LabJack T8

Available, Early Release. Please see the T8 Release Status page for any known limitations. The LabJack T8 is the new flagship T-Series device adding powerful features including:

  • 8x isolated analog inputs (AIN) with simultaneous sampling.
  • ±1 kV AIN isolation channel-to-channel and channel-to-ground.
  • Top performance for thermocouples, load cells, bridge circuits, and more.
  • 8x 24-bit ΣΔ ADCs (up to 40k samples/s/ch).
  • 10+ AIN voltage ranges: ±11V, to ±0.18V.
  • 2 analog outputs (16-bit, 0-10V) with 20 mA drive.
  • 20 digital I/O similar to the T7.
  • Lua scripts are faster with 5x the code space than the T7.
  • 3.3V fixed voltage outputs for excitation.
  • Supported by LJM. LabJack's free, 3rd generation, cross-platform driver/library/API for simplifying device communication.
  • Industrial temperature range (-40 to +85C).
  • USB & Ethernet.
  • Built-in Power over Ethernet (PoE), or power through USB connection.

Datasheet & Support

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Stock status: In Stock

  • Hardware Overview
  • Analog I/O
  • Digital I/O
  • Software & Support
  • T8 FAQs
Hardware Overview
  • Hardware Overview
  • Analog I/O
  • Digital I/O
  • Software & Support
  • T8 FAQs

Isolated, Simultaneous, High Speed Analog & Digital Measurements

The LabJack T8 is our 2022 new flagship device, capable of collecting signals from virtually any kind of sensor. With instrumentation amplified inputs, software selectable gain settings, many digital I/O features, and a Modbus TCP front-end, the T8 is our most versatile multifunction DAQ platform. Common applications include sampling large industrial signals requiring electrical isolation and/or precision timing including EV battery testing, industrial control and monitoring, automated testing, and prototype development. Additionally, T8 devices are capable of stand-alone operation by running Lua scripts and include 5x more space for Lua scripts than other T-Series devices.
Isolated, Simultaneous, High Speed Analog & Digital Measurements

T8 Analog Input Features

  • 8 Fully Isolated, differential Analog Inputs built in
    • 1kV channel-to-channel and channel-to-ground isolation
  • 24-bit high-speed ADC (up to 40,000 samples per second per channel) (Appendix A-1)
  • Simultaneous, independent ADC per channel
  • Software Configurable Resolution Settings
  • Voltage Ranges: ±11V, ±9.7V, ±4.8V, ±2.4V,±1.2V, ±0.6V, ±0.3V, ±0.15V,±0.075V, ±0.036V, and ±0.018V (Appendix A-3-3)
  • All analog input features are software programmable by configuring the Analog Input Registers
  • High speed sampling configurable by using Stream Mode. Speeds up to 40kS/s/Ch
  • Low Latency Sampling and Control (less than 1ms) is made easy with Command-Response Modbus messages
  • Easy integration with sensors like thermocouples, load cells, bridges, and more Explore LabJack's Sensor App-Notes

T8 Analog Outputs

  • 2 analog outputs (16-bit, 0-10V)
  • Waveform generation via Stream Out
  • Source Impedance/Load Current compensated up to 20mA
  • Vout Min -0.0 Vout Max 10.0

The DACs on the T8 use additional power systems to output voltage levels above and below the supply. This allows the T8 to output approximately -0.1 to 10 V as long as the supply voltage is within the valid operating range.

The DACs on the T8 have good load regulation. Very little voltage drop is expected up to 20mA, usually 1-2 mV.

See Appendix A-4 for more information.

 

T8 Digital I/O

  • 20 Digital I/O-Use our CB15 Terminal Board for access to all DIO
  • Supports SPI, I2C, and more... (Master Only)
  • up to 9 PWM Outputs with individual phase control
  • up to 9 Pulse Outputs with configurable number, frequency, and width
  • up to 9 Frequency Inputs returning both frequency and period
  • up to 9 Pulse Width Inputs measuring time spent high and low as well as duty cycle
  • up to 3 pairs Line-to-Line Inputs measuring the time between edges on 2 different lines
  • up to 8 High-Speed Counters
  • up to 16 Software Counters with debounce capabilities
  • up to 8 Pairs of Quadrature Inputs
Many of these DIO Extended Features share pins and cannot be used at the same time. See the DIO Extended Features section of the T8's datasheet

Digital I/O Overview (T-Series Devices)


Basics: Individual digital I/O lines can be set to digital input or digital output. DIO is a generic name used for all digital I/O.

