Chart Recorders - Introduction/Selection Guide

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RMS INSTRUMENTS manufactures a variety of chart recorders and graphic printers using advanced thermal array technology. Based on sophisticated multi-processor architectures and firmware, these instruments can operate in stand-alone mode accepting signals directly from sensors, as peripheral devices under control of a computer or data acquisition system, or in a mode that combines the functionality of the two above.

In thermal printing, energy in the form of heat is transferred from miniature heating elements organized in an array along a printhead to the thermal recording medium. Through carefully designed, proprietary firmware and hardware techniques, the system controls the energy applied to print elements and the timing of numerous signals that result in the printing of sharp graphic images, traces, text, and other forms of annotation – all over a wide range of print speeds, resolutions as high as 11.8 x 11.8 dots/mm (300 dpi), and on 321-mm wide print media. By continuously adjusting print variables based on measurements of printhead temperature and print rates, outstanding photographic quality is achieved in images printed using the gray scaling capability of some models – true gray scaling with 16 shades, in which the gray shade of each print element is individually modulated by the image data. Superior-quality thermal media (paper and film) supplied by RMS INSTRUMENTS ensures outstanding print quality and longevity.

Application Note: RMS2030 Thermal Papers PDF

Printing based on RMS INSTRUMENTS' thermal array technology is ideal for harsh environments in which instrumentation is exposed to wide temperature ranges and vibration. Minimal maintenance and support are required. Totally eliminated are the complicated mechanisms for pen positioning and control, and the ensuing high maintenance cost, the need for replacement cartridges/ribbons, and the frequent problems such as smearing of ink and nozzle clogging associated with other technologies.

RMS INSTRUMENTS' GRAPHIC PRINTER/
CHART RECORDER QUICK SELECTION GUIDE
  GR33U2 GR33U2S GP300
Waveform channels 2 2 up to 32
Logic (event) channels 0 0 0
Analog/Digital Analog Analog Digital
Embedded signal conditioning modules Yes: SCM5B-series Yes: AC-voltage, freq. No
Resolution amplitude x time [dpi] 200 x 200 200 x 200 300 x 300
Chart Speed, max. [a] 1.0 in/sec (25 mm/sec) 1.0 in/sec (25 mm/sec) 10.2 in/sec (260 mm/sec)
Sampling rate (per channel) 5 kHz 5 kHz N/A
Embedded data logging Yes Yes No
Gray scale plotting No No Yes
Support Software:
  • Setup and control
  • Paperless real-time monitoring & logging
  • C/C++ libraries
  • Application examples
Yes Yes Yes
Support Software: Windows printer driver No No Yes
Form Factor (mm) 19" Rack Mount 5.25"h x 19.3"d (482.6x133.4x490) 19" Rack Mount 5.25"h x 19.3"d (482.6x133.4x490) 19" Rack Mount 5.25"h x 16.3"d (482.6x133.4x414.5)
Power 110 or 220 VAC 85-250 VAC, 47-440 Hz 110-330 VDC 22-32 VDC 115 or 220 VAC

LEGACY CHART RECORDERS
  GR33A GR34A GR33AP
Waveform channels up to 32 up to 32 up to 32
Logic (event) channels 6 6 6
Analog/Digital Analog [1], Digital Analog [1], Digital Digital
Embedded signal conditioning modules No No No
Resolution amplitude x time [dpi] 100 x 200 200 x 200 100 x 200
Chart Speed (max.) 0.32 in/sec (8 mm/sec) 0.32 in/sec (8 mm/sec) 0.32 in/sec (8 mm/sec)
Sampling rate (per channel) 32 Hz [1] (31.25 kHz one channel [1], [2]) 32 Hz [1] (31.25 kHz one channel [1], [2]) N/A
Embedded data logging Yes: [1], [2] Yes: [1], [2] No
Gray scale plotting No No No
Support Software:
  • Setup and control
  • Paperless real-time monitoring & logging
  • C/C++ libraries
  • Application examples
Yes Yes Yes
Support Software: Windows printer driver No No No
Form Factor (mm) 19" Rack Mount 5.25"h x 19.3"d (482.6x133.4x490) 19" Rack Mount
10.5"h x 15.67"d (482.6x266.8x398)
19" Rack Mount 5.25"h x 16.3"d (482.6x133.4x414.5)
Power 28 VDC 115 or 220 VAC 115 or 220 VAC 22-32 VDC

[a] See product data sheet or user's guide for more information
[1] With RMS4185A Analog Input Module
[2] With RMS4450 Transient Digitizer Module