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Signal Recovery Acquire (DAQ) Data Acqusition Software

"Acquire" is the name of our dedicated data acquisition software, now updated to add support for the model 3830 multiplexer as well as being tested to run on PC's using Windows 10 and earlier operating systems down to Windows XP.
Up to ten of our instruments can be operated simultaneously, so for example, if you are making impedance measurements you cause one lock-in amplifier to record the sample current signal while a second logs the sample voltage. In experiments using our 5113 preamplifier you can adjust the settings, while systems using one lock-in can make multiplexed measurements on several detectors by using the model 3830 mux to connect them in turn to the lock-in.

The software includes a powerful plotting engine that lets you show data just as you want it using a variety of line styles, allows data export to both text and CSV files, offers comprehensive clipboard support, and includes a context-sensitive help system.

It also makes connecting up hardware as easy as possible. There is no need to adjust communications settings on the instrument - simply connect it up via Ethernet, USB, GPIB, or RS232 serial (depending on the ports available on the instrument and on the PC) and let the software find it. Each time you start the application it checks that the required instruments are connected and warns you if they are not.

The program offers two main operating modes, Virtual Front Panel and Experiment Recording Mode, as follows:

Virtual Front Panel
In this mode virtually all of the functions of the connected instrument(s) can be controlled from the computer via series of property pages on a "remote front panel" property sheet. Each sheet reflects the features available in the controlled instrument. Two data outputs from the instrument can be selected from the range available and these are clearly shown on-screen. If several instruments are connected then separate panels can be opened for each one. Once correctly set up, a button allows the panels to be shrunk to conserve screen space so that only the outputs are displayed.

Experiment Recording Mode
In this mode an experiment is defined in which the instrument output(s) are recorded as a function of some X-axis variable. The range of possibilities for the X-axis variable depends on the capabilities of the connected instruments, but include such parameters as time, frequency, oscillator amplitude, auxiliary DAC voltage, digital delay and trigger events. Data is plotted to screen either as it is acquired or after acquisition on user-defined axes. You can then adjust the display to the required form prior to generating hard-copy output on any Windows compatible printer or plotter. Data may also be exported to ASCII or CSV (comma separated value) text files for further analysis with third party software. The program includes the ability to save defined experiments as "test" files allowing easy replication of previous runs. Experiment definitions are also stored within saved data files, and can be extracted and reloaded from them. If you need to run the same experiment repeatedly then settings can be saved on program exit and reloaded on startup for greater convenience.

Support for Curve Buffer and Fast Buffer/Transient Recorder Modes
The models 7225, 7265 and 7280 include 32,768 point curve buffers, while those in the models 7124, 7230, and 7270 have 100,000 points. Acquire fully supports these, including the use of binary curve dumps to speed data transfer. Use of the buffer allows much faster data acquisition than is possible when data is displayed to screen as it is being taken, while the program now also allows frequency sweeps using the buffered mode. Transient recorder mode will digitize any ±10V analog waveform to 16 bits at 40kSa/s (25µs per point) in the 7225, 7265 and 7280, while in the 7124, 7230, and 7270 it can operate at rates up to 250kSa/s (4µs per point), giving a useful extra feature at no extra cost.


Acquire is suitable for use with virtually all our computer-controlled instruments and operates via either the RS232, GPIB (IEEE-488), Ethernet, Direct USB, or USB (via models CE0115S or CE0116S) interfaces. Up to ten instruments from the following list can be operated simultaneously: 5105, 5106, 5110(A), 5209, 5210, 7124, 7220, 7220BFP, 7225, 7225BFP, 7230, 7260, 7265, 7270, 7280, 7280BFP, 7310, 4161A, 9650A (with 9650A/97 GPIB option) and 5113. It requires a PC computer running at 1.0GHz or faster with hard disk, CD, 2 MByte of free disk space, suitable communications ports (either Ethernet, RS232, USB or a free internal PCI bus slot), and Microsoft Windows XP/Vista/Windows 7 or later for full installation and operation. It includes a comprehensive context-sensitive help system and free support is available to registered users. If ordered through our normal distribution channels it is supplied on a CD complete with 83-page printed instruction manual.

