The Internet of Things (IoT) – Doing Our “Thing” Since Y2K

by Dana Worley | Updated: 09/28/2016 | Comments: 0



Search the Blog

Subscribe to the Blog

Set up your preferences for receiving email notifications when new blog articles are posted that match your areas of interest.

Area / Application

Product Category


Corporate / News

Enter your email address:

Suggest an Article

Is there a topic you would like to learn more about? Let us know. Please be as specific as possible.

Leave this field empty

Y2K computer and progression to accessibility of information

We all remember the year 2000 as the year that The World As We Know It would come to an end. Computer systems were predicted to come crashing down on January 1, leaving in their wake failing infrastructure that would affect millions of lives. In reality, Y2K was a non-event except for a few minor glitches. Today, all those fears that were never realized are a distant memory.

At Campbell Scientific, we also remember the year 2000 as the year we released the NL100. You may remember this as the first device that enabled our dataloggers to send and receive your data via IP network connectivity. In this article, we’ll take a brief look at the products that have been providing you with convenient Internet access to your data for the last 16 years—with a hint of what you can expect in the future.

NL100 Network Link Interface

The NL100 enabled your Campbell Scientific dataloggers to communicate over a local area network or dedicated connection via TCP/IP. This 10baseT Ethernet device was compatible with all our dataloggers, connecting over their CS I/O port or RS-232 port. Additionally, you could attach other communication devices (such as our RF radios) to the NL100, which extended the range of your communication to dataloggers further out in the field. We retired the NL100 in 2013, but it was subsequently replaced by the NL200 (2011) and the NL201 (2013, discussed later).

NL100 Network Link Interface NL200 Network Link Interface

NL115/NL116 Ethernet Interface and CompactFlash Module

In early 2006, we introduced you to the NL115. The NL115 incorporated many of the benefits of the NL100 into a smaller, more rugged package. In addition, the NL115 was coupled with a CompactFlash card slot to extend your datalogger memory. Compatible with the CR1000 and CR3000 dataloggers, the NL115 was the first peripheral device to allow these dataloggers to display web pages directly on the Internet. In 2015, the NL115 was replaced by the NL116, which added the benefit of integrated surge and ESD protection.

NL115 Ethernet Interface and CompactFlash Module NL116 Ethernet Interface and CompactFlash Module

NL120/NL121 Ethernet Interface

The NL120 was released in 2009 and upgraded to the NL121 in 2015. With a lower price, these devices offered you the same benefits of their NL115/NL116 predecessors—without the CompactFlash card slot if you didn't need the additional datalogger memory. The NL120 was retired in 2015, while the NL121 is still going strong.

NL120 Ethernet InterfaceNL121 Ethernet Interface

NL201 Network Link Interface

Although the NL201 (2013) is a follow-on product to the NL100, it deserves a mention of its own because of the powerhouse of capabilities it brings to the table. Using unique technology to bridge the Ethernet and CS I/O ports, the NL201 provides you with direct access to the integrated IP functionality (web page access, email, FTP) of our IP-capable dataloggers. The NL201 can also act as a standard TCP serial server, serial client, Modbus TCP/IP gateway, and TLS proxy server for HTTPS and user-defined-port communication.

NL201 Network Link Interface

NL240 Wireless Network Link Interface

Released in 2011, the NL240 was the first Campbell Scientific device to provide Wi-Fi connectivity over 802.11b/g/n wireless networks. Along with this connectivity, the NL240 provides you with access to all the IP capabilities of our IP-enabled dataloggers (viewing of web pages, email capabilities, HTTP, and FTP).

NL240 Wireless Network Link Interface

CC5MPX Digital Camera

The CC5MPX digital camera was released in 2011. This high-quality, low-power camera was designed specifically for your outdoor observations in remote locations, capturing the still or video images you need. You can control this camera by an internal timer, motion detection, a web page interface, or a datalogger. The CC5MPX can function as a stand-alone camera or transmit images back to your datalogger, which, in turn, can transmit those images back to your computer or display them in a web page. The CC5MPX also supports transmission of your images via FTP.  

CC5MPX Digital Camera

CR6 Measurement and Control Datalogger

The year 2014 saw the release of the CR6, our first datalogger to offer an integrated Ethernet connection. Like our other IP-enabled dataloggers, the CR6 is capable of serving up web pages, email send/receive, FTP, and HTTP. This datalogger supports Ethernet 10/100 and includes programming instructions to control power to the Ethernet port for your applications that are running under a limited power budget. 

CR6 Measurement and Control Datalogger


In 2015 we added Wi-Fi capability to the CR6. Supported Wi-Fi technologies include 802.11 b/g/n, WPA/WPA2-Personal, WPA/WPA2-Enterprise Security, and WEP. With communication rates of up to 72 Mbps over 802.11n, the CR6-WIFI handles your communication and other IP tasks without delay. The ability to do both Ethernet and Wi-Fi allows a CR6 datalogger to aggregate your data from remote dataloggers wirelessly, while transmitting your data to a server over Ethernet.

CR6-WIFI Datalogger

“Things” to Come

As you can see from this article’s brief product history, Campbell Scientific has been helping you access your data via the Internet even before the world was concerning itself with the Internet of Things. And while the CR6 is our first datalogger to support integrated Ethernet and Wi-Fi communications, we don't expect it to be our last.

Over the years, how have you used Campbell Scientific's Internet-enabled dataloggers or communication devices to “do your thing”? Post a comment below, and share your special application story.

Share This Article

About the Author

dana worley As the Software Product Manager at Campbell Scientific, Inc., Dana Worley spends her days managing software issues, providing second-tier customer support, and documenting the instruction set for CRBasic dataloggers. Occasionally, she can be found commenting on Campbell Scientific’s user forum. Away from the office, Dana enjoys hiking, mountain biking, and playing Fused Glass Artist in her home studio (which requires many bandages!).

View all articles by this author.


Please log in or register to comment.

We're active on Social Media!
Stay informed with our latest updates by following us on these platforms: