The most advanced USB counter/timers we’ve seen

Measuring time-related data and counting events are basic to countless data acquisition applications, and they often fulfil critical timing functions as components of complex measurement systems. They’re simple in concept and specific in function, but essential in so many products and systems today.

Our friends at Measurement Computing, those developers of DAQ devices that match the best in industry in everything except price, have just come up with a couple of USB counter/timers with just about the most advanced functionality we’ve ever seen in such devices, yet they’re surprisingly inexpensive. High-level input modes include totalise, period measurement, pulse-width measurement, and timing measurement. Timer output channels can operate continuously or for a specified pulse count, with duty cycle and period changeable on the fly. Counter and digital channels can also be scanned synchronously. Flexible edge, level, direction and debounce settings allow the counters to adapt optimally to user signals.

You can choose between models with 4 or 8 counter I/Os. They offer high-speed pulse counting up to 48 MHz input frequency. Resolution is programmable up to 64 bits per counter, with an aggregate scan rate of 8 MB/sec. Four independent PWM timer outputs and 8 digital I/O are also provided.

Sound like they’re likely to meet your needs? Check them out here.

Popular USB DAQ devices get OEM makeover

Measurement Computing’s USB-1208, 1408 and 1608 modules are among our most popular data acquisition devices, offering up to 500 kS/s sampling, eight or 16 digital I/Os, and up to two analogue outputs. They’re fast, reliable and low cost, and as a result, there’s been a clamour from OEM and embedded customers for bare-board versions.

Now we’re happy to announce that Measurement Computing has released board-only versions of the USB-1208FS, 1408FS and 1608FS devices, as well as the high-speed USB-1608G, GX and GX-2AO products. In all of these, header connectors replace screw terminals to make the boards easy to integrate into OEM applications.

Find out more here.

Feel the vibe!

Whether you’re monitoring shaft vibrations on engines and turbines, analysing the damage caused by vibrations on gears and bearings, or checking the resonance in plant machinery, Delphin’s latest Expert Vibro device offers high-precision, state of the art vibration measurement technology that combines analysis, diagnosis and monitoring in a single compact, easy-to-use system.

Thanks to the latest high-powered FPGA processor technology, the Expert Vibro can intelligently process up to 16 channels of vibration, pressure, flow, voltage and temperature inputs at sample rates up to 50 kHz. 32 GB onboard data storage ensures secure and reliable measurements and makes the Expert Vibro suitable for standalone applications. The device is fully compatible with ProfiSignal software, as well as the new ‘Vibro’ software option which adds FFT, cascade, time signal and orbit diagrams.

Visit our web pages to learn more or download the latest brochure. Alternatively, why not get in contact with us to arrange a demonstration so you can experience the extraordinary capabilities of the Expert Vibro device for yourself?

A trio of new DAQ modules for 2014

Always looking ahead and developing new products to fill emerging DAQ needs, market-driven Measurement Computing has launched a new ultra high-speed simultaneous sampling board, plus two new additions to the USB-200 Series of low-cost USB DAQ devices in the last month alone! As usual, all modules come with TracerDAQ® software for acquiring and displaying data and generating analogue signals, along with comprehensive support for Visual Studio® and Visual Studio® .NET, DASYLab®, and NI LabVIEW™.

The new USB-2020 features two analogue input channels with multiple input ranges up to ±10V and can sample data from both channels at an overall rate of 40 MS/s to the onboard memory, or continuously stream data to a host computer at up to 8 MS/s. The small, board-only design makes the USB-2020 ideal for OEM and embedded applications. At just £875*, the USB-2020 is unmatched in the industry for ultra high-speed USB DAQ. Click here to find out more and buy online.

The USB-202 and USB-205 feature sample rates up to 500 kS/s, eight 12-bit analogue inputs, two analogue outputs, eight digital I/O and one counter input. OEM versions of both boards are also available and feature header connectors instead of screw terminals.
Find out more about the USB-202 and buy online for just £130* here.
Find out more about the USB-205 and buy online for just £170 here.

* All prices exclude delivery and VAT and are subject to change.

New Script module means more flexibility for DASYLab users

Want to know which new feature stands out in the latest version 13 release of DASYLab – the easy-to-use software for configuring and controlling custom DAQ and analysis applications? If she had to choose from the extensive enhancements, CJ Butler, DASYLab Product Marketing Manager at Measurement Computing, believes the new Script module is the most important, most useful new addition to DASYLab’s toolset.

She said, “The script module addresses a number of instances where DASYLab functions don’t quite do what’s required or a new driver, computation or file type is needed. For example, several years ago, one of our customers needed a very specific, very proprietary computation and so they hired a C programmer to create a module for them using the Extension toolkit. Now with the introduction of the new Script module, it’s very likely they would have been able to use the Python script language to create the module themselves. It would have been faster, cheaper and could have been done in-house. These guys already use Python in a number of other areas. This customer is now looking at the Script module and Python to customise a PID function.”

