Using multiple data loggers and oscilloscopes with PicoLog 6

So you’ve bought a Pico data logger and downloaded PicoLog 6, maybe to measure temperature using a TC-08 as part of design validation of an electronic device you are making. This will give you 8 channels of thermocouple logging which, to be honest, is enough for 60% of applications. What happens if your design grows in size and complexity, with more points to measure:  do you buy another logger to use with another PC? 

Just add loggers! 

PicoLog has been designed to be plug-and-play as well as flexible: just connect your new TC-08, add the channels you want and off you go. You can even add the new device while capturing data with the existing TC-08. The data from the new TC-08 appends to the current capture. All the features of PicoLog are available to all the loggers connected, and you can even create calculated math channels combining channels from different loggers.

Mix and match

It doesn’t stop there. Your design under test now requires more temperature points, or much more accurate temperature measurement or a strain gauge, pressure sensor, photodetector or any analog sensor that has a voltage output. You can add other Pico data loggers to new or existing captures that plot on the same graph so all your capture channels are time-correlated. Already own a PicoScope? Plug that in as well and use it as a data logger (albeit with sampling limited to 1 kS/s). We’ve decided to limit the number of instruments to 20 on one PC to keep reliability and performance within specifications. 

Laptops don’t have 20 USB ports

I know what you’re thinking… my PC doesn’t have 20 USB ports. Very true, but there are a couple of ways to achieve a higher USB port count and it doesn't have to cost the Earth. 

  1. A practical and inexpensive way to add 20 USB 2.0 ports using standard off the shelf daisy-chained mains-powered USB hubs (4-port and 7-port hubs), illustrated in the diagram below. Of course you may have to convert from a type-C port first depending on your laptop or PC specification:

  2. There is a range of more professional 10 and 20 port hubs available. These are a little more expensive but cut down on extra mains power adaptors and cables. The solution looks a little neater and often these hubs also come with additional features to reset ports individually.

Staying flexible

Mixing scopes and loggers doesn’t mean compromising on flexibility of capture settings. Every channel can be independently set up with its own capture rate, scaling files, input ranges, alarms and annotations, and you can even create calculated math channels combining channels from different loggers or oscilloscopes. 

If you're using loggers with different units, say temperature in Celsius from a TC-08, and pressure in bar using an ADC-24, remember you can organize the channels in up to 4 different axes in the graph view to keep the data you're viewing relevant and in focus.