Lascar Electronics have been providing digital display, data logging instruments globally since 1977. Lascar have a wide array of loggers each with their own distinct differences, some of which are more tailored to specific industries whether it be pharmaceutical or food preparation. My review is in the context of carrying out short dampness inspections within the social housing environment.
My favourite logger currently is the EL-USB-2+ or EL-USB-2-LCD+ which I have reviewed in the past. Whilst these loggers are not perfect they are more than capable of completing the tasks that I need from them. They are reliable, accurate, simple to use, fast to set up and are easily transported. In this review I want to know whether the brand new Lascar EL-SIE-2+ will knock the older USB loggers off the top spot to be the go-to data logger of choice.
Firstly I want to briefly touch on Lascars product naming conventions. EL-SIE, EL-USB, EL-MOTE, ELWiFi.. they are not very good names. I feel like whoever is tasked with creating the name for a new device needs to inject some creativity for a name that is a bit more catchy and memorable.
The initial impressions of the EL-SIE are that it is a very slick looking device with a stylish brushed metal look. In my view its Lascars best looking data logger they have created to date and it only gets better once you take a look at the specs.
This logger has a memory capacity of a whopping 1,000,000 total readings, which equates to 500,000 readings per channel. When you compare this to the 16,000 readings you can get from the EL-USB loggers, the improvement in memory capacity is really impressive.
Other general specifications for the logger are as follows:
|Operating Temperature Range||-18 to +55°C|
|Measurement Range (RH)||0 to 100%RH|
|Accuracy ±1.5% typical||0 to 80%RH|
|Logging Rate||10 secs to 24 hrs, user selectable|
|Battery Life||>Around 1 year (@ 10 min logging rate)|
The batteries are inserted into the side of the logger after removing two small screws. The logger takes two AAA batteries, I am very glad Lascar has opted for the AAA battery as they are very easy to obtain if they ever need to be swapped out and provide plenty of battery life. Inserting the batteries is foolproof with the battery diagram on the rear of the logger.
The logger will give you a warning when the battery is low and has a symbol showing you how much battery is left in the device. This is good as the last thing you want to do is set up a logger and have it in place for a week only to realise that it ran out of battery half way through the session.
Setting up the Logger
Setting up the logger is super easy and those familiar with the EL-USB logger set up with the software or datapad will find the options to be much the same. You have four sections when setting up the logger are general settings, temperature settings, humidity settings and start mode.
The settings are pretty self explanatory and allot of the settings I actually keep off. For example I do not set alarms on the logger as I am not looking for the logger to alert tenants to potentially tamper with them. I leave the LED screen off unless you press the button so that the loggers remain as discreet as possible.
After the general settings are complete, it is then just a case of putting in your basic parameters and then you can select the start mode. The start mode is how you would like the logger to start recording, this can be:
- Push to start (push the button on the device to start logging)
- Delayed start (set a future time and date to start logging)
- Immediate start (start logging immediately)
- Triggered start (set a parameter of RH or °C to trigger the logging session)
These options give you more than enough ways of starting the logging session. For me the push to start option is the most flexible as I can set up name and label each logger and then start the logger up when I arrive at the property. The other option that I would commonly use is setting them up using a laptop on site for the immediate start option.
Once the logging session is complete you are left with a few options for viewing the data that you have collected. If you connect the logger to a PC using the USB C cable you can immediately see the data on the logger through a web portal. The portal only remains open when a logger is connected. I tried connecting two loggers at the same time using two cables and opening two different portals but this would not work for me.
You can view a dashboard which gives you a general overview and a summary of the maximum and minimum readings. You can also view the graph view of the data, this view allows you to analyse he data recorded by zooming in to certain areas.
You can download the data from the logging session to your PC, this comes through as a .csv file that can be opened with Microsoft Excel. This is where I think Lascar have missed an opportunity as the file is not compatible with the EasyLog software that is used with the older USB loggers. This presents an issue if you want to analyse data saved on to your computer at a later date.
Another more minor gripe is that there doesn’t seem to be a way to clear the data from the logger without starting a new session. It would be nice to be able to clear the logger so that after you have used it you can clear the data and store them away until they are next needed.
Another option for viewing data is by uploading the logging session to the EasyLog cloud. By doing this you can view the data from multiple loggers simultaneously. This is exactly what I want when analysing multiple loggers after conducting a condensation survey as I will want to get a holistic view of the property.
When you record new data with a logger and upload it to the cloud it replaces the previous recorded session from that logger. This means what ever you are looking at on the cloud will be the most up to date recordings taken. Overall, the cloud functionality works really well.
If you are looking for a data logger with a larger capacity than the EL-USB loggers and that can view data quickly without the need for a software download the new EL-SIE logger is for you.
However, the portability of the older USB loggers when used in conjunction with the datapad as well as the ability to view historic data through the computer based EasyLog software might still be a deciding factor when deciding on whether to go for the upgrade.
If Lascar develop new software (or update the existing) to allow the downloadable .csv file to be viewed in graph format this will solve the issue of not being able to analyse historic data as well as giving the user more choice. If this happens, the EL-SIE data logger will truly be the best of the best.