Hidden Hidden Hidden Hidden

 

 

 

 

  • Directly Connects to .
  • Analog and digital I/O cards enable one to create an 8 to 256 channel measurement system.
  • Cards easily plug into a 4, 8, 12 or 16 slot card cage that communicates with Windows computer via USB 2.0.
  • Free instruNet World strip chart recorder software supports Windows XP, Vista, 7 and 8 (32-bit or 64-bit).
  • i51x wiring boxes easily attach to i4xx series cards.
  • Compatible with LabVIEW, DASYLab, C and Visual BASIC Software.
  • Digitize any combination of channels at 166,000 samples per second aggregate.
  • Optional anti-aliasing filter.
  • Reduce noise by placing i4xx cards near sensors and up to 100 meters from noisy computer.

 

Why Is instruNet Better Than Other Systems ?

instuNet is better than other systems for the following reasons:

  • instruNet is the highest-accuracy data acquisition system for performing low-level measurements (e.g. ±100mV) The instruNet card cage does not contain a noisy processor, which makes it easier to do accurate low level measurements. Low level measurements are required by many sensors, such as thermocouples, strain gages and load cells; which respectively measure temperature, bending and weight.
  • instruNet is the lowest-cost data acquisition system with UNIVERSAL inputs Universal inputs support the direct connection to common sensors, sometimes with the help of one additional shunt resistor. instruNet does this at $124 per-channel with an 8-channel system, with unprecedented accuracy.
  • instruNet is the lowest-cost CARD CAGE data acquisition system Card cages enable one to mix and match modules as needed.
  • instruNet is the lowest-cost data acquisition system with optional anti-aliasing filters Anti-aliasing filters eliminate errors caused by high frequencies that enter the digitizer, as explained here.

 

i4xx Series Data Acquisition Cards

 

#iNet-410
Communications card connects an iNet-400 card cage to a Windows computer via an instruNET iNET-240 USB controller

#iNet-420
Provides 20 single-ended (SE)/10 differential (DI) voltage input channels and 4 universal digital I/O

#iNet-423
Provides 6 differential (DI) voltage input channels; each of which has its own amplifier and low pass filter

#iNet-430
Provides 16/8 DI/SE voltage input channels with a 16-bit A/D converter, 4 voltage outputs, and 4 digital I/O

#iNet-460
Provides 12 universal digital I/O (20 mA sink, -10 to 30 V) and 16 digital I/O (200 mA sink, -10 to 30 V)

 

Optional Anti-Aliasing Filter

The optional 8-Pole i500 analog low pass filter daughterboard is ideal for anti-aliasing. For a summary of aliasing and why you might need an AFS filter, click here. The i500 provides extremely low ±0.01 dB maximum passband ripple for Fin/Fc ≤ 0.5. If one uses further oversampling, digital filtering and desampling; then passband ripple is ±0.002 dB for Fin/Fc ≤ 0.8 due to the accuracy of a 30-pole digital filter. The end user installs between 1 and 6 filter daughterboards onto each i423 card, one per channel. For details, click here.

 

instruNet Software

instruNet includes software to interrogate, test, configure, and do I/O with all network channels. This includes an application program called "instruNet World" and interfaces to Visual Basic, C, and C++. instruNet software can configure all I/O channels, store your settings, view digitized data in real time, stream data to disk, and scroll through your waveform post-acquisition. instruNet software runs on Windows computers. Free software and manual updates are available here.

instruNet World iW+ DASYLab LabVIEW
 
Direct To Excel C/C++ Visual BASIC instruNet Scope

 

Connect Directly To Sensors

The table below shows which sensors directly connect to each hardware product. The numbers in the table refer to number of channels; and if you click on those numbers, you will be redirected to the measurement accuracy for that sensor and product. The following sensors require an external shunt resistor: RTD, thermistor, resistance measurement, current measurement, ¼ bridge strain gage, and ½ bridge strain gage. Thermocouple sensors require an i51x Wiring Box attached to the i4xx card 28. In order to do voltage measurement, one needs at least one i430 A/D card. One only needs one i43x a/d card per card cage.

Model Voltage Current Resist- ance Therm- istor RTD Thermo- couple Load Cell Acceler- ometer Strain Gage
i420 20/10 10 10 10 10 10 10   10
i423 6di 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6
i430 16/8 8 8 8 8 8 8   8
i100 16/8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8

 

Analog and Digital I/O Cards

instruNet i4xx cards are installed by the end user into an instruNet card cage that is 4, 8, 12 or 16 slots wide. Each card is 13 x 2.5 x 13 cm in size. Below is a list of available cards. For more details on each, click on the model number in the below table.

