USB Data Acquisition

Posted on Feb 6, 2014

The Universal Serial Bus (USB) has become a ubiquitous technology for computer peripherals. It is available on virtually every new computer and in most cases provides a seamless connection method for a variety of consumer electronics devices such as digital cameras, scanners and printers. This ease of connection together with the inherent high dat

USB Data Acquisition
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a rate of USB also makes this technology very useful for data acquisition and control units. This paper presents the use of USB data acquisition units in an electromechanical engineering technology laboratory environment. Features, advantages and disadvantages of the hardware are discussed. The LabVIEW software tools (virtual instruments) developed to interface with the USB device are presented. Examples of sensing and control systems experiments and projects are also given. The Universal Serial Bus (USB) has quickly found its way from consumer electronics (cameras, scanners, printers, cell phones, etc. ) to laboratory equipment. The ease of connection and relatively high data rate of USB makes this technology very useful for portable data acquisition units. Several units are now available at very reasonable cost from companies such as LabJack, Measurement Computing Corporation and National Instruments. The unit currently used by engineering technology students at Penn State Berks is the LabJack U12. The LabJack U12 features are typical of the USB devices currently available. These features include multi-channel analog voltage input and output, digital I/O, event counter input and +5V power supply output (supplied from the host computer via the USB cable). This set of features makes these devices ideal for many types of engineering technology education applications. Combining USB data acquisition hardware with the...

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