She goes on to say, “What kinds of things will you be able to do with Python? I wrote a driver as part of the learning and testing process. I had a serial port device that was too complex for the RS232 module, and provided ActiveX/Com objects for developers. It was pretty easy to set up a module that found and initialised the device, programmed it, and then acquired all available data from it at 20-30 samples per second. MeasX has done a number of drivers using the Script functions and the DASYLab IVI modules are all created using the Script functions.”

CJ then tells us about an ongoing project. She explains, “I’ve been working on two Script modules. The first is a supplement for customers with worksheets that use the DDE Out module to send data to Microsoft Excel. It looks for and opens the target Excel workbook before the measurement starts, so that it is ready for the DDE Out. The second takes the thought a step further. Using the Example from the Help, I added the workbook logic that I’d done for the first, and created a Script that would open or create an Excel workbook, create a new sheet and then log data to it.”

The new Script module looks set to open up DASYLab usage for both end users and resellers by enabling them to enhance and extend DASYLab beyond the out-of-the-box release. The ability to export and package it as a standard module secures their intellectual property and allows them to sell or share it without the code. The possibilities are immense, and DASYLab’s developers are really hoping users will take advantage of this new feature!

DASYLab customers who want to share (or sell) their new scripts or modules on the DASYLAB website should email info@dasylab.com.

Disclaimer – the Script module cannot do everything. If you need a new Display module, for example, you will still need to use the Extension Toolkit.

Using Tablets for DAQ – Android Temperature Chart using USB-2001-TC

Download the Tablets for DAQ White Paper

As tablets gain popularity and take away market share from conventional laptops and desktops, Measurement Computing is at the forefront of targeting these new devices with their USB DAQ.

The USB-2001-TC Android™ Temperature Chart application demonstrates one of the features of Measurement Computing’s DAQFlex devices. DAQFlex devices interface with an open source library and a simple, standardised USB communication protocol. This allows developers to design a system on virtually any operating system using any hardware platform that supports USB host mode. Download this whitepaper to discover more about message-based programming with DAQFlex.

The USB-2001-TC on Android Honeycomb (3.1) or above was targeted specifically for this demo, as it was designed with a special purpose in mind. It utilises Android’s native Java USB API directly, focusing on a single platform.

C# Developers can design cross-platform applications for Windows®, Linux®, and Mac®, using the DAQFlex API for .NET along with the Mono project. For Android, Java is the standard programming language. Due to the open source nature of the DAQFlex API, it can be easily ported to other languages and operating systems as this example does.

The application installer (APK) is available for download at mccdaq.com/apk.  To use the demo, copy the APK to your Android Honeycomb device’s internal or external storage. Make sure that non-market applications are enabled. Then, open the APK file to install the application. Once the application is installed, either run the application manually or plug in the USB-2001-TC and the Android device will ask you to open the application automatically. Once the application is running, be sure to give it permission to access the USB device.

Contact us to find out more about Measurement Computing’s USB DAQ products supported under the DAQFlex software framework.

Mr DAQ – A Blogger’s Introduction

“A long time ago, in a DAQ system far, far away…”

No, no, too spacey. Let’s try something more “serious”:

“I know what you’re thinking, punk. You’re thinking, ‘Did he take six samples or only five?’ Now to tell you the truth, I forgot myself in all this excitement. But being this is an ADwin Pro-II, the most powerful real-time system in the world and will blow your head clean off, you’ve gotta ask yourself a question: ‘Do I feel lucky?’ Well, do ya, punk?’…”

Nope, too intense. It’s really hard to find a good introduction! Ah yes, I know:

“My Mama always said, ‘Life was like a box of DAQ boards; you never know what you’re gonna get…”

Never mind, I think I’ll go for a more traditional approach instead.

Before I start my first entry on Adept’s blog, let me introduce myself: my name is… actually irrelevant for the purpose of this blog, so you can call me Mr. DAQ (I was going to go for Ms PacMan, but couldn’t due to copyright infringement). As for my age, well I’m… old enough to use a computer and work with data acquisition. What else? Ah yes, I work at… I think it’s obvious where I work, right? So, after this rather “useless” introduction, you already know my age, where I work and that I’m not yellow, round and eat ghosts!

Anyway, let’s get down to business.

Technology is ever-evolving, never ceases to amaze us and turns tomorrow’s dreams into today’s reality. We see this (r)evolution in everything we use, be it at home or at work. Here at Adept, we try to follow the trends of tomorrow, so that we can bring you solutions today. Our DAQ products are spread over several different industry areas and cater for applications ranging from the simple temperature logger to the powerful real-time processing system.

Having worked in this field for over a decade, I still get this feeling of awe every time I work with a customer in delivering some jaw-dropping solution for their application. Higher resolutions, faster sampling speeds and more processing power make current data acquisition systems much more versatile than compared to systems from two years ago.

