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Welcome to our Home Page for August 2014

This month our Product Cateory focus is:-

DAQ & DSP & GPIB in all formats

Plug in buses, IP, Serial, USB, Bluetooth, Wifi

A total of 25 companies with a huge range of DAQ, DSP, DSP+DAQ Combos & GPIB product.

DAQ Techology

DAQ, or Data Acquisition has been going on forever. All early systems were manual.The person with the Clip Board back in history was a DAQ collector and still is.

When Digital computers arrived in the 50's, there was a concerted effort to automate DAQ by building interfaces to computers that DAQ systems could be connected to. Who was first is anyones guess but DEC seem to be first with commercial buyable product.

I had a 1964 DEC computer with an multi channel 12 bit ADC in it, that was a breeze to use, even with Assembler or maybe because of Assembler.

The introduction of the IBM PC in 1982 saw the start of a massive increase in Computer based DAQ. Cost reduction was the main driving force.

ISA bus made it possible to build excellent plug in DAQ boards and performance was very fast with DOS, with even real time performance.

Windows messed everything up because it was so unpredictable in its bus and interrupt response latencies and all sorts of techniques where developed to make DAQ plug in boards run in Windows well.

Real Time DAQ almost disappeared forever on PCs when Windows came along. Only realtime computers running Unix, DEC RT-11, HP RTE etc could do it, All very expensive and very rapidly becoming orphans or dinosaurs.

If you wanted real time in your PC you had to have a DAQ with a micro on board and they were available.

Some companies have got around this by using programmable FPGAs, NI in particular. Nice but very expensive still.

Multi Cores help but still Windows is there.

Around Windows XP time, Microsoft and Intel decided to close the computers up and make plug in boards a thing of the past. New busses were introduced, USB the main contender and DAQ took another turn.

The reason for the closed PC idea, was support calls were often all about plug in boards issues.

Most simple DAQ today is done with USB cables connecting external DAQ boxes to a PC.

PCIe and PCI boards are available but most people shy away, as it requires opening the PC box up to install.

If the PC or DAQ boards fail in service the technican has to open the PC and then all sorts of issues can arise.

With USB, just unplug the broken PC or DAQ device and reconnect and the system is alive very quickly.

So we now have a enormous range of USB DAQ models and types. Everything needed to build sophisticated DAQ systems.

They are so good I personally have not used a plug in DAQ board for many years now.

We have all just adapted our software around all these technology changes.

DSP and DSP+DAQ combo + FPGA Techology

The lead company is Sheldon. This company has been at the forefront of DSP and DSP+DAQ for 2-3 decades and even allow LabVIEW code to be run directly on the DSP boards with no OS in the way. Yes amazing. This allows building true real time DAQ and DSP/FPGA together in a PC.

GPIB - IEEE-488 Products

GPIB is all about T&M, ATE and DAQ.

This technology allowing the connecting of programmable instruments to computers, was released in the late 60's by Hewlett Packard and originally was called HPIB.

It was a giant step in technology at the time and nothing even now has surpassed it for easy of use and built for purpose, not even technologies like Virtual Instruments in VXI, PXI and LXI.

In the late 80s, when virtual instrumentation was released by NI with LabVIEW, the interface method of chose for building quality Test (T&M), Automatic Test (ATE) and DAQ, was still the GPIB or IEEE-488 method for most.

In 1975, when the IEEE convened the 488th committee, HPIB became the GPIB and the spec for it was IEEE-488.

HPIB = Hewlett Packard Interface Bus
GPIB = General Purpose Interface Bus
The European edition is the IEC 60625-1

If you now read several Blogs on Building Test systems, you will find many engineers world wide, still prefer GPIB for their medium to large scale Test systems, over newer technology.

The reason is it works and well and allows for very high speced instruments to be inserted into a Test system easily. Having instruments that are stand alone in their own right, allows a great deal of hands on playing and measurement method trialing with each instrument, as the tests methodiology is developed. The outcomes from this intimate playing with the instruments and Unit Under Test (UU) is then translated into commands for the instrument and embedded in the software. Very nice.

Since 1975 when the IEEE-488 standard was released it has gone through many revisions and upgrades and additions. IEEE-488-1978, IEEE-488.1, IEEE-488.2, SCPI, etc with VISA added + Instrument drivers, have made the software development process so much easier and faster. For instance LabVIEW comes with hundreds of specific drivers for GPIB and other programmable instruments.

