Category: hardware

includes the museum of data logging with two decades of school equipment. Also here are articles about computer hardware. I have shelved my many reviews of data logging equipment because they seem as useful as yesterday’s weather forecast.

temperature sensor

Sensors to measure heat and temperature These sensors are available in all flavours to suit different applications. You should be able to decide on the type that suits whole class use and have any...

museum of data logging

Here are pictures of labs, data loggers, sensors and experiments from the 1990’s to the 2000’s. You’ll see different solutions to computers in a lab and for example, different colorimeters and different ways to...

measuring visible change in liquids

Measuring the appearance of cloudy sulfur when we mix acid and sodium thiosulfate is a popular science teaching activity. We can change the temperature or concentration of the reagents, and see whether the mixture...

the brilliant all-in-one printer from HP (2001)

Hewlett-Packard hp psc 950 All-in one printer, scanner, copier, fax and photo-card reader. (TES December 2001) £299 Contact: www.hp.com. Reviewed by Roger Frost Need a photo printer, flatbed scanner and fax? We’ve been through...

the digital darkroom – project and print (2003)

One thing we never predicted was the uptake of PowerPoint. A school I know advertised an INSET session as ‘9:30 am PowerPoint’. Never mind the topic! Used in lessons, in assembly and school open...

Apple iMac (2002)

Reviewed by Roger Frost for Times Educational Supplement April 2002Value 4* Quality 5* Fitness 5* Features 5* You will not find a tastier looking computer than Apple’s iMac. It is a sight that I’ll wager will...

data logger: SPARK science learning system (2009)

The technology for teaching science provides electronic sensors that can monitor sound, speed, temperature and anything a school curriculum wishes to measure. The sensors usually plug into a box that will USB into a...

a device for teaching dynamics: Dynakar (2013)

It’s a good sign when you find a simple device to help teach a complicated idea. The DynaKar, invented by ScienceScope, is an example of that and it was a finalist for a BETT...

a very portable microscope: Smartscope iGo (2013)

At BETT 2013, Data Harvest had the SmartScope iGO (£250), a wireless microscope made to connect with tablet devices and phones powered by Apple IOS and Android. The microscope can broadcast to three devices at once, using an...

monitor classroom noise

A most asked question was ‘what can I use this data logger for?’ My most used answer to this was to use it as a noise meter. When I needed the class to work,...

measure pulse with a sound sensor

You can sense the human pulse cheaply using a sound sensor. While pulse sensors can now be found even in phones, using a sound sensor works too. Hold a sound sensor over where your...

measure the speed of sound

The speed of sound has been measured in so many ways but this version I saw my colleague Ian Galloway* demonstrate perfectly, impressed so I want to pass it on. Split the cable on...

plant transpiration using a pressure sensor

Transpiration and a pressure sensor A sensitive barometric pressure sensor can be used to demonstrate transpiration. The picture here shows a low pressure sensor (as it was called) with a tube sealed onto the...

how to store a pH probe

I read somewhere that pH probes do not last forever and that may be so. It was certainly true for the draw full of pH probes, all left to dry, that I found and...

compare insulated drink beakers

An investigation with insulated and un-insulated beakers – reloaded “I bought a metal mug to carry my coffee for my daily trip to the train station. But twenty minutes down the road, I wasn’t...

colorimeter for acid reacting with thiosulfate

A colorimeter for the reaction of acid and thiosulfate – rates of reaction The reaction of acid with thiosulfate produces a precipitate in a beaker, and we normally measured how quickly a cross drawn...

simple harmonic motion

Simple harmonic motion is rarely as simple as the lesson title implies. This potentiometer-based sensor measures angles as its core rotates. Attaching a ruler as shown (or hack saw blade) gives to a near-perfect...

hack for test tube holders – like no other

From Roger Frost’s austerity lab tips, when you run training days in hotels, one improvises, as this tip shows: This IKEA tea towel clip gained an unusual second life as boiling tube holder – although...

new kinds of computer mice

Mice and machines – interacting with computers (For Production Solutions Magazine November 2000) by Roger Frost Little has changed with the way that we interact with a computer. Its mouse has gained a button,...

data logging software choices

The sensors and equipment you buy for school requires software made for it. There IS a generic program, called Insight (below). which works with lots of different manufacturer’s kit. It has the advantage of...

ultra-violet sensor

Might be used for measuring the variation in UV light during the day or as meter to compare sun creams and sunglasses. UV sensors can be found in ‘wearables’ like smartbands and watches. 

magnetic field – Hall probe

Used like a wand and moved in magnetic fields. Interesting in the way it measures the unseen. Has a niche use in applications showing magnetic field changing over time or some electrical variable. 

voltage & current sensors

The scope for electrical measurement as obviously as big as the subject itself. Data logging systems tend to measure changes over time and that suits these sensors to measuring the life of a battery,...

radioactivity – Geiger-Muller

Uses a separate Geiger probe to measure radioactive counts or count rate. Most useful are those that show the count rate at a point in time – with a fast decaying source you can...

position or angle sensor

This sensor allows superb and easy to do investigations into the swing of a pendulum leading on to studies of harmonic motion and damping. (See several examples nearby). It allows you to record the...

oxygen and pH sensors

oxygen sensor Sensor is used in conjunction with an oxygen electrode. Good for demonstrations where you monitor photosynthesis, fermentation or where you re-breathe the air in plastic bag.  Before you use the electrode for...

humidity sensor

A less widely used sensor that nevertheless shows interesting results when monitoring environments over time. Place one in a polythene bag with your hand, or a plant and see how the humidity changes. The...

conductivity sensor

This sensor is used in conjunction with a conductivity cell. It tends to used as a stand-alone meter to measure salinity or total dissolved solids in water. Offers some enhancement when used to monitor...

balance sensor

Balances and interfaces have for a long time tried to find a common language for talking to each other. A few systems found this and offered a balance adapter that works with your regular...

pressure sensor

A surprisingly useful sensor which is usually on the expensive side. They come in various ranges and while no single range handles all uses you can settle on a mid course. Some measure air...

breathing sensor, ecg & pulse

A dedicated device that shows the breathing rate or in some designs, the breathing movements. The latter types are more interesting as they show the depth of breathing too. However, with these you have...

sound sensor & microphone

sound sensor Sound sensors tend to find their use as stand alone noise meters but this misses some interesting uses where sound level changes over time. Just using it as a class noise meter...

light sensor & colorimeter

Often used elaborately to produce a makeshift colorimeter, the light is very useful for many biology and chemistry experiments on rates of reactions. As monochromatic light is less important with turbid solutions the makeshift...

heat flow sensor

Used to measure the flow and direction of heat through clothing or building materials. It contains countless thermistors and unlike a temperature sensor, provides readings as Watts/m2. While its classroom uses seem limited, this...

distance sensor or sonar ranger

These distance or motion sensors use sound reflected from an object to detect changes in its position. Most designs were based on the sensor developed as the range finder for Polaroid’s cameras. You can...