23 April 2001
Category: Data Acquisition
Pico Technology announces the immediate availability of a Humidity Sensor for its Low-Cost, Educational Data Logger DrDAQ — broadening the range of experiments that can be conducted in schools.
Cambridge, UK — 23 April 2001 — Pico Technology, specialists in PC-based instruments, has announced the immediate availability of a low-cost humidity sensor for its popular educational data logger DrDAQ. The sensor is designed for the cost effective measurement of relative humidity (RH) in the range 20 to 90 percent RH and features a resolution of 0.2 percent RH and an overall accuracy of +/- 10 per cent.
Operating in the temperature range 0 to 60 degrees C, the humidity sensor plugs straight into DrDAQ (which requires no power supply) and the data logger 'recognises' the humidity sensor. Readings are automatically displayed in percent RH.
Mike Green, Managing Director of Pico Technology comments: “By adding humidity measurement to DrDAQ's capabilities we've greatly increased the number of science experiments that can be conducted in primary and secondary schools. These experiments are not only ideal for those courses/teachers aiming to deliver step-by-step tuition to science pupils, but also provide a foundation for courses where 'free-thinking' is encouraged.”
Humidity sensing adds to DrDAQ's existing ability to measure and record temperature,light levels, sound waveforms and sound level (dB) and — through the use plug in sensors — external temperature and pH. Pico Technology's experiments, FREE to download and written by science teachers and industry experts, can be found atwww.picotech.com/experiments/ .
“Although the experiments can be conducted using traditional, bench-top test and measurement equipment, pupils often have limited access to such equipment,” continues Green. “Which is why we recommend the use of PC-based (virtual) oscilloscopes and data loggers.”
The results of the experiments can be observed on a large screen, printed, saved to disk or even transferred over the school or college intranet/internet.
“The humidity sensor can be used in a number of physics, chemistry and biology experiments,” notes Green. “And by combining the use of the humidity sensor with DrDAQ's existing sensors, it's now possible to perform data logging and measurement experiments that require a number of parameters to be monitored simultaneously.”
Pico Technology has also announced the immediate availability of a low-cost reed switch sensor for DrDAQ that can be used to detect the presence of a magnetic field from, for example, bar or electro-magnets. The reed switch;s response time is 2 ms, so it makes an ideal low cost alternative to light gates for timing and acceleration studies. In addition, through PicoLog data logging software the reed switch's condition (open/closed) can be averaged over time for example to generate a percentage figure of how frequently a particular door in the school is opened/closed.
“The Reed Switch lends itself well to timing and statistical applications,” concludes Green, “and can be used in a number of physics and general study experiments.”
DrDAQ takes its power from the PC to which it is connected (via parallel port) so there is no need for separate power supplies.
The DrDAQ board features built-in sensors for light, sound waveforms, sound level, temperature, voltage and resistance. In addition, a socket accepts any standard pH electrode. There are two sockets for a range of optional external sensors such as humidity, pressure and magnetic field.
DrDAQ recognises the presence of external sensors and automatically scales and calibrates all readings.
The PicoScope and PicoLog software packages referenced above are compatible with Windows 3.1x, 95/98/ME and NT/2000, and are supplied FREE with DrDAQ.
Full details of DrDAQ can be found at https://www.picotech.com/data-logger/drdaq/overview . From this site, teachers can download demonstration and full versions of PicoScope and PicoLog.
For those wishing to upgrade their existing DrDAQs, accessories retail at:
In addition, A Practical Guide To Using Computer Sensors In Science Teaching, is available (in English only) for ages 11 to 18. Written by Roger Frost, the guide features over 100 pages of experiments, plus help and advice on teaching science. The guide retails for £17.50 (less than 30 Euros).
Pico Technology Ltd
Tel: +44 (0)1480 396395
Fax: +44 (0)1480 396296