CIRAS-2 Export function-simplified data format with numerical and graphical data views

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Courtesy of PP Systems

Perhaps some of the most exciting moments for CIRAS-2 Portable Photosynthesis System users come when the time arrives to view meaningful data sets. What many new users will not realize is that they have the option of viewing these data in two formats: raw CIRAS-2 format (.dat) and a much streamlined Export format (.tab). Both formats easily and automatically import and parse into spreadsheet programs, e.g. Excel. Raw data give a complete record of CIRAS-2 system specifications - attached cuvettes/chambers, constants, and operational parameters including all user-defined control settings. Besides the measured and calculated data of primary interest, the information in .dat format is coded for practical reasons (for descriptions see Windows RCS menu bar Help – Recording – Data Files). Exported .tab data provides many options, such as allowing you to retain or skip coded extraneous information, and importantly, to retrieve data items that are not automatically written to the raw (ASCII) file.

From the RCS menu bar choose File – Export Data..., creating a customized file is accomplished in three steps: 1) the Open Data File dialog appears, select the .dat file you wish to export. 2) The Export Data dialog now appears (below, Fig. 1), allowing you to customize the output format. In the ‘Options’ section choose the desired field delimiter and decimal separation type from the ‘Data Format’ dropdown list. Select the ‘Do not include [Data only]’ checkbox found under the ‘Include File Information’ section. If you recorded data using the ‘Treatments’ option or have a CFM unit select the ‘Body Info’ checkbox to customize treatment and/or CFM trace data output. The selected .dat file and its total number of included records appear in the field to the lower left.

In the ‘Export Field(s)/Defined Options’ section, deselect the ‘All Fields’ checkbox. Several predefined combinations of variables exist in the dropdown list to the right, such as ‘Pn/Ci only’ and ‘Calculated’, but first try ‘User Defined’ to enable the parameters checkboxes. Currently, CIRAS-2 output does not automatically preserve VPD and RH data seen during live recording, so be sure to select the ‘Calculate VPD and Cuvette %RH’ checkbox in the ‘Other’ field. Individual variables may now be selected, or all listed variables can be included by reselecting the ‘All Fields’ checkbox. Note that two new variables are available: Ca (analysis CO2) and Ha (analysis water vapor). Also in the ‘Other’ field, it is advisable to retain the parameter ‘SC’ (Status Code), which has useful information for quality control of individual records as they were captured. 3) Call up the Export Data to... dialog by clicking the Export button once you have made your selections. Save the new .tab file to the folder of your choice. The lower left field where the file name appears will then read, e.g. “49 of 49 records completed”. This file may now be opened in any spreadsheet program.

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