Simple Data Logging for Pressure Transducer

Hi all,

I am a graduate student in a lab that focuses on supercritical carbon dioxide extraction. We would like to monitor the pressure during our experiments and a pressure transducer appears to suit our temperature, pressure, and space requirements. We do not need to have any feedback or pressure control system, but would like to simply log the pressure throughout the experiments. I am wondering if anyone has a suggestion on the simplest approach to log the pressure? Also how to decide if analog voltage or current is the appropriate output type? For example, I am comparing the following products:

  • M3031-000005-10KPG
  • M5852-000005-10KPG (has a digital display as well)
  • M5251-000005-10KPG
  • M3021-000005-10KPG
  • M5241-000005-10KPG

Thank you very much for the help!


A data acquisition unit is probably your most straightforward option. National Instruments (NI) is one of the better-known names for such and generally has good support from 3rd party software platforms, but there are certainly other options available. Pick one with a suitable number of channels, sample rate, and resolution for your needs. Do also check for availability of free software if you don’t have some other logging package you’d like to use, as it can be an expensive add-on if not included.

Voltage outputs are generally more convenient, though are more subject to electrical interference than current loop transducers. That’s probably not going to be an issue unless you’ve got long cable runs or have other exceptionally (electrically) noisy things going on in your environment.

Hi Rick, thanks for the reply. I will look at the DAQ options. How would I determine the required number of channels? Is it simply that one input (i.e. pressure transducer) is one channel. Also, do you have any suggestions for a free software to log?

Thank you!

Yes, 1 signal = 1 channel.

Whoever builds the DAQ unit you choose would be the #1 place to look for a free software offering.

Thanks, Rick!

Hi LrMac,

It seems that some of the sensor that you listed come with either analog or digital output.

For analog, you could perhaps consider even a DMM for simplicity. For example,
comes with a USB connection and a PC software so you do not need to write the client side code to acquire the data.
For I2C or SPI digital output, the NI’s USB-8451 would do the job (the included DAQExpress software handles the client side, but some configuration work is needed).

If you have a tight budget, and can write C (usually both applies same time for some strange reason), you could use Arduino.


Thank you for the suggestions, Heke! I’ll look into these as well.

Hi LiMac,

Just found that Digi-key sells (via Marketplace) also an interesting DAQ, that you can control with Python.


Hello again, on looking into these an analog voltage pressure transducer seems suitable (M5241-000005-10KPG or M3031-000005-10KPG). If I understand correctly, the transducer requires a power source to run, but when looking at the technical spec sheets for both of these transducers I could not find a suggested power source. As with many items on DigiKey there are > 10,000 options for power sources. Any suggestions on how to narrow down? One of the transducers requires 8-30 V and the other is ~5 V.
thank you!

Any source providing a regulated voltage within the specified range and capable of delivering the required current (a few mA) would do. Wall warts with 5 & 12v outputs can be found here and would be one option.

Depending on the acquisition unit you pick, there’s a fair chance of finding a usable source on that, either as an explicitly-provided source or by using an output pin as such. (check current ratings in case of the latter…) This would likely be your most convenient option.

If neither of those works out for some reason, a stack of batteries could serve also, in which case a holder like a BK-5021 might be useful.