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Author Topic: DIY Physics Lab Equipt  (Read 3439 times)
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Hello, Thank in advance for any help / direction.


I'm a physics professor at a small college, (we have limited budge for equip) looking to manually upgrade our experiments over time. I'm hoping to build a position sensor (ultrasonic) that could be used for several mechanics experiments to record position vs time data on a computer. I'd like to have at least 1m range with 0.000010s or 10 micro second timing.

Any ideas on cost and where to start, what I will need. I have never experimented with arduino before but I have built several analogue circuits in my graduate experience, and I have programming experience.

Thanks again.
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Central MN, USA
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This sub forum seems to have been used for someone paying somebody for help. Anyway, your post is appropriate. I don't know about 10us accuracy and where it comes from. Is it the accuracy of timing the time of flight of sound wave? In that case, it depends on the number of oscillations sent out and distance. The waves decay over time and distance. I would look at the distance resolution of the sonic ranger experimentally instead of the time resolution.

Will you be using the sonic ranger on an air track or regular track and what experiments do you intend to use it for? I found sonic rangers hard to use on air tracks but quite good for SHM.
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I would recommend that you make the arduino oscilloscope lots of bangs for your buck.
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I would recommend that you make the arduino oscilloscope lots of bangs for your buck.

Very true for an ECE folks, but not so much for physics. I find myself the only person using the newer digital scopes in my place. There are maybe 3 other labs that use scopes but rest are photo gates, sonic rangers, and other stuff.
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Well I was a university Physics lecturer (for U.S. Read professor) for 21 years and I used a scope at lot in my labs. Also data logging is very useful.
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So what labs do you use scopes for? I use them for charging and discharging capacitors and my electronics labs.
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So what labs do you use scopes for? I use them for charging and discharging capacitors and my electronics labs.

Well I would think any lab setup or experiment that was providing or measuring AC voltage wave forms could utilize our old friend the O-scope. I suspect that modern high speed data logging equipment has surpassed many of the past uses of O-scopes. I recall that some lab scopes had polaroid cameras attached that could swing over the CRT and take a picture for permanent records, LOL.

Lefty
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most physics labs require data from a few values of an independent variable. Not really all time or voltage related. We use DMMs for a lot of labs for slow and accurate measurement. Circuits and electronics will be more likely use scopes for fast but less accurate measurement.

I've never seen scopes with cameras on them  smiley-mr-green
Ours use up to 2Gig flash drives.
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