5 Ways to do Data Logging in Under 5 Minutes

Left5 Touch Screen Applications | Economical Solutions from Automation Left

Date: 2011-06-21

Data Logging

Logging data has many benefits. It can help you to save energy, be more efficient, solve a problem or find a trend. There are may different ways you can log data like with a simple data logger, an embedded controller or with data acquisition modules connected to your PC. You can log at time intervals like every minute or every hour. Most of these systems take about 5 minutes to set up.


1) You can log temperature and humidity data with a stand alone Data Logger. You can configure data loggers with your PC and you can set them up to log at desired intervals like every 10 minutes. Then you can leave it for your desired period of time like 5 days. Then you can connect the data logger back to your PC to retrieve the data. You can export the data into spreadsheets and make charts for analysis. It could help you to forecast what future temperature and humidity may be. It can also help you determine if a certain environment needs more industrial hardware for extreme conditions. An example of a stand alone temperature and humidity data logger is DL-100T485. If your PC doesn't have an RS-485 port, you can use a USB to RS-485 converter like I-7561 which has Windows 7, Vista, XP and Linux Drivers to communicate with it.

2) You can log data with a data acquisition module with Ethernet communication and your PC running data logging software. You can download software like Free EZ Data Logger which lets you log data from data acquisition modules like ET-7018Z. You can log data like current, voltage, temperature, and humidity. You connect sensors to the terminal block on the data acquisition module to help get the data to the PC. You can export the reports to excel or look at them in an Access Database. The amount of data you can log depends on the space available on your computer. You can make little buttons on the screen that trigger outputs when you click them. You can also send email alarms.

3) You can log data with a wireless data acquisition module and a PC. You can connect a wireless host converter to the PC. The wireless data acquisition module would communicate with the PC over wireless communication. Zigbee wireless is one solution that is robust and easy to set up. Each zigbee network has an RF channel and a PAN ID which is set up with a free software utility. Each module has a node ID. ZB-2550 is an example of a zigbee host that can be connected with a PC. ZB-2060 is an example of a wireless data acquisition module you can use to turn lights on and off. You can use a free software like EZ Data Logger to log the light activity over time. Then you can analyze the data and see trends or it can help you to figure out an optimal solution which can save energy.

4) You can use an embedded controller with I/O on board and an operating system inside like Windows CE.NET 5.0. An example of an embedded controller with I/O on board is WP-5141-XW-107 which has 8 digital inputs and 8 digital outputs. You can log data onto a micro SD card. You can set up a data logging system with free data logging software like eLogger which can interface with the I/O on board. If you connect a digital motion sensor, you could log all the times the motion sensor is tripped.

5) You can log data with a data acquisition board in your PC. You can develop software in C Language or with a development platform like LabView. An example of a PCI board you can use to get data with is PCI-DA4U which has 4 Analog Outputs, 16 Digital Inputs and 16 Digital Outputs. Linux, Visual Basic, Borland C, LabView, and DasyLab software demos are available which can aid development and help keep development time down.

For more information, please visit http://www.icpdas-usa.com

Maria Lemone, Technical Sales Engineer. ICP DAS USA, Inc. http://www.icpdas-usa.com 1-888-971-9888

ICP DAS is a manufacturer of Industrial Data Communication, Automation Control and Test and Measurement products; specializing in: PLC Hardware, Ethernet controllers, distributed I/O modules, Industrial Ethernet Switches, PCI and ISA boards, and much more!. We provide free technical support.

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