Data Recorders Introduction

A record is a hard copy of information. We find many types of information to be recorded. The information can be broadly termed as data. Therefore we need data recorders. Even in the real world that does not relate to electronics, we maintain data records. The simple example of a data recorder is the attendance register of students in a class. The subject teacher records the attendance of the students for every period. Thus over months and finally over the end of the academic year this attendance data shows the attendance of the students, from which the eligibility of the student will be judged for presenting the student to the annual examination.

We find many such data recorders as examples like the ledger, day book, laboratory record, etc. Every one knows about the energy meter in the house. This energy meter records the power consumption over time and keeps a permanent record in terms of numbers that represent the units of consumption.

Coming to the fields of electronics and electrical engineering, we find now no place where electronics systems are not present. Right from a simple home appliance to remote control operations and telemetry we have electronic devices and circuits functioning giving out the best performance in the appropriate application. It is here that one has to think of the monitoring aspect of such several systems that are used in the field either in the industrial control circuitry or in communication systems or in other applications. Unless the various parameters of a system or a process are monitored continuously we will not be able to control the system or process. Monitoring over time the different parameters of a system or process we will assess the correctness of the parameters. if the desired values are not presented by the process or system we can correct them, when the parameters are monitored This monitoring cannot be done manually in complicated systems and process plants, as manual means always has the disadvantage of human error, and limitations, of difference in efficiencies of individuals.

Therefore electromechanically, electrically or electronically, operated recording instruments have been developed to continuously monitor and record desired data. These recorders present a hard copy of the desired parameters continuously, for evaluation, analysis and control in many systems and processing plants.

Early recorders are electromechanical instruments basically. They present a permanent record of the desired parameters as a function of one of the desired parameter. The current trend is to employ computer systems for monitoring, recording and control the desired parameters in the specified mode. The advantage of the user friendly menu driven packages on computers makes the task easier. Computers can be programmed to implement the correction if necessary, even without the human interference. A continuous visual display of the desired parameters in the desired format can be had. The data recorded can be permanently stored in any of the memory media available with computer systems. The data recorded can be retrieved as and when required as a hard copy output. 

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