Tag Archive: dataloggers

How To Choose the Ideal Data Logger

Before You Buy a Data Logger, Read This!

CHESTERLAND OH—October 10, 2011

Solutions providers field hundreds of calls and emails weekly addressing the same question: “Which of the data loggers you carry best fits my application?” Whether you are an engineer working out the details of your latest project or a buyer filling a requisition, the number of available options when choosing your data logger can often be overwhelming. For this reason, the majority of calls begin with this simple question: “What are you looking to accomplish?” In fact, placing a call to a solutions provider is the quickest way to get the information you need to proceed.

When choosing a datalogger, consider your short- as well as long-term needs. Are you looking to solve a specific short-term problem or are you are looking for a multipurpose tool to handle current requirements as well as being flexible enough to accommodate future project needs? A popular example of the latter is the dataTaker family of data loggers which have been designed to record almost any physical value and which can easily be expanded with more channels when the need arises. In general, an experienced provider will ask specific questions to help you determine which products are the most suitable including how many inputs are required and what type; how often you need to take a reading; how much data needs to stored; how the data logger will be used; how you’ll communicate with the device; and any other requirements the application might have.

Your first consideration is to determine the number of inputs you plan on logging. Since data loggers are available in configurations capable of handling anywhere from one to literally hundreds of inputs, knowing what you need now and possibly in the future will have a significant impact on your choice. The Grant SQ2020 WiFi wireless portable data loggers are available in 8 to 16 channel models–watch this video. Meanwhile the dataTaker DT80 series of dataloggers, for example, can be configured to monitor anywhere from a single sensor to over 300 inputs. Do you need a logger with external sensors or can you use a logger with a built-in sensor like the TandD RTR-51 wireless temperature datalogger? This initial question-and-answer phase is the best time to engage a representative in online chat or a fast phone call.

Since dataloggers are designed for such a wide variety of applications, knowing the type of sensors or inputs you plan on using is critical. For instance, if you already have a thermocouple and you need to log temperature readings, the simple or inexpensive temperature data logger that caught your eye might not be suitable if it comes equipped with a dedicated RTD. If all you need is to record data from 4 individual 4-20mAmp current-loops, a simple 4-channel logger dedicated to process current loops might work fine. A single, 0-5 VDC? Again, a simple dedicated data logger might do the trick. On the other hand, if you are mixing inputs (current-loops, voltages, pulses, etc.) you’ll need a more flexible, sophisticated data logger.

A good solutions provider will be able to offer you a diverse selection of data loggers compatible with most types of signal inputs. While some of these loggers are dedicated to a certain input type, others are user-configurable for different types and infinite combinations of signal types. Many models of data loggers are available on the market for the following types of signal inputs: AC Voltage, Process Current, Bridge, Strain, Load, Pressure, Dew Point, Event (or State), Frequency, Level, Process Voltage/Current, PH, Relative Humidity, RTD, Shock, Acceleration, Sound, Temperature, Thermocouple, Pulse, Serial and more.

Another important consideration is how often you need to record a reading. Most data loggers can handle recording at rates up to about 1Hz (once per second). If you need a faster recording frequency, be aware that as the speed of the data logger increases, the price of the data logger does as well. Make sure that the recording rate you are specifying is appropriate–in the case of a K-Type thermocouple, for example, the sensor/sample may take several seconds to change temperature. Recording such a temperature with the data logger at 5Hz would provide redundant or useless data.

Depending on your application, you may need to only capture a few minutes’ worth of data or you may need to be able to store whole months of readings. You can determine the amount of data storage required by multiplying the number of channels by the sample rate and recording duration:

Total Number of Points = Number of Channels X Sample Rate X Recording Duration

Depending on the data logger, there may be a limit based on the total amount of internal memory, or the logger may offer the option of using external memory such as a USB memory stick to expand the available memory.

It also important to consider what is practical for the application and analysis. Many users initially state that they want to record multiple channels of data at hundreds of Hz. One problem with this is that this would quickly fill the available memory and necessitate more frequent downloads. Even worse, it becomes impractical to analyze all the data–with a high speed data logger sampling at 100 Hz, users can exceed the maximum number of rows in Excel in just over 10 minutes!

In this case you’ve got a handy guideline- if you’re looking for trends, use the statistical capabilities offered by certain data loggers to summarize the data over an interval. If you’re looking for anomalies, use the logger’s triggering features to just capture a window around the event.

Naturally, there are data loggers that are designed for fixed installation and others that are intended for more portable applications. When considering how the logger will be used, keep these key issues in mind: how will it be powered–by battery, AC adapter, or solar panel? Will the logger be used in a lab or does it need to be protected from moisture and dirt? Does it need to be completely self-contained so that it can be used in the field? Checking the IP rating of these devices will provide you with a good idea of the punishment they can take, and some loggers such as the Grant Squirrels can endure full exposure to the elements!

