By Rich Merritt, Senior Technical Editor
ONCE UPON a time, most data acquisition (DAQ) devices, remote terminal units (RTUs), recorders and data loggers came with RS232 ports, so they could be plugged easily into new-fangled industrial computers and PCs. Today, new data acquisition devices are sporting wireless connections, Ethernet ports and built-in Web servers, so they don’t have to connect directly to computers.
Instead of directly connecting to PCs, modern data acquisition equipment connects in roundabout fashion, linking up through various networks, including the Internet. A web server and an Internet connection allow data from the device to be viewed from anywhere in the world by anyone with the proper access.
A glance through the data acquisition and recorder products in this month’s roundup reveals a plethora of web-enabled devices. Most still offer standard connections, such as Modbus and RS232; in fact, Modbus is quietly sneaking up on the interface scene. When a device manufacturer adds an Ethernet port and a web server to bring a product into the 21st Century, many times Modbus gets added as well.
Though we list only a few wireless products in this roundup, note that wireless communications can be added to virtually any intelligent device as a plug-in. Therefore, almost any product in this roundup can also be wireless.
To support a built-in web server, data acquisition devices must have built-in intelligence to process data and provide information to put onto the web page, such as real-time readings, trends over time, alarms and historical data. With such intelligence in the field, some DAQ devices also can perform local control.
If you see “more info at controlglobal.com” in a product’s description, it means there’s more information about the product on our web site. Go to controlglobal.com, scroll down to Site Highlights, and click on the roundup section. Then, select the data acquisition roundup from the list of product roundups you’ll find there.
Recorders and Data Acquisition
Logger Monitors Over Web
MW100 for standalone data logging applications has web-enabled Ethernet connectivity for shared real-time trend monitoring using a web browser. No special software is needed for configuration and data monitoring. Suitable for harsh industrial environments, it can withstand temperature extremes and high vibration, and provides high levels of noise immunity and channel-to-channel input isolation. Yokogawa; 800/258-2552; www.yokogawa.com/us
Transmitter Networks Readdings
The iBTHX transmitter monitors and records barometric pressure, temperature, relative humidity and dew point, and makes data available for viewing over an Ethernet network or the Internet with a web browser. It serves active web pages to display real-time readings; display barometric pressure, temperature and humidity charts; or log data in standard data formats for use in a spreadsheet or data acquisition program such as Excel or Visual Basic. Newport Electronics; 714/540-4914 ext. 358; www.newportUS.com
Wireless Conditioner Goes 300 ft.
CellMite Model 4329 wireless, intelligent, digital signal conditioner connects directly to a standard strain gauge, load cell, extensometer or pressure sensor, and provides an analog output and wireless communication up to 300 ft. It can accommodate up to 16 units in a wireless serial network configuration, or directly connect to a PC with RS232 or USB ports. Electro Standards Laboratories; 401/943-1164; www.ElectroStandards.com
Recorder Makes 5,400+ Measurements
The battery-powered OM-CP-RFRTDTemp101A temperature recorder and wireless transmitter can measure and record up to 5,461 measurements. When enabled, the wireless transmitter sends readings back to the host computer, and logs them to the device’s memory for added data security. A slide switch turns the transmitter on or off without affecting its operation, or it can be started, stopped and configured directly from a PC. Omega Engineering; 203/359-7815; www.omega.com
Station Controls via Satellite
Mini-Sat field station remotely monitors and controls pump stations, gates or valves via satellite communications and the Internet. Users can be notified of any changes via e-mail or pager, or the changes can be viewed on the Internet. Only an unobstructed view of the sky is needed for communication. The station requires no infrastructure. Automata; 800/994-0380; www.automata-inc.com
Video Recorders Talk on Web
Sirec D video recorders can communicate via Modbus over Ethernet, or use RS232 and RS485 ports. All have embedded web servers, allowing full visualization of the recorder over Ethernet, using only a browser on the network. Various software packages are available as options for configuration, online display, evaluation, and archiving. Siemens Energy & Automation; 215/646-7400 x2592; www.siemens.com
Web Logging w/o Software
IntelliLogger monitors remote site equipment from a standard web browser. Users can view current and historical profiles, actuate remote control functions, and download and clear data, all without custom or proprietary software. The data logger also can send alarms and data via email, as well as notices and alarms via SMS and pager. Logic Beach; 619/698-3300; www.logicbeach.com
Controller Does DAQ
Modular Controller Series’ web server provides access to its "virtual HMI" interface from anywhere, using standard web browsers. A CompactFlash interface provides non-volatile storage for the built-in data logger, which records data in a CSV file format, and is compatible with many programs, including Microsoft Excel. Red Lion; 952/934-8220; www.redlion.net
Converting to Portable Logging
InstantHMI 4 converts a tablet PC, PDA or Windows CE device into a portable data logger. It supports wireless communication, GPS, bar-coding, and timed, triggered and on-demand data logging. It also has interfaces for Allen-Bradley, Koyo, Mitsubishi, Modicon, Omni Flow, Siemens, Trio, Toshiba, Watlow, Wago and Yaskawa controllers. Software Horizons; 800/664-2000; www.InstantHMI.com
DAQ Rides on Modbus
The isoLynx SLX200 data acquisition system implements standard Modbus RTU and TCP protocol, enabling communication with many third-party software drivers and HMI/SCADA packages. It can interface with more than 650 SCM5B analog I/O modules. Applications include factory automation, process control, test and measurement, machine control and data acquisition applications. Dataforth; 800/444-7644; www.dataforth.com