Common Uses: For wiring information on open-collector signals, driven signals, controlling relays, and mechanical switches, see the Digital I/O (App Note).

How to read and write DIO: See 3.0 Communication for communication basics. Also, LabJack Kipling's Dashboard tab shows live DIO values.

DIO Extended Features: T-series DIO Extended Features expose more complicated features such as:

  • Timers, Counters, PWM, Quadrature Input, and more.

Digital Communication Protocols: T-series DIO lines can also be used to communicate with a large number of sensors that require the use of various digital communication protocols. The T-series devices implement the following protocols:

T8 Release Status

Summary

The T8 is in an early release state. Please keep this in mind before ordering. T8 firmware and LJM support are currently in beta. Below are the support resources necessary to use the T8 with LJM. T8 specifications will be added to the T-series datasheet as they are defined.


While the T8 is in an early release state, apply the coupon code T8EarlyRelease for 25% off the price of the T8.

 

T8 Limitations

There are some unique limitations to the T8 when compared to our other devices. Please note these limitations before purchase.

  • Limitations with Streaming Data Rates:
    Sampling any AIN channel on the T8 using stream mode acquisition will return the simultaneously sampled data for all 8 AIN channels. When streaming at 40 kHz with 8 channels of data being read, the T8 will need to transfer 960+ kilobytes per second to avoid a stream buffer overflow. As such, high stream rates are only possible when certain communication requirements are met.
    High stream rates cannot be used reliably under any of the following conditions:
    • When there is a WiFi hop in the Ethernet network.
    • When the connection crosses subnets.
    • If there are any other network conditions that can cause long round trip times.
    High stream rates can be used reliably under either of the following conditions:
    • When using a fully wired Ethernet connection from T8 to a switch and/or a computer.
    • When using a USB 3.0 port connected through a powered hub.
  • The first ~3 AIN stream samples return invalid data.
    It takes ~3 samples for the T8 ADC filter system to start working properly after starting stream. The only recourse is to discard the first couple of readings. We will be investigating ways to reduce the impact of this limitation.
  • TEMPERATURE#(0:8) registers do not return valid results when sampling at rates faster than 250Hz (register behavior changed in 1.0004):
    The 250 Hz limit is a hardware limitation. As of firmware 1.0004, the TEMPERATURE#(0:8) registers will return -9999 when the sampling rate is higher than 250 Hz. This is in contrast to earlier firmware versions, which simply return an incorrect value.

  • While streaming, temperature and AIN registers cannot be read outside of stream:
    This is a limitation of the stream/AIN timing system. The temperature register readings make use of the analog input system. Temperature sensor readings are acquired simultaneously whenever the AIN are sampled and vise-versa. Stream uses the AIN clock system, resulting in erroneous measurements when reading AIN outside of stream. We will most likely resolve this problem by adding better error handling such that trying to read the AIN or temperature registers outside of stream will cause an error.
  • The T8 analog inputs cannot be read (via command-response) when a stream output operation is in progress.

 

Planned T8 Functionality

There is some functionality currently available on the T7 that we plan to support on the T8, but that we have not fully implemented yet:

  • AIN_EF
  • Triggered Stream
  • Externally Clocked Stream
  • Dallas 1-Wire Protocol
  • Asynchronous Serial Communications
  • Software-based Watchdog Timer
  • IO_CONFIG_SET_CURRENT_TO_ registers are currently unsupported. IO_CONFIG_SET_DEFAULT_TO_  registers are currently supported.
  • Power Registers:
    Currently, trying to read or write power registers such as POWER_ETHERNET will cause an illegal data address error. We have not decided whether this will be a T7 and T4 only register, or if we will implement it for the T8.

