VacTools Vacuum System Software

Note due to retirement, this product is no longer available
Data Logging

      VacTools logs data so you can monitor your vacuum system performance and, for example, if something goes wrong, find out when, what and why:
 ● User defines the frequency of data logging from one sample per second to one every 5 minutes
 ● Simple, easy to use date-based data retrieval filing system
 ● Export selected data to ASCII-based file for import to database
 ● Prints selected data in graphical format

      VacTools VC Graph Windows provide graphical display of logged data, along with comprehensive tools to zoom the axes to allow careful inspection. For example, the screen shot (right) shows:
 ● Top Bar Graph show the current state of the 7 trips and 2 digital inputs
 ● Bottom Graph shows variation of the emission current (top cyan trace) and measured ion gauge pressure (bottom black trace)
 ● Pop-up Menu associated with data selection, zooming, data export and printing of displayed data
      VacTools provides a range of tools for detailed data inspection:
 ● Axes can be zoomed with the mouse using the Zoom Bars (e.g. bottom of the screen), menu commands in the popup (left) or by setting the start and end times.
 ● Start time can be fixed to a specific time. End time can be "locked" to the present. These provide a convenient format for keeping real-time data on screen
 ● Data from previous days, weeks... is easy to access - just a few mouse clicks away
 ● Passing the mouse over a graph displays the data in the Status Bar for that time
 ● For live VCs, the latest real-time data are displayed numerically as well as graphically

Interface Hardware    

    VacTools communicates with one or more VC over one or more RS232 or RS485 serial ports. Multiple VCs can be "daisy-chained" onto a serial bus (even RS232). Serial ports on PCs are designated a COM number. Serial ports can be the native RS232 port on many table-top PCs, or COM ports located on interface cards that fit in a PC (e.g. PCI slots), or USB-based or Ethernet-based serial port converters. There are a great many of these on the market (e.g. MOXA), all coming with appropriate drivers for modern Windows OS. They are easy to install and many allow COM port re-allocation. Aside from serial ports, the only other things  needed are cables from the PC to the first VC in the chain and daisy-chaining cables.

     But if you are new to all this or in doubt, EpiMAX (or your VC provider) can provide you with solutions. Our simplest range (right) includes: USB to 1 or 2 RS232 ports, USB repeaters (to allow USB distances up to about 15m), 5m long RS232 to RJ45 cables (from PC or USB-serial converter to first VC) and 0.5m RJ45 daisy-chaining cables (between VCs).

Accessing VacTools Data from your Application- the vtde API

      All real-time data available to VacTools is instantaneously available by third party software via the vtde API, a set of just 5 high-level dll-based functions.

For more information, and down-loading of VacTools and the vtde API free, please contact