Multiple ShapeArray (SAAs) can be connected to Measurand’s SAA232-5 converter which functions as a multiplexor. The SAA232-5 works in much the same way as the SAA232 (converts RS232 to RS485, provides surge protection for the ShapeArray, and applies power to a single ShapeArray at a time) but it can accept up to five ShapeArrays and connects them all to one serial port of the PC. The SAA232-5 is used to sample one ShapeArray at a time through the same PC serial port.


For applications where very fast readings are required, multiple SAA232 or SAAUSB devices should be used in place of an SAA232-5.


This guide references the following documentation:

In SAASuite 3.0 or higher, the SAARecorder application is launched by clicking the Manual Data Collection button.

Figure 1: Launch SAARecorder from SAASuite by clicking the Manual Data Collection button

Step 1 - Connect ShapeArrays to the SAA232-5

Plug the ShapeArrays into the green 5-pin connectors on the SAA232-5, as shown in Figure 2.B below.

Figure 2: An SAA232-5 - (A) Power and data connection, (B) ShapeArray connections


Figure 3: A 5-pin Phoenix connector that plugs into the SAA232-5's ShapeArray connections (Figure 2.B above)

The wiring for a 5-pin terminal block or Phoenix Connector is shown in the figure below.

Figure 4: Wiring for a 5-pin terminal block or Phoenix Connector

Step 2 - Connect SAA232-5 to PC via USB Port

If you are connecting using a USB port, Measurand’s SAA232-PC cable will be needed. 



Figure 5: An SAA232-PC cable

Remove the 4-pin connector in SAA232-5 from the power and data connection, as shown in Figure 2.A above. Plug the 4-pin connector on the SAA232-PC cable into the now empty slot on the SAA232-5. 

Ensure that the USB connector is plugged into an available USB port on the PC that will be running the SAARecorder application. 

The marked wire (band or white stripe) should be connected to a +12 V power supply. The black wire should be connected to Ground (GND) on the same power supply. Alternatively, the standard 2.1 mm DC power connector can be used to supply power. 

NOTE: Built-in PC serial ports can also be used to connect to an SAA232-5, see Step 3 below with regards to wiring.

Step 3 - Alternatively, Connect SAA232 to PC via Serial Port

If connecting to the SAA232 via a serial port on the PC, connect the PC serial port to the green 4-pin connector on the SAA232, as shown in Figure 2.A above


Figure 6: A PC serial port

The wiring for a 4-pin terminal block or Phoenix Connector is shown in the figure below.


Figure 7: The wiring for 4-pin terminal block or Phoenix Connector

Step 4 - Start SAARecorder

Start SAARecorder by clicking the Manual Data Collection button in SAASuite. Click the Connect SAA button.

Figure 8: The SAARecorder Startup window

In the Connect window, select the COM Port you are using and select the SAA232-5 option. Select the SAA232-5 Channels to which ShapeArrays have been connected. 


Figure 9: The Connect window in SAARecorder

To go to the data collection portion of SAARecorder, click the Start with found SAAs button. Otherwise, click Next and follow the steps listed below.

Step 5 - Optional, Click on the Search Tab

Click on the Search tab in the Connect window of SAARecorder. This causes SAARecorder to look for ShapeArrays on each of the previously selected serial ports or SAA232-5 channels as described in the above mentioned guides. It tests communications with each microprocessor of a ShapeArray.


Figure 10: The Search tab in the SAARecorder Connect window

Each microprocessor has a unique serial number and is responsible for one item based on the model of ShapeArray connected: 

  • Models 1 and 2 SAAF and SAAScan: An octet (group of 8 segments) 
  • Model 3 SAAF and later ShapeArrays: A segment (every segment has a microprocessor) 

If the search is successful and the expected devices are found, click the Next button, as shown in Figure 1 above. If any issues occur please refer to the Software FAQs.

Step 6 - Optional, Click on the Devices Tab

Some devices are not automatically detected. The Devices tab is where they would be added manually. Devices that have been previously found in the Connection or Search tab should appear here automatically. Some devices, such as piezometers and older ShapeArrays, need to be added manually. To add a device manually, click the Add Device link in the SAA Serial Numbers table.


Figure 11: The Devices tab in the SAARecorder Connect window

In the Enter Device Serial Number dialog, enter the Serial Number and COM Port and click the OK button. 


Figure 12: The Enter Device Serial Number dialog

Repeat this step until all desired devices have been added. Once all the devices have been selected click the Next button.

Step 7 - Optional, Click on the Test Tab

The Test tab runs Basic and Voltage / Current tests on the devices before starting SAARecorder application. Each test can be performed by clicking their respective buttons. Both tests can be performed if desired. The SAARecorder interface for viewing and recording data can be started by clicking the Continue button or clicking the Save and Continue button.


Figure 13: The Test tab in the SAARecorder Connect window

Step 8 - Optional, Troubleshoot Connection Issues

If there are issues connecting, please refer to the following FAQs