Delta Watch: Configure System diagnostics

System diagnostics: An important tool to check the status and performance of your monitoring equipment. Correct usage allows you to be proactive rather than having to act when it might be too late.

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Delta Watch: Configure System diagnostics

What is the System diagnostics module?

Delta Watch not only processes geodetic data collected by total stations and GNSS sensors, but also it has tools to manage the hardware that controls the sensors in the field. As a monitoring solutions provider, knowing where the equipment is and what the operational status is, is equally, if not more, important than just processing observations. The System diagnostics module in the Hardware group provides just that information. The concept is not new in Delta Watch, but in v3.10 there are significant changes made and workflows simplified, saving you time in configuring the software.

As a Delta Link unit and a total station can be used on multiple projects throughout their lifetime, and total stations are not always connected to the same Delta Link, it is now possible to create these items independently of a project. This only needs to be done once, after which it is a simple matter of indicating on which project they are deployed. All relevant sensors are automatically created in the selected project. Then it is a matter of customizing each where needed, for example, external names or project coordinates for correct placements on maps within Delta Watch and Live!.

Alarming can be done in a single configuration on any numerical field using the improved functionality of the Limit management module. This includes sending of SMS!.

What sensors are created? Check the below table for details.

Sensors created by System diagnostics
Equipment Sensors Importing file
Delta Link unit Modem *.MDM files with status information
Meteorological *.ENV files with data from the THP sensor
Delta Link box *.CUI files with health and status information
Total station Compensator *.BUB files with the compensator data
Total station *.STNI files containing information and observation statistics


The data can always be viewed in the quick charts in the System diagnostics module. Just select the column. Alternatively, create a user defined chart in your project and add any data channel of interest, including a background image.

This article will show step-by-step how to add and manage these device information streams, customize them, and view the data.



To be able to use this functionality, ensure the following minimum requirements are met:


  1. Delta Watch v3.10 or higher
    Ensure the Delta Link box add-on is enabled. This can be checked in the About Delta Watch… section accessible via the menu item Help.
    See image on the right.
    If the item is not included, contact your local dealer to purchase this add-on.

  1. LinkConfig v2.0 or higher
  2. DeltaLog v2.1.0 or higher

    On each Delta Link unit, check the versions. The version number is visible in the title bar of the application, or in the Update tab of LinkConfig together with version info for all other modules.

    For importing and processing the compensator data in Delta Watch, DeltaLog v2.1.1 or higher is required!


For simplicity of this guide, it is assumed that:

  1. One or more Delta Link units are operational.
  2. DeltaLog and LinkConfig minimum version requirements are met.
  3. A total station is connected to the Delta Link unit.
  4. DeltaLog is configured to do regular rounds of observations, e.g., monitoring mode, no actual prism has to be found and measured if not available, but it will create the *.STNI and *.BUB files for import.
  5. Data flow from Delta Link to Watch is working.
  6. For each of the below file types, data is arriving at the Delta Watch computer:
    • Delta Link Control Unit Information files (*.CUI)
    • Weather station information (*.ENV)
    • Modem Information (*.MDM), see note below
    • Station Information files (*.STNI)
    • Compensator data (*.BUB)
  7. Delta Watch v3.10 or higher is installed and the Delta Link box module is included.
  8. A (empty) project is already created in Delta Watch.


Note on *.MDM files

These files will only be generated if the Modem is enabled on the Delta Link unit.
Do ONLY enable the modem if a working SIM card is installed and correctly configured.

General workflow

The configuration process has several steps in different modules of Delta Watch. Each step will be explained in detail later, but for reference purposes, this is the general workflow:

  1. Check minimum requirements for Delta Link and Watch software.
  2. Ensure that at least one data file of each type from each Delta Link unit is available to Delta Watch.
  3. Check Compensator units used.*
  4. Configure system diagnostics.
    • Delta Link unit: full serial number is needed.
    • Total station: station serial number and name as given in DeltaLog.
  5. Configure data import.
    • Create an import task for each unique sensor.
  6. Check the data.
    • Just wait until the first import has executed.
  7. Customize item in the Project Sensor Management.*
    • Coordinates, both project and WGS84, display icon, external name.
  8. Configure a view or user defined chart.*
    • Add to a MAP view.
    • Info-field field selection for visibility on a map, done in System diagnostics.
  9. Configure Alarming and Messaging*
* These items are optional!

