1) What are the differences between WinDENDRO and other systems?
- WinDENDRO is an open system that is compatible with standards, one of them being the TWAIN protocol used to communicate with scanners. It allows WinDENDRO to work with many scanners on the market, even those to be introduced after you received WinDENDRO. That means you can change or upgrade your scanner without having to buy it from Regent Instruments.
- WinDENDRO is very integrated. Scanner control for image acquisition is done with just one click of the mouse. WinDENDRO is cyclic oriented, a procedure well adapted to people who have to measure many samples. It is a production oriented system knowing when to acquire image, when to validate data and when to save them. Because it has built-in knowledge about what you measure, you don't have to program it to do what you want. For example, earlywood width is part of the ring definition. Ring angle is considered when measuring distance between rings.
- It works on many operating systems. Currently the latest version works under Windows 7 to 10.
- It comes with good documentation (between 2 and 4 color manuals) and competent and fast technical support by the same people who designed WinDENDRO. We are also very receptive to requests from the users for additions or modifications.
- WinDENDRO is updated regularly.
- You produce measurements with a system that is proven and used by many other people. Ask us for a list of references.
2-) What about sample preparation and hard to see rings?
WinDENDRO's automatic ring detection rate is dependent on the type of sample you work on and its preparation. How good is the contrast between rings? How small are they? Preparation here is a key issue for any automatic (or semiautomatic) system. These systems are comfortable with regularities, so scratches tend to reduce the automatic detection rate of rings. It is slightly more difficult to work with cores than disks because less information is visible around the rings. The surface must be kept straight in order to be in contact with the scanner glass (that's why we have designed a core holder but you can also use cores glued on a piece of wood). Sanding or an equivalent surface preparation (router, planer) is recommended. Hand made cuts are not recommended. When the automatic detection rate is low, the user has to make more corrections. If the detection rate is too low, the automatic detection system can be turned off and the ring positions in the image can be indicated manually with simple mouse clicks.
If you are unsure WinDENDRO is suitable for your type of sample, you can send us a sample or an image (please contact our sales department first for instructions) and we will gladly give you our opinion. We can also put you in contact with WinDENDRO owners who work with similar samples.
If you cannot see the rings under a stereoscopic microscope, do not expect to see them with a scanner.
3-) What is the smallest ring we can measure with a good scanner?
It really depends on the contrast of the rings. For perfect transitions of black and white lines (on a paper) a 1600 dpi scanner can resolve typically 18 or 20 line pairs per mm. Ring transitions are more fuzzy, so you will be able to distinguish fewer rings per mm. It might be 4, 8 or maybe 10. Ring definition is also dependent on the preparation of the surface. With such small rings you need a very good surface (sanded or the equivalent).
4-) What is the productivity of WinDENDRO?
It is very difficult to give precise numbers. WinDENDRO does not simply increase speed, it changes the way you work. It should improve work quality with its verification possibilities during and after measurements, comfort (scan the images then analyze them where and when you want), agreeability (work with recent technology) and flexibility (equipment can be used for other application). We have noted that productivity of WinDENDRO users has a steep increase after a few hours or days. The productivity is very dependent on:
- The sample: how good is the contrast between rings, how small are they, how good is the preparation and how many irregularities (false rings, reaction wood) are present. Preparation here is a key issue for any automatic (or semiautomatic) system. See FAQ #2 above.
- How you work with the system; i.e. image quality setting vs speed setting. To increase core scanning speed you can scan with the core horizontally.
- The operator; how well does he/she knows the software and his/her level of concentration on the work
- The computer. With high resolution images, you need a good computer with plenty of memory. Please note that color images require even more memory. Keep in mind that you will be able to increase the performance of your system over the years without buying additional products from us simply by changing the computer to a faster one.