Data Acquisition and Control guide series

03

The LabJack device family

In this lesson, I'll discuss the LabJack device family before I focus on the LabJack T4 for the remainder of this guide and course.

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Now, in this lesson, I will give you an overview of the various LabJack devices that are available at the time of writting.

LabJack T4 and T7

At the top of the LabJack list, you have the LabJack T7 and the LabJack T4. I'll be using the T4 throughout the remainder of the lessons of this guide, and lectures in the course.

These two devices have a few things in common.

First of all, they run a Modbus TCP server.

Second, they can run Lua scripts on the device itself.

Third, in addition to the standard USB port, they can communicate via Ethernet (both devices) and Wi-Fi for the T7.

LabJack U3 and U6

Next in line in terms of price and capabilities are the LabJack U3 and LabJack U6 devices. 

The U3 and U6 are very similar to T7 and T4, but they lack two important capabilities:

1. They only offer USB connectivity.

2. There is no Modbus server.

3. They don't have the ability to run Lua scripts on-board.

There is one U-series device, the LabJack UE9, which offers Ethernet capability.

Focus: LabJack U3 and U6

I'm will to focus on the LabJack T7 and LabJack T4, as these two are the most popular LabJack devices.

You can find detailed information on the features of these devices in the documentation, Section 1.1.

The LabJack T7 stands out against the T4 because of the larger number of ports that it contains. The T7 is a much larger device, physically, when compared to the T4.

The T7 has more analog inputs/outputs, more digital input/output, and more extended features. It can also perform more accurate measurements because of its higher resolution. You can see here in the documentation that the T7 has two DACs, and they have a resolution of 12 bits each. On the T4, the DAC has a resolution of 10 bit.

Worth noting is that there are two variants of the LabJack T7: T7 and T7 Pro. The T7 Pro has the capabilities of the T7 with the addition of WiFi, 24-bit low-speed sigma-delta ADC, a real-time clock with battery support (great for data logging), and an SD-card reader (also useful for data logging).

Here's a consise listing of the differences between LabJack T4, T7, and T7 Pro.

In the next lesson I will focus on the T4 specifications and get a closer look at this device since it is the one I'll be using.

"Data Acquisition and Control" series

Learn Data Acquisition and Control with LabJack

With this video course, you will learn how to use the LabJack device to perform data acquisition and control (DaQ) operations.

LabJack was designed to be robust and reliable, to work autonomously in harsh environments for a long period of time, and to have a lot of input/output ports able to connect to a huge range of sensors and actuators.

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