Detailed workflow

To be able to configure Delta Watch, we need some information, this could be found in an *.STNI data file from each Delta Link. The best way to do this is to use a spreadsheet program, such as Microsoft Excel, instead of a text editor. By using Excel, it is easy to see the correct data column. When importing a file, use the comma (,) character as column separator. The column names can always be found on the second row, and the data units on the third.

Below is an example when data is imported in a text editor, and the same data set when imported in Excel. The yellow cells are the information we require.

Example data, if opened in text editor

"Timestamp","RecordNumber","Instr.Manufacturer","Model","SN","FW_Rom","FW_EDM","FW_Ext","Project","Station ID","Controller ID","Ctrl.Prog.Version","Obs.RoundID","Vout","Iout","Instr.PowerSource","Voltage","InternalTemp","Boot Time","Run Time","Motor Time","Reboots","EndOfCycleStatus","StationShutDown","Measure Attempts","Measure Attempts for Non-prism","Total Errors returned","Total Errors for Non-prism","Shutter Count","Meas. mode","Max.Hz Col.Diff","Max.Vt Col.Diff"
"2021-02-23 15:24:03",7336,"Topcon","MS1AXII","KM0001","327","150","3.27EN_12|2-2.36EN|1-1.40_10|3-1.11_01|1088-40-20|9-1.50_03||||","myTopcon","TheStationID","82EE13-000191","2.0.0",7336,12.387,503,1,12,5.2,0,786,692,0,0,0,84,0,4,0,0,2,37.1,10.8
"2021-02-23 15:37:16",7337,"Topcon","MS1AXII","KM0001","327","150","3.27EN_12|2-2.36EN|1-1.40_10|3-1.11_01|1088-40-20|9-1.50_03||||","myTopcon","TheStationID","82EE13-000191","2.0.0",7337,12.387,531,1,12,5.4,0,786,694,0,0,0,84,0,4,0,0,2,36.2,12.2
"2021-02-23 15:50:27",7338,"Topcon","MS1AXII","KM0001","327","150","3.27EN_12|2-2.36EN|1-1.40_10|3-1.11_01|1088-40-20|9-1.50_03||||","myTopcon","TheStationID","82EE13-000191","2.0.0",7338,12.387,522,1,12,5.6,0,779,690,0,0,0,84,0,4,0,0,2,36,11.5
"2021-02-23 16:03:32",7339,"Topcon","MS1AXII","KM0001","327","150","3.27EN_12|2-2.36EN|1-1.40_10|3-1.11_01|1088-40-20|9-1.50_03||||","myTopcon","TheStationID","82EE13-000191","2.0.0",7339,12.383,553,1,12,5.9,0,774,683,0,0,0,84,0,4,0,0,2,36.4,9.9

Example data, after import in Excel

Example of STNI data file with name: STNI-20210223_1524-MS1AXII_KM0001.stni
1 STNI 1 DeltaLog.exe 2.0.0 Delta_CB1 82EE13-000191 1 UTC -06:00 myTopcon                                            
2 Timestamp RecordNumber Instr.Manufacturer Model SN FW_Rom FW_EDM FW_Ext Project Station ID Controller ID Ctrl.Prog.Version Obs.RoundID Vout Iout Instr.PowerSource Voltage InternalTemp Boot Time Run Time Motor Time Reboots EndOfCycleStatus StationShutDown Measure Attempts Measure Attempts for Non-prism Total Errors returned Total Errors for Non-prism Shutter Count Meas. mode Max.Hz Col.Diff Max.Vt Col.Diff
3 TS RN                     Count VDC mA   VDC DegC Sec. Sec. Sec. Count Code Flag Count Count Count Count Count Flag Seconds Seconds
4 2021-02-23 15:24 7336 Topcon MS1AXII KM0001 327 150 3.27EN_12,2-2.36EN,1-1.40_10,3-1.11_01,1088-40-20,9-1.50_03,,,, myTopcon TheStationID 82EE13-000191 2.0.0 7336 12.387 503 1 12 5.2 0 786 692 0 0 0 84 0 4 0 0 2 37.1 10.8
5 2021-02-23 15:37 7337 Topcon MS1AXII KM0001 327 150 3.27EN_12,2-2.36EN,1-1.40_10,3-1.11_01,1088-40-20,9-1.50_03,,,, myTopcon TheStationID 82EE13-000191 2.0.0 7337 12.387 531 1 12 5.4 0 786 694 0 0 0 84 0 4 0 0 2 36.2 12.2
6 2021-02-23 15:50 7338 Topcon MS1AXII KM0001 327 150 3.27EN_12,2-2.36EN,1-1.40_10,3-1.11_01,1088-40-20,9-1.50_03,,,, myTopcon TheStationID 82EE13-000191 2.0.0 7338 12.387 522 1 12 5.6 0 779 690 0 0 0 84 0 4 0 0 2 36 11.5
7 2021-02-23 16:03 7339 Topcon MS1AXII KM0001 327 150 3.27EN_12,2-2.36EN,1-1.40_10,3-1.11_01,1088-40-20,9-1.50_03,,,, myTopcon TheStationID 82EE13-000191 2.0.0 7339 12.383 553 1 12 5.9 0 774 683 0 0 0 84 0 4 0 0 2 36.4 9.9


