A data logger is a device that records and monitors changes in physical conditions over time. They may be stand-by units, single units or comprise several channels. Most stand alone units are battery powered, enabling them to be valid for long periods without being “stuck” or “recharging”. These units also have the advantage that they do not need an external power source, saving you money on your utilities and making them highly portable. If you’re looking for a way to gain some additional information about a specific condition that you might be monitoring, a data logger can be a great asset.
There are many kinds of data loggers to choose from. There are also many different models. Some are stand-alone, meaning that they can function independently as well as being plugged into a computer. Others are plug and play devices that can instantly begin recording when plugged into an electric source. Still, others are PIR (passive infrared) thermometers that can function as loggers and temperature probes. Most other models are hybrid loggers that use both technologies to monitor changes.
Generally speaking, there are three different frequency ranges for a datalogger software: high, medium, and low. The type of frequency range you select will depend on the environment that you will be working in. Some standard data logger sample rates are 500 Hz, 9 Units Per Second, and Frequencies Above 500 Hz. Be sure to choose a frequency range that best fits your needs so you can get the most use out of your equipment.
Real-time input types collect data without being connected to a computer. They are often used in applications where data logs must be seen in real-time. Some examples include field surveys, fire detection, oil rigs, and satellite mapping. Some real-time data loggers are desktop units that plug into an electrical source such as a wall outlet or a power outlet, while others are handheld units that plug into a small USB port. Most real-time data loggers have a built-in audio input, helpful in listening to recordings in a field environment.
Plug-in stand-alarm models are commonly used for temperature monitoring in field applications or offices. Most plug-in stand-alarm recorders come with a miniature temperature probe. To ensure that the measurements are reliable, an alarm is activated when the temperature probe moves above a specific value.
Infrared light sensitive models are suitable for field applications. These models record high temperature and moisture level changes and usually come with built-in thermometers. Some models have additional features such as automatic shut off, manual start up, and low battery indicators. The most advanced infrared data loggers have a motion detector, an automatic shut off mechanism, and low battery indicators. For best performance, keep your data loggers away from excessive heat and moisture and away from direct sunlight.
Real-time data transmission is one of the significant challenges facing field serviceability personnel. High-resolution infrared imaging is necessary to determine field serviceability issues such as contamination or missing data. To facilitate data transmission, some data logger models have built-in receivers and transmitters. You may also use external receivers and transmitters to send signals to a remote receiver.
Advanced programmability is another datalogger software to look for when you are buying the device. You want to change parameters quickly and easily if needed without having to restart the whole system. Also, high-performance programs allow you to run your analysis multiple times with no loss of quality. Some advanced programmability programs allow you to save or copy logs in different formats to analyse them later. For best results, buy a water level and temperature sensor from a company with excellent programmability and advanced hardware features.