Ultimately you have to retrieve the data from the data recorder somehow, so do you plan to bring the logger to the computer to download data, or would you prefer to handle it remotely? Communication with the data logger for set-up of monitoring and downloading data can be done in many different ways, including serial or RS-232 interface, USB or Ethernet interface, wireless capability including Wi-Fi and proprietary RF links, analog telephone (PSTN) modem, cellular, CDMA or GPRS/GSM modem, and satellite modem. If your application needs a remote solution, for example, check out the wide range of wireless solutions provided by Accsense monitoring and alarming systems here.

In addition to basic data collection, does your application require other features such as alarms? Does the data logger have to perform real-time calculations on the measured data? Do you need a local display or output signals? These are the details you’ll need to request to your provider to ensure your logger is a perfect fit for your specific application.

Given the amazing range of data logging products on the market, and before you make your choice of manufacturer and model, make sure you speak with a trusted solutions provider to find out how to get the most suitable device for your specific application at the most affordable price. A good provider can offer you experienced help over the phone as well as live chat support and a detailed online store listing specifications. Make sure your provider also offers critical value-added services such as customization, configuration, and more.

For further information on the Grant Squirrel 20xx family of data loggers, Accsense wireless monitoring solutions, or to find the ideal solution for your application-specific needs, contact a CAS Data Logger Applications Specialist at (800) 956-4437 or visit the website at www.DataLoggerInc.com.

Contact Information:
CAS DataLoggers, Inc.
12628 Chillicothe Road
Chesterland, Ohio 44026
(440) 729-2570
(800) 956-4437
sales@dataloggerinc.com
http://www.dataloggerinc.com

CAS Announces New Series 3 DT85 Intelligent Data Logger

The Latest Version of the Popular dataTaker DT85 Has Arrived

CHESTERLAND OH—September 20, 2011

CAS DataLoggers has partnered with popular manufacturer dataTaker to announce the newly released Series 3 DT85 Intelligent Universal Input Data Logger, a smart data logger emphasizing flexibility, accuracy and durability. Able to connect to a large number of inputs simultaneously, the new Series 3 model offers users even more datalogging features combined with more precise measurements. These upgrades made to the successful Series 2 DT85s are inspired directly from the needs and comments from customers all over the world. Designed for use in a wide variety of applications and focusing on versatility across many different measurement types, the Series 3 DT85 logger offers users an impressive array of communications features which make it an ideal solution for real-time data acquisition, remote monitoring and control needs.

Improvements included with the dataTaler DT85 Series 3 include improved cold junction compensation using a high-precision RTD sensor accurate to 0.1%, enabling up to 5x more accurate thermocouple measurements. Single-ended 2-wire resistance measurements allowing 3 resistance measurements per input channel have also been added for use in monitoring sensor cable integrity. Additionally, a 5V terminal is now included to power external devices with a limit of 25mA, further increasing the DT85’s flexibility.

DT85 dataloggers are designed with size in mind, featuring 16 to 48 universal analog sensor channels and 12 digital channels, 4 high-speed counter inputs, phase encoder inputs, and programmable serial sensor channels. These allow connection to most sensors and data measurement sources so that almost any physical value can be scaled and logged including temperature, voltage, current, 4-20mA loops, resistance, strain gauges, frequency, and more. Measurements are made at an 18-bit resolution across a ±30 V input measurement range, and for more demanding applications, the dataTaker DT85 is expandable up to 900 analog inputs. The data logger can store up to 10 million data points in user-defined memory and features independent control of schedule size and mode to log only as long as needed. The DT85 also archives data on alarm event, copying to USB memory and transferring via FTP if needed, providing data directly to the office over the internet or mobile phone network without the need for polling or specific host software.

The Series 3 DT85 stand-alone, low power data loggers feature a built-in display and are renowned for their robust construction capable of withstanding extreme environments and made to last over years of constant use. Their powerful communications capabilities include RS232 with modem support, USB, Ethernet and USB memory stick ports enabling connection to the DT85 locally, remotely or over the Internet. Featuring support for multiple SDI-12 sensor networks, Modbus for SCADA systems, FTP and Web interface, and 12V regulated output to power sensors, the DT85 is ready for duty in environmental, industrial and many other types of monitoring projects.

