Although the VELA is a stand alone hardware platform, a lot of value is added by connecting it to a general purpose computer and using software to visualize and analyze the data captured by the VELA. Software was written for the BBC Micro, RM380Z, Apple II and IBM-PC compatibles. This page is an archive of all of the software that has been found and digitally imaged for preservation purposes.
Sadly, there are many more software titles for the VELA that are still missing and it would be desirable to archive at least one piece of software for each platform that worked with the VELA.
VELAnalysis was the most commonly used software provided for the BBC Micro and there were three versions over the years. VELAnalysis was also made available for Apple and IBM PC's.
VELAnalysis 1.3 was a commercial piece of software for the VELA released by Educational Electronics Ltd for the BBC Micro. The original version lacks some of the features of later versions such as improved zoom facilities, smoothing algorithms and it only supports the loading of two 1KB data blocks which means that the fastest data logging settings on the VELA which create a 4KB block of data aren't directly supported without the data being split into four separate files.
VELAnalysis 2 was an updated version of VELAnalysis and included extra features including full access to a single channel 4KB sample stream which VELAnalysis 1 did not provide, meaning that the fast sample rate channels of the VELA were fully supported by the analytics software.
VELAnalysis III was the third updated version to VELAnalysis and again included extra features such as moving average smoothing, advanced graph selection, display and zoom features and built in maximum, minimum, mean and RMS plotting are available.
The graph below is a scan of a printout of the graph representing a titration I carried out in July 1992 as part of my Chemistry A-Level.
VELAdisc+ from Sarge Software provided similar functionality to VELAnalysis III. Rather than overlaying different graphs over each other, VELAdisc+ allows for up to 4 graphs to be shown in "windows" on the screen simultaneously.
The VELA Utility disc provides further analytical tools in support of software such as VELAnalysis and VELAdisc+. It specifically supports data files produced by VELAdisc+ and VELAd but can be configured to support loading data files from other software by configuring the position of the first byte of data in the data file to be loaded.
The software also provides a full 6802 Assembler and Disassembler and supports displaying sample data in real time and downloading memory ranges directly from the VELA into the disassembler when the VELA is fitted with the ISL2* and ISL3* EPROMs.
The Integrated Science Programs from philip harris provide several simple graphing tools to download and display data from a VELA.
Each program is optimised for different logging applications such as pH or simple voltage measurements and you choose the type of data you want to analyse from the menu, then download it from the VELA or load some pre-saved data from a disc.
When I acquired my VELA, there was no accompanying software so I started to develop my own and I'm now releasing an initial version for people to use. The software can transfer data from the VELA, save and load data sets for future analysis, render graphs, perform custom functions on the data and create smoothed graphs from the raw data.
VelaXFER is the data analysis software for the BBC Micro and VELA that I wrote in order that people could use their VELA if they didn't have the original software. It's was an early release but had many useful features and is compatible with the BBC Micro*, BBC Master and Acorn Archimedes** range of computers.
As much of the original software has been re-discovered and archived, VelaXFER is now listed simply for historical purposes.
* The BBC Micro requires a 6502 second processor to run VelaXFER
** The data transfer routines are currently only compatible with the BBC Micro and BBC Master series of machines.
If you've come across this page because you've found a dusty old VELA or any of the peripherals I've mentioned on the site in the store cupboard of the science department and you're wondering what you can do with it... You could always consider donating it to a good home such as mine where it would be reunited with a BBC Micro, archived for the future and used!
Although I now have many VELA related items, I am still missing many more bits and pieces so if you happen to have a VELA, any VELA software, manuals or related VELA handbooks, then I'd still be very interested in hearing from you so please do get in touch!
Of particular interest are any VELA SAM4 compatible modules and software for the RM380Z, Apple II and IBM-PC's of the day which currently are lost to the mists of time with the prospects of viable floppy discs containing the software being more remote as the years go by.
For a full list of VELA related items I'm looking for, please check out my VELA - WANTED, DEAD or ALIVE! page.