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PCI-AI12-16, PCI-AI12-16A

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Sixteen Channel, 12-Bit Analog Input Card


  • 16 Single-Ended / 8 Differential Analog Inputs
  • 12-Bit Resolution, 100kHz A/D Converter
  • Eight Programmable Voltage Ranges (Unipolar & Bipolar) and 4-20mA Current Range
  • FIFO Data and Point List Buffers ('A' version). Both FIFOs 2K
  • On-board Pacer Clock and Counter Timers
  • Universal PCI, PCI-X, 3.3V and 5V compatible (Call for PCI-Express availability)
  • Number of Analog Inputs Can Be Expanded up to 256 by use of our External Signal Conditioners/Sub-Multiplexers.
  • Software Drivers Included for Windows 95/98/NT/2000/XP/2003, and LabVIEW under Windows 95/98/NT

Model PCI-AI12-16 is a multifunction, high-speed, analog-to-digital converter board for use in PCI-Bus computers. It accepts up to 16 single-ended or eight differential inputs. The board uses a low-noise, multilayer printed circuit board. Inputs are protected against overvoltage conditions up to ±35 volts and typically survive static discharges beyond 4000 volts. Conversions can be initiated in any one of three ways: (a) software command, (b) external start commands, or (c) on a tim ed basis using on-board programmable counters. Converted data may be transferred to the computer by one of two software selected methods: (a) polling for the end-of-conversion signal, or (b) by generating an Interrupt when the end-of-conversion signal occurs.
Model PCI-AI12-16A has all of the foregoing plus includes a 2K Samples FIFO data buffer and a 2K words Point List FIFO buffer. Addition of these FIFO's permits background-task-based data acquisition, essential for moderate throughput in Windows. The Point List FIFO contains channel, sub-MUX channel, and voltage range for each analog-input channel (point). The data buffer contains A/D conversion results. When the data buffer becomes half full, an Interrupt can be generated to cause the data to be read into the computer.


Input analog voltages are amplified by a programmable-gain amplifier. Eight voltage ranges are available: 0-10V, 0-5V, an offset voltage range of 1.25V to 3.75V and 1.25 to 6.25 unipolar and ±10V, ±5V, ±2.5V, and ±1.25V bipolar. Further, by placing jumpers on the board you can manually select a 4-20 mA current range. In that latter case, the current input is converted to a special analog voltage range that will yield full 12-bit resolution and there can be up to eight inputs. In applications that require mixed voltage and current inputs, jumpers are placed only on the channels that are to have current inputs.


Up to 256 differential or single-ended analog inputs can be handled through use of external signal conditioner/sub-multiplexers (model AIM-16P). The output of each 16-input sub-multiplexer will connect to one of the A/D single-ended inputs.


There are four ports for discrete TTL-level digital inputs or outputs. When used as outputs, each output line can drive up to 350 mA. Also, there is a 7-bit output register. The latter is intended for use to send address and gain-control commands to external signal conditioner/sub-multiplexers. However, if that expansion capability is not used, then these bits can be used as general-purpose digital outputs.


The board contains a 1 MHz crystal-controlled oscillator and a type 82C54 counter/timer chip that has three 16-bit programmable down counters. Counters 1 and 2 are concatenated to provide 32 bits count capability and the "zero-crossing" output of Counter 2 can be used as a pacer clock for timed start commands to the A/D converter. Frequency generation is easy because Counters 1 and 2 form a 32-bit counter and there is a 1 MHz input. Pulse width measurement of slowly changing signals is easy because the slow-changing signal can be applied to Counter 1's gate input and the 1 MHz oscillator provides a known input frequency. Frequency measurement is simplified because Counter 0 can be used to generate a variable gating signal. Finally, transition counting can be performed by Counter 0 if events to be counted are applied to the clock input. Basically, Counter 0 input is used for frequency measurement and event counting. The Counter 1 gate input is used for pulse measurement and the Counter 2 output is used for frequency generation. In each case, you need to apply or read a signal at only one connector pin.


