The present invention provides a portable data collection device that has a variety of sensors that are interchangeable with a variety of input ports in the device. The various sensors include a data identification feature that provides information to the device regarding the type of physical data produced by each sensor and therefore the type of sensor itself. The data identification feature enables the device to locate the input port where the sensor is connected and self adjust when a sensor is removed or replaced. The device is able to collect physical data, whether or not a function of time. The sensor may also store a unique sensor identifier.