 

Quickstart

We recommend all new customers go through our T8 Quickstart Tutorial.

 

LJM Installers

LJM support for the T8 is currently limited to Windows and Linux x86_64. Please use one of the following installers, no other installers will work with the T8:

Windows: https://files.labjack.com/installers/T8/LabJack-1-22-00.exe

Linux x86_64: https://files.labjack.com/installers/T8/labjack_ljm_1.22.0.tar.gz

Known Issues:

There are currently no known LJM issues.

 

Firmware

T8 firmware is field upgradable. We release new firmware versions as new functionality and bug fixes become available. As new firmware versions are released, they will be made available for download at https://files.labjack.com/firmware/T8.
Latest version: 1.0007

Current Issues:

  • StreamBurst causes the error STREAM_BURST_COMPLETE to be returned if you try to run a regular stream after StreamBurst.

    • Cannot start stream for some combinations of number of points and rates:
      Certain stream scan rates can cause the errors LJME_COULD_NOT_START_STREAM or LJME_RECONNECT_FAILED when starting stream.


    Resolved Issues:

    • Reading the AIN will now throw an error if the AIN system is not properly configured (1.0007).
    • Some Digital I/O channels cannot be targeted as a stream address (fixed in 1.0007):
      Trying to add some digital I/O channels such as DIO0_EF_READ_A causes an illegal data address error. Note: T8 DIO_EF should be functional outside of stream mode.
    • Modified the stream packet sizes to increase the T8 network stack reliability (1.0006)
    • After streaming, temperature registers can return improper values (fixed in 1.0003).

    • Ethernet Reconnect (fixed in 1.0002): After closing an Ethernet socket, the T8 will need 30 seconds before that socket can reliably be connected to again. Shorter times will occasionally work. The probability of getting a good connection increases from ~10-20% at 2 seconds to 100% at 30 seconds. This also applies to streaming over Ethernet. Stream data is transmitted over a second TCP socket. LJM will automatically open and close that socket when stream is started and stopped.

    • AIN_RANGE broken (fixed in 1.000):
      Valid AIN results are only obtained when using the ±11V range setting, any other AIN#_RANGE setting results in incorrect measurement values.

    Software & Drivers

    Recommended Software

    Though LabJack devices can be used with a variety of software options, we recommend the following—unless you already know what software you'd like to use.

    If you'd like a graphical application for device configuration or basic data collection, see the available LabJack applications.

    If you'd like to write a program for custom behavior, LabJack recommends the following:

    T-Series (T4, T7, T7-Pro, T8)

    Windows, Linux, and macOS: LJM library (C/C++) or any LJM language wrapper.

    For the full list, see the T-series software options.

    What is LJM?

    LJM Library

    LJM is LabJack's free, cross-platform driver / library for simplifying device communication. It supports the LabJack T4 and T7 series and T8 devices.

     

    Download

    See the LJM installer page to download.

    Documentation

    See the LJM User's Guide.

    Features

    Cross-Platform

    Support for Windows, macOS, and Linux allows for the same code to be run on different operating systems with the same results, whether it's on your Windows desktop, MacBook laptop, or Raspberry Pi running a distribution of Linux.

    Supported In Multiple Languages

    Written in C++ with a C API, LabJack maintains and supports wrappers for many programing languages.

     

    C# .NET

    using LabJack;
    
        ...
    
        int handle;
        LJM.OpenS("T7", "USB", "ANY", ref handle);
    
        // Read the voltage on AIN0
        double voltage;
        LJM.eReadName(handle, "AIN0", ref voltage);
    
        ...
    

     

    For more LJM C# .NET code, see the C# .NET Examples page.

    Some other supported languages:

    LJM's API allows for easy integration into most languages. If the language you use isn't currently supported, feel free to contact us for assistance in integrating LJM into your project.

    LJM Is For Any Level Of Expertise

    You don't need to be familiar with Modbus to use LJM. Simply use LJM's Easy Functions for direct access to all the features your LabJack device provides.

    If you do prefer to use Modbus, LJM's Raw Byte Functions provide byte-level control to manually send and receive Modbus packets.

