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    DI-194RS Data Acquisition Module - Help me

    Yes, i realize a MA forum is not the place to be asking this kind of stuff. But since this is the only forum i frequent and sooo many of you are so knowledgable i'm sure someone can enlighten me and help me out.

    I have to figure out how this thing works, what it does, and explain what it does. The thing in question is a 4-Channel Data Acquisition Module (DI-194RS). http://www.dataq.com/products/startkit/di194rs.htm

    The manual says it needs a voltmeter to initially calibrate it. Heck i don't even know what a voltmeter is. I figure i could get one from radioshack right?

    So i guess with this "thing" i can connect it to my PC and "acquire data" from who knows what, for what reason i have no idea.

    So if anybody could splain' this a bit i would appreciate it.

    #2
    1) Make sure you have somewhere to plug that sucker in. I don't know what kind of port it uses, you might need to buy a special card for your computer.

    2) A voltmeter is a device that measures voltage. You can probably get them for ~$20 somewhere. Ammeter does the same thing, but measures current and resistance also, stuff you don't need.

    I can't help much more. :(

    PL

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by Poop-Loops
      1) Make sure you have somewhere to plug that sucker in. I don't know what kind of port it uses, you might need to buy a special card for your computer.
      Ohhh... son of a.... You are sooo right. I am so confused.

      "The DI-a94RS can be connected directly to your PC's serial (or COM) port, no cable is required. If you would like more accessibility and/or convenience than what the direct-connection provides, you can use any standard 9-pin serial cable (included)."

      Ummm... i'm pretty lame with computers but in looking at the back of my tower case the only 9-freakin pin place i can put it my monitor is attached to it already. Yeah, freakin great.


      Originally posted by Poop-Loops
      2) A voltmeter is a device that measures voltage. You can probably get them for ~$20 somewhere. Ammeter does the same thing, but measures current and resistance also, stuff you don't need.

      I can't help much more. :(

      PL
      Arghhhhh...

      Thanks for the help though.

      Comment


        #4
        Essentially what this does is takes samples of what you're doing. Seems like this one can take more than one computer or some other type of device and hook itself up to it. Some data loggin devices can record things such as Ph levels, heart rate, etc. etc.

        I don't know what this one does, it says it's got 4 channels to use but what the means can be pretty vauge. What I'm guessing is that you have to use something like a base voltage to run off of, like the natural voltage the human body gives off and then set the default voltage to that and when they react in a certain way it'll go up or down in voltage, and the data logger will record that and then transfer it to your computer. You'll need a computer with a serial port like one of these, if you don't know what that is (surprisingly, there are millions of people hwo have no idea what this is.):



        This is essentially a blank slate that just takes in voltage readings and you'll have to find your references elsewhere.

        Why do you have one of these?

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by Sirc
          Essentially what this does is takes samples of what you're doing. Seems like this one can take more than one computer or some other type of device and hook itself up to it. Some data loggin devices can record things such as Ph levels, heart rate, etc. etc.

          I don't know what this one does, it says it's got 4 channels to use but what the means can be pretty vauge. What I'm guessing is that you have to use something like a base voltage to run off of, like the natural voltage the human body gives off and then set the default voltage to that and when they react in a certain way it'll go up or down in voltage, and the data logger will record that and then transfer it to your computer. You'll need a computer with a serial port like one of these, if you don't know what that is (surprisingly, there are millions of people hwo have no idea what this is.):
          I kinda figured my computer WOULD have one but once i checked it only has one which is in use by my monitor. I will double check though. If this is the case am i screwed?

          Originally posted by Sirc
          This is essentially a blank slate that just takes in voltage readings and you'll have to find your references elsewhere.
          Find references elsewhere as in? (i'm not sure what you mean, humor me, i can be slow at times)
          Originally posted by Sirc
          Why do you have one of these?
          Well it's something i have to figure out for my master/credential program. Kinda sucks.

          Comment


            #6
            What's your master's program?

            What I mean by reference is something like, most cars have a voltage of 12 volts constantly running through the car. Let's say you hook up a sensor that detects voltage to a 12 volt power source. You turn the car on and it drops to 11. It'll record all the shifts from 12 to 11 and drop it in the software (it comes with it). You then export the numbers to something like excel and chart a graph or something.

            My reference is the 12 volt thing. I've never actually used this model that you have, but I'd assume that you would connect it to some sort of power source and using the voltmeter you would adjust the sensors until it read 12 volts to be some sort of default reading. Like a base number. So then when I hook it up to the car, it'll use 12 volts as it's base and then go from there.

            What are you trying to measure? And what is your major? Also, no you're not entirely screwed, the one that your monitor is connected to is the video card, there should be another one on you. And if not you can always go and buy an adapter from like best buy or comp usa or something. But they'll rip you off like nothing else. Try to find a little ma & pop computer place. I'm willing to bet Comp USA and best buy will charge you about $50-80 for the adapter when in reality it costs like $10 for them to get.

