We generally recommend a datalogger best suited to the project requirements; however, customers are welcome to request a datalogger of their choosing.
Dataloggers are devices that take measurements from sensors and store that data for later analysis, or for immediate transmission. Dataloggers are essential for any application involving the use of sensors. They are used with virtually any type of sensor, including those used in weather stations, irrigation, water monitoring, soil monitoring, automated control systems (SCADA), etc. There are two primary types of dataloggers—those that plug in to and can measure many sensors simultaneously, and those that are built into the sensor itself and record data from only that one sensor. Each is best for different applications. We usually recommend a datalogger to best suit our customers’ needs so they do not have to worry about it. However, some people prefer a specific type of datalogger for a number of reasons.
Intermountain Environmental has been selling, installing, programming and supporting dataloggers and data acquisition systems since 1993. We have chosen to sell and support the Campbell Scientific and Onset dataloggers. Below is a summary of their respective capabilities, uses, and advantages.
Campbell Scientific dataloggers are globally renowned for their accuracy, reliability, durability, and versatility. They can measure and record data from almost any sensor from almost any brand. This data is stored in a table and can be retrieved in person, over radio, or transmitted live over the internet, cellular network, or WiFi.
These dataloggers are usually powered with small solar panels, but can also be run on battery or AC power. They are easy to set up and use, but also allow for more advanced programming, calculations, and some models can be used in automated control systems (SCADA).
- Industry standard for datalogging
- Measures one or more sensors simultaneously
- Supports sensors of any type
- Fully supports third-party sensors
- Extremely durable and long-lasting (often exceeding 20 years)
- Easy programming with Short Cut
- Supports advanced programming
- Can run automated control systems (SCADA)
- Ideal for low-power solar systems
- Live transmission over radio or internet
- Expandable to support dozens of sensors concurrently
Onset (HOBO) sensors usually have their own built-in datalogger. This helps keeps the cost down and makes sensor installation very easy. Most of these sensors are powered by a built-in battery, with battery life of typically one year or more (depending on the sensor and use). In most cases, the data must be gathered in person, although some models feature Bluetooth wireless connectivity.
- Ideal for low-cost, single-sensor measurement
- Extremely easy setup and installation
- Dataloggers are built into the sensors
- Records data from one sensor
- Wide variety of HOBO sensors
- Easy setup, deployment, and data readout with HOBOware
- Battery-powered sensors
- Bluetooth wireless transmission available (some models)
Onset offers the HOBO RX3000 and the smaller HOBO H21 Micro Station data loggers. These data loggers record data from the Onset Smart Sensors, making these systems easy to set up. (The RX3000 can also support third-party sensors in much the same way as the Campbell Scientific dataloggers.)
The RX3000 can transmit data live live over ethernet, WiFi, or a cellular network.