PR Extras

PRX and PRXMini are programmes that work with PR41.
Both programmes upload data from the 503DR Hydroprobe, and then post the data to the correct farm and site. PRX, the full version, can also export data as reports, and import data from other soil moisture loggers or weather stations.

In addition the full version (PRX) can...

PRXM is supplied as standard with all new sales of PR41, and is essential if you are using the new 503TDR (1998+) neutron probe from CPN

Both programmes can be run in batch mode, to upload, post and report without user intervention.


Post Readings

Data is posted from the uploaded post file to the corresponding farm and site
Farm and site numbers can be altered before posting.
If the new 503 is being used, the internal date and type are automatically posted, if not users will be asked to confirm the date and time that the readings were taken.

The amount of rain or irrigation that has been applied since the last probe reading can be posted at the same time as readings are posted.  The amounts can be in mm (or ins), time or volume (Ml, Gallons, AcreFt.

An audit file can be generated for accounting.

Audit files

Audit data sent to a text file with the format:

FFSS, PostDate, PostTime, PostDateAsNumber

401,1/1/97,8:30,2960

The ‘PostDateAsNumber’ is the post date and time in the units used by PR41 -(days since 1 March 1980) - and is used when generating an audit report.

The file can be used to issue invoices to growers, but in addition an audit report is supplied with PRX (full version). This will generate a report based on the audit file, but also including the owner’s name, address, farm and site names, and if appropriate, the suggested irrigation dates and amounts - see Export, and see Settings for audit file options

Alter

The ID numbers entered into the Hydroprobe and uploaded to the post file can be changed before posting. This could be used to post data twice, to single tube sites as well as to an ‘averaged’ site.

When using the alter option in 'Post Readings' only the first matching ID number is used; data will not be multiple posted; and if there is no entry in the lookup file the data will not be posted at all.

Posting both averaged and separate

Normally, 3 tubes are used to measure representative soil moisture. However, it can be useful to both post the data ‘averaged’ and also post the data from individual tubes to separate sites. Using PR41 four sites are created - three for the individual tubes and a fourth for the averaged readings. As an example, assume a farm 4, and sites 1, 2 and 3 have been created for the individual tubes and site 4 for the average data.

Readings are taken in the field with ID = 401 at tubes 1, 402 at tube 2, and 403 at tube 3. The data is uploaded, and first posted ‘separate‘, and then re-posted with ‘alter’ selected. The averaged data will be in Site 4, and each separate tube in Sites 1, 2 and 3 respectively.

A lookup file need creating to tell PRX to change 401 => 404, 402 => 404, etc. The file is created and edited using DOS Edit, and for this example should contain...

ID,FFSS

401,404 ‘Farm 4, tube 1, mandarins behind shed

403,404 ‘Farm 4, tube 2, valencias, near tree

403,404 ‘Farm 4, tube 3, red tape

The first line is a header with the name of each item. All following lines will have two numbers, separated by commas. The first number is the ID number that will be entered into the Hydroprobe in the field, the second number the FFSS used in the software.

Each line can also have a ‘comment’ (any text after a single quote ) - the comment is ignored, but it can be used as a reminder about tube locations.

Once the file has been created, it can be used many times.

Sort

Data from tubes with the same ID number will only be averaged if the data is in consecutive lines in the post file. However, in practice it is sometimes more convenient to take the soil moisture readings in a different order. Sort will sort a post file into order by site number so that it can then be posted ‘averaged’.

The data will be sorted in blocks separated by an ID=0, so if users need to break the sort they should take a ‘dummy’ reading with an ID=0 (or use Edit to enter a new line with ID=0 in the post file)

Import

This module will import data from irrigation controllers, weather stations, and other data loggers.

An import definition file must first be written using DOS Edit or any other text editor. The name of this file is entered at import definition file.

The data from the logger or weather station needs to be downloaded or acquired by the software supplied by the logger manufacturer, or weather data needs to be downloaded from a weather station using a modem and communications programme.

RSNE will prepare the import definition file if an example of the data file is sent on disk or attached to an email

Export

Export is a report generator. Report definition files are used to define which data needs to be exported, in which order, and with which criteria.

For example, the report definition SITES.RPT is similar to the existing sites report in PR41, but in addition it can be in sorted on any column (ascending or descending), and the output could be restricted to show, for example, only fields that are within 50 mm of the refill point.

Another example supplied is AUDIT.RPT, which produce a report of all probe readings posted on a certain date, together with the name and addresses of growers.

Backup data

A batch file, by default called BAKPROBE.BAT, is run.
As shipped, the batch file contains the commands to copy all files from a data sub-directory to a floppy disk. It can be changed by the user using DOS Edit.

Global variables

Formulas that calculate a value that is available to all exports and imports can be entered. They should be set in the form..

Variable 1: RDIFACTOR=0.7
Variable 2: CICDWU= CAPETOWN.PAN*EARLY.FAC

RDIFACTOR and CICDWU can then be used in any formula. RDIFACTOR can be used to calculate amounts of irrigation water to apply, and CICDWU will calculate a value of dwu based on long term pan evaporation figures (in the file CAPETOWN.PAN) multiplied by crop factors for todays date (in the file EARLY.FAC)

Batch operation

PRX can be run in automatic batch mode. For example, it can be configured to automatically...

  1. Upload from the Hydroprobe
  2. Post readings
  3. Print a sites report in order of irrigation priority
  4. Print an audit report showing all sites that have been monitored
  5. Quit the programme

Commands need to be entered in a text file (using DOS Edit or Windows Notepad), and then the programme is told to execute commands from the file.

Reserved words

The following reserved words may be used in export and import definitions

GDWU current value of global dwu
SITEGDWU either GDWU, or the value calculated from a dwu file entered at EditSite/Variety
Any item in column 1 of the readings screen
\Rn Readings row in readings screen eg \R1
\Kn Keydata row in readings screen eg \K1
Any site or farm field name (listed in PR5_FLDN.TXT)
TODAY today’s date (just date)
NOW today’s date (date and time)
\P page number
\D4 today’s date in format D4
\SORT current sort clause
\WHERE current where clause
LASTDATE last date in a readings screen
FFSS current farm/site number. When used in an import specification will load that readings screen.

In addition variables can used at be used in all formulas.

Functions

The following functions are available for export and import definitions

Function 
@DATE(year,month,day) Calculates date from year, month, day
@TIME(hour,minute,second) Calculates time from hour, minute, second
@IF(Value1,Value2,Value3) If the Value1 is true, then returns the Value2 , else returns Value3 .
e.g.@IF(EPIDATE<0,TODAY,EPIDATE),
will return today’s date if the estimated irrigation date is <0 (ie current amount is below refill)
@DOY(Value1) Returns the day of the year, where Item1 is a date
@LKV(Value1,Value2,Value3) Returns value from lookup file