    T8 Release Status

    Summary

    The T8 is in an early release state. Please keep this in mind before ordering. T8 firmware and LJM support are currently in beta. Below are the support resources necessary to use the T8 with LJM. T8 specifications will be added to the T-series datasheet as they are defined.


    While the T8 is in an early release state, apply the coupon code T8EarlyRelease for 25% off the price of the T8.

     

    T8 Limitations

    There are some unique limitations to the T8 when compared to our other devices. Please note these limitations before purchase.

    • Limitations with Streaming Data Rates:
      Sampling any AIN channel on the T8 using stream mode acquisition will return the simultaneously sampled data for all 8 AIN channels. When streaming at 40 kHz with 8 channels of data being read, the T8 will need to transfer 960+ kilobytes per second to avoid a stream buffer overflow. As such, high stream rates are only possible when certain communication requirements are met.
      High stream rates cannot be used reliably under any of the following conditions:
      • When there is a WiFi hop in the Ethernet network.
      • When the connection crosses subnets.
      • If there are any other network conditions that can cause long round trip times.
      High stream rates can be used reliably under either of the following conditions:
      • When using a fully wired Ethernet connection from T8 to a switch and/or a computer.
      • When using a USB 3.0 port connected through a powered hub.
    • The first ~3 AIN stream samples return invalid data.
      It takes ~3 samples for the T8 ADC filter system to start working properly after starting stream. The only recourse is to discard the first couple of readings. We will be investigating ways to reduce the impact of this limitation.
    • TEMPERATURE#(0:8) registers do not return valid results when sampling at rates faster than 250Hz (register behavior changed in 1.0004):
      The 250 Hz limit is a hardware limitation. As of firmware 1.0004, the TEMPERATURE#(0:8) registers will return -9999 when the sampling rate is higher than 250 Hz. This is in contrast to earlier firmware versions, which simply return an incorrect value.

    • While streaming, temperature and AIN registers cannot be read outside of stream:
      This is a limitation of the stream/AIN timing system. The temperature register readings make use of the analog input system. Temperature sensor readings are acquired simultaneously whenever the AIN are sampled and vise-versa. Stream uses the AIN clock system, resulting in erroneous measurements when reading AIN outside of stream. We will most likely resolve this problem by adding better error handling such that trying to read the AIN or temperature registers outside of stream will cause an error.
    • The T8 analog inputs cannot be read (via command-response) when a stream output operation is in progress.

     

    Planned T8 Functionality

    There is some functionality currently available on the T7 that we plan to support on the T8, but that we have not fully implemented yet:

    • AIN_EF
    • Triggered Stream
    • Externally Clocked Stream
    • Dallas 1-Wire Protocol
    • Asynchronous Serial Communications
    • Software-based Watchdog Timer
    • IO_CONFIG_SET_CURRENT_TO_ registers are currently unsupported. IO_CONFIG_SET_DEFAULT_TO_  registers are currently supported.
    • Power Registers:
      Currently, trying to read or write power registers such as POWER_ETHERNET will cause an illegal data address error. We have not decided whether this will be a T7 and T4 only register, or if we will implement it for the T8.

     

    Quickstart

    We recommend all new customers go through our T8 Quickstart Tutorial.

     

    LJM Installers

    LJM support for the T8 is currently limited to Windows and Linux x86_64. Please use one of the following installers, no other installers will work with the T8:

    Windows: https://files.labjack.com/installers/T8/LabJack-1-22-00.exe

    Linux x86_64: https://files.labjack.com/installers/T8/labjack_ljm_1.22.0.tar.gz

    Known Issues:

    There are currently no known LJM issues.

     

    Firmware

    T8 firmware is field upgradable. We release new firmware versions as new functionality and bug fixes become available. As new firmware versions are released, they will be made available for download at https://files.labjack.com/firmware/T8.
    Latest version: 1.0007

    Current Issues:

    • StreamBurst causes the error STREAM_BURST_COMPLETE to be returned if you try to run a regular stream after StreamBurst.

