• What is a data logger?
  • How to use a data logger?
  • How to analyze data from a data logger?
  • What are the best data loggers?

🚩These are the questions we answer in this article.

💬A data logger is a tool used for collecting information. This is the most general definition of a data logger. With a data logger, you can receive information such as pressure, intake air mass, boost, fuel, AFR, injection, and etc. from the vehicle's ECU.

❓But what is the purpose of this and why is it done? In fact, the question is what is the benefit of having this information?

✅There are various individuals and uses for data loggers. Engineers preparing a car for racing, tuners looking to enhance the performance and efficiency of their customers' vehicles, and even individuals seeking to measure specific parameters to address a particular issue, all fall into the category of those who use this device. Any other uses (which are many!) can probably be classified into these three main categories.

❓Another question that arises is what features a data logger should have and what type of data it should record?

✅Let's say that in general, there are different types of data loggers that record different parameters. In fact, it can be said that one of the differences between data loggers is the number of information they record (we are not concerned about the method and quality for now!). So, up to this point, the number of information that we receive from the data logger is an important point. With this explanation, you will come to the conclusion that most data loggers that record more information will also have a higher price.

Some ECU programmers, such as Autotuner and Flex, and many car diagnosis machines are also equipped with a data logger and are capable of recording ECU information. From the points that have been mentioned, we can conclude that the cost you are willing to pay for a data logger should align with the goal you have and the parameters you need, as the variety of products in this market is high and you will need to be able to update and adapt your tools to your needs and requirements.

💬Setting up a data logger:

Perhaps more important than knowing how to connect to a data logger and use it, is preparing the vehicle for using the data logger. But why is this important? The point is that the purpose of using a data logger is to obtain information. We all know that to analyze information as best as possible, we need certain skills, but if this information is incorrect or inaccurate, all subsequent analyses will be futile. Therefore, if we want to have more accurate data, we need to minimize error factors and bring the vehicle to the closest state to the test condition of the manufacturer. This means (for example) you need to adjust the tire pressure because too low or too high pressure can take friction out of its useful range. Or as another example, you need to adjust the coolant level, check the engine oil, ensure the cleanliness of the car's filters, and even make sure there is no extra load as it increases the car's mass, which clearly reduces efficiency.

After checking the initial items, it's time to establish a connection between the device and the ECU, which is done through the OBD port in most vehicles and data logger brands. Through this port, you can communicate with the ECU and extract information, read the ECU file, or even write new ECU tuning files.

Next, to establish a connection between the data logger and a device such as a laptop or your mobile phone, you need to install the data logger software (on the device being used). Also, it is important to check before purchasing a data logger what operating system the software supports and which operating systems it is compatible with.

After these steps, you can start working with the data logger. Do not panic and do not rush! The user interface of most data loggers is not designed in a way that will confuse you! So calmly extract the information and move on to the next step.

💬Data logger parameters:

After recording the initial data, the next important step is to analyze this data correctly. You will be faced with a large amount of data that you need to search for the information you need within them. However, the key point is right here: do not let the large volume of data confuse you. You need specific information that you are looking for. So ignore the information you do not need so that you can focus on the data you need. This may be your only way to start working with data loggers, but it also has another advantage. When you use simpler, clearer, and necessary information, your progress in working with data loggers will be faster, and you will become proficient in this work in a shorter period of time.

So do not forget this point and analyze the necessary and more familiar information with calmness and focus.

🏁The last step:

It's simple! You have done the analyses and come to the conclusion that the fan temperature needs to change, the AFR is not suitable, fuel consumption is high, or any other issue. So get to work; if you need to replace parts, do it, if you need to reprogram, reprogram, and if there are mechanical problems, fix them.

If you need data analysis for your work, if you want to analyze more advanced data, or if you are interested in learning this work in general, you can check out our data logger analysis course.

🔥Best data loggers:

As mentioned, there are several brands of data loggers in the market, and indeed, good brands are not few. However, in this section, we have listed some of them for you, and we will gradually make this list more complete.

  1. CSS Electronics, CANedge2 & CANedge1
  2. vgate, vLinker MC+
  3. AUTEL, MaxiSys
  4. Magic Motorsport, Flex
  5. Motec, MoTeC

📍If you have any question, feel free to contact us at: support@caracaltech.com