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National Instruments Introduces New Ethernet Data Acquisition System

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The new NI CompactDAQ Ethernet data acquisition system introduced by National Instruments Aust & NZ delivers high-speed, distributed sensor measurements in a rugged and compact form factor.  

National Instruments provides several off-the-shelf solutions to help engineers and scientists design, prototype and deploy systems for measurement, automation and embedded systems applications.  

The new Ethernet-based NI CompactDAQ modular data acquisition system combines 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 25cm x 9cm x 9cm 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, and a built-in, web-based configuration and monitoring utility.  

Randy Recob, Senior Test Engineer at Sub-Zero, Inc says that they chose NI CompactDAQ because of the flexibility offered by a diverse set of I/O modules and the scalability of Ethernet infrastructure that allowed them to more easily standardise their test systems.  

Measurement accuracy, system stability and ease of use are the primary reasons they have used NI data acquisition hardware and software in their test applications for years, according to Mr Recob.  

Key features of NI CompactDAQ Ethernet data acquisition system: 

  • 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
  • NI-STC3 timing and synchronisation technology enables each chassis to manage up to 7 separate hardware-timed I/O tasks at different sample rates, including analogue I/O, digital I/O and counter/timer operations
  • Ethernet chassis operates in a temperature range of -20ºC to +55ºC and can withstand up to 30 g shock as well as 3 g vibration
  • Ideal for demanding test applications on the benchtop, in the field or on the production line
  • Includes a 4-slot and 8-slot USB chassis and NI C Series I/O modules
  • 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
  • Single analogue input module can acquire up to four channels of simultaneous 1 MS/s voltage inputs for measuring high-speed signals such as ballistic pressure or ultrasonic transducers
  • NI-DAQmx driver software included with the data acquisition platform delivers increases productivity and performance
    • Data can be logged for simple experiments
    • Complete test system can be developed in NI LabVIEW, NI LabWindows/CVI, ANSI C/C++ or Microsoft Visual Studio .NET
    • 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 the software

Programming NI CompactDAQ with LabVIEW delivers the most performance for the least effort.  

Key advantages of LabVIEW graphical programming: 

  • Makes it possible to develop sophisticated measurement, test and control systems using intuitive graphical icons and wires that resemble a flowchart
  • Multiple timing engines featured on NI CompactDAQ chassis complement the multicore optimisations in LabVIEW to simplify programming multiple measurement tasks in parallel
  • Offers integration with thousands of other hardware devices
  • Provides hundreds of built-in libraries for advanced analysis and data visualisation

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