Multifunction Dataloggers Description
Multifunction Dataloggers (or Data Logger, Data Recorder, Data Acquisition) capture several analog signals or measurements over time for study and review later.
Benefits of Dataloggers/Data Recorders
Parts of a Datalogger/Data Recorder
- Quiet, unattended 24/7 operation
- Simple to setup and operate. Many portable models available
- Wide variety of measurement types and measurement speeds possible
- Help troubleshoot and identify problems in many fields
- Steady declining cost
My handheld Digital Thermometer logs so is it considered a Datalogger?
- Built in sensor, such as temperature, or electrical terminals to connect an external one
- A/D or analog to digital converter and signal conditioning electronics
- Non-volatile storage memory for the collected data and a method to specify the storage rate and on some models the scan interval
- PC Communications or other method to move the data to a computer and to configure the unit
- Optionally a local display and keypad. Not always needed, so “blind” units are a cost saving
- Optional Outputs. More advanced units may have alarm relays or can re-transmit signals to other equipment
For our website purposes, no. We further classify data logging instruments as dedicated to data logging. Typically they will be “blind”, i.e. no display or buttons, and intended for long term unattended operation. A handheld digital thermometer will have a host of other features, one of which may optionally be to record data. We have categorized these measuring instruments here Products > Thermometers.
What is the difference between data logging and data acquisition or data recording?
Data logging is a subset of data acquisition/data recording. While some may use the terms interchangeably, there are differences. Here is a list of notable differences. Of course, there will be exceptions, but dataloggers or data recorders will have most of the characteristics from their respective list below:
Typical datalogger characteristics:
Typical data acquisition system and data recorder characteristics:
- Handheld or portable instruments
- Many have a built-in sensor
- Measuring one or two variables
- Slow rates compared to data recorders.
- Bench instruments
- Imagine digital replacements of the paper chart recorder
- Sampling rates better than 1 Hz
- Multi-channel capabilities from 1-2 to hundreds
- Have a built in real-time clock for more accurate time stamps
- Often have network connectivity
- Many are AC powered and built to withstand power fluctuations and continue logging
- May have a local display replacing the traditional paper chart. These are called videographic recorders