When software enabled, the PCI-AI12-16 board has Interrupt capability. An IntA can be initiated by completion of A/D conversions. In Model PCI-AI12-16A, an Interrupt can be initiated when the FIFO data buffer is half full. The FIFO’s used on “A” models permit data acquisition without timing concerns.


A 10VDC (±0.2V) reference voltage is developed from the A/D converter reference source. That reference voltage is available at the I/O connector for external use and can source up to 200 mA.


The PCI-AI12-16(A) is supported for use in most operating systems and includes a DOS, Linux, and Windows 95/98/Me/NT/ 2000/2003/XP compatible software package. This contains sample programs and source code in "C" and Pascal for DOS, and Visual Basic, Delphi, C Builder, and Visual C for Windows. Also incorporated is a graphical setup program in Windows. Third party support includes a Windows standard dll interface usable from the most popular application programs, along with LabView .VI samples. Linux support consists of installation files and basic samples for programming from user level via an open source kernel driver.




  • Type: Successive approximation
  • Resolution: 12 binary bits
  • Ranges:
    • Unipolar Voltage: 10V, 5V, and offset ranges 1.25V to 3.75V and 1.25V to 6.25V
    • Bipolar Voltage: ±10V, ±5V, ±2.5V, and ±1.25V
    • Current: 4-20 mA. (When this range is selected amplifier gain and offset are automatically adjusted so that full 12-bit resolution is achieved.)
  • Conversion Time: 8 µsec maximum, 5.7 µsec typical
  • Integral Linearity Error: ±0.45 LSB maximum
  • Differential Non-Linearity: No missing codes
  • Overall Accuracy: ±0.25%
  • Sample and Hold Acquisition Time: 2 µsec for a full-scale step input
  • Aperture Delay: 40 nsec typical
  • Throughput: Up to 100 Ksamples per second
  • Zero Drift: ±2 ppm/°C typical
  • Full Scale Drift: ±5 ppm/°C typical


  • Acquisition Time: 1 microsecond to 0.01% typical for a full-scale step function input
  • Aperture Uncertainty: 0.3 nanosecond typical


  • Voltage: 10 VDC ±0.2 VDC
  • Temperature Coefficient: ±30 PPM/°C
  • Load Drive: 200 mA maximum


  • Four-Bit Digital I/O:
    • Input Voltage: Logic High is 2.0V min, Logic Low is 0.8V max
    • Output Drive: 350 mA (sink only) each output with 20 mSec pulse width and a 30% duty cycle
  • Seven-Bit Digital Output: Drives 25 mA maximum


  • Type: 82C54-2
  • No. of Counters: Three 16-bit down counters. Two are permanently concatenated as a 1 MHz counter with clock from a 1 MHz crystal controlled oscillator.
  • Output Drive: 2.2 mA at 0.45V
  • Input Gate: TTL/CMOS compatible
  • Clock Frequency:
    • Internal: 1 MHz
    • External: DC to 10 MHz
  • Active Count Edge: Negative Edge
  • Min. Clock Pulse Width: 30 nSec high/50 nSec low
  • Timer Range: 2.5 MHz to <1 pulse/hour.


  • Operating Temperature Range: 0°C to 50°C
  • Storage Temperature Range: -20°C to 70°C
  • Humidity: 5% to 90% RH, Non-condensing
  • Power Required:
    • 5 VDC @ 900 mA typical
    • 12 VDC @ 125 mA typical
    • - 12 VDC @ 125 mA typical
  • Length: 7.5" (191 mm)

Regulatory Compliance

  • This product is in full compliance with CE requirements.

Acquisition Control Communications Engineering / Systems
USA Office

Address: 1480 Gulf Road, Suite 837,
PO Box 1364
Point Roberts, WA 98281

Western Canada - Vancouver BC

Tel:1.800.663.6001 or 1.604.925.6150
Address: 2454 Haywood Ave
West Vancouver, BC V7V 1Y1

Eastern Canada - Markham, Ontario

Tel:1.800.465.0164 or 1.905.513.7027