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Product Comparison: Delphin Expert Key and National Instruments NI-USB-6363

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(Archive News Story - Products mentioned in this Archive News Story may or may not be available from the manufacturer.)

CAS DataLoggers
12628 Chillcothe Rd., Unit J
Chesterland, OH, 44026

Press release date: June 8, 2011

CHESTERLAND OH - Customers are often faced with a bewildering array of options when trying to choose the most suitable data acquisition system for their specific application. Following is a brief comparison of specifications and capabilities between the Delphin Expert Key 100C and 100L USB/Ethernet, the latest generation of data acquisition equipment from Delphin Industries, and the NI-USB-6363, a multifunction data acquisition device in the X-series from National Instruments.

Delphin's Expert Key Type 100C and 100L come standard with a wide range of analog inputs and outputs which are commonly used in test engineering applications. Type 200C and 200L have 28 universal inputs and are intended primarily for analog data acquisition needs. The 100-200C are available in a panel mount enclosure, while the 100-200L are housed in a portable/bench top enclosure.

The National Instruments NI-USB-6363's timing and synchronization technology offers users advanced timing features, including independent analog and digital timing engines, retriggerable measurement tasks, and four counter/timers for increased functionality over past models. Housed in a redesigned mechanical enclosure, the NI also features a multicore-optimized driver and application software.

However, across many elements, the NI system has a much lower specification. The Expert Key has higher digital max input and output ranges at +-50 volts each against the NI's 0-5 volt ranges, and offers many more (28 vs. the NI's 16) isolated and differential inputs with higher 18-bit (vs. the NI's 16-bit) resolution - a difference which many users consider to be crucial to their applications. Equally importantly, the Delphin models' sensor connections are more flexible, accommodating a greater variety of sensor types. The Expert Key has universal inputs for Volt, TC, mA, RTD, and Ohm measurement, whereas the NI only supports Volt measurement. The NI has less hardware functions; in contrast, the Expert Key offers PWM output for engine speed control functions as well as galvanic isolation.

Considering the devices' communication options, the Expert Key is a multifunction USB and Ethernet AQ system, while the NI offers USB interface only. Expert Key systems can also be synchronized, which is not possible with NI units. The NI system does include NI Signal Streaming, a patented technology using message-based instructions and device-side intelligence to enable high-speed, bidirectional data transfer over USB. This allows users to concurrently transfer analog, digital, and counter data in both directions for data recording.

Data logging software and offered accessories are additional considerations. The Delphin models include an extensive software package, delivered with the powerful ProfiSignal Klicks programming software, the DataService Configurator, and many drivers. The NI system has no visualization, mimic or programming software included. The Expert Key also offers many more free accessories for added value, including the Expert Key's external power supply (9 to 24 VDC), USB cable, Type J thermocouple, wall mounting kit, and other equipment.

In conclusion, Delphin's Expert Key system, when compared against the NI-USB-6363, offers users more functions, more inputs and has greater flexibility to connect to many different sensor types. The Expert Key models comprise a lower-cost solution that provides sophisticated software and a greater selection of value-added accessories.

For further information on the Delphin Expert Key data acquisition devices, temperature monitoring solutions, cold chain logistics and transport applications, facilities monitoring and alarming, and data logging and remote monitoring applications, contact a CAS Data Logger Applications Specialist at (800) 956-4437 or visit the website at

Contact Information:
CAS DataLoggers, Inc.
12628 Chillicothe Road
Chesterland, Ohio 44026
(440) 729-2570
(800) 956-4437
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