LabJack devices are powerful, flexible tools, designed to increase the efficiency of your work by placing data quickly and easily at your fingertips. Since 2001, professionals of many disciplines have used LabJack data acquisition hardware for countless applications, such as CNC integration, water cooling your PC or automating tedious testing protocols. Here are 9 of the most common applications, with links to detailed application-specific guides and examples.
LabJacks are powerful because they integrate with software and act as the bridge between your I/O (sensors, transducers, relays, motors) and your computer.
1. Recording and Logging Temperature
Applications include thermocouples, resistance temperature detectors (RTDs), thermistors and silicon analog sensors.
Temperature measurement is among the most common and important functions of data acquisition and control systems. Through many years of industry experience, LabJack has been able to consider the wide variety of applications for LabJack products. As a result:
- LabJack engineers provide a complete library of application notes for temperature sensors, including a specific Thermocouple App Note. These instructions provide an easy-to-follow setup and troubleshooting guide for each device in our line up.
- Select LabJack models can amplify the tiny voltages generated by thermocouples to immediately display the most accurate temperature reading.
2. Controlling relays
Being able to control relays offers an easy way to add safety shut-offs in high voltage/power applications. Each LabJack device offers 5 relay control options:
- LJ-Tick RelayDriver Accessory
- PS12DC Power Switching Board
- RB12 Relay Board for controlling up to 12 G4 series relays
- Directly with Analog Outputs (DAC lines)
- Directly with Digital I/O (example setup below)
3. Controlling Motors
LabJack devices can be used to control various types of motors, including stepper motors and PID controllers. In addition, LabJack devices can output PWM signals for accurate duty cycle control, voltage regulation and motor speed control for maximum torque at low speeds.
4. Controlling actuators
- LabJack devices include two analog outputs (DACs) capable of pushing up to 20mA of current 0-5V.
- For applications requiring up to 10v or more than 2 outputs, LabJack offers the LJTick-DAC. This allows for the expansion of up to 20 analog outputs on your LabJack.
5. Reading and controlling Digital I/O
LabJack devices have up to 23 Digital I/O (DIO) lines that can control relays, driven signals, LEDs, switches and more. LabJack devices:
- Support I2C communication along with SPI, UART and other serial protocols.
- Operate on 3.3V logic.
- Offer accessories for those applications needing 5v, 2.5v or 1.8v logic levels.
- Read the complete LabJack serial protocols app note.
6. Reading encoders
LabJack will read all major types of encoders including absolute, incremental and rotary. Our encoder app note features a general overview on different types of encoders, how to properly wire them to a LabJack, and different ways to read and record data from encoders.
As always, our experienced team of hardware and software engineers is always available to help select the correct encoder for your application.
7. Reading analog inputs with precision
LabJack produces affordable, high-quality USB/Ethernet and WiFi capable data acquisition (DAQ) and control devices. We offer 12- 16- and 24-bit analog-to-digital (ADCs) converters for measuring voltage from nearly any analog sensor that outputs a voltage. This makes it very convenient to shop for sensors.
- Does it output a voltage? If so, it will work with LabJack hardware.
LabJack hardware can be connected to nearly any analog sensor. It may then be used for measuring natural phenomena such as humidity, viscosity, pressure, flow, air quality/VOC, position, displacement, light, wind speed or many other things.
Take a look at our Analog Input app note.
8. Measuring vibration
Since 2001, professionals have selected LabJack hardware as a tool to measure vibration using accelerometers. Accelerometers have many applications, including measuring the health of an industrial motor, movement inside an automotive test or harmonic movements of a dam or bridge. LabJack.com also has active forums monitored by our engineers such as this thread on the compatibility of a 3 axis accelerometer: Measuring Vibrations with LabJack T7
9. Generating sine, square triangle and rectangular waves
All LabJack devices include two on-board analog outputs (expandable using LJTick-DAC) capable of generating these waveforms. This feature is useful for testing amplifiers, error testing in a control loop, semiconductor testing, and other common electrical engineering applications. Our engineering team has a complete waveform generation app note outlining this process.
LabJack hardware can be used for many other applications in a wide range of industries from Aerospace, Defense, Manufacturing/Industrial, Information Technology, Biotechnology, Medical Robotics and more. Engineers, researchers, technicians and scientists will find LabJack data acquisition hardware a flexible, versatile, multipurpose tool. Our free software, drivers and legendary support, combined with an industry leading 5-year warranty, should be put to the test. Consider partnering with us on your next data acquisition project or automation application.