Analog to Digital Converters and related stuff.....

The purpose of this page is to help you get real world analog data into your binary brained computer. The ADC suppliers list below should be used with the following cautions:

Always call before ordering. Some of these sources may be out of business.
Verify prices, addresses, return policies and shipping costs directly with the supplier.
Check the Better Business Bureau if possible for complaints against the supplier.

We have NO experience with 90% of these folks!

Radio-Sky Publishing will in no way be held responsible for the accuracy of any of this information. If you you mail away some money to an unscrupulous supplier or to a misprinted address, its your loss. If the product you buy doesn't work or live up to your expectations...its your problem, not ours.

There are some key things to consider when purchasing an analog to digital converter for your PC.

Click here to see schematics for simple analog to digital converters which you can build and use with Data Collect Lite Software.


Many of the suppliers and products listed below use micro-controller technology to achieve the ADC function. A micro-controller is essentially a single chip computer designed to handle a limited number of operations. The advantages of using micro-controllers are many. They relieve the master computer from the time-gulping job of monitoring the ADC chip and supplying control signals to it. If there is additional memory on the micro-controller board, they may actually be used as stand alone collection devices from which the data can later be retrieved through a serial or parallel port connection to the main computer. For field work this is a definite plus, as it is much less monetarily risky to leave the $100 micro-controller in an unguarded location than one's $3000 laptop computer. Also the micro-controller used in this fashion can greatly reduce power consumption in a battery operated site. The master computer can be used for any of its other functions while the micro-controller handles the data collection task.

The biggest drawback about the use of micro-controllers is that they usually require something of the user in terms of programming. These devices are, after all, designed to be extremely flexible in their utility and thus only come with minimal software support, often just a bootstrap program to allow access to the memory of the micro-controller by the main computer.  Fortunately there are now some modules available which can be programmed in BASIC or C.  The BASIC Stamp has been wildly popular for a couple of years now. This device allows you to easily program and utilize PIC technology. Some other BASIC programmable controllers are available with ADCs built into the units. Look at MicroMints Domino modules.

Be careful not to get a micro-controller board that requires additional equipment such as an EPROM programmer unless you are so equipped. Many of the micro-controllers require you purchase some kind of development board.  Sometimes the board and software is much more expensive than the micro-controller itself.

If you decide to go the micro-controller route, be sure to pick up a book to familiarize yourself with the subject.  The Handbook of Microcontrollers by Michael Predko is an 800 page volume which introduces you to several families of devices.

Standalone ADCs

ADCs which are not part of a micro-controller package also have a list of advantages. For one thing, they are generally cheaper. Most come with some type of software which may be used for data logging. It is usually easier to set up one of these units than to establish a micro-controller based system. Stand alone ADCs are designed for the purpose of collecting data, that is, data collection is not a secondary or auxiliary function of the device. This may mean that more attention was paid in the design to the analog and shielding portions of the circuit, things which may have been neglected in a micro-controller board with an ADC "tacked on".

There are also a couple of ADCs in this list which are advertised as "oscilloscope probes" or something similar. For some applications where data must be collected at a high speed for short bursts of time these devices might be especially useful. Some of these listings are for semi-conductor manufacturers who do not supply finished ADC circuits. These listings are provided for those who would like to design their own ADC. Application notes are often available from these suppliers. These can be invaluable in creating your own designs.

To see a simple, inexpensive, but effective ADC design CLICK HERE



Allison Technology Corp.
8343 Carvel
Houston, TX 77036

voice (orders): 800-980-9806
voice (tech asst.): 713-777-0401
fax and BBS: 713-777-4736

O-Scope I - Probe interface with oscilloscope, spectrum analyzer, frequency counter , and DVM features. up to 500 kHz. $189.95

Analog Devices

voice: 800-262-5643


Analog to digital integrated circuits.

B&B Electronics:

 P.O.Box 1040M
Ottawa, IL 61350
Tel: (815) 434-0846
FAX: (815) 434-7094
BBS: (815) 434-2927

 Several serial, parallel, and ISA card options. Examples: 232SDA10 is serial 10-bit, 11-channel, 3 digital in, 3 digital out, port-powered, 1200 - 9600 baud communication, Quick Basic programs and a logging utility, $49.95. 232SDA12 is 12-bit, $59.95. ADIO10 is parallel 10-bit, 8-channel, 50k+ samples/sec, $125.95.

Biodata Ltd

It's a British company which designs and manufactures data acquisition

Biodata Ltd
10 Stocks Street, Manchester, M8 8QG, UK
Tel: +44 161-834 6688
Fax: +44 161-833 2190


High end industrial devices with a wide range of specs available.

CoActive Aesthetics, Inc.
P. O. Box 425967
San Francisco, CA 94142

voice: 415-626-5152
fax: 415-626-6320


68HC11 micro-controller board with 32K RAM, 32K EPROM, 28 I/O lines, 8 ch. 8 bit ADC. $89 (in quantity)

Computer Boards, Inc.:

 125 High Street
Mansfield, MA 02048
Tel: (508) 261-1123
FAX: (508) 261-1094

 Variety of multifunction cards. Example: CIO-DAS08/Jr. is 8-channel, 12-bit, 1 kHz plus 16-bit digital I/O plus options


voice: 800-341-2525
voice: 203-483-8815
fax: 203-483-9024
BBS: 203-488-8949

web site

High end industrial stuff, boards, complete systems, I/O, software. Some of there boards have come down in price enough to be of interest to serious amateurs. Will send a CDROM of demos/utilities to qualified customers.

