LabJack Frequently Asked Questions-FAQs

Below you will find a list of frequently asked questions of the LabJack support team.

Subsections

  • What is a LabJack?
    • LabJacks are USB/Ethernet/WiFi based measurement and automation devices which provide analog inputs/outputs, digital inputs/outputs, and more. A LabJack is an essential part of a computer based instrumentation. If you want to make a computer based system that acquires readings from various sensors/transducers, and controls various outputs/actuators, you need a LabJack to go between the computer and the various inputs and outputs.
  • What kind of things can be done with a LabJack?
    • Read the output of sensors which measure voltage, current, power, temperature, humidity, wind speed, force, pressure, strain, acceleration, RPM, light intensity, sound intensity, gas concentration, position, and many more. A LabJack brings this data into a PC where it can be stored and processed as desired.

    • Control things like motors, lights, solenoids, relays, valves, and more.

  • What is DAQ (data acquisition)?
    • DAQ is short for data acquisition which is short for data acquisition and control. The term describes the process of acquiring readings from sensors and transducers (temperature, pressure, strain, etc.), and controlling actuators (relays, solenoids, etc.). In our case the emphasis is on computer-based DAQ, where the LabJack is the interface that allows a computer to read from sensors and control actuators.
  • What is an analog input? (AI, AIN, ADC)
    • AI or AIN = Analog Input
      ADC = Analog to Digital Converter

    • An analog input converts a voltage level into a digital value that can be stored and processed in a computer. Why would you want to measure voltages? There are a multitude of sensors available which convert things like temperature, pressure, etc. into voltages. The voltages can then be easily measured by various kinds of hardware, such as a LabJack U3-HV, and then read into a computer. The computer can then convert the voltage value into it’s original type (temperature, pressure, etc) and the value can then be stored in a file, emailed to someone, or used to control something else outside of the computer.

  • What is an analog output?
    • AO = Analog Output
      DAC = Digital to Analog Converter

    • The LabJack’s analog outputs convert digital values from a computer into a variable voltage level presented on an output terminal. This provides an adjustable output.

  • What are digital I/O? (IO, D, DIO, FIO, EIO, CIO, MIO)
    • DIO = Digital Input/Output
    • IO/D/FIO/EIO/CIO/MIO = Somewhat arbitrary monikers for specific DIO ports on different LabJacks.
    • Digital I/O stands for Digital Input and Output. Digital Inputs allow a microcontroller to detect logic states, and Digital Outputs allow a microcontroller to output logic states.
    • Each digital I/O on a LabJack can be individually configured to one of 3 states: input, output-high, or output-low.
    • Digital Input: A digital input detects if a voltage is above/below a specific threshold. If the voltage is higher than some value, the computer will detect the digital input as high/set/1. If the voltage is lower than some value, the computer will detect the digital input as low/clear/0.
    • Digital Output: A digital output allows you to control a voltage with a computer. If the computer instructs the output to be high, the output will produce a voltage (generally about 5 or 3.3 volts). If the computer instructs the output to be low, it is connected to ground and produces no voltage.
  • What do single-ended and differential mean?
    • Single-ended and differential refer to the reference for a voltage. Single-ended is referred to ground while differential is referred to some other voltage. For a single-ended measurement, the LabJack converts the difference between the voltage at an input and ground. For a differential measurement, the LabJack converts the difference between the voltage at one input and the voltage at another input that is not necessarily ground.

    • Differential does not refer to whether a signal is positive & negative or positive-only. The terms for that are bipolar and unipolar.

    • On the LabJack U3, U12, U6, and T7, analog inputs can set as single-ended or differential via software. Analog inputs on the LabJack UE9 are single-ended only, so an instrumentation amp is needed to convert a differential signal to single-ended, or a pseudo-differential measurement can be made by taking the difference of two single-ended measurements.

Technical Questions

Ordering / Sales

  • What kind of purchase guarantee does a LabJack come with?

    • Everything we sell is backed by a 30-day satisfaction guarantee. If, for any reason, you are not satisfied with a product or just don’t need it, contact us to arrange your choice of a refund or replacement.
  • What compliance certifications do LabJack devices have?

    • All LabJack-branded products are CE, REACH, RoHS2, and CFM (conflict-free minerals) compliant. See Compliance Page

Warranty / Returns / Repairs / Exchanges

  • What is the LabJack warranty?
    • All LabJack hardware is covered by a 5-year limited warranty, covering products and parts against defects in material or workmanship.