Why Use the USB Port?
The USB port is replacing all the old serial and parallel ports as the first choice method for attaching peripherals.
It works in real time
USB works at up to 1KHz in real time. That means that data is not cached on the acquisition board for a slower download later on. This makes it ideal for control or monitoring applications where the data is used immeadiately. It also removes the problem of having limited space to store data before it is downloaded.
It is better than the serial port
Serial ports work at 57 kbits, which means that it is difficult to sample at anything over 50Hz. The serial port also suffers from a lack of error correction and the fact that you can only plug in one device at a time.
It has its own power supply
The USB port will power devices plugged into it, meaning that an external supply for the Stirling DAQ is not needed. This means fewer wires and greater portability.
It is standard and ubiquitous
The USB port is here to stay, and you'll find one on every new computer made. Many computers now have several USB ports, so you should always have a spare.
USB Plug and Play
With automatic device detection, the USB port allows you to simply plug in a new device, such as the Stirling DAQ, and immeadiately start to use it.
USB is Hot Pluggable
Unplugging from the serial or parallel ports runs the risk of blowing a circuit. With USB, however, you can unplug a device while it is running with out fear of damage.