Way Cool Probeware

I just managed to acquire more HOBO data loggers. Now I need to play with them so I can demo them at the meetings I’ll be presenting at in October (DMAPT Oct. 3, MDSTA Oct. 21, and hopefully MiAAPT Oct. 14). I’ve played with some of their other products before and have been impressed with their ease of use, portability, and affordability. Now I’m even more impressed.

About a year ago Onset Computers and the HOBO Depot released their first pendant logger, which measures light and temperature. The pendant loggers are fully sealed and waterproof. They communicate with the computer through an optical coupler plugged into a USB port. There is a magnetic switch inside the pendant to tell it when it is in the coupler. The switch can be used, with a magnet, to trigger the logger to begin taking data.

The basic HOBO interface is easy to use and quick to master. You plug the HOBO into the computer and then use the HOBO software to configure the logger. You “launch” the logger and put it somewhere you want to record data. The logger will collect and store data until its memory is full or you connect it to the computer again. The data are stored and plotted. The data can also be exported into Excel or another spreadsheet to be analyzed.

Until recently the main focus of the HOBO loggers has been environmental (light, temp, humidity). The newest logger is aimed squarely at physics. The new pendant measures acceleration/gravity. It contains a three axis accelerometer and is capable of collecting data much more quickly than the older loggers. The g-pendant can take up to 100 samples per second. The older loggers won’t log data faster than once a second.

G-Pendant Stats:

  • Max 3 g in any one direction (very easy to max out)
  • Should survive a drop from 3.5 m
  • Accuracy: 0.753 m/s^2
  • Operating range -20 Deg. C to 50 Deg. C
  • Submersible up to 30 m
  • Weight 18 g
  • Cost – Complete Kit: $99 (until January), Individual Pendant: $69 (volume discount available)

I put the G-Pendant in the hands of a couple students I had in physics last year to see what they could do with it. After extensive training (about 2 minutes worth) they were off and running and having lots of fun. Below you can see the results of one of their experiments.

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