Hobo Data Logger FAQs

Hobo Data Logger FAQs Hobo Data Loggers

What is a data logger?

Data loggers are electronic devices that record measurements, such as temperature or relative humidity, at set intervals over a period of time.

Typically, data loggers are small and battery-powered. This makes them ideal for recording measurements in remote sites or any place where battery power is preferred.
How does a data logger work?

A data logger must first be connected to a computer with the appropriate data logger software installed. The data logger software is used to set parameters such as logging interval and to launch the logger.

Once launched, the data logger can then be disconnected from the computer and placed in the desired location. The data logger then records measurements along with the date and time and stores them in its memory. The saved data must then be transferred back to a computer with data logger software in order to view it.
How do I get the recorded data from my Hobo data logger to my computer?

The U12 indoor data loggers can be connected directly to your computer using a USB interface cable that is included with Hoboware® Pro software. The Hobo U-Shuttle Data Transporter allows you to offload data from your U12 loggers and transport it back to your computer without having to bring the logger back to your computer.

The Pro V2 outdoor data loggers require a Hobo Waterproof Shuttle to launch the loggers and to offload data. The shuttle allows you to offload and transport the data without bringing the logger back to your computer. The shuttle can then be connected to the computer with the USB interface cable included with the Hoboware® Pro software. Both the U12 and the Pro V2 data loggers require Hoboware® software installed on your computer.
What type of port do I need on my computer for the Hobo data loggers?

The Hobo U12 and Pro V2 data loggers require an available USB port.
Can Hobo data loggers be submerged in water? Buried in soil?

The U12 and Pro V2 data loggers cannot be submerged in water or buried in soil. Certain models of these data loggers have external temperature sensors on cables. These temperature sensors can be submerged in water or buried in soil.

Note: The external temperature/relative humidity sensors cannot be submerged in water or buried in soil.
Can I use the indoor data loggers outdoors?

No. The indoor loggers were manufactured for indoor use in non-condensing environments. Condensation will form from morning dew, temperature swings, fog, mist, and high relative humidity (RH). The indoor data loggers are designed for indoor applications where the RH does not go above 95%.

If used outdoors unprotected, you will experience data loss and eventually damage the logger.
Can the Hobo data loggers be exposed to any type of chemicals?

This is dependent on the logger you are using and the chemical and/or concentration of the chemical that the logger is exposed to. Generally, these loggers are intended for exposure to air, soil, and water. Many chemicals will have an adverse effect on the loggers and/or the sensors that the loggers utilize. Contact our product support team with questions regarding specific chemical contact with the loggers.
Can I use my light logger as an inexpensive light meter?

No. These light intensity loggers are designed to give you a comparative idea of how much light there is in an area: sunlight versus shade, lights on versus off, etc. If you are planning on recording specific lighting information or absolute values, these loggers will not provide the accurate measurements you need.
Are the batteries replaceable?

Yes, the batteries in the U12 and Pro v2 data loggers that we carry are user-replaceable.
How often should I replace the battery in my logger?

Expected battery life varies based on the logging interval and the operation/storage temperature of the logger.  Operating or storing the data logger in extreme cold or heat will greatly reduce the expected battery life.

For the U12 family of indoor loggers the typical battery life is one year with logging intervals of greater than one minute.

For the Pro V2 outdoor data loggers the typical battery life is three years with logging intervals of greater than one minute.
Where can I purchase replacement batteries for my Hobo data logger?

You can purchase replacement batteries through the company you purchased the logger from originally or from the manufacturer directly.

You may also be able to purchase replacement batteries at a local electronic shop or battery store.  The manufacturer, voltage, and part number is listed on the original battery.
How much data will my Hobo data logger store?

The Hobo U12 and Pro V2 data loggers each store 64K bytes of data, or about 42,000-43,000 12-bit measurements.
The battery in my logger died while out in the field. Did I lose all of my data?

