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Recorder Selection Guide

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Measurement and Control Article on Data Acquisition
How to Select a Recorder
Chart Recorder Basics

Introduction to the chart recorder

What are chart recorders?

The chart recorder is an instrument used to record various process and electrical signals. The most traditional chart recorders record data on paper. The paper is passed under a pen and the pen is deflected in proportion to the signal. The result is a graph or chart of the data. Chart recorders are available in single or multichannel (input) styles (single or multipen) and in numerous configurations. Many of today's chart recorders can also record information in a digital format for download to a computer (data acquisition).

CT6100 Series
Circular Chart Recorders: CT6100 Series
Available in 1-, 2-, or 3-channel variants, combine the simplicity and clarity of pen drawing with the versatility of a microprocessor control.
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Chart Recorder Types
Strip Chart Recorders
Strip chart recorders consist of a roll or strip of paper that is passed linearly beneath one or more pens. As the signal changes the pens deflect producing the resultant chart. The strip chart recorder is well suited for recording of continuous processes. Sections of the paper can be torn off and archived for future reference. Strip chart recorders are commonly used in laboratory as well as process measurement applications.

RD200 Strip Chart Recorder
Circular Chart Recorders
A circular chart recorder records data in a circular format. The paper is spun beneath one or more pens. The pens are deflected in proportion to the varying signal resulting in a circular chart. A Circular chart recorder is ideal for batch processes where a set process time is known. The charts are normally designed to rotate in standard time periods, such as 1 hour, 24 hours, 7 days, etc., although many recorders are flexible enough to accommodate non-standard time periods.
CTXL Circular Chart Recorder
X-Y Recorders
XY recorders accept two inputs and create a chart or graph of one input versus the other. They are commonly used to determine the relationship between the two inputs. For example in a chemical process, XY recorders might be used to monitor the effect temperature has on the pressure of the process.
XY Recorder
Hybrid Recorders
A hybrid recorder can function as a recorder or data logger. Like a standard recorder hybrid recorders can generate a chart of the inputs. However, they can also produce a digital stamp of the data similar to a data logger. They are commonly available in multichannel designs although one print head normally handles all channels. This makes hybrid recorders a cost effective solution for multichannel systems although the response time is not as fast as recorders which have a unique pen for each channel.
DR231 Hybrid Recorder
Paperless Recorders
Paperless recorders are one of the latest types of recorders to emerge on the market. Paperless recorders display the chart on the recorders' graphic display rather than print the chart on paper. The data can normally be recorded in internal memory or to a memory card for later transfer to a computer. The major benefit of a paperless recorder is conservation of paper and ease of transfer to a computer.
RD9900 Paperless Recorder

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