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High Accuracy Data Acquisition Box - instruNet

Supplier: SciTech

instruNet provides ten’s of microVolts of absolute accuracy instead of ten’s of milliVolts, at the same cost, and at the same throughput rates as typical general purpose data acquisition boards.


It does this with a completely different topology where the analog electronics are close to the sensor in electrically - quiet boxes outside your PC, and the noisy digital electronics are left inside the computer.

The external boxes contain signal conditioning amplifiers for each channel, and can therefore directly attach to sensors such as thermocouples, ysi thermistors, RTD’s, strain gages, resistance sources, current sources, and voltage sources.

The box then returns engineering units to your PC (e.g. "°C", "Volts", "Amps").

At the heart of the real-time system is a PCI or PC-Card (PCM-CIA) controller board that plugs into a Macintosh or Windows XP computer.

Each controller contains a 32bit microprocessor with 256KB of RAM that manages the external "network" of devices.

All real-time tasks are off-loaded to this processor, therefore the host computer is not burdened with real-time issues.

Each instruNet 100 Box provides:

  • 16SE/8DI 14BIT ANALOG INPUTS (A/DS) WITH ±5V, ±.6V, ±.08V & ±.01V RANGE

The instruNet 100 includes 44 screw terminals. The 100B version adds 16 BNC’s for analog inputs.

The 100HC version provides 15mA/10KpF voltage output drive capability, instead of 4mA.

The controller’s themselves provide 10 counter/timer channels that each can function as a digital input bit, a digital output bit, a clock output channel, or a period measurement input channel.


The instruNet system supports the digitizing of multiple channels at a maximum aggregate sample rate of 166ks/sec, where each channel can be digitized at it’s own rate.

This maximum rate decreases when: the total cable length increases, optical isolation is used, digital filtering or plotting is enabled, more boxes are added, more channels are digitized, amplifier gain is increased, or spooling to disk is added.

Each channel can be independently digitally filtered with low-pass, high-pass, band-stop and band-pass filters; where the filter specification for each channel is independently set in software.

Each channel provides a programmable analog low pass filter with programmable A/D measurement integration time.

The network can be hundreds of feet long and can support multiple hardware devices connected together in a daisy-chain configuration.

The start of digitizing can be triggered from any channel. There are no jumpers or pots; the system automatically self-calibrates on power-up.

Since instruNet is modular, it can easily be expanded as needs evolve.

One can easily move the system hardware from one computer family to another, since the various controllers are functionally identical.

  • High Accuracy Data Acquisition Boxes attach to Windows XP & Macintosh Computers.
  • Each Box: 16se/8di 14bit analog inputs, 8 analog outputs, and 8 digital I/O lines.
  • Each PCI/Nubus Controllers: 10 Counter/Timer Channels.
  • Reduce noise by placing boxes near sensors and 0-1000 feet from noisy computer.
  • Signal Conditioning Amplifiers on each input.
  • Direct Connect to RTD, Thermocouple, Voltage, Thermistor, Bridge & Strain Gage Sensors.
  • 166Ks/sec throughput to Ram or to Disk.
  • Includes Strip Chart/Oscilloscope Software.
  • Boxes powered by 32bit DSP PCI or PC-Card card in XP/Macintosh computer.
  • Optional Low Cost Optical Isolation.
  • Programmable from C, Visual Basic, TestPoint, HP Vee, DASYLab, Origin, MicroLab, Famous, & SuperScope II. LabVIEW drivers also available.
  • Each channel has independently programmable analog filters, integration time, voltage range, sample rate and digital filters (LP, HP, BP, BS) .
  • Returns Engineering Units
  • Solid Aluminum Construction.