What are Data Loggers and How Are They Different from Other Data Acquisition Systems?

Data logging is a general measurement application, which in its basic form, involves measuring and recording of electrical or physical parameters (like strain, temperature, pressure, displacement, current, voltage, etc) over a fixed span of time. The products designed for this purpose are widely classified as data loggers; read through the following sections to know more in-depth about these devices, and understand how they are different from other data acquisition systems.



What is a Data Logger?

A data logger, also called as HOBO or data recorder, is an electronic device that documents the measurements over time. Normally, these are small battery-powered equipments that come integrated with a microprocessor, sensor, and data storage. Most of these recorders use turn-key software on a PC to activate the logger and read the gathered data.

When buying a data logger, it is important to check its accuracy level and reliability; also opt for the brand that has a time-proven experience in the field.


Working of Data Logger

To start off, the data recorder is connected to a computer and the data logging software is used to choose the logging parameters (like start time, sampling intervals, etc.), following which, the logger is activated.

Once this is done, the device is disconnected from the computer and set up in the preferred location. The required measurements are now recorded by the logger and stored in memory with date and time.



Once the recording is done with, the instrument is connected back to the computer. The software is again used to read out the data and the measurements can be seen as a graph; a tabular format is also available. This can be exported to a spreadsheet for future analysis, and/or computation. In this way, all the data is recorded and saved in a systematic format, which can be used at a later stage for variety of reasons.

Data Loggers vs. Other Data Acquisition Systems

Few data acquisition systems need DA card installation in a computer and sensor wiring/connection. Such systems will work satisfactorily in online applications that are permanently configured, but then are difficult and costly to implement. On the other hand, data loggers can decrease the price per channel significantly for most of the logging applications. They can also be implemented more easily as against the former type. They can also be positioned in places where the permanent digital systems cannot reach.

Where Are Data Loggers Used?

Data loggers find application in remote places where you need the comfort of battery power for recording measurements. The most common fields where these devices are being used include the following: weather station recording, road traffic counting, soil moisture level recording, hydrographic recording, tank level monitoring, and vehicle testing, recording environmental condition in offshore buoys. These are just a few applications out of the long list.

Ideally, people who are involved in transportation monitoring, field studies, troubleshooting, HVAC tests, educational science, and general research realize the need for such a device, and a data-logger can turn out to be extremely resourceful for all such professionals.



In short, the reasonable price tag and ease of usage make data loggers the top choice for almost all the folks who are looking out for such a solution at remote locations. Their small size is yet another advantage that makes them a feasible choice for usage in all kinds of locations. And, since the concept of data logging finds extensive usage across literally every other category, data loggers will never lose their importance over the coming years, so long as they don’t turn obsolete due to introduction of any other advanced data-logging solution.

Author Bio: Mike is a social media marketing expert who also loves to play Angry Birds online whenever she gets few minutes off from her busy schedule. She is a die-hard fan of Android games, and also takes great interest in playing video games on consoles like Sony PS3.

has written 5 articles on this blog.

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