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Chapter 6 Monitors

2. Indicators

Indicators present the value of the channel that they monitor graphically, using a triangular pointer that moves along a gauge according to the value of the channel. Indicators do not display a precise numerical value, but instead give the operator an idea of what the value is from the position of the pointer. Usually, indicators, like meters and bars, are used to monitor analog channels; however, indicators can monitor binary channels as well. The 'high and low display limit' properties determine the operating range within which the indicator can move, and the 'label type' property of the object determines how much information the indicator will display at run-time. The 'pointer direction' property determines how the indicator is arranged in the drawing area.

Indicator Property Sheet.

The four settings of the 'label type' property determine the amount of information the indicator displays at run-time. When the setting for this property is none, only the pointer will appear at run-time. When the setting is outline, the pointer and the outline of the gauge will appear. When limits, the pointer, the outline, and the high and low display limits appear, the display limits appearing at either end of the gauge. And when channel, the pointer, the outline, the display limits, and the name of the channel that the indicator is monitoring appear. Figure 6-6 shows the run-time appearance of each setting.

Label Type Settings (run-time appearance).

In Figure 6-6 the display limits are zero for the low display limit and 100 for the high display limit. When both the 'high display limit' and 'low display limit' properties are set to zero, the values for the limits will be retrieved from the database. Be aware that when you enter in a value for either display limit property, the value for the other ceases to be retrieved from the database. At run-time, when the value of the channel exceeds the operating range, the range of the indicator will adjust to enclose the limit. For instance, if the range of the indicator was 15 and 87 but the actual value of the channel was 104, the display limits would be 15 and 104 with the pointer at 104.

The 'pointer direction' property determines the direction towards which the pointer does its pointing: up, down, right, or left. In doing so, the settings of this property also determine whether the indicator is vertically or horizontally situated at run-time. When the setting is down, the pointer points down, and the indicator is horizontal. When the settings is up, the pointer points up and the indicator is also horizontal. When the setting is right, the pointer points right and the indicators is vertical. When the setting is left, the pointer points left, and the indicator is also vertical.The pointer direction property will not change the way the indicator appears while in EDD.

The orientation of the text in EDD is not so important as how the size of the object affects the ability of the indicator to display all the information it is supposed to at run-time. Usually, this is not a problem if the object is of reasonable size, that is, if it can display its type and channel in EDD. However, if the indicator is configured to appear vertically, that is, if its pointer direction is right or left, it is a good idea to make the object higher than it is wider. Likewise, if the indicator is configured to appear horizontally, that is, if its pointer direction is up or down, it's a good idea to make the object wider than it is higher. Otherwise, you may end up with some odd appearing indicators with ridiculously large pointers that are unable to display all the information they're supposed to. Figure 6-7 displays four indicators as they appear in DM.

Indicators with the Different Pointer Directions (and oddity).

EDD/DM User's Manual, 2.4 - 27 MARCH 1997
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