Monitoring Hardware

For temperature measurements we are using laboratory interfaces, the CompuLAB laboratory interface and a Novus myPClab, in conjunction with several PT100 sensors connected through a control/calibration box.

This particular interface is specifically designed to work with temperature sensors and runs a linearization algorithm to increase the accuracy of our PT100 Class A sensors up to 0.2%. One PT100 sensor is installed over the intake of the computer case which we are testing and the other sensor is installed horizontally over its exhaust, with the rest being mounted on our faux boards as described in the previous page. Finally, our control/calibration box allows us to run relay commands and occasionally check and fine-tune the accuracy of the system.

A SL-5868P digital sound level meter with an USB interface is being used to record the sound level of the computer case under test. During our acoustics tests all cooling fans of our laboratory PC temporarily cease to operate in order to produce the most accurate results possible. The sound level meter is mounted one meter away towards the front side of the case in a straight line and with no obstacles in-between.

Finally, we are using our single phase Lutron DW-6091 power analyzer to take readings of the system’s power drain, which is transferred directly to our software via its RS232 interface. The Lutron DW-6091 is a class G 1.5 measuring instrument, meaning that all results are 1.5% accurate or better.

Monitoring Software

Our testing equipment is relatively simple but we still needed a custom software application. We designed a simple, automated application which simply records the readings of the sensors every few minutes and can extract the data directly to an Excel file. It also is fully adjustable and customizable which is able to meet with any future modifications and/or upgrades. Finally, the software also controls and monitors the power feed of the system and will display a warning if the system draws less power than predicted.

Above: Temperature and power readouts during a test run

Above: Graph from a test run showing temperature of various components versus time.