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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