      • Cannot start stream for some combinations of number of points and rates:
        Certain stream scan rates can cause the errors LJME_COULD_NOT_START_STREAM or LJME_RECONNECT_FAILED when starting stream.


      Resolved Issues:

      • Reading the AIN will now throw an error if the AIN system is not properly configured (1.0007).
      • Some Digital I/O channels cannot be targeted as a stream address (fixed in 1.0007):
        Trying to add some digital I/O channels such as DIO0_EF_READ_A causes an illegal data address error. Note: T8 DIO_EF should be functional outside of stream mode.
      • Modified the stream packet sizes to increase the T8 network stack reliability (1.0006)
      • After streaming, temperature registers can return improper values (fixed in 1.0003).

      • Ethernet Reconnect (fixed in 1.0002): After closing an Ethernet socket, the T8 will need 30 seconds before that socket can reliably be connected to again. Shorter times will occasionally work. The probability of getting a good connection increases from ~10-20% at 2 seconds to 100% at 30 seconds. This also applies to streaming over Ethernet. Stream data is transmitted over a second TCP socket. LJM will automatically open and close that socket when stream is started and stopped.

      • AIN_RANGE broken (fixed in 1.000):
        Valid AIN results are only obtained when using the ±11V range setting, any other AIN#_RANGE setting results in incorrect measurement values.

      Compliance, Conformity, Country of Origin, MTBF, EOL

      Many of our products have been tested for CE marking, which reflects FCC compliance, EMC (electromagnetic compatibility), EMI (electromagnetic interference), RF emissions, RF immunity, and the ability to survive ESD (electrostatic discharge).  Part of the CE mark is a Declaration of Conformity where we describe the standards LabJack devices are tested to meet. Our Declarations of Conformity can be found below.

      All LabJack-branded products are CEREACH, RoHS2, and CFM (conflict-free minerals) compliant.

       

      CE Declarations of Conformity: T7

       

      Attached is our conflict minerals (CM) policy document and our conflict minerals reporting template (CMRT).

       

      Attached below is a document stating RoHS and REACH compliance.

       

      Attached below is a document stating compliance with the Toxic Substance Control Act (Code 40, Part 751).

       

      Attached below is a document stating compliance with the United States California Proposition 65 Act.

       

      Letters of volatility describe the various memory within a device, what is volatile and what is non-volatile, how information can be stored in memory, and how memory can be cleared.  Letters of volatility are attached below, and if your device is not listed contact us and we can add it.

       

      Also called a Certificate of Conformity, Certificate of Compliance, or CoC. This is a simple industry standard document stating that our products comply with our standards for quality, specifications and workmanship.  A blanket CoC is attached to this page.  If you need a different variation please contact us.  Also attached is a CoC from Electronic Innovations (EIC).

       

      All LabJack products are low voltage, therefore these electrical safety standards do not apply.  In the case of the RB12 and RB16, modules provided by other manufacturers might have a UL listing or similar.

       

      LabJack's red enclosures:  UL 94 HB, Sabic Polycarbonate Lexan 143R, E75735.
      LabJack's PCBs:  UL 94V-0, E304660 (M1 or N2).
      Screw Terminals:  UL 94V-0, Thermoplastic, E245249.
      Snaptrack:  UL 94V-0, PVC, E58648.
      RB12/UE9 Power Jack:  UL 94V-0, PBT 4815, E59481.
      USB Connector:  E59481, PBT UL 94V Rated
      Pin Headers:  E53664, 30% Glass Fiber PBT

       

      Per export definitions, the official Country of Origin for most LabJack-branded products is USA.  The only exceptions are the 2034DZ and 2034CAZ temperature probes, which are China.

      All software written by LabJack also has the Country of Origin of USA.

      We do not claim the phrase "Made in the USA". This special designation requires that all raw materials are mined in the USA, and that all chips and components are manufactured in the USA. That is not feasible for any electronic devices.

       

      Export codes are assigned to everything we sell.  For example, the schedule B code for the T7 is 8471.60.1050 and applies to the entire package including the T7 itself, power supply, USB cable, Ethernet cable, screwdriver, packaging, firmware and software.  Firmware and software are part of our hardware.  We do not sell any firmware and software so these do not have their own export codes.

