Data loggers are data acquisition tools used to monitor systems and processes by recording data points over a timed interval. A data logger is the perfect device for those situations where it is prudent or necessary to document conditions, verify that systems are working properly, or to comply with regulatory requirements. Since data loggers produce a permanent archive of conditions within a digital memory, the data can be stored indefinitely and used for future reference.

Being compact and self-contained, data loggers excel at recording data from temperature, flow, pressure, voltage, current, resistance, and other sensors over a long period of time in in unattended or remote locations, at times in harsh conditions. The nature of their use requires data loggers be extremely reliable. Data loggers can be used for a wide range of applications; from documenting the historical data for batch processes to charting temperature and humidity readings in a museum display. Most are easily customized for a particular application though they may require specific modules or sensors depending upon the task.

Data loggers are designed to accept input from either internal or external sensors. Certain loggers are able to handle multiple sensors. Sensors can be either active or passive devices. Passive sensors, like thermocouples, do not require an outside power supply to generate a signal. Active sensors, on the other hand, do require a power supply to generate a signal. There are numerous ways to power the sensors depending upon the application.

Though data loggers are similar to recorders in that they are both data acquisition tools, each is best suited for different roles. Recorders excel in applications where instant visual feedback is preferred while data loggers are best used for applications where the device is meant to be left unattended for a period of time. You can read more about recorders on the description page for that category.

Data logger Technology

Data loggers are able to record environmental data by accepting electronic signals from sensors, converting them into digital signals, and storing those signals in an internal memory or memory card. Data loggers range from general purpose types which can record a variety of measurements to very specific devices for measuring one parameter type only.

Though some data loggers include a display for recalling stored information which allows them to operate without the need for a computer, most data loggers do, in fact, interface with a computer where the information can be viewed and analyzed by software

Though data loggers come in a variety of shapes and sizes, the generally contain all the following:

  • Internal sensor or input for external sensor(s)
  • Microprocessor to control operation
  • Memory, either internal or via memory cards
  • Computer interface and software for transferring and analyzing data
  • Power supply, usually batteries

Some things to Consider When Purchasing Data loggers:

  • Is a visual record preferred?
  • Does monitoring need to be continuous or is sampling sufficient?
  • How long will the device be used to record or log?
  • Will the device be left unattended?
  • Will the device be in a hazardous area?
  • How many sensors will be used?
  • What level of accuracy is required?

If you have any questions regarding data loggers please don't hesitate to speak with one of our engineers by e-mailing us at sales@instrumart.com or calling 1-800-884-4967.