Connecting up...

When ordering this software, don't forget to make sure that you have a suitable Ethernet, USB, RS232 or GPIB cable and GPIB interface card. Click on the links below to reach these items.

What's new in Version 4.3.2?

  • The software is tested for operation under Windows 10 (32 and 64 bit versions), as well as still functioning when used with earlier versions of Windows from XP onwards.
  • If the host PC is fitted with multiple network cards then all of them are tested when trying to establish communications with instruments connected via Ethernet
  • The settings of the meter display selections in the remote front panel are now saved when the panel is closed and restored when it is reopened
  • Dual external reference frequency mode on the models 7124, 7270 and 7230 is now supported, assuming the instruments have firmware later than version 2.11
  • Added support for the Model 3830 Multiplexer. This unit has six BNC connectors which can be interconnected in various ways using seven relays. It is operated and powered via a USB connection to the controlling computer.
  • Introduced the additional ability to read two outputs from the same instrument at each sample point, but with different instrument setups (known as instrument 'states'). In the case of lock-in amplifiers with a choice of A and -B voltage input modes, this allows a single instrument to be used to make measurements on two different signals in cases where they are stable during the sample time. This is a form of two way multiplexing of the input signal. The mode also supports operation of any connected Model 3830 Multiplexer(s), allowing up to eight different signals from many different sources to be measured at each sample time. Other channels in the multiplexer(s) can be used to switch the oscillator output or other excitation output signal if required. Amongst other applications, this mode allows a single instrument to record both sample voltage and current signals at the same step number, as is needed when making impedance measurements.
  • Added the ability to set "Auto" in the Time per Step setting of the Acquisition X data setup dialog. When this is selected, the time per step is adjusted to the minimum possible settling time based on the operating frequency, time constant, and slope. It is especially useful when using a lock-in to perform swept frequency measurements over a wide frequency range, where the time needed to make measurements at low frequencies is necessarily much longer than that needed at higher frequencies. Using the Auto setting allows much faster overall data acquisition.
  • The online help system has been updated to show screens as they appear when running under Windows 10.
  • A number of other minor bugs have also been fixed.

Try before you Buy - Download Acquire Today!

This latest version of Acquire can be downloaded free of charge by clicking the link below. When installed, it will operate in a demonstration mode, known as DemoAcquire, for a period of seven days from first installation. During this time you can evaluate the program to see if it meets your needs, and if it does, choose to purchase it by activating a link from within the software. Once you have purchased the required Activation Code and installed it, the program will be fully unlocked and operate in the full Acquire mode thereafter. The download includes the full product manual in Adobe PDF format for your convenience.

Product Support and Upgrades

Product support and upgrades are automatic and free of charge to existing users of Acquire 3.00 and later versions. If you have already purchased the product and installed it then you can simply download and install any later version by clicking the link below, and the setup program will update the existing installation. You do not need to reactivate the updated program, since this is done automatically. This procedure will ensure that all users of this software have the easiest possible access to the latest version. To check if you need to upgrade, see the product version number in the program's "About" box and verify if this matches the version given below. If it is a lower number then you should upgrade.

Current Version Number: 4.3.2

Download free copy of Acquire

Date: 16 January 2020

Product Activation

Following installation, the software will function in the demonstration mode (DemoAcquire) until it is activated. In order to complete the product activation, you will require a unique activation code.
  • If you have already placed a purchase order with us for the full software package, then we will supply this code on receipt and verification of details entered in the form that can be accessed by clicking the link below.
  • If you have not yet ordered the full software package then complete the form that can be accessed by clicking the link below and we will contact you to give details of pricing applying in your particular territory.
Using an earlier version?

If you are using an earlier version (i.e. version number 2.9 or lower) of the package, and have registered your purchase by returning the product registration document, then you qualify for a reduced price upgrade. If you have never registered your purchase then you may still do so by clicking the link below and completing the form. We will then contact you with details of the upgrade price.
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