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Factors to Consider When Selecting a Data Logger

MadgeTech Data Logger

What is a Data Logger?

Temperature Data LoggersA data logger is a battery powered device that records and stores information. Many data loggers are designed to record information about the environment in which the logger is placed, allowing users to have a record of events over a given period of time. For the data logging device to achieve this, a sensor must be present within the logger, along with a microprocessor. There are many different types of data loggers and sensors that accommodate a wide range of needs for industries around the world.

Data loggers can be engineered to record parameters such as temperature, humidity, motion, shock, pressure, current or CO2 levels just to name a few examples. In many cases monitoring levels and fluctuations of parameters such as these, are critical to ensure safety or efficiency, depending upon the application.

How do you select the Data Logger that is right for you?

Our technical sales and customer support teams address this question daily for customers, helping them find the ideal solution for their needs and applications. The first order of business when selecting a data logger is to determine the answer to: “What do you need to get done, or what problem are you trying to solve?”.

Starting from there, there are many factors to consider to ensure that the data loggers or systems selected are the perfect solution for each customer. Answering some of these questions will lead to that determination:

  • Are you looking to solve a short-term problem or are you in need of a tool to handle long-term future growth?
  • What type of input or signal do you need to monitor?
  • How many inputs are required per device?
  • What range of values do you need to monitor?
  • How frequent do readings need to be taken?
  • How long will the logger need to be deployed?
  • How much data does the data logger need to store?
  • What type of environment will the device be exposed to?
  • Are there space limitations in the location to be considered?
  • How will you communicate with the data logger?
  • What data requirements must be met for this application?

Input Parameter Types

MadgeTech offers data loggers and systems that monitor many input types, some devices are designed to monitor a combination of inputs such as temperature and humidity simultaneously. MadgeTech builds data loggers that measure many different combinations of the following parameters:

  • Temperature / Intrinsically Safe
  • Humidity / Intrinsically Safe
  • Pressure / Intrinsically Safe
  • Motion / Motor
  • pH Level
  • Current / Voltage
  • Shock / Vibration
  • Bridge / Strain
  • Carbon Dioxide

  • Pulse / Event / State
  • Water Level
  • Moisture
  • Wind

Sensor Types and Ranges

Each data logger has either ambient or remote sensors, or a combination of the two. Data loggers are capable of measuring a defined range of values, for example some loggers are designed for measuring extremely high temperatures and some are perfect for ultra-low temperatures. Each data logger will have a set measurement range and accuracy value that it is capable of. When choosing your data logger, confirm that the device your select matches the measurement range need for your application. The MadgeTech product line utilizes the following variations of probes and sensors:

  • Ambient Probes / Sensors
  • RTD Probes
  • Anemometers
  • Motion Detection
  • Thermocouple Probes
  • Thermistor Probes
  • pH Probes
  • Infrared

Number of Channels or Inputs

Data loggers are available with either single or multi-channel capability. MadgeTech currently offers data loggers with as many as 16 channels in a single device.

Form Factor and Size

Since device accessibility is often a factor, MadgeTech offers data loggers of all shapes and sizes, ranging from mini loggers that are small enough to fit through the opening and neck of a soda bottle, to larger devices that are mounted to large cargo or vehicles.

Data Logger Enclosure Material

The material used to build the data logger largely depends on the application it is meant for. MadgeTech designs many data loggers out of food grade stainless steel to meet strict regulation requirements and withstand the most extreme environments. Other data loggers are comprised of ABS Plastic for applications that are conducive to the lightweight portability without the harsh elements. It is important to understand the IP rating (Ingress Protection) of each device and how that relates to your application. MadgeTech also offers a variety of waterproof enclosures to extend logger capabilities for certain applications.

Memory Capacity and Reading Rate

The data storage necessary on a logger will be related to the frequency of the readings and the length of logger deployment. The frequency of each reading recorded is referred to as the reading rate. If the application demands a high reading rate, more memory will be required. If the duration of data logger deployment needs to be longer, that must also be considered. For example, if the logger must record for five days at a specified reading rate, it would require more memory capacity than a logger that must be deployed for two days at the same reading rate.  The memory capacity and these factors must be considered when selecting the right data logger for a specific application.

Real-time Data and Wireless Data Loggers

There are many applications that require or would greatly benefit from real-time data being made available to the user. MadgeTech has developed a whole line of Wireless Data Loggers that do just that. Data loggers that are deployed and record, then are retrieved and downloaded are referred to as stand-alone data loggers. Stand-alone data loggers are ideal for many applications, but for applications that require a more instant, remote level of real-time data access, MadgeTech provides the devices and the software tools to deliver that. Wireless data loggers can act as stand-alone data loggers, or stream the data in real-time back to a central PC for monitoring as needed. This capability is only available on specific MadgeTech wireless data logger models.

With the diverse selection of data loggers and systems that MadgeTech has to offer, it is always a good idea to consult with our knowledgeable staff to ensure that you are getting the best solution for your needs with optimum results.