Concentrator Stores 32,000 Data Points
NCS NET Concentrator System collects data from sensors and other instrumentation, can store up to 32,000 points of time-stamped data, and has a user-selectable sampling rate for any period from once per second to once every 24 hours. It has 20-bit measurement resolution, data rates up to 100 Mbits/sec, and works over 10/100Base-T Ethernet or a Modbus RTU network. Moore Industries-International; 818/894-7111; www.miinet.com
Two-range RFID Reader
IDENT Control RFID product identification and data collection system has a graphical display and configuration keys for setup and operation, and cast-aluminum housing for durability and noise immunity. Short-range and-long range RFID read/write data carriers can operate simultaneously, and can read data up to 120mm and 2m away, respectively. The system interfaces to Ethernet TCP/IP, Modbus/TCP, Profibus and RS232. Pepperl+Fuchs; 330/486-0001; www.am.pepperl-fuchs.com
DAQ Views up to 2,000 Channels
2680A data acquisition system has a price-per-channel of under $100, handles up to 2,000 universal channels per system, and eliminates the need for external signal conditioning. An optional OPC server allows integration with existing application software, and it has Ethernet TCP/IP protocols and network interfaces for 10/100 BaseT. Fluke; 888/492-7556; www.fluke.com
Etherenet I/O Eases Cabling
BC9100 bus terminal controller and BK9100 bus terminal controller simplify cabling between Ethernet stations and reduce overall wiring effort. The bus coupler connects the Ethernet TCP/IP bus system with more than 180 different I/O terminals. The controller has an IEC 61131-3 programmable PLC that can be used as a low-cost local controller. Beckhoff Automation; 952/890-0000; www.beckhoffautomation.com
Paperless Recorder Has 2-12 Inputs
Data-Chart 2000 color paperless recorder provides 2, 4, 6 or 12 direct inputs, and has Ethernet or RS232/485 communications, IP65 front bezel, and touchscreen control. Options include up to 2 MB of non-volatile memory, 3.5 in. floppy disk, or CompactFlash card up to 128 MB. Monarch Instrument; 603/883-3390; www.monarchinstrument.com
Linux RTU Has 14 I/O
The Micro-VersaTRAK µIPm has a mix of 14 discrete and analog I/O, four serial ports, and a 10/100 Ethernet interface. It is pre-loaded with open-source Linux and industrial IPm firmware. This provides ready-to-use automation, control, and data acquisition capabilities, plus the flexibility to program Linux or IEC 61131 applications. Sixnet; 518/877-5173; www.sixnetio.com
Recorders Reach 256 MBPS
GSR20f and GSR200f ground station and test cell recorders are suitable for ground-based telemetry, satellite down-link, multi-channel analog and bus recording. Each has digital recording, high data integrity, signal interfacing and interchangeable media, and record at speeds up to 256 Mbit/sec. Heim Data Systems; 732/556-2318; www.heimdata.com
Streamer Analyzers Do 25 GBPS
Dual- and single-channel SC240 and SC210 6U CompactPCI streamer analyzers use an Optical Data Link transceiver that provides data streaming at rates of up to 25 GB/sec. Both are suitable for data streaming requirements in advanced signal processing applications, such as EW, SIGINT, ELINT, Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR), as well as applications requiring scalable real-time data sampling and storage. Acqiris USA; 877/227-4747; www.acqiris.com
USB DAQs Sample to 800 KS/SEC
Additions to the USB-9000 series data acquisition devices include eight USB 2.0 Hi-Speed DAQ devices with sampling rates up to 800 kS/sec, free interactive data-logging software that can export to spreadsheet applications, 250 Vrms channel-to-earth ground isolation, noise immunity and high-common-mode voltage range. National Instruments; 800/258-7022; www.ni.com
Logger Can Store 16,000 Points
MiniLog T+RH temperature and humidity data logger provides an acquisition sample interval from 1 sec to 2 hr, can store up to 16,000 data points, and allows user-defined maximum and minimum alarms. It comes with TRLog software, PC interface cradle, and a built-in, real-time clock. Temperature range is -40 to 185 °F. E Instruments Group; 215/750-1212; www.einstrumentsgroup.com
Chart Recorder Goes With Flow
Model 770 multi-channel circular chart recorder interfaces with the firm’s flowmeters. Its one-pen, stylus print head produces an analog trace and prints alphanumeric chart data on a blank heat-sensitive chart. It can display process variable values in selected engineering units. Sparling Instruments; 800/800-3569; www.sparlinginstruments.com
Paperless Recorder Has Touchscreen
Chessell 6000 Series paperless recorders have touchscreens, accept up to 48 universal inputs, and provide linearization for many thermocouples and RTDs. Four 64 point User Linearization curves handle non-standard input linearizations. Routines for secure, long-term data storage provide automated archiving of process data. Eurotherm; 215-369-3998; www.eurotherm.com
Software Plots Takeover
Analyse-Plus software for the CVF2 DataLogger plots and analyzes data to help make quick conclusions with regard to variability and process control. It can also assist in process control tuning and in diagnosing problems with tuning, valves or instrumentation. The data logger connects to the printer port of any Windows PC computer or may be left to collect data in stand alone mode. Innovention Industries; 905/631-8293; www.innovin.com
Temp Logger Accepts Probes
OQ610 six-channel temperature logger can accommodate a range of K and T type thermocouple probes. It has USB for PC communications, or it directly connects to a USB printer for immediate reports. The logger comes with SquirrelView software for configuring, downloading, displaying and analyzing data. Computer Aided Solutions; 440/729-2570; www.DataLoggerSales.com
Interfaces Aid PLC Data Sharing
The Series 758 I/O-IPC has USB and CompactFlash interfaces, providing data sharing and gigabyte volumes of data storage for data collection and recipe storage. The removable storage media allows days, weeks, or years of data to be stored in one device that can be easily removed and replaced. Data can be encrypted, or stored in commonly used formats like CSV for spreadsheet or database applications. Wago; 800/DIN-RAIL; www.wago.us