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Interfacing and System Integration

Many of the sound level meters and noise monitoring systems have outputs so that you can develop an interface to integrate with your own recording or monitoring system. The four common interface methods are listed below, some of which are available as outputs from sound level meters with others as outputs from noise processors or noise warning signs.

DC Voltage

DC Voltage
  • Data logger
  • Level recorder
  • Control relays or switches
  • Voltage proportional to dB

A DC voltage that is proportional to the frequency weighted dB level, usually dB(A).

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4-20mA Current Loop

4-20mA Current Loop
  • Process control systems
  • Link to SCADA or PLC
  • Longer distances
  • Current proportional to dB

The current is proportional to the frequency weighted sound level, usually dB(A).

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AC Output

AC Output
  • Recording devices
  • Waveform sampling and analysis
  • Amplified, unweighted signal
  • Headphone applications

The raw signal from the microphone, amplified and unweighted or Z-weighted.

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RS232 Output

RS232 Output
  • Standard serial interface
  • Longer distance via modem
  • Auto send reports
  • Link to custom software

Serial RS232 output that automatically sends text noise reports that are easy to decode.

More information...

Which Method is Best?

For recording the audio or if you need to carry out detailed acoustic analysis (FFT for example) then you need to use a sound level meter with an unweighted AC output. If you are running a simple data logging system that can accept a DC level, which can be easily converted to dB, then the DC voltage option is better and you just need to consider the physical aspects - hand held meter, noise processor or wall mounted noise warning sign. The 4-20mA current loop output from the noise processor and noise warning signs is ideal for integration with many process control systems. It is also better than the DC voltage option when dealing with the resistance of longer cabling. And finally the trusty RS232 interface is still available, with the CEL63x series sound level meter set up to automatically send periodic noise measurements as they become available. With these measurements sent over the RS232 connection in a simple text format, decoding should be relatively simple.

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