The USB DAQ – Taking Measurement Analysis to the Next Level

Sometimes the interface allotted by measuring instruments simply doesn’t allow for the in-depth analysis required, this is where a USB DAQ comes in handy. USB DAQS allow measuring instruments, such as digital manometers, to be connected to a computer allowing the data to be plugged into more sophisticated software and displayed on a monitor.

DAQS are complicated instruments themselves with lots of variation between models and designs. When a company is looking to purchase a DAQ they have a few important factors to consider. It’s important that they find a product that is fitted for use with the intended applications.

Input Types
Each kind of DAQ allows for certain input types. Some of the more advanced USB DAQS have thermocouples, RTDs, strain gages, LVDT’s, potentiometers, VR sensors and low-level DC Voltages are wired directly to the USB terminal.

Input Range
The amount of input ranges also varies between DAQ’s. For the more modern models, a range from 20 mV to 10.24 V is fairly common. These models are also programmable channel by channel and have dual conversion schemes which provide off-set correction for low-level measurements.

Software
Software is, of course, critical. Software can vary quite a bit when it comes to USB DAQS, from the most basic to the high-powered. Some of the more advanced software types include a GUI configuration utility that allows for sensor type, gain range, channel, and all other input parameters to be set-up manually. It’s important that a company finds a USB DAQ with software that works with their computers, it is suitable for the intended applications.

Other Considerations

  • External Signal Conditioning
  • Sensor Excitation
  • On-Board TC, RTD Linearization
  • Graphing Capabilities
  • Sensor Input
  • Whether Cables and Terminal Blocks Are Included
  • Trigger Functionality

In the engineering and tech industries, it’s all about precision. This is why USB DAQS are such powerful instruments. By allowing measurement equipment to harness the capabilities of computer software and graphics, they help companies take measurement analysis to the nest level. For companies interested in purchasing a USB DAQ, it’s important that they find a model with the capabilities required for their applications.

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