The great thing now that has developed is the melding of all Programmable instruments into a Standardised Programmable Command Sets as a Composite Test Instrument standard.

Instruments with GPIB, RS-232, USB or Ethernet, all run on the same drivers. This means they are Bus and Instrument manufacturer independent.

Instruments are broken up into groups and commands for scopes from Agilent also work with Tek etc etc. This means you can swap out a scope and replace with another manufacturers scope and your test set will still work. ( As long as the instrument specs are same or similar)

You can thank all those committess from 1975 onward for amassing this huge technology into an easy format.

Our lead company for GPIB Interfacing is ICS of CA, with National Instruments and Adlink close behind. It seems compatibility with NI and Agilent is across all interface manufacturers.

There is also a large expanding range of GPIB development software tools, not only for LabVIEW & Measurement Studio ( From NI ) but also in VB, .net, C, C++, C# and most other prgramming methods + instrument drivers in those formats also.

Some LabVIEW info for this issue.


Here is the link, it may amaze you

Next month Quick Drop

Our Lead GPIB Company - ICS Interest

Our Lead DAQ Company - MCC Interest

Ethernet and USB DAQ Interest

Boards & USB DAQ Interest

USB, Ethernet, RS-232, 485 + Modbus DAQ Interest

DSP & DSP + DAQ Combos & FPGA + GPU Interest

High Isolation DAQ Interest

A huge Range of DAQ form Factors Interest

2.4GHZ + Industrial DAQ & Control Interest

Ethernet Distributed DAQ Interest

Digi Zigbee DAQ endpoints Interest

Ethernet PCIe DAQ boards and more

DAQ systems- Interest

St Lukes Medical Scaleable UPS story- Interest -- More

GPIB Cables Double Shield Metal Connectors Interest

Instrumentation and Power Specials - Sale

Contact a MasTec Engineer

LabVIEW Development & Code Upgrading- Link

Contact a
MasTec Engineer

LabVIEW Training Courses - Link

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ICS GPIB Devices for Test
ICS GPIB Software and more
ICS all products
MCC Software & OEM HS DAQ & Low cost DAQ
MCC USB DAQ & Ethernet DAQ
MCC Plug in Board DAQ PCI & PCIe
MCC Wireless & Android DAQ
MCC Loggers & MCC OEM & Conditioners
MCC Temperature & Other Interfaces

Ethernet, USB and WiFi DAQ

Adlink DAQ USB & PCIe & PCI
Adlink Load Cell DAQ
Adlink Distributed NuDam DAQ & Control
Adlink PXI DAQ
Adlink Advanced DAQ instruments

Sealevel Software DAQ Factory
Sealevel SeaRAQ DAQ for PACs
Sealevel USB, RS-232, 485, Ethernet, Wifi DAQ
Sealevel Remote DAQ
Sealevel Digital IO DAQ
Sealevel Analog IO DAQ

About Sheldon
Sheldon DSP & DAQ (up to 250MHZ)
Sheldon LabVIEW and VB tools & CC Studio
Sheldon FPGA Huge
Sheldon FPGA and GPU new
Sheldon Custom ODM OEM

About Accesio
Accesio Product Introduction & Form Factors
Accesio & INtel Alliance
Accesio Android RS-232 more to come
Accesio Watchdogs on USB yes
Accesio & AUVSI very interesting

About Zigsense
Zigsense Remote Wireless End Points DAQ
Zigsense Literature

Digi Intro
Digi Zigbee Modems and DAQ End Points
Digi Other End Points for DAQ
Didi Cloud for DAQ data storage
Digi / Etherios Cloud Device Management
Digi Wireless J1708/J1939 Bus DAQ Adaptor

ICPDAS Remote DAQ modules
ICPDAS Latest Newsletter
ICPDAS ISA, PCI, PCIe DAQ boards and more
ICDPDAS DAQ Software options
Vartech Harsh Hazard Computers
AAeon Subcompact Embeddable CPU board

Vartech Harsh Hazard Computers
Vartech Class Division 2 LCD & Computers
Aviosys 4 port power controller Smartphone Apps
Bee Loop Power Isolators & Signal Splitters
AAeon Subcompact Embeddable CPU board
Do you need an OEM Cable Supply?

110 VAC Power Specials - Sale

Contact a MasTec Engineer

Consulting & Product Design - Link

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MasTec Engineer

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