Voltage Input Voltage Outputs Digital I/O
Model # of Chan Range Low Pass (KHz) # of Chan Range # of Chan mA Sink
i420 20se/10di ±10V..±20mV       4 20
i423 6di ±5V..±5mV 0.006, 4     4 20
i430 16se/8di ±10V..±10mV   2
2
±10V
0-10V
4 20
i460           12
16
20
200
i410 The i410 connects Card Cage to Windows Computer via i2x0 instruNet Controller.

 

i555 Starter System


The i555 Starter System, shown to the right, provides the following:

For details on the
i555 Starter System, click here.

 

Low Noise facilitates High Accuracy

We obtain high accuracy by placing the noisy microprocessor in an external box, away from the signal conditioning amplifiers in the card cage; as illustrated below.

The below picture shows the i430 card digitizing 0 Volts at a 1K sample-per-second rate on it's +-10mV range with 2.5 microvolts RMS of internal noise (no integration).

To further reduce noise, one can digitize more slowly and integrate each point. The below scenario is similar to the above, yet with 16 mSec integration per point at 60 samples-per-second resulting in 0.2 microvolts RMS of noise.

Maximum Sample Rates

The following table shows maximum aggregate sample rates for an i240 USB controller attached to an i4xx Card Cage. To calculate the sample rate for each channel, divide by the number of channels attached to the i240 controller. For example, if the maximum aggregate sample rate is 166Ksamples/sec/controller, and you digitize 4 channels, then you could digitize each channel at 41Ks/sec/channel. For more details on this table, click here. One can attach up to four i240 controllers to a computer to increase total system throughput.

Max Aggregate Sample Rate per Controller (K samples/second/controller)
Model ±10V range ±5V range ±1.2V range ±10mV..±80mV range
i430 166 166 129 1.4
i420 94 90 83 1.4
i423   113 98 68
i100   166 133 1

 
 

i51x Wiring Boxes

 

#iNet-510 #iNet-511 #iNet-512

i51x wiring boxes easily bolt to i4xx cards. The i510 is the simplest and is included with the i555 starter system. The i511 includes 8 bnc connectors. The i512 has a vRef/2 source that is used to help complete 1/4 bridge and 1/2 bridge strain gage circuits. If you are measuring thermocouples, then the i510 is the only wiring box that will work, since it contains an internal temperature sensor that measures the temperature of the i510 screw terminals. For more details on each, click on the model number in the below table.

Model Bnc Connectors Thermocouple Support 1/4 and 1/2 Bridge Strain Gage vRef/2 Support Individual Banks of Screw Terminals for each sensor
i510 0 yes no no
i511 8 no no yes
i512 0 no yes yes

 
 

Low Cost 4/8/12/16 Slot Card Cage

The i400 product provides 4 slots, and multiple i400's can be bolted together by the end user, side-by-side, to create an 8, 12, or 16 slot system. In many applications, one i400 with 4 slots is sufficient.

 

Theory Of Operation

instruNet is a low-cost hardware card cage that attaches to Windows computers via USB 2.0. The advantage of a card cage is one can mix and match modules as needed, to build exactly what they need. The advantage of the instruNet card cage is cost. For example, instruNet 4 to 16 slot chassis sell for $100 per slot, whereas comparable chassis are 2x to 4x more costly.

The instruNet card cage typically has one A/D measurement module; additional modules provide signal conditioning. The conditioned analog signal is routed to the A/D module via the backplane. This is dramatically different from comparable systems, which place A/D measurement electronics on each module. The advantage of the instruNet topology is cost. After the first module is installed, additional instruNet channels are conditioned at approximately $40 per channel, whereas comparable systems typically cost 2x to 8x more.

instruNet measurement modules have universal inputs that enable one to directly connect each channel to one of: Thermocouple, Thermistor, Strain Gage, Load Cell, Counter/Timer, RTD, Voltage, Current, Resistance and Accelerometer. Absolute accuracy for all of these sensor types is specified. In some cases, the end user adds an external shunt resistor. The advantage of universal inputs is cost.

The optional 8-pole i500 analog low-pass filter daughterboard provides very accurate anti-aliased data at low cost.

Connect to Computer Via USB

Each instruNet Network is controlled by an instruNet i240 DSP controller card that attaches to a Microsoft 32bit or 64bit Windows ≥ Xp Sp2, Vista, 7 or 8 computer via High Speed USB 2.0 at 480mbit/sec. Each i240 Controller is an independent computer in itself that utilizes a powerful 32-bit DSP processor and onboard RAM to control all aspects of data acquisition along its network. All real-time tasks are off-loaded to this processor, therefore the host computer is not burdened with real-time issues. Each instruNet network supports up to 4 instruNet iNET-400 card cages.

Further Reading

 
 

 

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