User-friendly dEX software is included free with the Series 3 DT85, utilizing an intuitive graphical interface enabling users to quickly configure the data logger and view real-time sensor measurements, calculations and diagnostic information, all in a hassle-free Windows Explorer style interface. Users can also view their real-time data in mimics, trend charts, or tables, and retrieve historical data for analysis. To get users up and running, dEX comes built-in with no applications to install, runs directly from a web browser, and can be accessed either locally or remotely anywhere that a TCP/IP connection is available including worldwide over the Internet. Users can view dEX using any of the logger’s built-in communications ports including Ethernet, USB and RS-232.

For additional universal input datalogging solutions, check out other products in the CAS inventory at http://dataloggerinc.com/categories/Universal_Input_Data_Loggers/9/

For further information on the new Series3 DT85 data logger, other dataTaker Series 3 data logging devices, or to find the ideal solution for your application-specific needs, contact a CAS Data Logger Applications Specialist at (800) 956-4437 or visit the website at www.DataLoggerInc.com.

Contact Information:
CAS DataLoggers, Inc.
12628 Chillicothe Road
Chesterland, Ohio 44026
(440) 729-2570
(800) 956-4437
sales@dataloggerinc.com
http://www.dataloggerinc.com

New Series 3 DT80 Intelligent Universal Input Data Logger

The Latest Version of the Bestselling DT80 Has Arrived

CHESTERLAND OH—September 14, 2011

CAS DataLoggers has partnered with popular manufacturer dataTaker to announce the new and improved Series 3 DT80 Intelligent Universal Input Data Logger, designed for flexibility, accuracy and reliability. This new model offers users even more datalogging features combined with higher-precision measurements. Several improvements have been made upon the successful Series 2 DT80s, inspired directly from the needs and feedback of customers around the world. Designed for a wide variety of applications and focusing on versatility across many different measurement types, the Series 3 DT80 provides an extensive array of communications features making it an ideal solution for real-time data acquisition, remote monitoring and control needs.

The DT80 Series 3 upgrades include improved cold junction compensation using a high-precision RTD sensor accurate to 0.1%, allowing up to 5x more accurate thermocouple measurements. Single ended two wire resistance measurements allowing 3 resistance measurements per input channel have also been added, useful for monitoring sensor cable integrity. Additionally, a 5V terminal is now included to power external devices with a limit of 25mA, extending the DT80’s flexibility even further.

5 to 15 universal analog and 12 digital channels, 4 high-speed counter inputs, phase encoder inputs and programmable serial sensor channels all allow the DT80 dataloggers to connect to most sensors and data measurement sources. Almost any physical value can be scaled and logged including temperature, voltage, current, 4-20mA loops, resistance, strain gauges, frequency, and more. Measurements are made at an 18-bit resolution across a ±30 V input measurement range, and the data logger is expandable up to 300 analog inputs. The DT80 universal data logger can store up to 10 million data points in user-defined memory, featuring independent control of schedule size and mode to log only as long as needed. The DT80 also archives data on alarm event, copying to USB memory and transferring via FTP if needed, providing data directly to the office over the internet or mobile phone network without the need for polling or specific host software.

The Series 3 DT80 stand-alone, low power data loggers feature a built-in display and are renowned for their robust construction–all dataTaker devices are built to last, capable of withstanding harsh environments and years of constant use. Their extensive communications capabilities include RS232 with modem support, USB, Ethernet and USB memory stick ports enabling connection to the DT80 locally, remotely or over the Internet. With support for multiple SDI-12 sensor networks, Modbus for SCADA systems, FTP and Web interface, and 12V regulated output to power sensors, the DT80 is ready to be rolled out into environmental, industrial and many other types of monitoring projects.

Additionally, free user-friendly dEX software is included with the Series 3 DT80, featuring an intuitive graphical interface that allows quick configuration of the data logger and displays real-time sensor measurements, calculations and diagnostic information, all in an easy-to-use Windows Explorer style interface. Users can also view their real-time data in mimics, trend charts, or tables, and retrieve historical data for analysis. To get users up and running, dEX comes built-in with no applications to install, runs directly from a web browser, and can be accessed either locally or remotely anywhere that a TCP/IP connection is available including worldwide over the Internet. Users can view dEX using any of the logger’s built-in communications ports including Ethernet, USB and RS-232. Check out the Series 3 DT80 product page here.

For further information on the new Series3 DT80 data logger, other dataTaker Series 3 data logging devices, or to find the ideal solution for your application-specific needs, contact a CAS Data Logger Applications Analyst at (800) 956-4437 or visit the website at www.DataLoggerInc.com.

Contact Information:
CAS DataLoggers, Inc.
12628 Chillicothe Road
Chesterland, Ohio 44026
(440) 729-2570
(800) 956-4437
sales@dataloggerinc.com
http://www.dataloggerinc.com