GridTrak Open Source PMU Integration with openPDC

Part 1 - Setup openPDC and Connect the PMU Sensor to Collect Data

Updated Mar 4, 2012, ajs 

1.  openPDC Installation

Configuration Tested Platform (others may also work)

  • Applies to openPDC v1.4 Release
  • SQL Server Express 2008
  • Microsoft .NET Framework 4, Full Version
  • Windows 7 Professional/32, P4 (Hyper Threading enabled) 3 GHz, 1GB RAM, 250GB SATA HD, Ethernet
  • Serial Port (for GridTrak PMU sensor)
  • openPDC and PMU Connection Tester will be installed in folders outside of the Windows standard Program Files and Documents paths to avoid encountering issues with User specific privileges and Program Files virtual store.

Downloading the openPDC Release Software

  • Navigate to the openPDC project with the link: openPDC - The Open Source Phasor Data Concentrator
  • Select the Downloads tab and download the file to a convenient folder. After you click on the link, you may be prompted to accept a license agreement. After accepting the license, a Save As style dialog is presented for you to select a folder and rename the file. For this document, we will save the file as C:\openPDC\ and extract it into the C:\openPDC\Synchrophasor.Installs folder. The following is a screen shot of the results.


  • Reading the README.txt is a good idea. In this release, this tells us to simply extract the files as we have done and run the Setup.exe to install openPDC.

Running openPDC Setup

  • Right-click on the Setup.exe program and select the Run as administrator option from the shortcut menu as illustrated in the following screen shot.





  • The following is a series of screen shots for a simple openPDC setup installing all the options.


  • Using Windows 7 Professional, 32 bit operating system.   Install the software to an easy to find and maintain stand-alone folder in drive C.   Installing in “Program Files” may hide settings in virtual stores or in my “Documents” space and may conflict with running openPDC as a service while not logged in.


  • The Configuration Setup Utility automatically runs after the software is installed by Setup.exe
  • Install a new “openPDC” database in the local SQL Server Express.


  • Using Windows Integrated Authentication to connect to the local SQL Server Express database service.  The openPDC v1.4.90.0 release does not completely implement this feature in the Configuration Setup Utility.  As a work around, uncheck the “Use integrated security for openPDC Manager” option, then add “; Integrated Security=SSPI” to the Advanced Settings Connection String property.


  • Click the Test Connection button and verify that the database connection succeeds before continuing.


  • Use Windows Authentication for Account Credentials and optionally allow the credentials to be used by openPDC Manager.  Also select running openPDC as a service.


  • Use the Historian defaults


  • The remaining setup process will check for and provide the option to erase a previous database, if there is one.


  • Installing PMU Connection Tester is simple.  Like openPDC, install PMU Connection Tester in its own folder outside of the scope of the “Program Files” and “Documents”.


2. Verify Sensor Communications with PMU Connection Tester

  • Run PMU Connection Tester
  • Configure the Connection Parameters, Serial tab settings for the COM port, Baud Rate = 11520, Parity = None, Stop Bits = One, Data Bits = 8, DTR and RTS unchecked.
  • Configure the Protocol tab setting for IEEE C37.118-2005


  • Below the Graph select the Settings tab
  • In the Application Settings section set MinimumFrameDisplayBytes  to 512
  • In the Connection Settings section set AutoStartDataParsingSequence to False
  • In the Phase Angle Graph section set PhaseAngleGraphStyle to Raw


  • In the Protocol click the Connect button
  • Select the Command:  Send Header Frame then click the Send button
  • Select the Command:  Send Config Frame 1  then click the Send button
  • Select the Command:  Send Config Frame 2  then click the Send button


  • Select the Command:  Enable Real-time Data  then click the Send button
  • To increase the sample density in the chart, increase the settings for FrequencyPointsToPlot and PhaseAnglePointsToPlot 


3.  Configure Your Company, Vendor, and Vendor Device in openPDC Manager

openPDC comes preloaded with Company, Vendor, and Device records.  However, if your Company, Vendor, and Device is not included in these, it is a good idea to add your own records to the openPDC.  If you are new to openPDC, entering this information is a simple introduction to the look and feel of using the openPDC Manager.

  • Run the openPDC Manager and select Manage menu and click the Companies option.
    • Click the Clear button to setup a new blank Company record.
    • Enter your Company information then click the Save button.


  • Select the Manager menu, Vendors option
    • Click the Clear button to setup a new blank Vendor record.
    • Enter your Vendor information then click the Save button.


  • Select the Manager menu, Vendor Devices option
    • Click the Clear button to setup a new blank Vendor Device record.
    • Enter your Vendor Device information then click the Save button.


4.  Configure the Sensor as a New Device in openPDC Manager

  • If PMU Connection Tester is Connected, click the Disconnect button in the Protocol tab.  The PC’s Serial Port can only be used by one application at any time.
  • Run openPDC Manager and select the Add New option from the Devices menu.

  • Click the Build link to the right of the Connection String field.
  • In the Build Connection String dialog’s Serial tab, select the COM Port and set the other parameters to Baud Rate = 11520, Parity = None, Stop Bits = One, Data.  Be sure to set the Stop Bits to One because this is not the default in this dialog.

port=COM7; baudrate=115200; parity=None; stopbits=One; databits=8; dtrenable=false; rtsenable=false; transportprotocol=serial; interface=;

  • Click the Next button at the bottom right of the screen
  • Click the Request Configuration From openPDC button to get the read the configuration from the sensor using IEEE C37.118-2005 protocol.
  • Select your Company
  • Select the Interconnection that the sensor will be recording data for.

  • Click the Modify Configuration button to review the configuration retrieved from the sensor.  Close the dialog by clicking its Save button.


  • I noticed a Save Configuration button near the Modify Configuration button in the wizard’s Step 2 screen.  When I clicked this and saved the configuration to an XML file, I got the following Error.  I didn’t click this button in previous tests, so this error may not be a problem for this exercise.  I will report it in the Issue Tracker.


  • Click the Next button at the bottom right of the Device Configuration Wizard screen to continue to Step 3.
  • Select your Vendor Device
  • Enter your Longitude and Latitude
  • Review the information and click the Finish button.


  • In the Devices menu, click the Browse option
  • Click the Acronym link and update the Time Zone property
  • Make sure the ID Code (AccessID) is set to the Sensor’s ID , then click the Save button.


  • After the Save, you are returned to the devices browser.  Click the Acronym link for the sensor again.
  • In the Manage Devices screen, click the Initialize link, then click Yes to initialize the sensor.


  • In the Monitoring menu, select the System Console option and scroll back to verify that the sensor was initialized.


  • Try the Home and Monitoring, Input Status & Monitoring


  • The Manage menu, System Settings option provides settings for adjusting the chart.


Last edited Mar 5, 2012 at 3:12 AM by ajstadlin, version 32


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