Take Readings From a Campbell Scientific CS616 Sensor

Updated Mar 8, 2018

Reported In


  • myDAQ Student Data Acquisition Device


  • NI-DAQmx


Campbell Scientific CS616 Sensor

Issue Details

I am trying to install CS616 sensor from Campbell scientific. How do I use this sensor with my Data Acquisition device (DAQ)?


The sensor outputs a ±0.7 V square wave (with frequency dependent on water content). We recommend to use a counter task with this device in order to measure the wave characteristics.

You will also need external signal conditioning to amplify the square wave to comply with the DAQ's input characteristics for the counter lines (usually DIO characteristics of the device).

Additional Information

The CS616 measures the volumetric water content of porous media (such as soil) using the time-domain measurement method; a reflectometer (cable tester) such as the TDR100 is not required. This method consists of the CS616 generating an electromagnetic pulse. The elapsed travel time and pulse reflection are then measured and used to calculate soil volumetric water content.


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