Performance Assessment of Several Low-Cost Consumer-Grade Analog-to-Digital Conversion Devices

  • G. R. WetheringtonJrEmail author
Conference paper
Part of the Conference Proceedings of the Society for Experimental Mechanics Series book series (CPSEMS)


The Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) has pioneered an approach where low-cost consumer-grade electronics can be used as the basis of a highly reliable data acquisition architecture. One twenty-channel system based on this approach has been operating almost 4 years at ORNL. The architecture allows a mix-and-match level of configurability so the designer can select devices that best match the desired performance trade-offs. The most important device to be selected is the analog-to-digital converter. This paper explores the performance of several candidate audio recording devices that can be used as high-speed analog-to-digital converters for such measurement systems. Various performance metrics are explored including frequency response, noise floor, and synchronous sampling. Sample rates as high as 192 KHz are supported with 16 and 24-bit resolution. While most of the devices are dual-channel, there are multi-channel devices now available that will allow modal type of synchronous sampling. One such device was tested and is discussed is this paper.


Data acquisition Audio adapter Performance testing Accelerometer Measurement 



The author greatly appreciates the assistance and support that was provided by Daniel Lizama Molina, a National GEM Consortium Fellowship student and candidate for a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez Campus.

Funding for this work was provided by the Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration’s NA-MB0504000 Defense Program, Stockpile and Stewardship.


  1. 1.
    Wetherington Jr, G.R., Van Hoy, B., Phillips, L., Damiano, B., Upadhyaya, B.: Evaluation of a consumer electronics-based data acquisition system for equipment monitoring, NPIC/HMIT (2015)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Wetherington Jr., G.R., Van Hoy, B., Phillips, L., Damiano, B., Green, C.: Two-year operational evaluation of a consumer electronics-based data acquisition system for equipment monitoring, proceedings of the society for experimental mechanics series. Sens. Instrum. 5, 99–109 (2017)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Society for Experimental Mechanics, Inc. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Oak Ridge National LaboratoryOak RidgeUSA

Personalised recommendations