Biodata's new Microlink 851 provides data logging, control and real-time data acquisition for Ethernet and Internet networks.
The versatile Microlink 851 features 32 digital inputs and outputs, frequency counting, event counting and an extensive range of analogue measurements including voltage, temperature, strain, pressure, current, flow, level and pH - although extra modules may be needed for some types of sensor.
In all 48 channels are available on each Microlink. As many Microlinks as needed may be connected: the only limit is the number of addresses on the network. Two alarm thresholds can be set on each input channel, and digital channels switched when alarm thresholds are crossed. All channels can be scanned up to 10 times a second.
The units are supplied with Windmill logging, charting and control software: no programming is needed. Data can be passed in real-time to other Windows applications like Excel. Extra Windmill modules can be added if needed, for example a process mimic generator or programming tools for users to write their own applications.
The software lets users set one of four analogue input ranges individually for each channel. An integrating A-D converter reduces noise and people can also use the software to select the resolution from 12- to 18-bit, allowing a fast sampling rate or greater precision with maximum noise reduction. With the smallest input range and highest resolution, signals could be resolved to 0.00076 mV; although the actual figure will depend on the types of sensors and transducers being monitored.
The Microlink uses TCP/IP protocol so can communicate with a PC over existing Ethernet and Internet networks. As with all distributed systems, placing data acquisition hardware close to sensors reduces cabling costs and errors produced by noise. Users can employ the Microlink as a stand-alone data logger with a memory of 65000 scans, or collect data in real-time on a PC connected to the network.
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