            That's the best I can explain it, in all my 19 years of life, i've only used a data logger once. So I may not be able to fully explain it. But I can try my best. :( I'm sorry if I'm not making any sense.

            Comment


              #7
              Hey Sirc, you have helped me out immensely. If i could rep ya i would (currently my rep function does not work) Now if you can help out jussst a little bit more.

              It says that you can digitize virtually any transducer's analog output signal. What is an analog signal?

              As for a power source i could test with this, what household things could i test? And how?

              I really, really, am clueless. And my masters is in education. So really this information is not applicable at all for what i want to teach (Math).

              Comment


                #8
                ACtually this would help you immensely in teaching math. This isn't just for testing out electricity. It can be used to take an account on how many people come and go in a room, or the comparative temperatures in classes, you know stupid bullshit, just like all Math. :p

                You can use a 12 volt battery, or something along those lines. It really depends on how much voltage you need. I don't think anything more than 12 volts is necessary, because they have more powerful data loggers for that and unless you're testing like a generator or something, you won't need it. So pull out the cary battery and go at it. It should say in the instruction manual on how to do that because every data logger is completely different from the next. If it's what I'm thinking there will be some spot where you can attach the voltmeter to it, then as you adjust the machine it'll allow more or less voltage in, and all you have to do is watch the voltmeter... I'm boggled as to why it doesn't have a voltmeter built in.

                An analog signal simply stated is a signal that is continuously variable. Voltage, lenght, width, physical quantities or pressure.

                So let's say you want to test to see how may people park in the school parking lot a day. You would hook up this data logger into a laptop (by the way, these are most usually used with laptops) and to some sort of counting machine, be it a laser counter, a button they run over, or whatever that can be ported to one of the 4 channel supports this data logger has. You sit there and wait, it'll just take the voltage given off by the counters as a single blip, and then count it as "1" into your data spreadsheet. After a long hard day of mathematical nonsense (which by the way, people do actually do this, it's good for business proposals) you throw your data into an excel spreadsheet, make a graph, print it out, make a sandwich, get jiggy with the spouse and go to sleep knowing that the world is a better place because of you.

                There's plenty of ways to use this and it is very necessary for you to know as a math major getting your masters.

                Let me know if you have any more questions. But I disclaim, I don't know as much about this data logging business as it seems that I do. I have very very little experience with it, and I'm 19, so what the hell do I know?

                Comment


                  #9
                  Hi there,

                  Some of this is repeating what Sirc said, but this looks like a simple input device for an older computer. Essentially what happens is:

                  * Let's say you have a device like a pressure sensor. A pressure sensor will take a pressure and output a voltage. An increase in pressure will generally result in an increase in voltage, and so forth.

                  * This voltage has to be then read by the computer, da?

                  * But clearly you cannot just stick the wires into a USB port and expect it to record it. So you have to have some sort of very expensive something that lets you put voltages into something the computer can 'understand'.

                  * This is where this device comes into play.

                  In this case, this has four channels, so you can monitor four devices at the same time.

                  In this case, a voltmeter (easily available at Radioshack, yeah, since I doubt it's going to be a giant range of voltages) will be necessary so you can input a known voltage and see what the program says.

                  A more expensive I/O board will let you control output voltages, which can be used to command things.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    just a quick FYI Dai, your monitor is NOT plugged into a serial port. it's probably plugged into a VGA port. that's something different that looks similar physically.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by MaverickZ
                      just a quick FYI Dai, your monitor is NOT plugged into a serial port. it's probably plugged into a VGA port. that's something different that looks similar physically.
                      Not probably, not probably!!!! WTF else would it be plugged in!!!

                      In fact last time I checked the monitor plug has 25 pins.

                      Before you start counting, the monitor plug has the pins arranged in three rows, and the 9-pin serial port in 2.

                      To get things confused, serial ports also come in 25 pin flavour. Those are much bigger and also arranged in 2 rows.

                      However, in these days of USB domination serial ports are being eclipsed. So it's not beyond the stretch of imagination that you do not have a serial port.


                      - cod3r

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by cod3r
                        Not probably, not probably!!!! WTF else would it be plugged in!!!

                        In fact last time I checked the monitor plug has 25 pins.
                        He could be going all EGA on us.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          mav is not so smrt.

                          smart SMART
                          Last edited by MaverickZ; 9/29/2005 10:41am, .

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by MaverickZ
                            yeah, this IS Dai. it's not like he can tell the colors apart ;)

                            i kid i kid
                            I'm honored and touched. But how did i get confused with Dai? Dai isn't this stupid.... Oh wait a minute.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              because i don't read sooo good. plus i'm an idiot.

                              Comment

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