NI Rolls Out 12 Isolated Multifunction DAQ Devices

National Instruments today announced 12 new isolated M and S Series multifunction data acquisition (DAQ) devices. These devices combine the safety of isolation with the high-performance timing, amplification and calibration technologies of existing M Series DAQ devices for increased accuracy. Built-in isolation increases the safety of data acquisition devices and eliminates common problems that can ruin measurement accuracy. The new multifunction devices offer 16-bit accuracy, 250 kS/s sampling rates, ±10 V or ±20 mA analog inputs, ±10 V or 0-20 mA analog outputs and 5 V TTL/CMOS or 24 V digital inputs and outputs.

The new isolated M and S Series devices offer channel-to-channel or bank isolation with 1,950 VDC/1,400 Vrms transient withstand for 5 s to a PCI bus, which protects expensive equipment, the user and data from hazardous voltage spikes, transient signals and electrical noise. Isolation works by electrically separating the circuit’s front end, where hazardous voltages can exist, from the rest of the data acquisition system. Isolation is especially important when taking measurements from sensors in the proximity of wall power, large motors, high-voltage switches or other high-voltage lines.

Isolated M and S Series devices also reject common-mode voltages and prevent ground loops from forming, eliminating two common problems for data acquisition system users. High common-mode voltages can make it impossible to measure the signal in a non-isolated data acquisition system and can even damage the system. The new isolated M and S Series devices can measure from sensors with the signal plus common-mode voltages of up to 60 V. Ground loops, which occur when there is a difference between the ground voltages of the measurement system and the signal being measured, can result in high currents flowing between the two grounds and can damage equipment and ruin accuracy.

Isolated M Series devices integrate seamlessly with the National Instruments LabVIEW graphical development platform, and users can configure the devices using NI measurement and services software.

About NI Data Acquisition
By integrating commercially available silicon and bus technologies with innovative designs, NI data acquisition (DAQ) products continue to improve measurement speed and accuracy while reducing cost for engineers and scientists. NI data acquisition devices are available on the most widely used buses, including PCI, PXI, PCI Express and USB, and work with the industry’s most popular operating systems such as Windows, Linux and Mac OS X.

About National Instruments
For 30 years, National Instruments has been a technology pioneer and leader in virtual instrumentation – a revolutionary concept that has changed the way engineers and scientists in industry, government and academia approach measurement and automation. Leveraging PCs and commercial technologies, virtual instrumentation increases productivity and lowers costs for test, control and design applications through easy-to-integrate software, such as NI LabVIEW, and modular measurement and control hardware for PXI, PCI, PCI Express, USB and Ethernet. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, NI has more than 4,000 employees and direct operations in nearly 40 countries. For the past seven years, FORTUNE magazine has named NI one of the 100 best companies to work for in America.