Here is an example. Is better than ±1°C when measuring ambient air temperature in a commercial office required?
A Building Manager might be happy with an accuracy of ±1°C and a resolution of 0.5°C, while a Scientist researching indoor air quality in the same office might want an accuracy of ±0.3°C and a resolution of 0.1°C. So potentially yes, some applications will warrant better than good accuracy.
Resolution is also balanced around accuracy. Just because a temperature data logger can display down to one decimal place (Resolution), that does NOT mean the Accuracy is as good. You can have good Resolution without the Accuracy!
More about Accuracy,
Resolution and Precision
The more featured data loggers have the capabilities to apply statistical data analysis on the fly. Averaging is the most common. E.g. The data logger might have a sampling rate of once every second, with a recording rate of once every minute. In this case, the data logger will temporarily store up to 60 readings, then record the average of those 60 readings every minute.
Data retrieval options range from manual collection via a computer, USB memory device or SD card transfer, to automatic scheduled transfers via FTP or e-mail. Swapping out the entire data logger with a spare unit is also and option, data is then generally retrieved back at the office.
Another factor with data retrieval timing is when recording a large number of sensors, or at a fairly fast sampling rate. The ability to then post process the data file can be problematic. Some software applications or even the computer can struggle to handle large data files and a large number of data points in the data file.
So as a good rule of thumb, record the data you need, and can then process.
Small data loggers will often run from an internal battery for a few weeks to many years. So they will be convenient in any situation. The more featured data loggers often use more external sensors, and they will require more power than a small internal battery can deliver. Mains or battery power are the two main options.
If mains power is available, then great. If not, a balance between the data logger's performance, any connected sensors and power consumption will need to be found if the project is a permanent or semi-permanent installation.
Running the data logger and sensors from battery power can work well. Often Solar Panels are used to charge the battery. Other times the battery is simply swapped out with a freshly charged battery when the data is collected from the site.
In many applications, communicating with the data logger is done via a USB cable connected directly to a computer. This computer will have the manufacturer’s data logging software installed for setting up the data logger, retrieving and displaying data, etc.
Taking the time to set up the data logger to work on your LAN or Wi-Fi can be a little tricky, although this will greatly depend on your IT Administrator and any Company policies.
Communicating via 3G and 4G can be a lot trickier depending on what you exactly require. There are various issues from Firewalls, Dynamic and Public IP addresses and Dynamic DNS registration services. Plus setting up a VPN to ensure your data is secure, will just add another layer to the complexity.
Tip! Sending or Pushing data back to a server or your e-mail address over 3G or 4G is fairly easy, a standard data SIM card can usually handle this with ease.
It becomes more complicated when you want to "Remotely" access the data logger at any time. So consider if you really need this access and what you need this access for. It might be possible that the data logger could be configured to send alerts or alarm messages to same the manual remote monitoring.
Satellite communications are available, although they only seemed to be used when absolutely necessary. It would best to contact us to discuss this one.
See more about calibration here.
So ensure you purchase a data logger from someone that has good product and industry knowledge and doesn't need to refer back the often overseas manufacturer for the simplest of questions.
While some small low cost data loggers are simple to use, others can be a little tricky at first. So being able to pick up the phone or send off a quick email to ask a question from someone with industry experience and good product knowledge will ultimately save you time and money.
Other issues like firmware and software updates, Windows updates or even "I haven't used the data logger for a while" will also benefit from good quality local support to keep your data logger running nicely.
Lontek has been selling and specialising in data loggers for over 15 years. We have an extensive Electrical and Electronics background. This technical experience allows our sales & technical staff to assist customers with confidence. We stand by the products we sell and we do our very best to recommend a suitable product from our range.
If we are not 100% sure a product can perform the required task, we will set up a data logger to prove it first. Purchase a unit you know will be fit for purpose!
In conjunction with our partner company LabCraft, Lontek can supply, install and commission your next project or simply just supply all of your data logging equipment.