doesn't work out I will see if I can find another one. I know nothing about windtunnels, but I am good at finding stuff with google.

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Re: Pitsco Airtech 40ic wind tunnel manual & software required

Post by Brake Horse Power » Wed Oct 10, 2018 9:26 pm

Hi Q-prof, how did it end? Does it work already?

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Re: Pitsco Airtech 40ic wind tunnel manual & software required

Post by Q-Prof » Tue Oct 16, 2018 2:51 am

Thanks for asking Brake Horse Power,
I have been so busy at work, I have not had a chance as of yet to resolve /deal with this....

I have posted my concerns to a couple of other forums with no direct success as of yet. I sent e-mails to other possible owners with no success responses either (your help with the pdf written by a student at that university... I emailed four profs that were/are in that program).

I am still looking for the software, which would be the quickest fix, still can't believe that the manufacture can not help me... right down to the engineer who designed it and says they have nothing to help me with. So much for them standing by their product.

I plan to still open up the control box to see what is inside (voltage, operational amps/relays, etc), maybe I can rig something up and run my own controller and code/program the inputs as was suggested. Our robotics team, or maybe a senior computers tech/programing students might be able to take it on as a project to get it working.

I will definitely post once I have figured this out and do appreciate your past input.
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flynfrog
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Re: Pitsco Airtech 40ic wind tunnel manual & software required

Post by flynfrog » Thu Dec 13, 2018 10:48 pm

here is an option for a standalone daq and pretty reasonably priced.

https://www.dataq.com/data-acquisition/starter-kits/

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Re: Pitsco Airtech 40ic wind tunnel manual & software required

Post by skwdenyer » Wed Feb 27, 2019 1:21 pm

It looks like the control box is an "Airtech 40ci" (not "ic"). One assumes it is the software for the control box that is needed.

I note from Pitsco that they sell through resellers. Many of those resellers may have been in business for many years - have you tried reaching out to every one of them? By phone and not email?

I'm seeing lots of these tunnels in Google searches (a lot being sold off, mind you, many of them by US school districts!).

There seems to be a version of the tunnel with a similar instrumented platform to yours, but with a more simple readout unit: see https://www.ebay.com/itm/173594174852 for instance.

My experience with devices like this (used to run a lab a long time ago, bought masses of National Instruments kit, built interfaces and so on) is that the kit is usually least-effort. The data rate won't be huge, because you're looking at more-or-less steady-state effects, and the PC data capture rate (even back in the day) will have been adequate so there probably won't be any buffering / storage on the "interface." So the output to the PC is also unlikely to be heavily multiplexed.

Is the output on your device a 15-pin "game port" or a 9-pin serial port? If a game port, one has to assume that they're just throwing pretty simple data down the interface (similar to x/y/z joystick data) just like a game controller would. Have you tried firing up some simple data logger code attached to the game port card you bought?

A PC game port is designed to capture 4 separate analogue levels + 4 digital (button) inputs. That sounds about right for the device you're talking about. My best guess on this limited data is that the "interface" is simply converting signals from whatever comes out of the tunnel plate to a range the PC game port can handle, and little else.

This article provides more useful information about the game port: https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/co ... pplication

Basically the analogue pins are expecting to see a varying resistance. Per that article, Qbasic (for those of us old enough) contained commands to read the pins directly. So you could roll a bit of code, plug in the controller, tweak the tunnel platform and see what happens! Then all you need is to do some calibration... (well, almost).

With a bit more searching, there might even be something pre-built (perhaps for Linux rather than Windows, but you can always find a way to get that code running through Virtualbox say on the PC or some other route) stuff out there you can use or adapt quickly with a nice GUI :)

The other approach used by some in the modern world is to do the analogue reading on an Arduino then pipe that to the PC, but since you've gone to the trouble of getting a game port card then I'd be inclined to keep going a bit with what you have!

I know it won't be "the software" but I suspect it will take no longer than trying to track down the elusive kit you seek. There are quite a few manuals for later versions of this tunnel I've found available via some advanced Googling. Does yours also have a manometer port, and do you have the manometer?

Good luck. Happy to help a little to get you pointed in the right direction.