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  1. #1
    RB85 is offline Novice
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    Help Getting Started?!

    Hi All,

    I used Access many years ago but have almost completely forgotten how to use it! I'm using Excel at the moment for a database and to display line plots of trends over time but the file is becoming too big to manage. Would someone be willing to help me get started or direct me to a good tutorial that moves at a fast pace?

    My data consists of monitoring instrumentation at numerous locations that takes readings every 12 or 24 hours. Each monitoring location has multiple sensors that have individual calibration values. Readings from each sensor are converted to a pressure reading using the calibration values. I then want to display the change in pressure at each sensor with time on a line graph. A form would be useful to enter new readings into each week for each sensor.

    If anyone has some tips on the basic set up and tutorials for this kind of database it would be appreciated!

    Thanks,

  2. #2
    kd2017 is online now Well, I tried at least.
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    Can you post some screen shots of your spreadsheets?

    What are the calibration formulas? Do the sensors all use the same formula?

  3. #3
    RB85 is offline Novice
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    Screenshot of one location is attached. All sensors use the same formulas just changing the calibration constants for the respective sensor.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  4. #4
    CarlettoFed is offline Competent Performer
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    It would be easier to show you an example if you attached the excel file so that you can use it to report the data in Access.

  5. #5
    RB85 is offline Novice
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    Example for one location attached.
    Attached Files Attached Files

  6. #6
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    Hi
    What data types would be these values?
    A = -2.0652810E-04
    B= 1.0303170E-01
    C= 1.5717660E+03

  7. #7
    RB85 is offline Novice
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    Quote Originally Posted by mike60smart View Post
    Hi
    What data types would be these values?
    A = -2.0652810E-04
    B= 1.0303170E-01
    C= 1.5717660E+03
    Scientific Number.

  8. #8
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    On fly!

    tblLocations: LocationID, ...;
    TblSensors: SensorID, SerialNo, SensorElevation, A, B, C, Installed;
    tblSensorLocations: SensorLocationID, SensorID, LocationID;
    tblSensorRecordings: SensorRecordingID, SensorID, RecordingDatetime, Frequency, Temperature.

    You need a saved query , which reads info from all those tables, and calculates values of PressurekPA, PressuremH20, and Elevation for every sensor recording.

    In case there is a need for users to access the DB directly, then preferably split the app to front-end (FE) and back-end (BE) - with BE stored on network resourse with access rights set for users.

    For displaying graphs, I'd prefer Excel app, which reads data from BE using SQL query (simply because graphs in Excel look out better and are more manageable). The query must be set to be refreshed on opening, and must read data from saved query in Access DB. Read date are stored on hidden (or very hidden) sheet of Excel app. The excel app does have also hidden sheets, where the list of locations, and list of sensors are read from Access DB by ODBC queries. You have to define the list of locations as dynamic Named Range, which you then can use as source of Data Validation List on report sheet (which is used to limit the data read from DN to this location). In case you want on report sheet to display graph for single sensor, then you need another hidden sheet with a table, where the list of sensors in this location is created, and which must also be defined as dynamic Named Range (and on export sheet you use a Data Validation list, which then limits the query to this sensor data - or you use the location ID selected on report sheet as filter condition for sensors query. If you want on report sheet several graphs which display the info for all sensors in this location, you may skip the previous step (but this design may be problematic, when the number of sensors differs for different locations).

    On report sheet, you probably need also fields, where you can limit the time period of data read from DB (start and end dates, or day, or month, or whatever). All these setup fields on Report sheet are used as sources for conditions in measurement data query, and the query must be refreshed whenever any of those values are changed.

  9. #9
    kd2017 is online now Well, I tried at least.
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    Arvil, I'm curious what your thoughts are behind the many-to-many relationship between sensors and locations? Is it to allow for moving sensors?

    Maybe instead of an installed field in the sensor table OP could do something like date_in_service and date_out_of_service attached to the junction table.
    Last edited by kd2017; 05-26-2023 at 08:37 AM. Reason: clarity

  10. #10
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    a) Having all location info declared in a separate table allows to use combobox when linking location to sensor. This prevents the risk making typos;
    b) OP may want to add some additional info for locations, like building name, room code, device name, etc. (even when not now, then possibly in future). When this happens, and the the location is simply described in sensor table, OP has to redesign the DB, as having any info except FK inserted only once is a general rule for databases;
    c) and of-course, having validity period saved in junction table is a possibility (or having a status field there instead, in case sensors never will be moved to another location). I didn't cover it in my post, to avoid it being too complex

  11. #11
    kd2017 is online now Well, I tried at least.
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    Thanks for the info Arvil!


    OP, is this actual data? How are readings collected/ what's your data entry process? I ask because I notice that for each row the date/time for each sensor is the same.

    At the risk of asking a silly question, do the calibration constants ever need to change or be recalibrated over time? Are the sensors ever moved to different locations or elevations?

  12. #12
    RB85 is offline Novice
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    Many thanks Arvil for the tips! I'll try to start building the database.

    kd, it is actual data from pore pressures sensors installed below ground to identify groundwater conditions. They automatically take readings at set times and that data is downloaded and copied into the spreadsheet. The calibrations do not change but there are occasional errors when installing and these might not be picked up for a while so need to be editable. Sensors are never moved from their locations as they are installed deep underground.

Please reply to this thread with any new information or opinions.

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