      Schedule B / HS / HTS:
      Main Devices (U3, T7, etc.):  8471.60.1050
      Accessories designed for use with LJ main devices:  8473.30.0002
      Sensors & Probes (LM34, EI-1022, EI-1034, EI-1050, 2034DZ, 2034CAZ):  9031.49.8000
      3rd Party:  Codes provided by manufacturer

      ECCN:
      4A994.a
      Which means license is NLR (no license required) as long as we don't export to the prohibited countries.

      Prohibited Countries:
      Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan and Syria

      ITAR:
      Does not apply to our products

       

      Below are the production statuses for all data acquisition (DAQ) devices ever made by LabJack:

      • U12 (2001): NRND (Not Recommended for New Designs). No plans to discontinue. This is our oldest device, and we have newer devices that are recommended for new users. As of this writing there is no indication that any major sub-components will become unavailable.
      • UE9 (2004): NLA (No Longer Available as of March 2022).  Many parts required to build the UE9 have been discontinued by their manufacturers. Production of the UE9 has become increasingly difficult and expensive, if not impossible. The T7 is a newer (not drop-in) replacement that is superior in every way including cost.
      • U3 (2006): Active. All variations of U3-HV and U3-LV. Estimated time horizon of 2030, due to production ending for the main microcontroller. See Section 2.13 of the U3 Datasheet for information about older hardware variations.
      • U6 (2009): Active. All variations. Estimated time horizon of 2030, due to production ending for the main microcontroller.
      • T7 (2013): Active. All variations. No plans to discontinue.
      • T4 (2017): Active. All variations. No plans to discontinue.

      Production status of other devices made or sold by LabJack:

      Limited Availability Notice, EI-1040:
      The EI-1040 dual instrumentation amplifier, manufactured by Electronic Innovations Corporation and sold by LabJack, is at the end of production. Estimated time of NLA (no longer available) is Spring 2023.

      End Of Life (EOL) Notice, EI-1050:
      NLA (No Longer Available):  The EI-1050, manufactured by Electronic Innovations Corporation and sold by LabJack, has been discontinued. The Sensirion sensor it uses is no longer available.  The EI-1050 Datasheet has information about alternate devices.

      End of Life (EOL) Notice, EB37:
      NLA (No Longer Available): The LabJack EB37 evaluation board has been discontinued as of May 2022.

       

      LabJack has not done official MTBF analysis or testing for any devices. LabJack devices are made of normal semiconductor components, and do not use any components with a rating in terms of limited lifetime.  It is rare for our devices to fail on their own.  Overwhelmingly, the failed devices we see have damage that can be attributed to an out-of-spec voltage or current that has been introduced to the device from some external source. This is the nature of data acquisition devices with user controlled connections spanning from communications, power, ground, and I/O.

      The following link mentions a DoD document that could be used to generate an MTBF number based on statistical models:

      http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/105781/MTBF

      Below is a quote from someone at a major university who needed to assign an MTBF to our products:

      "Typically, for an electronic device such as yours, with off the shelf components, and with an approximate number of parts-by-count of roughly 50, I should expect an MTBF of 30K~75k hours. I'll probably utilize some figure within that range."

      50k hours is about 6 years of continuous use, which we can say from experience is too low.  We would estimate that operating 100 devices continuously for 10 years would result in 10 failures not due to external forces, and thus our estimate for statistical MTBF would be 500k hours or 57 years.

      Returns & Exchanges

      Return Policy

      Everything LabJack sells has a 60-day money-back guarantee and 5-year warranty.  Put LabJack to the test. Evaluate our hardware, software, documentation, customer service and support.  You can request a full refund if you are not satisfied with a product for any reason. Refund requests are initiated from your LabJack account

      *Please Note

      LabJack does not resell any returned products. Don't worry, we also don't discard used LabJacks. Returns are earmarked for donations to STEM students, educators and student led engineering teams. 

