12 January 2011
Category: Data Acquisition
The new USB DrDAQ data logger offers an amazing collection of 15 channels in a compact, low-cost device that’s perfect for hobbyists, teachers and technicians. It is supplied with full versions of the PicoScope and PicoLog software so that all of its capabilities are ready to use, straight out of the box.
As Alan Tong, Managing Director of Pico Technology, explained, “The new, updated DrDAQ means that we now offer a complete range of USB measurement products from small, low-cost data loggers through to high-specification oscilloscopes. As they all share the same PicoScope and PicoLog software, it’s easy for our customers to upgrade their hardware without having to learn a new user interface.”
Crammed onto the circuit board of the USB DrDAQ are a microphone, light sensor, RGB LED, oscilloscope and resistance inputs, 4 digital I/O ports, 3 sensor ports, an oscilloscope input, a pH/redox sensor input and a signal generator output. The unit is powered from the USB port so there are no batteries or external power supply to worry about.
The USB DrDAQ is a replacement for the well-known parallel-port DrDAQ, which since its release in 2000 has found its way into a wide variety of applications from education to research. The higher transfer rate of USB allows the new USB DrDAQ to act as an oscilloscope for signals at audio frequencies and beyond.
Many new features have been added in the new USB DrDAQ, most notably the combined function generator and arbitrary waveform generator. Also new is the RGB LED, which can display any color of the rainbow and more. Two of the I/O ports have a new pulse-counting function when used as inputs, and a new PWM (pulse-width modulation) output capability. The sensor ports can be used with Pico Technology’s range of temperature, humidity and oxygen sensors for the DrDAQ, or with custom sensors built by the user.
The USB DrDAQ is even supplied with a free Software Development Kit (SDK) with fully documented function calls to control all aspects of the device, so that you can integrate it into your own programs. The kit includes example programs in C, C++, Microsoft Excel and National Instruments LabVIEW. The SDK, PicoScope and PicoLog are compatible with Microsoft Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7.