The MAQ20 system backbone resides within the DIN rail used for module mounting and provides power to and interface between the communications module and the I/O modules. Standard backbones provide for one communication module and 4, 8, 16, or 24 I/O modules. The longest backbone, which accommodates 24 I/O modules, fits in an industry standard 19" rack. Each backbone utilizes a pluggable connector system on each end such that varying system channel counts can be configured using the standard backbones. As a result of this pluggable system, the main part of a system, including the communications module, can be installed in one location while other sets of I/O modules installed in remote locations connect to the main system through a wire harness.

Modules mount on industry standard 35x7.5mm gull-wing DIN rails.

Once a system is established with a system backbone and a communications module, system configuration is accomplished by applying power and installing the I/O modules. These are hot swappable and true 'plug and run'. When an I/O module is plugged into any backbone position, the communications module automatically recognizes that it has been added to the system, registers it in the system configuration record, and makes it immediately available in the host software for use in data acquisition and control and test and measurement applications. Similarly, when a module is removed from any backbone position, the communications module recognizes that it has been unplugged, removes it from the system configuration, and disables it in the software.
  • Compact Mounting in DIN Rail Channel
  • Distribute Power and Communications
  • 4, 8, 16, and 24 Position Models
  • Simplify System Wiring
  • Expandable for Local or Distributed Installation
  • Prevent Reverse Installation
  • Long-Life, Durable, Vibration Resistant Contacts
System Backbones: Distribute Power and Communications

MAQ20-BKPL4, -BKPL8, -BKPL16, -BKPL24 Devices


Part Number DescriptionModule Capacity
DIN Rail Backbone; 1 COM Module and up to 16 I/O Modules 16
DIN Rail Backbone; 1 COM Module and up to 24 I/O Modules 24
DIN Rail Backbone; 1 COM Module and up to 4 I/O Modules 4
DIN Rail Backbone; 1 COM Module and up to 8 I/O Modules 8

Frequently Asked Questions


Where do I download MAQ20 configuration software?
MAQ20 configuration is best performed with ReDAQ Shape software. We do have other software for download as well. Please check out the Software Download Center.

Note:The "MAQ20-945 Configuration Software Tool" was replaced with ReDAQ Shape software tool in 2017.

Can Dataforth provide calibration reports for modules I purchased?
Yes we can provide calibration reports for the modules that you purchased.

You can either
a) visit https://www.dataforth.com/TestDataReport.aspx to search for Test Report Datasheets by Serial Number or
b) you can send us a list of model numbers and their serial numbers to support@dataforth.com

How do I save my module configuration in the Configuration Software Tool (MAQ20-945)?
The Configuration Software Tool for MAQ20 does not have project files that can be saved. Any adjustments you make to the configuration of your modules through the Configuration Software Tool will be saved to the modules themselves, and not to a file on your PC. It is only a tool to change the settings in the modules themselves.

Where do I download the USB drivers for the MAQ20 to be used with ReDAQ Shape?
There are two places that you can download the USB drivers for MAQ20. If you haven't already downloaded ReDAQ Shape, you will be given the option to download the required USB drivers during the installation process. If you already have ReDAQ Shape downloaded and you somehow lost the USB drivers, you can download them from our website. The USB drivers for the 8B isoLynx SLX300 system are identical with the USB drivers for the MAQ20. Visit this link, scroll down to the "Drivers" section on the page and download "USB (Virtual Comm Port Driver)": https://www.dataforth.com/8Bisolynx_download.aspx

How do I convert an RMS voltage to its corresponding peak voltage?
To convert an RMS voltage to its corresponding peak voltage, you simply take the RMS voltage value and multiply it by the square root of 2, or roughly 1.414.

For example, 1500Vrms corresponds to a peak voltage of 1500 * 1.414 = 2121 Vp

How are unlock keys used to license IPEmotion?
Unlock keys are generated from the serial number of the COM module of the system that you purchased. These unlock codes are also generated based on how many I/O modules are in the MAQ20 system. You won't be able to run the data acquisition process in IPEmotion unless you have entered the correct unlock code for your system and the I/O module count of your system is equal to or below the allotted I/O module count determined when the unlock code was generated.

