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A/D Board Tutorial
Slideshow Contents
Introduction
Typical A/D Board Architecture
A/D Chip Technology
Resolution and Input Range
Input Bandwidth
Input Channel Configurations
Differential Input Simulation
A/D Sampling Methods
A/D Triggers
Sampling Sequences
Data Transfer to Memory
Interrupt Timing
Source Impedance
Source Impedance - Solution
Calibration
Autocalibration
Comparison Test: Autocalibration vs. Manual Calibration
Results: Autocalibration vs. Manual Calibration
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Results: Autocalibration vs. Manual Calibration
 


The graph shows that the manually-calibrated board (Competitor 1, blue line) exhibits extreme errors up to 0.3% of full-scale as a result of temperature swing, while the autocalibrated board (Diamond Systems model no. DMM-32-AT, red line) exhibits a maximum error of no more than 0.03%, a 10-fold improvement.

Note that the error curve for both boards is unpublished and unpredictable and therefore uncorrectable (unless you conduct this test yourself).

A 0.3% error essentially limits your A/D measurement accuracy to about 8 bits, regardless of the A/D board's resolution or any other published specification. Is 8-bit performance acceptable for your application? If not, you need an A/D board with autocalibration.