The current trend in compact DAQ systems seems to be the inclusion of FPGAs (Field Programmable Gate Array) as the core for DAQ boards/modules. Wireless technology is also making its presence felt by replacing the clutter of wiring to/from the sensors and the PC or network they’re connected to.

And what about this wave of ultra-light and portable computers or tablets? It will only be a matter of time before we start seeing test engineers and technicians carrying their tablets to interface a DAQ system and retrieve or view the data. The possibilities are indeed endless, and only limited by our imagination…

I hope to share with you some of these experiences and my thoughts for where this technology is heading. I hope to have an open and candid discussion with you, the readers, to stimulate your thoughts, as well as hear your feedback through the comments you post.

So sit back, relax and enjoy our blog. And keep those comments flowing in! Mr. DAQ has left the building (but “I’ll be DAQ”).

DAQ Actually

Lilly Northrop, our in-house Data Acquisition expert, welcomes you to the world of DAQ in her first post for Adept Scientific.

Whether we realise it or not, there’s one thing that is all around us, day in, day out, wherever we look. No, I’m not talking about coffee shops; I’m talking about Data Acquisition. Take a look around – most of us use a PC at work, have an oven at home and let’s not forget those mobile phones. Where information is gathered, Data Acquisition isn’t far behind.

Whilst true, the underlying reason for DAQ is to gather information; go beyond just the measurement and Data Acquisition can be so much more. Yes, measurements are taken and sensors are wired in to the system, but looking at a DAQ system as a whole goes beyond just the speed of the board and how many channels it has. The options now available read like a ‘who’s who’ of connectivity and measurement types: PCI or USB? Standalone logging or pure acquisition? Real-Time or not to Real-Time? These are the questions.

Strip away the details – such as channel count and speeds – and the essential components of a DAQ system can be seen as the sensors, data acquisition hardware and a processor, complete with configuration or development software (of course, there are variations on this, depending on the application).

What comes first: sensors or the DAQ board? DAQ board or the software? If starting from scratch, the first question should be: what is being measured? Once we know this, we need some way to get this measurement into our DAQ system.

This is where our sensors come into play. Sensors will do the job of converting the physical measurements into a form that our DAQ system can interpret (usually voltage or current). Based on the sensors, the right DAQ board can then be added into the equation. Our DAQ board will bring the measurements into our PC, and the choices available for DAQ solutions means no connection method is too obscure, and (almost) no speed too fast!

From low-cost USB solutions (such as the USB-1208 from MCC), stand-alone data loggers (the LogMessage from Delphin) to a Real-Time modular chassis solution (the Pro II from ADwin), the possibilities are almost endless.

As for software – the final component in our system – most DAQ boards nowadays are supported under the most common languages, whether text-based or graphical, and if programming doesn’t appeal, there are still software options which allow the viewing and logging of data, giving you a complete, out-of-the-box solution.

Welcome to the world of data acquisition! Stay, make yourselves comfortable; we’ve got a lot to share with you….

Delphin – Data Acquisition (DAQ) from Adept Scientific

This past week, Adept Scientific launched a brand new data acquisition product line by Delphin Techonology, which will interest those invested in process measurement and control technology. These complete systems are developed in-house and encompass Expert and Message device hardware through to the ProfiSignal software range.

The Message devices are modular, practicable and also scalable, with easy linking to PCs, which make use of a company’s existing intranet/internet. As well as integrated signal conditioning (you can choose between RTD, thermocouple, voltage or mA signals), they provide users with complete potential isolation and independent, stand-alone operation.

ProfiSignal makes testing procedures, trial procedures and processes simpler than ever; ProfiSignal Klicks allows users to configure a complete system that significantly reduces lead times and makes use of an intuitive programming language that requires no specialised knowledge.

Read about Delphin now, and see why this unique range of individually adapted solutions is already being used across the globe.

ADwin & Adept bring powerful real-time DAQ Solutions to the UK

Adept are always on the lookout for new, state-of-the-art products to give customers an application advantage. We’ve just discovered some serious kit for DAQ professionals sourcing real-time solutions with sub-microsecond precision. ADwin programmable data acquisition and control systems are used by engineers and scientists around the world for real-time applications where deterministic timing is required. These include intelligent data acquisition, complex trigger applications, online analysis of measurement data, open- or closed-loop control functions and signal/waveform generation.

A local CPU (DSP), at the heart of every ADwin system, is responsible for all Real-Time functions and guarantees deterministic process execution, independent of the PC and its workload. That means applications with process cycle times from ‘ms’ down to ‘μs’ range, from kHz up to a MHz, can run perfectly on ADwin in Real-Time.

Visit our ADwin webpages to find out more or download the brochureContact our team of DAQ specialists to discuss how ADwin could work for your next project.


For the time being we are unable to offer the following product ranges although we are currently working hard to increase the number of products we can offer in the future. Please contact us to talk about alternative products that we may be able to offer you.