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The End of DAQ Cards

why daq cards are dead

why daq cards are dead

DAQ cards were once the go-to solution for data acquisition systems. In the days when data acquisition was something of a niche activity, limited to high-end manufacturing and academic applications, often these cards were the only way of collecting and storing incoming sensor data.

If you’ve used DAQ cards, however, you are probably already aware that they suffer from some pretty major drawbacks. First and foremost among these are the price of dedicated DAQ cards, and the fact that in order to used them the user often needs extensive knowledge of proprietary programming languages.

In recent years, a new breed of data acquisition devices has appeared on the market, offering flexible data acquisition solutions that make implementing DAQ systems much easier. DAQifi devices are at the forefront of these innovative devices, and offer several huge advantages over traditional DAQ card implementations.

The Advantages of DAQifi Devices

DAQ cards typically output data using a dedicated hard link, and in years past this often meant having a separate PC workstation for every data acquisition process. Not only did this mean extra expense in terms of hardware, it often meant that bringing data from several processes together was a manual, painful business. DAQifi cards send the collected data over a WiFi network – either an existing one, or one generated by the device itself – to custom software.

What this means in practice is that a single PC, tablet, or even smart phone can be used to aggregate all the data being collected, bringing it all together for easy analysis and manipulation. This also means that the computer being used to collect and manipulate data does not need any additional hardware to be used for this purpose.

In addition, DAQifi devices represent better value than many DAQ card solutions. This is because DAQ cards are often made to be used to collect one type of data only, and in many cases this means that a bank of cards must be used in order to collect even quite basic data. The flexibility of DAQifi devices makes them cheaper to implement in many situations.

This is especially true in situations where portability is paramount. The fact that DAQifi devices run on their own power makes them ideal for situations where having a dedicated PC workstation is simply impossible. This is the case in many industrial processes, where the environment is not conducive to the health of computer hardware, and also in situations where the system under study is inherently mobile, such as in automotive engineering.

Lastly, the user interface which comes as standard on DAQifi devices means that using them is incredibly simple in comparison to many DAQ card solutions. Often, even in high-end scientific applications, all that is needed from a data acquisition system is for it to feed data to a centralized device, in a format which is easy to work with, for later analysis.

This is exactly what DAQifi devices achieve, and it is therefore not surprising that they are eclipsing DAQ card solutions in many situations.

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The Future of Data Acquisition Devices

Nyquist DAQ in action

Nyquist DAQ in action

The DAQifi Nyquist range of data acquisition devices are one of the best examples of a new breed of data acquisition devices.

In comparison to DAQ cards, these innovative devices offer a huge range of advantages. In high-end manufacturing and scientific processes, the ease of bringing together multiple data acquisition processes saves much time previously spent manually aggregating data.

In situations where space is tight, or the system under study is inherently mobile, the portability of these devices makes them ideal. And last but not least, the price of Nyquist devices means that they are within the budget of DIY hobbyists, who are therefore able to bring powerful data acquisition techniques to bear where this was previously thought impossible.

The Advantages of DAQifi Nyquist Devices

First, let’s take a look at what distinguishes DAQifi Nyquist devices from their primary competition – dedicated DAQ cards.

Perhaps the biggest advantage of these devices is that they utilize WiFi networks for outputting data. This has huge advantages over traditional DAQ cards, which typically have a hardware link to a dedicated PC workstation. If you want to collect data on various different processes, having your DAQ devices streaming this data to a central location is great, not least because it saves money on having to invest in separate computer hardware for every data acquisition process.

What this means in practice is that a single PC, tablet, or even smart phone can be used to aggregate all the data being collected, bringing it all together for easy analysis and manipulation. This also means that the computer being used to collect and manipulate data does not need any additional hardware to be used for this purpose.

In addition, the fact that Nyquist devices can generate their own WiFi network means they are enormously useful for situations where the system being studied is inherently mobile – as in race cars, for instance.

Using DAQifi Nyquist for DIY Projects

In DIY applications, these advantages can be supplemented by another – the fact that DAQifi Nyquist systems are significantly cheaper than dedicated DAQ card systems. This is because DAQ cards are often made to be used to collect one type of data only, and in many cases this means that a bank of cards must be used in order to collect even quite basic data. The flexibility of DAQifi devices makes them cheaper to implement in many situations.

In addition, the user interface which comes as standard on DAQifi devices means that using them is incredibly simple in comparison to many DAQ card solutions. No knowledge of proprietry data programming languages is needed, which is great for the DIY hobbyist. In contrast to high-end scientific applications, in most cases DIY data acqusition is about getting the relevant data into one place, quickly and easily, for later analysis.

This is exactly what DAQifi devices achieve, and it is therefore not surprising that they are eclipsing DAQ card solutions in many situations, from high-end manufacturing right down to amateur DIY projects.

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DIY DATA ACQUISITION USING DAQIFI

DIY DAQ systems that work

DIY DAQ systems that work

Data acquisition is a critical part of many scientific, engineering, and academic systems and environments. If you’ve ever worked with systems like this, it is likely that you’ve come across a range of data acquisition systems.

It’s also likely that you’ve been frustrated with them. The typical forms of data acquisition system on the market today are expensive, awkward to use, and often require extensive knowledge of proprietary programming languages.

As a result, many processes that could benefit from data acquisition lack it, and many data acquisition systems in use are sub-optimal. Users can waste many hours configuring and troubleshooting data acquistion systems, leading to significant efficiency losses.

A New Breed of Data Acquisition Systems

In recent years, a range of novel approaches to data acquisition have been proposed. One of these is the DAQifi range of products. In contrast to the complex, embedded systems of the past, these new systems are built around modular, portable devices with in-built wireless connectivity.

These devices are stand-alone modules that plug easily into the system you wish to collect data on, and then stream this data over WiFi.

This brings huge advantages in many situations. Often, it is simply not practical to have a dedicated PC sitting next to your equipment. This is the case for many industrial processes that generate hostile environments for computers, and also in situations where the system being studied is inherently mobile, for instance in race cars.

Using DAQifi Devices for Data Acquisition

DAQifi devices can be used in a wide variety of applications. They are flexible and powerful enough to replace the complex data acquisition systems currently in use in industry and academia. I addition, the intuitive user interface and easy set up mean that even hobbyists can implement data acquisition into their DIY projects.

The modular devices plug straight into your sensors, and can be used to collect a vast array of different types of data – almost every variable there is a sensor for can be measured. The device then collects and stores this data, before sending it over WiFi. An existing WiFi network may be used, or the device can generate its own.

The dedicated software that is bundled with the devices can be used with PCs, tablets, or smart phones, giving the devices a great deal of flexibility. The user interface, in distinct constrast to many other data acquisition systems, is also easy to use.

Using this software, all the data being collected can be brought together into one place. This brings advantages not only in terms of the time saved in aggregating data, but also in allowing users to make an intuitive link between the various variables being measured.

DIY Data Acquisition

As a result of these innovative devices, collecting data on DIY projects is easier than ever. Whilst data acqusition systems used to be the exclusive purview of high-end manufacturing and academic research, it is now possible for hobbyists to implement data acqusition even on small systems.

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