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RA1216 Remote Data Acquisition Pod


  • Remote intelligent analog and digital I/O unit with opto-isolated RS-485 serial interface to host computer
  • Eight differential or sixteen single-ended analog inputs, programmable gain and offset on a channel-by-channel basis, 12-bit resolution A/D converter. Programmable gains provide spans between 5VDC and 25mVDC
  • Optional signal conditioning for use with thermocouples, RTDs, 4-20 mA current inputs, and resistors for straingage bridge completion.
  • Three 12-bit D/A converters with both voltage and current outputs.
  • Seven bits of digital I/O configured on a bit-by-bit basis as either inputs or high-current outputs.
  • Onboard 16-bit, 8031 compatible microcontroller with 32K RAM and EEPROM
  • Watchdog circuit for reset on power-up and microprocessor failure
  • All programming and calibration in software, No switches to set. Jumpers (3) to by-pass opto-isolators if desired.
  • Protective Nema4 enclosure for harsh atmospheric and marine environments
  • Designed, made, supported, and manufactured in the USA
The RA1216 is an intelligent 16 channel analog-to-digital converter. It also contains three digital-to-analog converters and parallel digital input/output ports. RA1216 communicatres with a host computer via opto-isolated asynchronous EIA RS485 half-duplex serial communications.

A built in watchdog timer resets the unit, if, for some unexpected reason, its microcontroller "hangs up", or if the power supply voltage drops below 4.75 VDC. The microntroller may also be reset by an external input. Data collected by the pod is stored in local RAM for later access through the host computer's serial port. This feature facillitates a stand-alone mode of operation.

The following paragraphs describe the major functional parts of RA1216.

Analog Inputs

The RAD1216 uses a 12-bit successive approximation analog-to-digital converter (A/D) capable of 50K conversions per second. A/D conversions may be initiated either by software command or by an external input. The pod accepts up to 16 single-ended analog inputs (or 8 differential). Solid state multiplexers are used and, to prevent crosstalk and improve stability between channels, the multiplexer input is shorted to ground before each channel selection. That short is maintained for a time period sufficient to discharge the multiplexer's output capacitance.

The RA1216 pod can be configured to accept inputs from a variety of sensor types. Inputs are overvoltage protected up to 200VDC. Model RA1216 accepts voltage inputs and has 15 voltage ranges. The voltage range used can be programmed on a channel-by-channel basis. Model RA1216T/C accepts up to 7 thermocouple inputs from the most commonly used thermocouple types. This model includes an onboard temperature sensor used for cold-junction compensation, and break-detect resistors are available. Model RA1216R can accept inputs from up to eight 3-wire RTDs. Model RA1216I accepts up to eight 4-20mA current transmitter inputs. Model RA1216BC also provides eight bridge completion circuits for quarter-bridge strain gage applications.

Each input can be programmed with an offset of up to 5 volts generated by an integral digital to analog converter. This allows easy scaling and shifting of an input signal to take advantage of the pod's full input ranges.

Analog Outputs

Three 12-bit digital to analog to digital converters provide simultaneous voltage and current outputs. Voltage outputs are independently programmable in two ranges: 0-5Volts and 0-10Volts. Simultaneously each D/A can provide 4-20mA outputs. These current outputs are derived from user-supplied compliance voltages from 5.5V to 30V.

Digital I/O

Seven bits of digital I/O are provided. These can be software configured on a bit-by-bit basis as either inputs or outputs. Digital inputs are sensed at TTL levels and higher, up to 50Volts. There is also one interrupt input (TTL levels). Each digital output provides compliance with user-supplied voltages up to 50VDC and the maximum sink current per output bit is 350 mA. For the seven bits, there is a maximum combined total of 650 mA current.

Power Supplies

RA1216 requires two power sources to maintain opto-isolation. A small amount of +7.5 VDC to +24VDC power is required by the opto-isolated section, and that can be supplied by the host computer if a four-wire connection is made. Alternatively, you can use a separate power supply. The remainder of the pod is powered by an external, local power supply of +12VDC to +18VDC.

