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Measure the Dynamic Range of My Data Acquisition Device in LabVIEW

Updated Jan 11, 2019

Reported In


  • LabVIEW Full

Issue Details

How do I measure the dynamic range of My Data Acquisition Device in LabVIEW?


The dynamic range of a DAQ device is the ratio of the highest signal level to the smallest signal level a circuit can measure (usually equal to the noise floor), normally expressed in dB.

One approximation of the Dynamic Range is the dB equivalent of Idle Channel Noise which you can find using the following method:
  1. ​Terminate an input channel.
  2. Calculate the offset and subtract it from the original signal.
  3. Convert the remaining signal to Vrms (Idle Channel Noise).
  4. Convert input range to Vrms (Full Scale Amplitude of AI Channel).
  5. Divide the two values and convert to dB. 

Additional Information

The industry standard (and SVMS Dynamic Range SubVI) technically requires a high quality -60dB input tone instead of a terminated input channel.  For most NI devices you get the same number using either method.


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