The procedure described here is for adding new items to the system diagnostics module. If the DB was upgraded from an older version of Delta Watch, and some of these sensors do already exist in your database, then follow the instructions to upgrade to DW3.10.

Check Compensator units used

On a new Delta Watch installation, the Compensator unit will automatically be set correctly to the unit GON. If you never used an older Delta Watch version, you can skip this section.
If the used DB was upgraded from a previous Delta Watch version, then the units for the Compensator might be assigned incorrectly. To check:

  1. Open the System Configuration module, and select the section Units and decimal places.
  2. Activate the subsection Raw data processing.
  3. Look for the Compensator item and check if the units are set to GON, see below illustration. Adjust if required.
  4. Apply the changes.

Configure System diagnostics module

Both Delta Link and total station objects are created within the System diagnostics module. Delta Watch will automatically add all related sensor entries for each object. If there is an active project, then the sensors will be added to that.

  1. Navigate to the System diagnostics module in the Hardware group, see #1 in below image.
  2. Select the type of object to add, Delta UNIT or Total Station, then click Add Add.
  1. Complete the minimum required information, see above #3:
    Settings Value
    Name Delta Link unit:
    Use the Capital letters DL followed by the last 6 digits of the serial number. For example: DL999970*


    Total station device:
    The name of the station as configured in DeltaLog. This can be found in the *.STNI data file in the column at position 10, with the header StationID. (See highlighted cells in above image and Excel sample)

    Serial number Delta Link unit:
    The full serial number in the form of 82EE##-###### *


    Total station device:
    The actual serial number, this can be found in the *.STNI data file in the column at position 5, labelled SN. (See highlighted cells in above image and Excel sample)

    Active Check to enable the sensor.

    * If you don't know the Delta Link serial number, then this can also be found in the *.STNI file. See the highlighted cell under the column label ControllerID in the Excel sample data, or in the actual CUI file.


  2. Optional other fields in this section
    Setting Value
    External Name This name, if specified, will be used in Delta Live!. It is also visible on many other places and could be selected, for example, for data export or reporting purposes.
    Comment Use as see fit.
    WGS84 Position If known, enter the details. These are only used for positioning the item on a map in Delta Live!.
  3. Click OK to add the entry to the list. Then assign the object to a project so that it will create all sensor channels in that project. See #5 in image below.
  4. Click Apply to save the changes to the DB.
  5. Repeat for any other Delta Link or total station.
  1. When finished adding all objects, the result can be seen in the Sensor Management section in the Point and Limit management module, as per below image. For each Delta Link and total station assigned to this project, the following sensor types would have been added:
    System created sensor names (do not change)
    Object Sensor type Assigned Name layout Example
    Total Station Compensator [StationID] (Compensator) TS_Position1 (Compensator)
    Total Station [StationID] TS_Position1
    Delta Link Modem [ShortSerialNumber] (Modem) DL999970 (Modem)
    Meteorological [ShortSerialNumber] (Meteo-Sensor) DL999970 (Meteo-Sensor)
    Delta Link box [ShortSerialNumber] DL999970


The ShortSerialNumber of a Delta Link starts with the capital letters DL, followed by the last 6 digits of the serial number.
For example: Delta Link with serial number 82EE12-999970 will get a ShortSerialNumber as follows: DL999970

Configure data import

After adding Delta Link and total station devices to the System diagnostics module and having assigned them to a project, the data import tasks need to be configured.

Consult the article Import & Export module for full details on how to use it.
In this guide, only the basics are shown.


Added more than one Delta Link or total station?

In that case, some considerations need to be given to the future use and deployment of each asset and how it will be configured in the Import & Export module. If all assets are only used on one project and always in the same network, then for each data type only one import task will need to be defined. For example, the import of the control unit information (CUI) data from multiple Delta Links in the same network can be combined into a single import task as all data does arrive in the same Base directory of the network.

However, if in the future the hardware is going to be used on other projects or maybe in different networks on the same project, then creating individual import tasks allows for simpler managing at a later stage, for example, when deployed on a different location. It also allows configuring individual alarms per device based on the project requirements.


