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Re: Use of a laptop / sound card for field recording

Subject: Re: Use of a laptop / sound card for field recording
From: thomas.f.norris <>
Date: Fri, 11 Feb 2005 10:57:57 -0800
 I'm wondering if any list members have familiarity with using PCMCIA
 cards to do A/D conversion on a computer, and then write directly to
 the computer's hard drive (or an external one)?  National Instruments
 has several data acquisition cards, and I have been using an NI
 E-Series (6062E) PCMCIA card for laptop.  It has an aggregate sample
 rate of 500 Ks/sec. This allows multi-channel recordings (e.g., for
 towed or other hydrophone arrays) or high sample rates for 1 or 2
 channels.  I've heard others criticize the use of PC's and laptops to
 do A/D, because they introduce noise. I have seen this for cheap
 (internal) sound cards - but it seems that with high-quality
 acquisition cards, as long as your analog signal is well shielded
 before A/D conversion, it shouldn't be affected by the computer.  Yes?
 I have not noticed such issues with the NI DAQ cards, but also haven't
 really tested them in a controlled environment.
 How about this?  I personally like using a laptop because it's quite
 versatile and allows you to do other things as well (e.g., run
 real-time processing software).  I could see the problem if working in
 remote or harsh environments though...
 Do any list members have any knowledge or comments on this?
 Thomas Norris
 Senior Scientist / Marine Vertebrate Biologist
 Marine & Environmental Sciences Div
 Science Applications International Corp.
 San Diego, CA 92121
 760-632-6344 (office)
 858-361-5656 (mobile)
 (858) 826-2735 (fax)
 <a  href=""; 

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