For example, if you purchased an unlock key for a MAQ20-COM2 with 1 MAQ20-VO, 1 MAQ20-VDN, and 2 MAQ20-BRDG modules, this would correspond to an I/O module count of 4. If you attempted to run the acquisition process with this configuration, it would work perfectly. If you decided to remove the two MAQ20-BRDG modules, you would still be able to run the acquisition process. However, if you were to add a MAQ20-FREQ module to your system, bringing your total I/O module count to 5, IPEmotion will not let you start the data acquisition process until the I/O module count is back to 4 or lower.

If you have more than one MAQ20-COM module in your system, it is not necessary to enter additional unlock codes for the extra COM modules.

How are unlock codes used with ReDAQ Shape?
Unlock codes are generated based on the serial number of the COM module of the system you purchased. If you are running an unlicensed version of ReDAQ Shape you sill have access to all the features of the software, but are limited to 1 hour of usage until the software stops. Entering the unlock code associated with your MAQ20 system will remove the time limit and allow unlimited usage of ReDAQ Shape. You must purchase an unlock code for every COM module you are using in order to have unlimited usage of ReDAQ Shape.

Note: Licenses purchased for the Developer version of ReDAQ Shape are not compatible with the User version, and vice versa.

Is it possible to provide external power supply directly to the backplane rail instead through the MAQ20-COM2 front panel?
The MAQ20-COMx module has to be powered through its power connector and it powers the backbone to power the I/O modules.
If you powered the backbone too, then that power supply would fight the power supply from the COM module and they would likely damage each other.

Can I still export my acquired data to a text file or Excel spreadsheet with the User version of ReDAQ Shape?
Yes, these options are available in both the User and Developer versions of ReDAQ Shape.

I tried to print a test data sheet for my MAQ20 module on your website but I couldn’t. Is there anything special I need to do to get a test data sheet for my MAQ20 module?
MAQ20 test data sheets are not available on our website. However, test data sheets for purchased MAQ20 modules are available upon request. Please contact our Customer Service Team at sales@dataforth.com

Can I export data from ReDAQ shape to a text file or Excel spreadsheet?
Yes, ReDAQ Shape offers the option to export data to a .txt file or Excel spreadsheet live without interrupting the data acquisition process. Simply click the "Open Data File" or "Open Excel File" button in the "Analyze" panel.

Can I copy and paste data from ReDAQ Shape while in acquisition?
Yes, ReDAQ Shape has the ability to directly copy and paste raw data from the "Analyze" tab, without interrupting the acquisition process. However, you must use the "Copy To Clipboard" button located at the top left corner of the raw data table - using keyboard commands or right clicking and selecting "Copy" will not work.

Does the MAQ20 Python API support USB connection?
Currently, the MAQ20 Python API only supports Ethernet connection.

Does USB have a faster response time than Ethernet when communicating with the MAQ20?
The MAQ20 ideally has equally fast response times regardless of whether you use USB or Ethernet connection. Other variables outside of the MAQ20 can influence this response time however, such as if you are using a USB to Ethernet adapter or if the MAQ20 is part of a larger company network.

Can the MAQ20 save data directly to a SQL database?
No, the MAQ20 cannot save or export data directly to a SQL database. ReDAQ Shape can export data directly to a .txt, .csv or Excel file, and then the data could be extracted from those files to be uploaded to a SQL database.

Will I run into any problems operating my MAQ20 system for 60 days straight?
No, we have many customers that use our MAQ20 system 24/7, 365 days a year. We also have a weather station onsite that uses a MAQ20 system continuously running 365 days of the year. Please visit https://www.dataforth.com/maq20-remote-access-viewer.aspx to access the weather station demo.

How does the load resistance of a module affect the noise at the output?
Noise at the output of a module is independent of load resistance.

Is the calibration of Dataforth modules traceable to NIST standards?
Yes, calibration of Dataforth modules is traceable to NIST standards.