No, the data is stored on nonvolatile EEPROM.  The logger will have saved data up until the point when the batteries died.  To retrieve this data replace the batteries, offload the data, and re-launch normally.
I cannot communicate with my logger. I cannot launch my logger. Why?

Remove the battery and place the battery back in the battery terminal.  Watch the LED light, the moment the battery touches the battery terminal the LED will blink a few times rapidly.  If the LED does not blink, the battery is dead.  Replace the battery, download your data, and re-launch your logger.

If your logger does not launch, and you have a PCMCIA network card as part of your computer, try removing the card and launching the logger again.  At times, the PCMCIA card will interfere with the launch of the logger.
Can the U12 loggers be used with a serial port?

No. The U12 loggers have a direct USB interface, and there is no equivalent USB to serial converter available to convert USB to RS-232.
How do I turn the logger off?

All HOBO loggers shut off when the memory is full (unless wrap around is selected), or the data is downloaded to a computer. Once the data is downloaded to the computer, the logger is in off mode and will need to be relaunched to continue data collection. If the logger you are using is shuttle-compatible and you are downloading to a shuttle, the shuttle will automatically relaunch the logger using the previous settings.
What should I do if the logger’s internal board gets wet?

If possible, remove the board from the case and the battery from the board. Dry the board completely using a hair dryer. If the board was exposed to salt water, rinse the board with fresh water and then dry the board. You may try inserting a new battery and downloading the data. If you are unable to access the data, or see any sign of corrosion or tarnishing on the board, contact the place of purchase for a return number. The data may be retrievable, and the logger may be repairable. Charges will apply and are dependent on the amount of damage.
How often do the loggers need recalibration or servicing?

All Hobo loggers are manufactured using precision components.  As long as the loggers are not damaged, or exposed to conditions outside of their operating range, they should maintain their accuracy.  The RH sensors, however, can drift over a period of time.  You should test your RH sensors in a controlled environment on a yearly basis to make sure that they are running within the specifications that are outlined in the user’s manual.
Why is my logger shutting off prematurely?

A discharge of static electricity may cause a running logger to stop recording. Precautions should be taken to prevent this while handling the logger.

Discharges may occur in the following situations:

When there is a charge difference between the logger and a cable being connected to it or a person touching an exposed jack.

Static discharge may not appear right away; it could affect the logger anytime during deployment.

Although we do not have the facilities for testing all environments where static electricity can interfere with logger operation, feedback from customers has assisted us in developing the following list of potential issues:
ESD
Electrofishing
X-Ray machine
Exposure to an extremely strong magnetic field / overhead power lines
Electrical/Lightning Storms

It is always important to check the status of the LED on the logger to verify operation and to have the equipment and software available to relaunch the loggers if necessary.
How do I protect my loggers from electrical discharge (ESD)?

Precautions include:

Equalize the charge between yourself and the logger before contact. Charge build-up often occurs from walking across a carpet, especially when the humidity is low. Wool, nylon, or polyester clothing increases the charge build-up. Touching a grounded metal object such as a water pipe will dissipate the charge and prevent sparking. When plugging in a cable, handle the plug by the insulated part to reduce charge transfer to the logger. Do not touch the exposed metal connector shell of the logger. When using external voltage or current cables, connect the cable to the sensor circuit first before plugging into the logger.


On outdoor/industrial loggers, minimize contact with the board when installing cables. (When outdoors, shoe charge buildup is probably less of a problem, but touching the ground first is a good idea.)

When changing the battery, ground yourself before opening the logger and maintain contact with the board during the whole process.

Be careful when transporting loggers. When loggers are launched and transported in bags (especially plastic and nylon), a static electrical charge can be generated and discharged to a logger. To avoid this, use anti-static bags to transport the loggers and prevent the introduction of static to the loggers.
What does the CE stamp on the logger mean?

The CE mark identifies the product as complying with relevant directives in the European Union.