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National Instruments Introduces New Ethernet Data Acquisition Platforms

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National Instruments  releases the new Ethernet-based NI CompactDAQ modular data acquisition systems, which combine the ease of use and low cost of data loggers with the performance and flexibility of modular instrumentation.  

The new NI cDAQ-9188 chassis is designed to hold eight I/O modules for measuring up to 256 channels of electrical, physical, mechanical or acoustic signals in a small, rugged form factor.  

With more than 50 different I/O modules to choose from, engineers and scientists can build remote or distributed, high-speed measurement systems using standard Gigabit Ethernet infrastructure.  

In addition, NI CompactDAQ simplifies initial setup with zero configuration networking technology as well as a built-in, web-based configuration and monitoring utility.

“We choose NI CompactDAQ because of the flexibility offered by a diverse set of I/O modules and the scalability of Ethernet infrastructure,” said Randy Recob, Senior Test Engineer at Sub-Zero, Inc.  

“The flexibility of Ethernet allows us to more easily standardise our test systems by eliminating many of the physical constraints required by more traditional PC interfaces. We have used National Instruments data acquisition hardware and software in our test applications for years because of the measurement accuracy, system stability and ease of use available with their solution.”

NI CompactDAQ uses patented NI Signal Streaming technology to deliver high-bandwidth data over Ethernet to a host computer. NI Signal Streaming provides the ability to maintain bidirectional analogue and digital waveforms continuously over a TCP/IP connection.  

With NI-STC3 timing and synchronisation technology, each chassis can also manage up to seven separate hardware-timed I/O tasks at different sample rates, including analogue I/O, digital I/O and counter/timer operations.  

The chassis operates in a temperature range of -20°C to 55°C and can withstand up to 30 g shock and 3 g vibration, making NI CompactDAQ ideal for demanding test applications on the benchtop, in the field or on the production line.

The NI CompactDAQ platform includes a four-slot and eight-slot USB chassis and NI C Series I/O modules. NI offers more than 50 C Series modules to use interchangeably in NI CompactDAQ systems, each of which is hot-swappable and auto-detectable for simplified setup.  

C Series modules offer integrated signal conditioning and multiple connectivity options to create custom, mixed-measurement systems specific to the needs of an application.

NI-DAQmx driver software, which is included with NI CompactDAQ delivers increased productivity and performance. With NI-DAQmx, engineers and scientists can log data for simple experiments or develop a complete test system in NI LabVIEW, NI LabWindows/ CVI, ANSI C/C++ or Microsoft Visual Studio .NET.  

Additionally, a consistent API means that an application developed for an NI CompactDAQ USB chassis will work with an NI CompactDAQ Ethernet chassis without any changes to software.

Programming NI CompactDAQ with LabVIEW delivers the most performance for the least effort. LabVIEW graphical programming makes it possible for engineers and scientists to develop sophisticated measurement, test and control systems using intuitive graphical icons and wires that resemble a flowchart.  

LabVIEW also offers integration with thousands of other hardware devices and provides hundreds of built-in libraries for advanced analysis and data visualisation.

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