Data acquisition is the process of capturing signals from different forms of physical manifestations. Captured signals are then interpreted into understandable values. For example, the temperature is captured, measured and translated. The temperature is then recorded under the universally accepted values of Fahrenheit, Celsius or Kelvin. The process of obtaining, measuring, interpreting and recording data is done from hard analog data to digital, data that is registered in a PC environment. Tacuna Systems load cells is definitely one of the best out there. The process is done using different tools dependant on the phenomenon being captured. Here are the best tips when acquiring tools for data acquisition.
Get the right type of transducer
Transducers are the first step in data acquisition. They are what capture a physical signal and convert it into electric signals into a measurable signal. A data acquisition system then interprets this electric signal. For your system to function properly, you need to get the right type of transducer for the signal you intend to measure. Examples of transducers are an accelerometer for measuring acceleration, a thermocouple for measuring temperature, a microphone for measuring sound and various others.
Understand the type of signal
The kind of signal that is being measured is another area of focus when choosing transducers. Signals are of two types: analog and digital. The two possess different attributes, meaning they are also measured differently. The primary difference between them is that an analog signal can have any value in relation to time whereas a digital cannot do this, but can only be measured in terms of either high or low.
Get the right signal conditioning hardware
Different signals require preparation before being translated into readable data. One of the best tips when acquiring tools for data acquisition is signal conditioning. This is the process of preparing a signal for the data acquisition hardware. An example of a transducer that needs to be processed is an accelerometer which requires excitation to function.
An example of a signal that needs alteration is a thermocouple signal which emits to minute an electric current to be measurable. This thus requires amplification in order to be measurable. Signal conditioning hardware also lowers or limits signal excesses like extremely high currents that would otherwise be destructive. It is important to know of the signal you are working with to know which signal conditioning hardware to go for.
Data acquisition hardware specifications
Of these mentioned best tips when acquiring tools for data acquisition, it is noted that the type of signal determines the type of hardware you will get. It is also possible to get a multi-functional device that compounds both analog and digital measurement capabilities. This allows you to work with both signal types. Such devices also come with counter operations like timers included. Data acquisition hardware also comes in different platforms for compatibility with different computer types like desktop computers, laptops and even handheld devices like Windows Mobile. Depending on the kind of data acquisition you have at hand you may even need to utilize data acquisition hardware that has wireless connectivity to your computer. With these solid guidelines, acquiring a data acquisition system is much easier.