The USB DrDAQ data logger from Pico Technology provides 15 channels in a compact device that the company believs will be suitable for hobbyists, teachers and technicians. It is supplied with full versions of the PicoScope and PicoLog software.
The circuit board of the USB DrDAQ are a microphone, light sensor, RGB LED, oscilloscope and resistance inputs, 4 digital I/O ports, 3 sensor ports, an oscilloscope input, a pH/redox sensor input and a signal generator output. The unit is powered from the USB port so there are no batteries or external power supply to worry about.
The USB DrDAQ is a replacement for the parallel-port DrDAQ, which since its release in 2000 has found its way into a variety of applications from education to research. The higher transfer rate of USB allows the USB DrDAQ to act as an oscilloscope for signals at audio frequencies and beyond.
Features added in the USB DrDAQ such as the combined function generator and arbitrary waveform generator. Also added is a RGB LED, which can display many colors. Two of the I/O ports have a new pulse-counting function when used as inputs, and a new PWM (pulse-width modulation) output capability.
The sensor ports can be used with Pico Technology’s range of temperature, humidity and oxygen sensors for the DrDAQ, or with custom sensors built by the user.
The USB DrDAQ is supplied with a free software development kit with fully documented function calls to control all aspects of the device, so that you can integrate it into your own programs. The kit includes example programs in C, C++, Microsoft Excel and National Instruments LabVIEW. The SDK, PicoScope and PicoLog are compatible with Microsoft Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7.
Two versions are available, the PP706 DrDAQ is $163.35 while the PP707 DrDAQ 2011 kit is $361.35. PP706 DrDAQ is the data logger supplied with a 1.8M USB2 lead. The PP707 DrDAQ 2011 kit comes with a pH electrode, 2 DrDAQ 2M temperature sensors, a DrDAQ humidity sensor, a 3M sensor extension cable, a scope probe x1/x10 switchable in addition to the data logger and USB2 cable.