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Mechanical diagnostics and prognostics systems provide information and predictions based on the condition and potential life of the monitored component through the data that is acquired. A current issue with sophisticated diagnostic systems is the variance of the data for apparently identical operating conditions. This paper examines the variance issue through the low level signal applied to advanced diagnostic systems. The low level data acquisition process may be grouped as spatial separated data and time separated data. This paper examines potential errors introduced at the lowest level of the diagnostics system and the potential effect on the variance that is seen in operation.