dataTaker - Data Loggers, Powerful and Flexible Data Acquisition & Data Logging Systems

Programming the dataTaker

The dataTaker 50/500/505/515 and dataTaker 600/605/615 series of data loggers can all be supervised and programmed in either of two ways

using the DeTransfer software to enter simple English-like commands into the logger. Any terminal emulator or communications package can be used to program the dataTaker using these commands.

The dataTaker commands control the various functions of the logger, and are composed of printable ASCII characters. No special characters or coding techniques are necessary to program the logger.

The DePlot software can be used to chart data in realtime, or to chart stored data when it is later recovered from the logger.

using the DeLogger software, which provides a Graphics User Interface (GUI) from which to supervise and program the dataTaker.

The logger is programmed from an icon based programming module, and supervision of the logger is by point and click through various menus and toolbars.

DeLogger also incorporates charting modules, tabulation modules, mimics modules, spreadsheet modules and access to other software packages for visualization and presentation of data.

Both of these software applications will send commands and programs directly to the loggers. Both will also record programs into a memory card, which are read by the dataTaker when the memory card is later inserted into the card socket of the logger. In this way remote loggers can be programmed without need for a local computer.

DeTransfer and DeLogger

DeTransfer and DeLogger software run on any desktop or notebook computer running any Microsoft Windows operating system. Communications between DeTransfer or DeLogger and the dataTaker is via a serial cable connected between any COM port of the computer, and the RS232 COMMS serial interface of the logger.

The dataTaker data loggers are normally supplied with DeTransfer, DePlot and a basic version of DeLogger bundled with the logger.

An advanced DeLogger Pro version can be purchased from your dataTaker supplier, which provides database access for storing data, a scripting facility for automating DeLogger, modem support for remote communications, and additional data visualization and presentation modules.

Note : The dataTaker data loggers can be purchased in volume without accessories, in which case this software is not bundled.

If You are Using DeTransfer to Program Your dataTaker

If you are going to use DeTransfer to supervise and program your dataTaker, then you will need to develop a reasonably good understanding of the dataTaker command set that is described through the chapters of Section III of this manual.

Using the dataTaker command set from DeTransfer is a faster and more succinct way of using the dataTaker, however provides little for analysis, visualization and presentation of resulting data. You will have to turn to other software packages such as Excel, charting tools, etc. for this.

If You are Using DeLogger to Program Your dataTaker

If you are going to use DeLogger or DeLogger Pro to supervise and program your dataTaker, then you do not need to know much about the dataTaker command set that is described through the chapters of Section III of this manual. In fact you can close the book now if you wish, and go collect some data.

However, we recommend that you at least skip read through the chapters of Section III to develop an overview of the underlying principals of the dataTaker command set, and an overview of how the command set works.

This will give you greater understanding of the capabilities of the logger, and of how DeLogger supervises the logger. This will help you achieve sooner and better projects.

The dataTaker Commands

The dataTaker commands consist of upper case characters. Lower case characters are ignored unless preceded by /, and so can be used to self-document commands. The exception is the Switch commands (/) where lower case characters have significance in determining the sense in which the particular switch function is to be set.

The dataTaker commands fall into a number of general categories

Scheduling commands

Alarm commands

Internal data memory and memory card management commands

Input/Output channel specification commands

Output channel setting commands

Logger addressing commands for networks

Parameter commands for system configuration

Switch commands for system configuration

System commands

Each of these groups of commands is discussed in detail in the following chapters.

Important Concept Number 1 - Schedules and Schedule Lists

General operation of the dataTaker data loggers centres around scheduling. Schedules determine when various processes are to occur, and can be triggered by the real time clock, by digital or counter events, by alarm states, and by the host computer. The dataTaker supports 7 different types of schedules.

The Schedules manage schedule lists, which contain the various actions that are to be performed when the Schedule is triggered to execute or run. These actions include reading input channels and internal channels, setting output channels, executing calculations, testing alarms, returning data, logging data, etc.

Many of the dataTaker commands relate to the Schedules and their schedule lists. Therefore it is important to understand this core concept of Schedules and scheduling.

Important Concept Number 2 - Parameter Commands and Switch Commands

The dataTaker is highly configurable, allowing it to be tailored for a wide range of uses and installations. Much of this configuration is global ëlook and feelí of the logger, and is achieved through use of the many Parameter and Switch commands

Frequent reference is made to the Parameter and Switch commands that allow

defining the format of returned data

defining the format of time and date of the real time clock

customising the analog to digital converter

customising various system settings

Each of these commands is discussed in detail throughout the manual in the context of their respective applications, and is also discussed collectively in Section III ñ Parameter Commands and Section III ñ Switch Commands.

Page Content


Title and Waranty

Go to: Section 2 | Section 3

Section 1

Construction of the dataTaker 50

Construction of the dataTaker 500 600

Construction of the CEM

Getting Started


Section 2


Powering the dataTaker

Powering Sensors from the dataTaker

The Serial Interfaces

The RS232 COMMS Serial Interface

The NETWORK Interface

Analog Process

Connect Analog

Analog Chns

Measuring Low Level Voltages

Measuring High Level Voltages

Measuring Currents

Measuring 4-20mA Current Loops

Measuring Resistance

Measuring Frequency and Period

Measuring Analog Logic State

Measuring Temperature

Measuring Temperature with Thermocouples

Measuring Temperature with RTDs

Measuring Temperature with IC Temperature Sensors

Measuring Temperature with Thermistors

Measuring Bridges and Strain Gauges

Measuring Vibrating Wire Strain Gauges

The Digital Input Channels

Monitoring Digital State

The Low Speed Counters

The Phase Encoder Counter

The High Speed Counters

The Digital Output Channels

The Channel Expansion Module

Installing The Panel Mount Display


Section 3

Programming the dataTaker

Communication Protocols and Commands

Entering Commands and Programs

Format of Returned Data

Specifying Channels

The Analog Input Channels

The Digital Input Channels

The Counter Channels

The Digital Output Channels

The Real Time Clock

The Internal Channels

Channel Options



Scaling Data - Polynomials, Spans and Functions

CVs Calcs and Histogram

Logging Data to Memory

Programming from Memory Cards


Switches and Parameters


Writing Programs

Keypad and Display

Error Mess Text

Appendix A - ASCII

Appendix B - ADC Timing