This article describes a new portable digital data acquisition module, which has been developed for the measurement and temporary storage of signals from mobile biomechanical phenomena in the field. The module’s performance capabilities include 32 available analog input channels, a 12-bit analog-to-digital converter, maximum throughput of 57,040 samples per second, and a temporary storage capacity of up to 253,000 samples. The portable power source is a rechargeable battery pack, and the appropriate sensors and sensor signal conditioning circuits are supplied by the user to meet the particular needs of the phenomena under study. The size of the signal conditioning, battery pack, and data acquisition module is such that it can be carried in a belt pack worn by a subject under study and weighs less than 3 kgf. To facilitate the use of the module, operating software complements the hardware. The software is comprehensive functionally in that routines are provided for acquiring data, for transferring acquired data serially to a general purpose microcomputer for storage on magnetic media, and for monitoring equipment setup. Further, the software is versatile in that the various parameters necessary to customize the operation to a particular application may be readily set. Finally, the menu-driven structure ensures that the software is easy to use.
The authors are with the Department of Mechanical, Aeronautical and Materials Engineering, University of California, Davis, CA 95616. Request reprints from Dr. Hull.