CE blog: Ask Charlie turns 100!

The Jan. 12, 2009, posting in the Control Engineering Ask Charlie blog is the 100th in the series, answering questions from readers. The automation tutorial blog covers discrete control, motors, drives, sensors, motion control, machine control, embedded systems, and other areas.


Oak Brook, IL — No, it’s not 100 years old, but the Jan. 12, 2009, posting in the

Control Engineering Ask Charlie blog

is the 100th in the automation tutorial series. Starting with the first posting on March 3, 2007, Ask Charlie has consistently ranked highest in popularity among control engineering professionals. The Ask Charlie blog covers all aspects of automation, especially discrete control, motors, drives, sensors, motion control, machine control and embedded systems. Control Engineering 's print and online magazines, newsletters and other publications.

Image accompanying the first Ask Charlie blog posting explained data acquisition system architecture.

Image accompanying the first Ask Charlie blog posting explained data acquisition system architecture.

That first posting answered the question “

How can I use a PC to measure voltage and current?”

It said: “The technology for measuring virtually any physical quantity using a computer is called data acquisition (DAQ) and is very mature, despite the number of engineers who feel unfamiliar with it. In fact, every engineer uses it regularly for taking measurements because virtually every digital measuring instrument is based on DAQ principles. Oscilloscopes, digital multimeters, SCADA systems, PLCs and anything else that takes analog input and provides digital output uses DAQ architecture. For most of these applications, however, the DAQ architecture is hidden away inside a box to make it look like a specialized piece of equipment.” It went on to discuss DAQ history, architecture and how control engineers can use the technology.
The Jan. 12, 2009, posting answers the question:

“How do gearmotors compare to V-belt drives?"

It points out that through most of the 20th Century, V-belts were generally the best choice for industrial power-transmission applications, largely because of the high cost of machining gears. Advances in CNC milling, coupled with other factors, have driven the total-lifecycle-cost of gearmotors well below that of other mechanical-power sources — including V-belts. They should now be the first choice for industrial power applications.
C.G. Masi , senior editor
Control Engineering News Desk
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