View Full Version : Summary:MTS and LabView?

Thomas E. Daniel
06-29-1994, 03:11 AM
Greetings everyone,

Last week I posted the following inquiry:

I am interested to hear from anyone who has tried (successfully or
otherwise) to control and/or collect I/O from a MTS servohydraulic testing
machine using any A/D boards, instrument drivers, or LabView software from
National Instruments. In traditional biomch-l style, I shall be glad to
post a summary of replies.

The following is a summary of the replies. Of interest are the different
options available in controling and collecting data from the MTS:

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We collect data from MTS systems using their TESTLINK hardware and software or
Data Translation boards and some software we have written ourselves. Our
most successful use has been to use the Control Panel software which comes
with Testlink to collectntrol and collect data on tensile load-to-failure tests
and then our own software to read the files, calculate modulus, yield
strength, and ultimate strength then produce customized reports. We control
other systems with TRAC (also from MTS) and then collect the data on three
simultaneously operating fatigue systems using a program which has been
customized for our needs to collect data throught the Testlink hardware. Our
most complex frame controls and collects data from a 3 axis system (vertical
load and torsion plus side load) using TESTSTAR on a modified Bionix
frame. In summary, we have 5 frames and control and collect data on
all of them using computers with the data acquisition for four os
the frames coming through the Testlink board from MTS (A Data Acquisition
DT2809 which is connected through a custom interface to the MTS 458
control system.) Control of one system is through the MTS software Control
Panel, three others are controlled using the TRAC unit and software (which
also can do one station data acquisition). The last system is both controlled
and data acquired using the Teststar Controller and Software.

Hope this helps.

Kenneth R. St. John, Assistant Professor Voice: (601) 984-6199
Orthopaedic Research and Biomaterials Fax: (601) 984-6087
University of Mississippi Medical Center Fax: (601) 984-6014
2500 North State Street Fax: (601) 984-5151
Jackson, MS 39216-4505 Internet: stjohn@fiona.umsmed.edu

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We use Lotus Measure with our MTS. I wouldn't say that it is
great software (in fact I don't even think it is on the market
any more), but the interface is just like Lotus 123, and it
provides us the collected data in a 123 spreadsheet. We can
pull this into any DOS program that we need to for analysis.
Nowadays you should look for software that has "strip chart"
and other features so you can display the data as it is

Jeff Weiss phone (T,Th): 801-581-4439
Utah Supercomputing Institute OBI (M,W,F): 801-269-4035
University of Utah FAX: 801-585-5366
Salt Lake City, UT 84112 e-mail: jeff@osiris.usi.utah.edu

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I am currently using a Metra-Byte A/D board along with LabView to
collect both force and displacement data from the controller
of an MTS system. All I did was take the analog output from the
controller and feed it into the board. I guess if you had a D/A
board, you could use LabView as a function generator for the

Andy Karduna,
University of Pennsylvania

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I'm a research engineer at the Orthopaedic Research Laboratories in the medical
campus of the University of Michigan. At our labs we use exclusively MacIntosh
based data acquisition for a wide variety of tests including MTS tension,
compression, torsion, and shear tests. We have successfully controlled the MTS
actuator (MTS model 810) under both load and displacement control from a
LabView program (as well as the MTS microprofiler).

We are using one NB-MIO-16L board and one NB-DMA-8 board in multiple mac IIci's
we use for data acquisition and control. Our most recent addition is a Quadra
950 with a NB-DMA2800 board and a NB-MIO-16XL board. The DMA boards are 32-bit
DMA controllers (8 channels) and the MIO boards are 12-bit D to A (2 channels)
and 12-bit A to D (16 channels) with appropriate I/O timing chips.
These boards are adequate for controlling an experiment and sampling the
signals generated by the experiment simultaneously if and only if your required
rate of input and output for the specific board you are using is not exceeded.
We are doing quasi-static tests (1% strain per second), so our requirements are
minimal. If you need to control several channels and take several channels of
data at a high frequency, you may need a different board than the ones we use.
Note that even the low-end boards can scan a single channel at 37,000 Hz, with
makes for too much data to be practical.

Jeff Rouleau

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Hi Thomas,

At the UW Orthopedics/Biomechanics Laboratories we have been using
Data Translation products for as long as I have worked here. More
specificially we have DT2801A, DT2805, DT2836, and DT2821 boards,
and have not been disappointed in any of them. We used to have the
DT2801A on our MTS, and recently upgraded to a DT2836 to give us 16
bit instead of 12 bit resolution. We have been using Labtech
Notebook for DOS. I have been fairly pleased with it and will
probably continue to use it. It's setup capabilities are kind of a
pain when setting up many channels (we have used up to 16 channels)
or needing to modify them. I have found it much better to put the
Trigger and Time into the first data collection "blocks" since we
always use them, and that way they are always in the same place. I
have seen the ads for the _new_ windows version and will look into
it shortly, the old windows version wasn't much more than a
bastardized DOS system. One of the reasons I will stick with LTN is
the ability to acquire data on more than 16 channels (2 boards)
since we have been hitting the top on the current board, we will
probably buy another DT2836 in the near future.

Hope this helps.

Ron McCabe
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Thanks to all that replied

Thomas E. Daniel Allegheny-Singer Research Institute
daniel@biomechanics.asri.edu 320 E. North Ave. 10, S.T.
(412)359-3638, FAX:(412)359-3494 or -3856 Pittsburgh, PA 15212-4772