I/O Connections

There is a screw terminal assembly inside the top cover of the pod and a gland is provided to seal wiring for full NEMA compliance. You can assemble a cable of whatever length you need, route it through the gland, and terminate the cable at the other end by whatever means best fits your application. I/O Screw terminal assignments are listed in the label on the cover of the pod.

Available Reference Manuals

Drivers and Downloads

Full list of available Downloads: Software Packages, Drivers, Manuals, and other documents

Custom Software

ACCES also offers Custom Software Services for our products. Our prices are unbelievably low, often as inexpensive as free! If you need something tweaked to support your needs, or an entire enterprise application developed from scratch, it is definitely worth your time to inquire with us, first.

Further information about available ACCES Software:

Redistributing Windows Drivers
A list of ACCES drivers and the files that compose them under different versions of Windows, so you can easily redistribute ACCES cards and drivers.

Analog Inputs

  • Channels: Eight differential or sixteen single-ended.
  • Resolution: 12 binary bits.
  • Accuracy: 0.02% ±l LSB.
  • Input Voltage spans Ranges are dependent on programmed offset of up to 5 Volts: 5V, 2.5V, 1V, 500mV, 250mV, 125mV, 50mV, and 25mV. Bipolar inputs configured via up to 5VDC Offset.
  • Current range: 4-20mA across 200 ohm (0.8-4V)
  • Input Overvoltage Protection: 200VDC.
  • Input Filter: Lowpass (10Kohm/0.001microF).
  • Input Impedance: 10Megohms
  • Accuracy: 0.025% ±1 LSB
  • Coding: True binary for unipolar inputs and offset binary for bipolar inputs.
  • Throughput: 10K samples per second.
  • A/D Type: Successive Approximation.
  • Monotonicity: Guaranteed over operating temperature range.
  • Gain Drift: ±5 PPM/°C.
  • Trigger Source: Software command, or external source.

Analog Ouputs

  • Channels: Three independent.
  • Type: 12 bits double-buffered.
  • Non-linearity: ±0.9 LSB maximum.
  • Output Ranges: 0-5V, 0-10V.
  • Current Output: 4-20mA (user supplied 5.5-30V).
  • Output Drive: 5mA maximum.
  • Output Resistance: 0.5ohms.
  • Monotonicity: ±½ bit.
  • Settling Time: 15usec to ±½LSB.

Digital I/O

  • Number of Bits: Seven parallel bits. each is software configured to be input or output.
  • INPUT:Logic Low: -0.5 to 0.8 VDC at -0.4 mA max.
  • INPUT:Logic High: 2.0 to 5.0 VDC (5mA max at 50V in)
  • Logic-Low Sink Current: 350 mA maximum. Inductive-kick suppression diode included in each circuit.
  • High-Level Output Voltage: Open collector, compliance with up to 50V user-supplied voltage. If no user-supplied voltage exists, outputs are pulled up to +5VDC via 10 kilohm resistors.


  • Operating Temperature Range: 0° to 65°C. (Optional -40°C to +80°C.)
  • Storage Temperature Range: -20°C to +120°C.
  • Humidity: 5% to 95% RH, non-condensing. Enclosure is designed to meet NEMA 4 requirements.

Power Required

  • Power for the opto-isolated section can be applied from the computer's +12 VDC power supply via the serial communications cable, if a four-wire cable is used, or by a local isolated power supply. Power for the rest of the pod can be provided by a local power supply.
  • Opto-Isolated Section: 7.5 to 25 VDC @ 40 mA maximum (7 mA at 12 VDC .)
  • Local Power: 7.5 to 16 VDC at 250 mA (typical).

Regulatory Compliance

  • This product is in full compliance with CE requirements.

ModelPrice (USD)
RA1216B/C 570.00

Acquisition, Control, Communication: Engineering and Systems