Campbell Data Loggers 40 Years On

Back in 1975, Campbell Scientific introduced the CR5, which was the world’s first portable, and battery-powered data logger capable of performing time-averaged measurements from thermocouples, solar radiation sensors, and wind sensors requiring vector averaging.

Since that time the product range has developed and expanded. Technology has certainly advanced since 1975 but there are range-wide standards applied to current all Campbell loggers that have their roots back in those first products.  For example all Campbell Scientific data loggers:

  • The ability to measure most makes/types of electronic sensor.
  • Non-volatile data storage and integrated battery backed clock.
  • On-board data processing.
  • Measurement and control functions initiated by event or time.
  • The ability to control external devices such as pumps, motors or alarms.
  • Extensive and flexible functionality configured through our PC support software.
  • Can operate independently of ac power, computers or human interaction.
  • High power efficiency from a 12Vdc supply.
  • Wide choice of telemetry options
  • Wide operating temperature range of -25° to 50ºC – with an optional extended range available.

Comparison of Current Logger Line-Up

Feature

CR200X

CR800 Series

CR1000

CR3000

CR900X

Max Scan Rate (Hz)

1

100

100

100

100,000

Analogue Inputs

5 SE (no diff)

6 SE or 3 Diff

16 SE or 8 Diff

28 SE or 14 diff

28 SE or 14 diff per board

Pulse Counters

2

2

2

4

12 per CR9071

Switched Excitation Channels

2 Voltage

2 Voltage

3 Voltage

4 Voltage

3 Current

10 Voltage per CR9060

Digital Ports

1 I/Os

4 I/Os or

2 RS-232 COM

1 CS I/O, 1 RS-232

1 Parallel Peripheral

3 SDM, 8 I/Os or 4 RS-232 COM

1 SDM; 8 outputs per CR9060 or 16 I/Os per CR9070

Analogue Resolution

to 0.6 mV

to 0.33 µV

to 0.33 µV

to 0.33 µV

to 0.76 µV

Typical Current Drain (mA)

~0.2 (quiescent, no radio)

~3 (active, no radio)

~0.6 (sleep mode)

1 to 16 (w/o RS-232 comm)

17 to 28 (w/RS-232 comm.)

~0.6 (sleep mode)

1 to 16 (w/o RS-232 comm)

17 to 28 (w/RS-232 comm.)

2 (sleep mode)

3 (1 Hz sample rate)

10 (100 Hz sample rate)

750 to 1000 (processing)

750 to 4000 (analogue meas.)

SDI-12 Supported

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

PAKBUS Supported

Leaf node only

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

Modbus Supported

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

 

Communication and System Enhancing Peripherals

Whilst dataloggers can be considered the heart and brains of a data acquisition system there are a wide range of peripheral devices and accessories which can be deployed to enhance overall system capabilities.

Communication peripherals for example allow data to be retrieved either on-site or remotely. Campbell dataloggers offer multiple communication methods including direct connection, GSM/GPRS, IP, fixed line, RF, multi-drop and satellite.

Multiplexers and SDM devices extend the number of sensors that can be measured by a logger and there are devices which extend the available storage memory.

Vibrating wire interfaces such as the CDM-VW300, which allows dynamic measurement of VW gauges, or the AVW200, which uses spectral analysis techniques to all but eliminate noise and dramatically improve on the measurement resolution, open up the loggers for use in geotechnical and structural monitoring applications.

Datalogging Software

Campbell Scientific provides a range of software for logger programming, data management and for data display. The range includes free-to-use software for device configuration, direct data collection and Shortcut which provides simplified programming. More advanced users or those requiring remote data access or managing multiple stations will require one of the paid packages such as Loggernet.

Konect Global Data Service

Increasingly customers are opting to use a service such as Konect Global Data Service to retrieve, store and display data rather than building and maintaining their own communications infrastructure.

For a small monthly subscription Konect GDS collects and stores customer data in ultra-secure Microsoft Data Centres where it is routinely replicated and backed-up. Built-in quality control checks can be applied and alerts can be broadcast via SMS, email or through the Konect interface. Whilst a SIM for use across Europe can be supplied, and there are advantages for using such, customers can opt to use their own SIM if they prefer.

Data is accessed from any suitable internet enabled device via a suitable browser and is password secured. Data can be shared by as many others the user wishes to authorise at no additional cost. Konect GDS has graph and modular displays and allows simple and scheduled data export.

Major Applications

Campbell loggers are as at home in the lab or on a test bench as they are out in the field. However, their power efficiency and reliability has seen them most commonly deployed in the latter. Typical uses include environmental monitoring applications such as weather and climate studies; hydrology, soil science and plant physiology but also industrial applications such as structural and geotechnical monitoring and vehicle testing. 

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