Agilent - Performing Long-Distance and Distributed Data Logging

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Introduction

In this measurement brief we will discuss two low-cost ways you can perform long-distance and distributive data logging. The explosion of wireless connectivity across the globe has led to a wide range of off-the-shelf wireless networking products. The majority of these products have one thing in common: they can connect to an Ethernet network. This capability means they can serve as an I/O pathway for measurement instruments that have an Ethernet port. Instruments that are built on the LXI standard have this capability. With this type of setup, the computer that controls the instruments and records the measurements does not have to be located with the instruments. Now, when you perform longdistance remote data logging, you no longer have to make frequent trips to the test site to start tests or retrieve logged data. This is especially true when you use smart instruments that have built-in data-logging capabilities like the 34410/11A DMMs.


In this brief we will look at two low-cost ways to do remote and distributed data logging:

  1. Via a long-range Ethernet bridge
  2. Via a cellular router

Snapshot:
Utility company tests load stations remotely


A utility company needed to conduct research to increase efficiency at three of its load stations. For the research company engineers needed to log two voltage measurement points at three different load stations. Their main challenge was to find a way to remotely access and control the instrumentation at each station. The stations are distant from the utility company and are located miles apart from each other. The team had a limited budget, so the solution had to be cost effective. They decided to implement a system that consisted of a single computer located at the utility company, three cellular routers, and six Agilent 34410A DMMs. The computer runs software that connects the DMMs to the Internet via a cellular provider's network and then to the cellular routers. The utility company chose an Agilent 3441 because its Ethernet I/O interface can be connected and controlled from the cellular router. Also the 34410A has built-in data logging capabilities to keep network traffic to a minimum and still achieves precisely timed measurements. ...


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