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Delphin Expert Key vs National Instruments NI-USB-6363

Data Acquisition System Product Comparison

Customers are often faced with a bewildering array of options when trying to choose the most suitable data acquisition system for their application. Here is a brief comparison of specifications and capabilities between the Delphin Expert Key 100 from Delphin Technologies, and the NI-USB-6363, a multifunction data acquisition device in the X-series from National Instruments.

expert keyDelphin’s Expert Key comes standard with a wide range of analog inputs and outputs which are commonly used in engineering applications. Type 200C and 200L have 28 universal inputs and are intended primarily for analog data acquisition needs. The 100C and 200C are available in a panel mount enclosure, while the 100L and 200L are housed in a portable/benchtop 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 earlier models. Housed in a redesigned mechanical enclosure, the NI device 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 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 analog 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 Voltage, Thermocouple, mA, RTD, and resistance measurement, whereas the NI only supports Voltage 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 DAQ system, while the NI offers a USB interface only. Expert Key systems can also be time 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, bi-directional data transfer over USB. This allows users to concurrently transfer analog, digital, and counter data in both directions for data recording.

expert keyData logging software and offered accessories are additional considerations. Delphin provides three levels of ProfiSignal Software depending on the needs of your application, including a runtime version for test stands. Multiple choices of software can dramatically reduce your costs. 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 to the NI-USB-6363, offers users more functions, more inputs and has greater flexibility to connect to more 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, or to find the ideal solution to your application-specific needs, contact a CAS Data Logger Applications Specialist at (800) 956-4437 or request more information.