One of the most frequently asked questions about LabJack devices is how fast they can sample 1 or more analog inputs (AINs). Sampling rate is a crucial factor when choosing a DAQ for your application.
What is a Sampling Rate?
A sampling rate is the number of discrete samples used to represent an analog signal. Sampling rate is often presented as a value in samples per second (SPS) or kilo-samples per second (kSPS). The higher the sampling rate of an analog input, the better the analog input can represent an analog signal, and the higher the input signal frequencies that can be captured.
LabJack AIN Sampling Rate
LabJack USB & Ethernet devices are designed to meet the diverse needs engineers; and as such, we offer a range of sampling speeds to accommodate different applications and budgets. Our entry-level devices have a maximum sampling speed of up to 50 kSPS, which is suitable for most data acquisition applications.
For more demanding applications that require higher precision and faster sampling, we offer devices with sampling speeds of up to 100 kSPS.
Command Response Mode Vs. Stream Mode
LabJack devices support two communication modes: command-response and stream. The maximum sampling rates specified for LabJack hardware are stream rates; command-response mode is not typically capable of the same sampling rates as stream mode. When using stream mode, the sampling rate is configured using timing hardware on the LabJack. When using command-response mode, the sampling rate is configured using software-based timing.
|Maximum Sample Speed in Stream Mode
|100 kSPS Aggregate
|100 kSPS Aggregate
|50 kSPS Aggregate
Factors Affecting Sampling Speed
While our devices offer dynamic sampling speeds, it's important to note that the actual achievable sampling speed can be influenced by several factors:
- Resolution: Higher resolution ADCs typically have slower sampling speeds due to the increased complexity of the conversion process.
- Number of Channels: It is also important to consider how many channels you are expecting to read and if you are trying to read them simultaneously. Most LabJack devices use dedicated ADCs with analog MUXs to switch between input channels (Very common in the world of electronics). This means that there is a delay in-between "multiple channel reads" called scan rate.
- Signal Conditioning: If your application requires signal conditioning or amplification, it may introduce additional delays that can affect the overall sampling speed.
Still not sure? Our team of engineers and support staff is easy to connect with and would be happy to provide guidance for your specific application.