      Exchanges

      Product exchanges are treated as returns and a new purchase.  Return your unwanted device for a refund, and place a new order for the device or devices that better suit your needs. 

      Can LabJack be used for Industrial Applications?

      LabJack Devices:
      • Can comfortably operate within the industrial temperature range (-40°C to 85C)
      • Are capable of being mounted via DIN Rail/Snap track
      • Integrate with Voltage Dividers for 24+ Volt signals
      • NEMA 3 (or greater) enclosures recommended for any outdoor or indoor applications with dust, debris or in condensing humidity environments
      • All LabJack products are covered by our industry leading 5 year warranty
      • Have OEM Versions available for custom and embedded applications. 
      • Drawings and CAD Models Provided 
      • LabJack products are very robust, but subject to the influence of user connections.
      • LabJack is not liable for any losses, expenses or damages beyond the LabJack device itself.  See our Limitation of Liability for more details.

      What Can I Do with a LabJack?

      Read the output of sensors which measure voltage, current, power, temperature, humidity, wind speed, force, pressure, strain, acceleration, RPM, light intensity, sound intensity, gas concentration, position, and many more. A LabJack brings this data into a PC where it can be stored and processed as desired.

      Control things like motors, lights, solenoids, relays, valves, and more.

      What does 12- or 16-bit resolution mean?

      What is resolution?

      Resolution in this context refers to the conversion of an analog voltage to a digital value in a computer (and vice versa). A computer is a digital machine and thus stores a number as a series of ones and zeroes. If you are storing a digital 2-bit number you can store 4 different values: 00, 01, 10, or 11. Now, say you have a device which converts an analog voltage between 0 and 10 volts into a 2-bit digital value for storage in a computer. This device will give digital values as follows:

      Voltage 2-Bit Digital Representation

      0 to 2.5
      2.5 to 5
      5 to 7.5
      7.5 to 10

      00
      01
      10
      11

      So in this example, the 2-bit digital value can represent 4 different numbers, and the voltage input range of 0 to 10 volts is divided into 4 pieces giving a voltage resolution of 2.5 volts per bit. A 3-bit digital value can represent 8 (23) different numbers. A 12-bit digital value can represent 4096 (212) different numbers. A 16-bit digital value can represent 65536 (216) different numbers. It might occur to you at this point that a digital input could be thought of as a 1-bit analog to digital converter. Low voltages give a 0 and high voltages give a 1.

      In the case of the LabJack U12, a single-ended analog input has a voltage range of -10 volts to +10 volts (20 volt total span) and returns a 12-bit value. This gives a voltage resolution of 20/4096 or 0.00488 volts per bit (4.88 mV/bit).

       

      What does it mean to say a device is 12-bit, 16-bit, or 24-bit?

      When you see analog input DAQ devices from various manufacturers called 12-bit, 16-bit, or 24-bit, it generally just means they have an ADC (analog to digital converter) that returns that many bits.  When an ADC chip returns 16 bits, it is probably better than a 12-bit converter, but not always.  The simple fact that a converter returns 16-bits says little about the quality of those bits.

      It is hard to simply state "the resolution" of a given device. What we like to do, is provide actual measured data that tells you the resolution of a device including typical inherent noise.

      If you look at a device called "24-bit" just because it has a converter that returns 24-bits of data per sample, you will find that it typically provides 20 bits effective or 18 bits error-free (like the UE9-Pro).  The U6-Pro and T7-Pro provide some of the best performance around from a 24-bit ADC, and they do about 22 bits effective or 20 bits error-free.  You will see with these devices we might mention they have a 24-bit ADC (as that is what people look and search for), but we try not to call them "24-bit" and try to stick with the effective resolution.

      Another interesting thing about your typical 24-bit sigma-delta converter, is that you can look at them as only having a 1-bit ADC inside, but with timing and math they can produce 24-bit readings:


      https://www.maximintegrated.com/en/design/technical-documents/tutorials/1/1870.html


      Additional Information

      Additional device-specific resolution information can be found in the respective device datasheet:

      U3 Resolution

      U6 Resolution

      UE9 Resolution

      T4 Resolution

      T7 Resolution

      Why LabJack?