 M232-408 is serial 4-channel, 8-bit, 4 samples/sec, with SW, $129.00. M232-214 is 14-bit, $169.00

Dalanco Spry
89 Westland Ave.
Rochester, NY 14618

voice: 716-473-3610
fax: 716-271-8380

DSP and Data Acquisition boards. High end/ performance.

E-H Engineering Ltd.
3333 Cleveland Ave. #4
Lincoln, NE 68504-2387

voice: 402-466-6720 fax: 402-466-1122

12 bit ADC

Electronic Rainbow
6254 LasPas Trail
Indianapolis, IN 46268

voice: 317-291-7262

DSSA-1 Printer port connected ADC with 71 microsecond sample rate. Total sampling time adjustable from 1 to 10 seconds. Displays as a scope pattern on the screen. Software included. Exportable data to disk or printer. $90 kit $105 assembled.

5465 Vanden Abeele
Montreal, Quebec
Canada H4S 1S1

voice: 800-567-GAGE
voice: 514-337-6893
fax: 514-337-8411
BBS: 514-337-4317


High end industrial boards up to 12 bit at 60 MSPS, Lots of high end software for their boards. Also complete CPU / ADC systems.

Innovation West
2275 Huntington Drive #265B
San Marino, CA 91108

voice: 818-309-6085
FAX : (818) 309-9972
E-mail address: INOVWEST@AOL.COM

 PCDA-01 internal card 8 ch. 8 bit ADC at 10k smp/sec, 24 digital I/O lines. $79
PPDA-01 same but uses printer port interface. $95
Dragonfly D/A Software- real time datascope $35

Intec Inoventures, Inc.

voice: 604-721-5150

Freedom 16 - 16 bit Data Acquisition & Control System. 8 ch 10 bit A/D, RS-232 interface, 34 digital I/Os, holds up to 256K SRAM. Real Time clock available. base price $299

ITC Microcomponents, Inc.
Unit #206
814 West 15th St.
North Vancouver, BC
Canada V7P 1M6

fax: 604-985-6417

8, 10, 12bit ADCs and control boards

JED Micro

An Australian company with some innovative designs including serial connected ADCs.

National Instruments
6504 Bridge Point Parkway
Austin, TX 78730-5039 USA

Tel: (512) 794-0100
Fax: (512) 794-8411


New Micros Inc.
1601 Chalk Hill Road
Dallas, Texas 75212


68HC11 microcontroller boards with 8 bit 8 channel ADCs. Programmable in C, Assembly, Forth, or BASIC. $99 base price. 4 ch. 12 bit ADC controller board with 12bit DAC for $199.

Omega Engineering Inc.
P. O. Box 2669
Stamford, CT 06906-0669

voice: 800-826-6342
U.S. fax: 800-848-4271
International fax: 203-359-7884
BBS: 412-967-5363
Web Site:

Huge catalog of AtoD and other interface equipment, books, software etc. Prices begin at about $200.

Prairie Digital, Inc.
846 Seventeenth ST.
Industrial Park
Prairie Du Sac, WI 53578
Web Site:

voice: 608-643-8599
fax: 608-643-6754

ADC, DAC, Digital I/O lines. Several models. RS-232 interface

Radio Shack

Just about anywhere.

22-168 Digital Volt Meter with RS232 interface. This is a great device. Also acts as a frequency counter to 20 MHz, a capacitance meter, ohmmeter, ammeter and transistor gain tester. You can send the results of any of these tests to your computer via RS232. Data can be read and logged using supplied software or simple programs written in BASIC.

Radio-Sky Publishing
PMB 242 P. O. Box 7063
Ocean View, Hawaii 96737


We have some data collection solutions for you and are constantly working on new ones.  

See our MAX186 Kits, Chips, and ADC


Click here to see schematics for simple analog to digital converters which you can build and use with Data Collect Lite Software.

1117 Batemar Ct.
Cary, NC 27511

Fax/voice 919-481-3170


minicontroller board kit with 8 bit AtoD, 16 I/O pins, programmable in C, assembly, FORTH, or BASIC. $70 kit $90 assembled.

Saelig Company:

 1193 Moseley Road
Victor, NY 14564
Tel: (716) 425-3753
FAX: (716) 425-3835

 A compact FORTH controller/data logger that runs at 20 MHz and has a 40 M hard disk. Includes 8-channel, 10-bit A/D. Starts at $199 (in quantities of 100's).

Vernier Software

 8565 S.W. Beaverton-Hillsdale Hwy.
Portland, OR 97225-2429

voice: 503/297-5317 for more details and ordering information.

Apple computer interface specialists, with inexpensive data collection devices aimed at the school market.

last updated 3/19/2002