Tiny device turns PDA with CompactFlash slot into DAQ tool

Austin, TX—National Instruments (NI) reports that standard personal digital assistants (PDAs) can be turned into customized, portable measurement tools with its new, postage stamp-sized NI CF-6004 CompactFlash data acquisition (DAQ) device.


Austin, TX— National Instruments (NI) reports that standard personal digital assistants (PDAs) can be turned into customized, portable measurement tools with NI’s new CompactFlash data acquisition (DAQ) device. Slightly larger than a standard postage stamp, NI CF-6004 device plugs into any PDA with a CompactFlash slot to create a handheld instrument with the processing and wireless communication capabilities of the latest PDA devices.

NI CF-6004 is a 14-bit multifunction data acquisition device that plugs directly into a PDA CompactFlash slot to provide up to 200 KS/s single-channel sampling on four analog input channels in a handheld form factor. It also offers four lines of digital I/O for controlling and measuring LVTTL or LVCMOS signals. Engineers can use NI’s LabView graphical programming environment for Pocket PC to acquire, analyze, and view data on their PDAs.

“The small size of the CompactFlash DAQ device opens up many new portable data acquisition and monitoring applications,” says Tim Dehne, NI’s senior VP of research and development. “The concept of virtual instrumentation, where customers define their own instruments through graphical programming and modular hardware components, is moving to smaller and smaller form factors, making data acquisition even more convenient and portable.”

The firm adds that NI CF-6004’s flexibility and mobility make it ideal for wearable computing, field monitoring, diagnostics applications, as well as in laboratory and educational settings. Instead of buying several traditional, handheld instruments, NI says users can save valuable space by using one PDA with LabView and NI CF-6004 DAQ device. Because engineers can define their own unique instruments in LabView, and then deploy them to their handhelds, they also can change and redeploy these applications later to repurpose their PDAs for new measurements. Also, because PDAs are typically less expensive than laptops, PDA-based data acquisition is a more cost-effective option for handheld, portable instruments.

Control Engineering Daily News Desk
Jim Montague, news editor

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