All About Analog I/O

Dec. 5, 2012
This Month, Control Design Brings You the Latest Online Tools and Resources on Analog I/O

Each quarter, Control Design's editors pull together the latest online tools and resources that we can find in a specific topic area, and present them here. This installment's topic is analog I/O.

Introduction to Analog I/O and Friends
Drawn from its well-known technical books, Omega Engineering presents a four-part, online introduction to analog I/O devices and related technologies. The four chapters include Analog I/O Functionality, Resolution & Aliasing, Analog to Digital, and Digital to Analog. The online document also includes a useful bibliography with references for further reading.

  Three-Part Video Series
The three videos in "Webinar — Analog I/O" provide a wealth of information about how analog I/O devices function, how to apply them, and how to use and interpret their data. The main sections are transducer types, linearization, trends and graphs. The videos, hosted on YouTube, and are narrated by Jason Lettieri, applications engineer at Unitronics.   Hardware-Timed Control Loop
This downloadable zip file from the National Instruments (NI) Developer Zone demonstrates a hardware-timed analog I/O control loop. This virtual instrument (VI) needs to use NI’s LabView software and its multi-function DAQ (MIO) device, but it shows how hardware-based timing can go faster than rates provided by LabView's timing functions.
Tutorial Shows Controller's I/O Abilities      This 13-page document, "i3 Display, Control, Communicate," demonstrates the analog I/O capabilities of the i3 integrated controller, which can have up to four analog inputs. Main sections include analog I/O type selection, hardware and software configuration, programming with ladder logic, and screen editor configuration. This tutorial from IMO Precision Controls also shows how to use scaling functions.
PLC Analog I/O Training Kit   
Quantum Automation reports that its in-house training kit includes two two-hour training videos on analog I/O, an instructional video on upgrading firmware, a pre-wired analog trainer with its DL05 trainer and DL05 analog I/O module, and a manual. Users can access it and use it for free at Quantum’s corporate headquarters in Anaheim, Calif., or you can order the kit.  Analog I/O in Industry and Theater
This blog post by Rich Dionne, sound designer and technical director for Purdue University's MFA program, provides a basic introduction to digital and analog I/O devices, whether they're used in industrial processes or in theater scenery movement. Dionne describes the basic differences between change-of-state digital data, the changing proportions used to express analog information, and how analog I/O devices can employ either current loop or voltage loop methods.