To get started:

Navigate to the Import & Export module in the Interface group. And follow the below numbered steps for each of these import types:

  • Control unit info (*.CUI)
  • Modem log file (*.MDM)
  • Total station info (*.STNI)
  • Compensator (*.BUB)
  • Meteorological (*.ENV)


Repeat the below steps for each type:

  1. Add a new task by clicking on Add Add. A new dialog box opens to configure the settings.
  2. As a minimum, configure the following fields. The form automatically adjusts based on the values of certain fields.
    Setting Value
    Name A user-chosen name for this import definition
    Import/Export Set to Import
    Base directory Directory where the new data files can be found
    Sensor type Control unit (info) Total station (hardware info) Meteorological
    Import type Control unit info (*.CUI)
    Modem log file (*.MDM)
    Total station info (*.STNI)
    Compensator (*.BUB)
    Meteorological (*.ENV)
  3. Select the sensor(s) for which this import is by checking the check box in front of it.
  4. For additional settings, like alarms, or more details on the other task-fields, consult the article Import & Export module.
  1. Click OK to accept the configuration. The new task will be visible in the overview. To write the changes to the database, don’t forget to click Apply.
  2. Repeat for any other import task. When done, the overview could look something like in the below image.
  3. If there is new data available on the next check, then this will be imported. If there is old data, make sure the Start time is set correctly in the import task. Otherwise, old data will NOT be imported.

Check the data

With the basic configuration done, you must wait for the automatic import to start. When data is imported depends on the settings of each import task and the amount of data to import the first time. To trick Delta Watch and force importing to start, simply close and restart Delta Watch. Once the various data files are imported, an initial inspection of the data can be done in the System diagnostics module. See the section on How to use the System diagnostics module below for details.


Customize items in the Project Sensor Management

Before an item can be displayed on a Map in Delta Watch or Delta Live!, it will need to be configured with (project) coordinates, an icon, and, optionally, an external name.

  1. Open the Sensor Management section in the Point and Limit management module.
  2. Select an item, for example the total station sensor, and click on the Edit Edit icon.
  3. Edit details like:
    External name Use this to show a more meaningful name on maps and charts.
    Project coordinates Project coordinates for easting, northing, and elevation.
    WGS84 coordinates Only required if using Delta Live! for visualization.
    Map symbol Custom icon to visually identify the sensor on a map. A table with all icons can be found in the article Importing Sensor definitions
  4. Click Apply to save the changes and repeat for any other item.


Do not edit the Name or Serial number field! These are used to link the imported data correctly!

Configure a view or user defined chart (optional)

Maps, and Overviews, can be used to visualize where is what on a project. For example, this could be a map with just observations or a map with all sensors as generated by the System diagnostics module. Such a map, or Overview, allows a quick view on the status of the equipment, which might be useful for the site manager. Another option is to create one or more user defined charts, on which any sensor channel can be displayed and combined. These allow the user to see trends very easily.

User defined charts and Overviews are simple to create and will not be addressed here. It is up to the user to select the data channels of interest. For Maps, which could also be used for reporting purposes, there are a few settings that should be correct to ensure the user sees the data. For details on how to create and use maps or views, see the article Delta Watch: Configure and use (map) views. But take notes on the below items to ensure the hardware information shows correctly.

  1. Ensure all sensors that will be placed on a map have project coordinates and a map symbol is selected. WGS84 coordinates are only required when projecting on a view in Delta Live!.
  2. When creating the view, make sure the below fields are configured correctly.
    Field Value
    Info fields Check; Leave unchecked to only show the icon on a map.
    Show sensor name Check to show the sensor name in the info field when visible.
    Show absolute values Select; All hardware diagnostics data is best viewed when showing absolute values.
    Info field active time hours Number of hours before the info fields should change color to indicate if no data was received, default is 8 hours.
    Processed values Select; Data related to the System diagnostics module will only show correct using this option.


Info field content customization

By default, Delta Watch will only select a few sensor channels to be visible in an info field. As some sensors have many channels, like the total station information, the user can adjust which fields should be visible in an info field. This can be done from within the System diagnostics module under the Hardware group. Click on the Settings button in the toolbar, and adjust settings as appropriate.

Configure alarming and messaging [OPTIONAL]

The user can configure limit monitoring for all sensor channels in Delta Watch, including Delta Link control units and total station information channels. A prerequisite is to use Delta Watch v3.10 or higher, with the mail server details configured and tested. Otherwise, no messages will be dispatched.

