Arduino Uno or Labjack U3 for new project??????

Hi all,

this is my first post and I am new to Arduino and Labjack. I have a project that requires the signals from 6 independant sensors (force sensors fed into instrumentation amplifiers) to be sampled at around 100Hz and fed into the USB port of a laptop for further processing. In terms of time-to-solution, amount of programming and potential project support, should I consider the Arduino Uno or the Labjack U3? Which is likely to provide the easier solution? (cost not a big issue; but time, effort and stress is!). I programme in C, C# and Matlab script. Any informed opinions more than welcome!!



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What is Labjack U3?

Considering the inclusion of LJStreamUD with the LabJack U3, that would certainly mean a quicker time-to-solution with LabJack U3 than with Arduino Uno. LJStreamUD is an all-inclusive data acquisition software package, that will automatically create a tab-delimited ASCII file of your data. With Arduino Uno you would need to develop this data handling on your own.

As for project support, LabJack has a very active support forum at, and of course Arduino has this forum. I guess it boils down to deciding if you want a basically plug-and-play data acquisition application, or if you prefer to write your own.

There are plenty of PC-to-Arduino interfaces available ( that would be comparable to LJStreamUD. Reading 6 analog inputs and sending them over serial 100 times a second is not a difficult interfacing problem, mind you.

Personally I wouldn't want to invest time in learning the LabJack. You say you know electronics and C programming so I don't think you'd have problems getting up to speed on Arduino.

Aside from the price the Arduino has one big advantage over the LabJack -- you can disconnect the computer ;)

None of the FREE PC to Arduino interfaces comes close to what LJStreamUD does, and LJStreamUD is FREE with the LabJack. As for disconnecting the Arduino, that adds another two levels of complexity as the OP will need to arrange for a way to store the data samples while disconnected from the PC, as well as providing for a power supply. Since time, effort, and stress are major concerns according to the OP, but price is not, LabJack is hands down a simpler, less stress, less effort solution for this scenario. Time to solution and amount of programming are absolutely less with the LabJack.

I based my suggestion on the OP's stated project guidelines.

Thanks for the advice guys. I would love to do an Arduino project (and I will in the near future), but I think the Labjack might be the easier solution in this circumstance. Although, many of my projects will be very similar; sensors to instrumentation amps to ADC to uC/Labjack to USB input, so perhaps I should spend time now developing an Arduino template that I can use again and again, or I may get sucked down the Labjack route permanently. :~ XD

I would follow your plan to develop the Arduino template when you have the time - it's a MUCH cheaper solution.