Tag Archive: portable

CAS Debuts New Portable High-Speed Data Acquisition System

Delphin Expert Key 200

CHESTERLAND OH—October 3rd, 2011

CAS DataLoggers has teamed up with Delphin Technology to introduce the new Delphin Expert Key 200 Portable Data Acquisition System, the latest high-speed, plug-and-play solution for data acquisition of measurement and process data, experiments and product testing, and automation of machinery and test stands. This compact device’s wide areas of application range from fault troubleshooting, reliability testing, process and laboratory automation, and research and development. Two Expert Key 200 models are available: the Expert Key L pop-up tabletop device for industrial applications, and the Expert Key C model for laboratory uses and installations in control cabinets. Together these high-accuracy units are an ideal solution for projects requiring a compact yet powerful device.

The new Delphin Expert Key 200 Data Acquisition System has been specifically designed for laboratory and experimental applications including automation of measurement processes, process visualization, and experiment, trial and test stand automation. This latest generation of data acquisition system comprises a complete hardware and software package in a lightweight, portable unit with benchtop enclosure, suitable for both tabletop and wall-mounted usage (200L model) and in a panel mount enclosure (200C model).

A true plug and play device, the Delphin Expert Key200 lets users start collecting data as soon as the device is connected to a PC via USB or Ethernet, making configuration and setup quick and simple. The Expert Key 200 offers 28 universal analog inputs which can be connected to mV, volt, 20 mA signals, thermocouples, and RTD sensors, enabling any physical value to be acquired including temperature, pressure, and flow-rate. A universal digital input is available for acquiring status, frequencies or impulses, and a counter input is also included. All inputs and analog/digital outputs are universal and galvanically-isolated to protect against earth loops. Sensors and actuators are connected via plugs located on the side. The Expert Key 200 also features plug-in screw terminals for secure connections and a maximum sample rate of 100 kHz. Measurement data is saved as scaled and linearized to the device (e.g. PSI, ft/sec, GPM). Scaling is pre-configured for all current thermocouple and RTD sensor types, even for large applications, and signal conditioning is also included. Experiments can be controlled or events triggered via analog, digital or by a PWM output.

Free ProfiSignal Go professional PC software is included for the online and offline monitoring and analysis of measurement data. This user-friendly software enables set-up and online or offline monitoring as well as measurement and data analysis. ProfiSignal Go also interfaces with other third-party applications including LabView and Diadem, and data can be exchanged with other systems using an OPC server or Modbus TCP. An OCX interface is also provided to interface with custom programs. The Expert Key gains added value through a comprehensive complete package including ProfiSignal Go and a multitude of software interfaces and drivers for the problem-free integration of external systems, saving the expense of having to acquire additional software.

The Expert Key 200L is designed for table-top and wall-mounted usage, with mounting brackets included in the delivery along with a power supply adapter. A pop-up detachable lid enables a clear overview of connections. Sensors and actuators are connected via plugs located on the sides. The L model has universal capability and is particularly suited to laboratory, servicing and testing environments. The Expert Key 200C model has the same design as the L model apart from the metal housing design, which enables the devices to be installed in cabinets or 19” rack systems. The Expert Key can also be supplied without housings to enable OEM solutions.

Providing a wide input array for a broad range of applications, the Delphin Expert Key 200 Data Acquisition System is a cost-effective solution for analog data acquisition and laboratory applications, jumpstarting projects while fitting easily into project budgets.

Check out the Delphin Expert Key 200 product page at http://www.dataloggerinc.com/products/Expert_Key_200_Data_Acquisition_System/153/, and view the CAS inventory of portable data loggers at http://www.dataloggerinc.com/products/Expert_Key_200_Data_Acquisition_System/153/?cid=24.

For further information on the Delphin Expert Key 200 Data Acquisition System, other devices in the Delphin data acquisition line, 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

How to Select a Portable Data Acquisition System

Choosing the Ideal Solution for Any Application

CHESTERLAND OH—September 13, 2011

Portable data acquisition systems are used worldwide to capture data and conduct routine testing of vital infrastructures such as mass transit systems, power grids, and bridges, as well as heavy industrial processes and applications. These powerful yet compact data acquisition devices play an important role in the testing and monitoring of many critical systems, and selecting the most suitable device for a given application requires careful consideration. The ideal portable data acquisition system for most users is a compact, lightweight unit powered by either a self-contained battery or a single DC power source, requiring no other connection to function other than the sensors being monitored. Operating in remote areas, a user interface and means of communication with the device become vital features. Signal conditioning such as gain and filtering as well as high-capacity non-volatile data storage are other important considerations.