      Legendary Support

      • Email responses that actually answer your question.
      • Free lifetime support includes (some) engineering design help.
      • The engineers who made the product also respond to your questions.
      • Should your LabJack misbehave, we offer free RMA diagnostics & repairs.

       

      Flexibility

      • Software integrates easily. We don't force you into a certain software, programming environment or operating system.
        • LabVIEW, C++, MATLAB, Python, Java, .NET, Delphi, Visual Basic, VB6, VBA, and more examples
        • Linux, macOS, Windows
      • Add new kinds of sensors on-the-fly. We provide inexpensive signal conditioning modules.
      • Control valves, motors, lights, pumps, etc - using one of many digital I/O control options.
      • Incorporate LabJack DAQ hardware using our OEM options.

      Solutions over Show

      • Our engineers speak directly.
        • Just the information you need to make an informed choice.
        • No marketing fluff, no empty promises
      • Fair prices, nothing hidden, no extended warranties, no salesmen, no haggling, no pressure.
      • We are an independent small business in Colorado who only answers to YOU our customer 

       LabJack Team Photo

      How Do I Get In Contact with LabJack?

      We believe written communication (live chat, email) is the best way to provide the best support. We can take a moment to research/test as needed, we can provide links to the extensive documentation on our site, we get a record of everything that was discussed, and we can easily loop in multiple engineers as needed. Of course, you are welcome to call us or schedule a consultation and we will do our best to help.

      Live Chat

      Hop on a live chat with the engineers who design and develop our products here in Colorado, USA. We are on chat Monday through Friday from 9-11 am and 2-4 pm, Denver time. Look for the chat bar at the bottom-right of every page at labjack.com

      Contact Form

      For technical questions or any other kind of question, please fill out our contact page or email us support@labjack.com

      What is an analog input? (AI, AIN, ADC)

      AI or AIN = Analog Input
      ADC = Analog to Digital Converter

      An analog input converts a voltage level into a digital value that can be stored and processed in a computer. Why would you want to measure voltages? There are a multitude of sensors available which convert things like temperature, pressure, etc. into voltages.  The voltages can then be easily measured by various kinds of hardware, such as a LabJack U3-HV, and then read into a computer.  The computer can then convert the voltage value into it's original type (temperature, pressure, etc) and the value can then be stored in a file, emailed to someone, or used to control something else outside of the computer.

      Example:

      Analog Input Example

      Get temperature from a sensor using an analog input.

      1. Wire the output of the analog temperature sensor to a U3-HV as shown.
      2. Read the voltage on the computer to know the current temperature. 
      3. This particular sensor outputs 0.01 volts per °F, so 0.76V corresponds with 76°F.

      Explore LabJack's Analog Input App Note

      How Can I Get a Free LabJack Shirt or Hat?

      LabJack offers a variety of hats, shirts and other "merch" for our raving fans and supporters who will wear it with pride. Request one by entering a comment with your next order or email us and ask nicely.

      T8 Features

      High Performance, Isolated, Simultaneous Sampling

      T8 Features

      Isolated Analog Inputs

      8 analog inputs. Simultaneous sampling and ±1 kV isolation channel-to-channel and channel-to-ground. Top performance for many applications including thermocouples, load cells, and bridge circuits.

      Explore more

      8 ADCs for Simultaneous Sampling

      8x 24-bit ΣΔ ADCs can simultaneously sample at up to 40k samples/s/ch. 10+ different voltage ranges: ±11V, to ±0.18V

      Explore more

      2 Analog Outputs DACs

      2 analog outputs. 16-bit, 0-10V, and 20 mA drive.

      Explore more

      New, More Powerful Processor

      T-Series devices can execute Lua code to allow custom, independent operation. A Lua script can be used to collect data without a host computer or be used to perform complex tasks producing simple results that a host can read.

      Explore more

      Digital I/O Timers, Counters & More

      20 digital I/O. 8 on the screw terminals and 12 more on the DB15 connector. Some DIO can be configured as counters, frequency measurement, PWM, SPI, I2C and more.

      Explore more