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

Specifying Channels

Many of the dataTaker commands relate to sampling or reading input channels, setting output channels, executing calculations, testing alarms, returning data, logging data, etc. These processes usually involve one or more channels, which must be specified to the process in various ways. This chapter describes this channel specification.

Usually these processes are associated with a Schedule, which determines when the processes are performed. Conversely Schedules can be thought of as having a list of processes to perform, which is called the ëschedule listí or sometimes ëchannel listí if it only includes input channels to be read.

The specification of channels includes the module number on which the channel is physically located, the channel number, the type of signal or sensor connected to the channel, and various channel management options.

Channel Module

The input and output channels are located either on the dataTaker data logger, or on one or more Channel Expansion Modules connected to the data logger (dataTaker 500/600 series loggers only).

The dataTaker is always module number of 0 (zero). The Channel Expansion Module(s) connected to the logger are allocated module numbers 1 and 2 respectively in the order of position relative to the logger. Module number 1 is nearest the dataTaker.

The module number for each Channel Expansion Module connected to the logger is allocated during power up, and whenever the dataTaker executes a RESET command.

If the position of Channel Expansion Modules in a daisy chain are changed, then the dataTaker must be repowered or reset to reallocate the module numbers.

The module number is specified as part of the channel identification in the format



module         is the number of the module on which the channel is located
channel         is the channel number on the module

The module number of the dataTaker is optional, and does not need to be specified. If a module number is not specified, then the module number defaults to 0 for the dataTaker.

Therefore where a dataTaker has no Channel Expansion Modules connected, then the module number is not required as part of channel specifications.

The module number is returned with the data as part of the channel identification.

Channel Number

Channels are specified in the schedule list as individual channels, or as a continuous sequence of channels in the general format



first_channel      is the first channel number
..                    indicates a continuous sequence
last_channel      is the last channel number
type                is the signal type identifier
(options)           are channel management options

The ..last_channel is optional, and if this is omitted in a channel specification then the first_channel is interpreted as an individual channel of the type specified as follows


Throughout this manual a single channel is indicated by the general format


and a continuous sequence or group of channels is indicated by the general format


When channel number sequences are defined, there may be one or more periods between the first and last channel.

If the channel(s) are located on Channel Expansion Modules, then the general format for channel specification is as follows



module      is the module number, 0 for the dataTaker and 1 or 2
               for successive Channel Expansion Modules

Channel number sequences can only be defined within modules, and cannot cross module boundaries.

The dataTaker will return an error message if module numbers are specified for non-existent modules.

DeLogger also identifies channels to be measured by the channel number, which are displayed by holding down the right mouse button on the work area of the Program Builder




The number of channels displayed varies for the type of input, and for the type of data logger that DeLogger is connected to.

Signal Type Identifier

A signal or sensor type identifier is suffixed to the channel number or channel number sequence to further identify the channel.

The various signal type identifiers for the input and output channels of the dataTaker are detailed throughout Section II and Section III of this manual, and are summarised in the following chapters.

Some examples of channel specifications for the dataTaker module follow

3V          analog channel 3, voltage
8TK         analog channel 8, thermocouple type K
2DS         digital channel 2, state
3..5I       analog channels 1 through 5, current

Some examples of channel specifications for Channel Expansion Modules follow

0:2L            dataTaker analog channel 2, current loop
1:6PT385        CEM 1 analog channel 6, RTD type 385
2:2DSO          CEM 2 digital output channel 2

Schedule lists are simple groupings of individual channels into a list for scanning, etc. as the following example illustrates

1..3V  4PT392  1DS  1:1..6TT  2:1AD590  0:2..4I

In DeLogger, the types of signals or sensors that can be input to channels are selected descriptively from the hierarchical walking menus in the Program Builder.



When the required signal or sensor group is selected, a dialog opens which displays the connection options for that group, and other input fields appropriate to the group




Channel Management Options

All signal types can be modified in various ways by channel options, which define the way in which the input channel and attached sensor is managed when read.

These options include types of sensor excitation, termination of the signal, specifying internal or external referencing for analog signals, scaling of measured data, format and destination of channel data, delays for digital output switching, etc.

Each channel type has default channel options, which do not need to be specifically declared. The declaration of channel options is itself optional.

The various channel management options are discussed in detail in Section III ñ Channel Options, and relevant sections throughout this manual.

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