When selecting a suitable portable data acquisition system for their specific applications, users face a bewildering choice of available manufacturers, models and specifications. Each system has its own configurations that make some units more suitable than others for certain applications. Additionally, purchasers must first consider several demanding requirements not necessary for traditional laboratory devices. Any existing and potentially damaging environmental extremes including temperature, excessive humidity, liquids, dust, shock and vibration should be carefully considered. Other relevant questions to ask include whether the data acquisition equipment can support the particular mix of sensors that will be used, as well as determining if the device has adequate memory and storage to support the specific project.

Before deciding on a specific manufacturer or solution, users need to form a clear idea of the results they require of any system they’ll be using. Sampling rates, as just one factor, are available in a wide variety from as low as once per day to higher than a million per second. Anticipating the future project’s needs today will save precious time and money on installation. Data acquisition system designs range from the simple to the complex, with an attendant variety in performance, features, and cost. Fortunately, in the face of all these options, fundamental guidelines are available for portable data acquisition equipment users to consider before making their purchase.

Of course, the main function of data acquisition systems are their basic function to accurately record data, and here the wide spectrum of degrees of accuracy attainable by units available on the market can make this a more involved decision than expected. A reliable constant, though, is that the accuracy of field measurements is heavily based upon the sensors being used. For most sensors that have been calibrated in the laboratory and installed in the field, accuracies in the range of 0.01 % to 1 % of full scale are typical, with many other sensors having less accuracy. The particular system’s input types must also match project requirements–for example, an application requiring extensive analog measurements would benefit from the portable Delphin Expert Key 200 series of data acquisition system, which features a full 28 analog inputs.

Likewise, the sampling speed of DAQ systems must also be taken into account when determining accuracy. The device must acquire signals quickly enough to avoid any loss of the data. The necessary data acquisition speed is calculated by using Nyquist’s Sampling Theorem, which states that a signal must be sampled at twice the frequency of the spectral signal components which are of interest in order to accurately reconstruct the waveform. The Delphin Expert Key 200 series mentioned above has a 100kHz maximum sample rate.

Also vital to many users’ considerations are the environmental conditions which the device will be subject to. Portable data acquisition equipment is naturally susceptible to damaging environments, such that ruggedized packaging of the DAQ unit itself, as well as its electrical components, is an essential manufactured precaution to ensure both device and data integrity. For example, portable DAQ equipment used in heavy industrial applications often needs to withstand a broad temperature range. In the absence of ruggedized models, a portable enclosure may give adequate protection for the system. In these harsh environments, and to retain their portability, DAQ systems need to be as compact and lightweight as possible. Further, beyond withstanding these environmental extremes, portable data acquisition units need to be able to survive in high shock and vibration environments such as the trunk of a car or onboard an airplane, or just as a result of the occasional accident such as being dropped by its owner. Other sealing and packaging precautions such as watertight housing should be under review for aquatic applications such as flow rate measurement and wastewater monitoring which partially or completely immerse the device.

For remote applications where access to a standard 120V AC power outlet isn’t available, electric power to the system can be provided either through an internal battery pack, or the user can connect an external wire to a DC power supply. Additionally, in order to conserve power and avoid unnecessary processor loadup, users with minimal processing requirements can select a lower performance CPU and rely on a capable storage system.

When analyzing recorded data and exporting to other formats, many users rate software primarily by how user-friendly it is, which often depends on graphical interface style, menu navigation and help tips. Continuing with the earlier example, the Delphin Expert Key 200 series features ProfiSignal software for data storage, display and analysis.

Choosing a portable data acquisition system featuring internal signal conditioning capabilities can greatly improve system quality and performance. Different types of signal conditioning include amplification, attenuation, and filtering. As always, the specific application involved and the types of sensors used to make the measurements will decide the type of signal conditioning required—to measure temperature, a device will probably need to use thermocouples or thermistors. Thermocouples produce a voltage that varies with the temperature, but connecting a thermocouple to a data acquisition system creates a cold junction point at the terminals that acts as a thermocouple itself. Signal conditioning is required to compensate for this, or else the recorded temperature which is taken from the total voltage will be altered by the additional voltage of the cold junction point. Signal conditioning can also be used for signal amplification to mitigate any noise distortion, and is also useful when a DAQ device is connected to other transducers such as strain gauges, accelerometers, etc.

When designed to monitor remote unattended systems, suitable DAQ devices have communications capabilities utilizing telephone connections or wireless systems to download data to remote PCs. They also require ample built-in storage and user interfaces to enable setup and control. Advanced solutions use built-in testing capabilities allowing users to sit back as the system acquires the data.

Taking into account all these specifications when choosing the right portable DAQ device is certainly an involved process, but one made easier by always keeping the needs of the present and any future applications foremost in mind. Check out the Delphin Expert Key Data Acquisition System product page here.

For further information on the Delphin Expert Key 100-200 series of portable data acquisition devices, other Delphin data acquisition 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