How it works:

  1. Configure a limit definition for Geotechnical sensors in the Limit Monitoring section of the Point and Limit management module. The limit definition is done per sensor type, and multiple channels can be configured in one definition. See item 1 in the below illustration.
  2. Assign the limit definition to an import task in the Import and Export module, as per item 2 in the below illustration.
  3. Each time Delta Watch imports data, the values are checked against the limit definition, and a message is sent when applicable.
  4. A limit definition can be used by more than one import task.

How to use the System diagnostics module

Navigate to the System diagnostics module in the Hardware group. The following numbered steps refer to the illustration below.

  1. To view data, select the Object, either DELTA Unit or Total Station, see #1 in the below image.
  2. Select the sub-set, at #2 in the below image. A sub-set could be as follows:
    Details of available System diagnostics sensors
    Object Sub-set Description
    DELTA Unit Delta Link box All the information recorded in the *.CUI files to check the health of the Delta Link
    Modem Regular modem statistics like signal quality and latency
    Meteorological Data recorded by the basic weather station
    Total Station Total Station

    Details of each round of observations made, useful to check performance and plan maintenance

    Compensator The compensator reading made during a cycle


  3. By default, Delta Watch will load the last 12 hours of data from now. To see more, enter a new value in the Last xxx hours field (#3).
  4. Data will be loaded, and the user can now select any column. Upon clicking on the header of the data column, a basic auto-scaling chart will be shown on the bottom half of the screen.


If the Delta Link or total station information will be placed on a Map or Overview, then configure under Settings (#4 in the below image) which data should be included in the info-field. This is a global configuration and will apply to all devices in all projects.


Column order for the current session can be rearranged by drag-and-drop


Once configured and having waited a reasonable time, or even having restarted Delta Watch and there is still no data available in the System diagnostics module, then there are a few things that could be checked. Below is a collection of them in no particular order. Remember that any time an item is deleted or a name is adjusted, it will affect things like the import tasks as it could now point to an invalid item.

  • Not seeing the change or addition just made?
    • Close all modules and only open the one in which you want to work.
  • No data shows anywhere
    • Check the column Latest data transfer of the configured import tasks in the Import & Export module. Did it import anything?
      • If no, one of the below might be the case:
        • Was the task set to Active?
        • Check the Start time by editing the task. This needs to be in the past if you want to import old data. It will not import any data that is older than the timestamp specified here.
        • The time interval field is set to No processing. Make sure it is set to 10 minutes or more.
        • Does it point to the correct Import folder?
        • Is the correct sensor selected for which the import is?
        • Does the sensor send data to this folder? For example, the Delta Link upload to another folder instead of the one configured.
      • Yes, it did import something.
        • Data might not be going to the correct project.
        • Data might be old data, thus you need to increase the time-period to examine.
    • Check the System diagnostics module and select the item for which no data is visible.
      • Is it assigned to the right project?
        • No

          Adjust the project assignment in the System diagnostics module.

      • Check the following fields: Active, Name, and Serial number by editing the item. Are these correct?
        • No

          Delete the sensor and create it again. This will ensure the relevant sensors are added correctly to the Sensor management of a project. For details, see the earlier section on Configure System Diagnostics. Do not forget to update the import task after this.

    • Check the import folder. Are there any files waiting to be imported?
      • Yes

        The import task might not be configured correctly. Check the task in the Import and Export module.

      • No
        The files have been archived without importing because the wrong sensor(s) was selected or sensor names had been altered.
        Check in the Project archive if the files exist there. If they do, then it is best to start again.
        1. Remove the sensors from the Sensor Management section of the Point and Limit management module.
        2. Remove the import task.
        3. Delete the sensors from the System diagnostics module.
        4. Make sure all open windows are closed before recreating the sensors.

        Do use the above detailed workflow after manually having restored the files from the archive folder back into the import folder.

    • Check for any warning or error messages in the Message archive module in the analysis group.
      • How?

        By opening the Archive module in the Analysis group. Load messages and use the filters that can be set on columns.

    • Check the individual sensor configuration in the Sensor Management tab of the Point and Limit Management module.
      • Are the sensors active?

        If no, activate them. Don't forget to apply and close all modules for the changes to take effect

      • Check if the Name field has been altered.
        • How?

          See the table and illustrations in the above item Configure System Diagnostics for details on what the name field of the sensors should be.

      • Is the correct Sensor type selected for the sensor?

        When a sensor is selected, the channel-names appear on the bottom half of the screen. Check the Type column because it specifies the configured sensor type.