GW Instruments, a manufacturer of data acquisition hardware and software, announced a new card cage standard for measurement and control; along with a suite of low-cost, high-accuracy plug-in modules. This new product family is called “instruNet i4xx” and consists of four different card cages (4, 8, 12, 16 slots), five different plug-in cards, and three different wiring boxes.
- Analog and digital I/O cards enable one to create an 8 to 256 channel measurement system.
- Cards easily plug into a 4, 8, 12 or 16 slot card cage that communicates with Windows computer via USB 2.0.
- Connect directly to Voltage, Current, Resistance, Thermocouple, Thermistor, Strain Gage, Load Cell, RTD, and Accelerometer sensors.
- Free instruNet World strip chart recorder software supports Windows XP, Vista, 7 and 8 (32-bit or 64-bit).
- i51x wiring boxes easily attach to i4xx series cards.
- Compatible with LabVIEW, DASYLab, C and Visual BASIC Software.
- Digitize any combination of channels at 166,000 samples per second aggregate.
- Optional anti-aliasing filter.
- Reduce noise by placing i4xx cards near sensors and up to 100 meters from noisy computer.
- instruNet is the highest-accuracy data acquisition system for performing low-level measurements (e.g. +/- 100mV), as explained here. The instruNet card cage does not contain a noisy processor, which makes it easier to do accurate low level measurements. Low level measurements are required by many sensors, such as thermocouples, strain gages and load cells; which respectively measure temperature, bending and weight.
- instruNet is the lowest-cost data acquisition system with UNIVERSAL inputs, as explained here. Universal inputs support the direct connection to common sensors, sometimes with the help of one additional shunt resistor. instruNet does this at $124 per-channel with an 8-channel system, with unprecedented accuracy.
- instruNet is the lowest-cost CARD CAGE data acquisition system, as explained here. Card cages enable one to mix and match modules as needed.
- instruNet is the lowest-cost data acquisition system with optional anti-aliasing filters, as explained here. Anti-aliasing filters eliminate errors caused by high frequencies that enter the digitizer, as explained here.
THEORY OF OPERATION
instruNet is a low-cost hardware card cage that attaches to Windows computers via USB 2.0. The advantage of a card cage is one can mix and match modules as needed, to build exactly what they need. The advantage of the instruNet card cage is cost. For example, instruNet 4 to 16 slot chassis sell for $100 per slot, whereas comparable chassis are 2x to 4x more costly.
The instruNet card cage typically has one A/D measurement module; additional modules provide signal conditioning. The conditioned analog signal is routed to the A/D module via the backplane. This is dramatically different from comparable systems, which place A/D measurement electronics on each module. The advantage of the instruNet topology is cost. After the first module is installed, additional instruNet channels are conditioned at approximately $40 per channel, whereas comparable systems typically cost 2x to 8x more.
The optional 8-pole i500 analog low-pass filter daughterboard provides very accurate anti-aliased data at low cost.
Prices start at $990 for an 8-channel system.
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WHY INSTRUNET IS BETTER THAN OTHER SYSTEMS