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Which product(s) should I purchase?

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Which product(s) should I purchase?

I am looking to purchase data acquisition software, but I am very overwhelmed as I am a student with no experience in data acquisition, on a limited budget, and need to find the software that will suit my needs. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

 

I am looking to purchase a PCB piezoelectric load cell and the associated signal conditioner, but I have to buy a compatible data acquisition software. Firstly, what kind of products should I be looking at? Do I need to buy any hardware or only software? I already have LabView on the computer I will be using, so would NI FlexLogger be the correct thing to buy? If so, are there cheaper options? If not, what sorts of things would you recommend looking into?

 

I apologize for asking so many questions, I just need to get this load cell up and running and I cannot afford to purchase the incorrect data acquisition product(s). Thank you to anyone who responds, truly a godsend.

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Re: Which product(s) should I purchase?


@danevans wrote:

I am looking to purchase data acquisition software, but I am very overwhelmed as I am a student with no experience in data acquisition, on a limited budget, and need to find the software that will suit my needs. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

 

I am looking to purchase a PCB piezoelectric load cell and the associated signal conditioner, but I have to buy a compatible data acquisition software. Firstly, what kind of products should I be looking at? Do I need to buy any hardware or only software? I already have LabView on the computer I will be using, so would NI FlexLogger be the correct thing to buy? If so, are there cheaper options? If not, what sorts of things would you recommend looking into?

 

I apologize for asking so many questions, I just need to get this load cell up and running and I cannot afford to purchase the incorrect data acquisition product(s). Thank you to anyone who responds, truly a godsend.


LabVIEW can be used for data acquisition with free hardware drivers, flex logger not needed.

 

Hardware a few options:

  1. There is stuff cheaper than NI's stuff, but it may or may not be compatible with LabVIEW.
  2. NI's DAQmx line should work really well for your needs; you can get an relatively inexpensive A/D board. (USB-6008)
  3. Does your signal have any DC components? If not, you could use LabVIEW and the audio input of your computer as the digitizer. You would not have any fancy triggering options, but your sound card is usually a pretty good 24 bit A/D converter maybe up to 96kHz

mcduff

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Re: Which product(s) should I purchase?

Thank you so much! I appreciate the detailed yet easy to understand answer.

 

Yes, the signal conditioner I am planning on buying is in DC. Does this mean I need to purchase a digitizer along with the A/D board?

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Re: Which product(s) should I purchase?


@danevans wrote:

Thank you so much! I appreciate the detailed yet easy to understand answer.

 

Yes, the signal conditioner I am planning on buying is in DC. Does this mean I need to purchase a digitizer along with the A/D board?


AC/DC here refers to the signal output of the signal conditioner. AC means that that the signal has a zero average; DC means the signal is not symmetric about the time axis, I assume this is true for a load cell. I have never used one. 

 

An A/D board is another word for digitizer, it is short hand for Analog to Digital. So all you need is a digitizer whose input is DC coupled; should not be hard to find nor too expensive.

 

mcduff

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Re: Which product(s) should I purchase?

What sample rate do you want to read at?  What are the output levels of  the conditioner?  What all do you need to do with the data (log, view, some fancy analysis, etc)?


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Re: Which product(s) should I purchase?

Yes! First questions that should be answered when designing data acquisition system.

PS and

What precision.do you need?

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Re: Which product(s) should I purchase?

Did you know you can take analog readings with an Arduino connected to your computer?  It is relatively slow, has low precision, and not much range, but can give you an idea on what types of things are possible.  LabVIEW in general is made to allow for communicating with many devices.  Most manufacturers of DAQ hardware either have LabVIEW drivers, or allow for them to be written.

 

If you already have LabVIEW and are willing to write software then you shouldn't need anything else for the basics.  Things like FlexLogger are more of an application that abstracts away some of the extra work in making a flexible DAQ system.  You can do the same things FlexLogger does with just LabVIEW if you are willing to put in the time and effort.  But for most simple projects many of the features FlexLogger offers aren't needed.


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Re: Which product(s) should I purchase?

Thanks to everyone for all of the help!

 

I need to be able to read data at a minimum of 250Hz, although the load cell/conditioner I will be using go up to 36kHz. The conditioner outputs at ~35V and 0.12amp. I am unsure what a lot of the specs mean (excitation voltage, constant current excitation) so I have attached a picture with all of the specs.

 

I only need the DAQ system to output viewable force vs time data, which I can then export into a csv file. I don't need it to do any fancy analysis, because I will be doing all of the analysis in MATLAB.

 

For using an Arduino, would the programming required be feasible for a non-CS major engineering student? I have some programming experience but nothing super in depth, but if it were feasible I would definitely be willing to learn the required programming.

 

Thanks again to everyone this has been incredibly helpful.

 

The signal conditioner specs:

Screen Shot 2019-03-15 at 12.54.50 PM.png

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Re: Which product(s) should I purchase?


@danevans wrote:

Thanks to everyone for all of the help!

 

I need to be able to read data at a minimum of 250Hz, although the load cell/conditioner I will be using go up to 36kHz. The conditioner outputs at ~35V and 0.12amp. I am unsure what a lot of the specs mean (excitation voltage, constant current excitation) so I have attached a picture with all of the specs.


Those are the specs for the power supplying the signal conditioner, not its output. Seeing how the spec gives noise figures to 10kHz, I assume that might indicate its bandwidth.

mcduff

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Re: Which product(s) should I purchase?

It might be simpler if you just tell us the model of everything you are trying to use here.  My biggest worry is you will need additional signal conditioning in order to read the levels with a standard DAQ.


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