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Tech Tips

Calibrate Your O2 Gas Sensor

Using your LabQuest 2 stylus or a paper clip, you can easily calibrate your O₂ Gas Sensor. #VernierTechTips

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Use the FLIR ONE Thermal Camera Bumper Case

Use your thumb to remove the FLIR ONE Thermal Camera from its holder. #VernierTechTips #flirone @FLIR

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Logger Pro Power User Features

Are you looking for ways to expand your use of Logger Pro? Here are tips to get you started with some of the advanced features of our powerful data-collection and analysis software:

  1. Add multiple pages within a single Logger Pro file to organize graphs, data tables, pictures, and other information. All pages share the same underlying data and data-collection settings. See the Page menu for options.
  2. Combine data from several files into one by choosing Import from ▶ Logger Pro File from the File menu. You can use this feature to easily compare data from multiple groups.
  3. Choose Strike Through Data Cells from the Edit menu to temporarily ignore some data points. This is a great way to remove selected data from graphs or curve fits without actually deleting the values. The values are shown with a line through them in the data table. The feature can be used to ignore preliminary motion detector data, for example.
  4. When the graph is selected, you can use the spacebar to start or stop data collection. No more hunting for the Collect button.
  5. Draw predictions before doing experiments. To do this, choose Draw Prediction from the Analyze menu.
  6. Add a second vertical axis to display data of incommensurate units on the same graph. For example, graph pH and the derivative of pH on a single graph. Choose Graph Options from the Options menu to enable and configure a second y-axis.
  7. Choose Model from the Analyze menu to plot functions on a graph; then, adjust the parameters in the function helper object by selecting the parameter and using the arrow keys or by selecting the value of the parameter and entering values by typing on the keyboard or using cursor keys. Use this feature to have students find their own best-fit line and then compare it to the least-squares fit.
  8. Use calculated columns to display inferred quantities, even during data collection. For example, graph kinetic energy using a calculated column of 1/2 mv2 from the Motion Detector velocity data. Use a user parameter for m while you’re at it, and then add a parameter control for m using the Insert menu.
  9. Show error bars on a graph; error bars can be a fixed fraction, fixed value, or independently entered values. Enable error bars by choosing Column Options from the Data menu.
  10. Create a semi-log or log-log graph by choosing Graph Options from the Options menu.

Animated Displays in Logger Pro

One of the great, hidden features of Logger Pro is the ability to add vector displays to motion you are studying. Two sample files that use this feature are included with Logger Pro. One of the files, “Basketball Shot vector analysis,” can be found in the “Sample Movies” folder. If you open the file and play the movie, the vectors appear on the movie as the ball moves.

Animated Displays in Logger Pro
Velocity vectors in Logger Pro

For a tutorial on how to set up animated displays in your Logger Pro files, choose Open from the File menu and navigate to the “Exploring Animated Displays” file in Sample Data > Physics > Animated Display Vectors.

Tech Tip: Video Analysis Tips for Shooting Good Video

Vernier Ion-Selective Electrodes
Still frame from a video of a student throwing a basketball outdoors

Students doing video analysis of everyday motion can be a great way to bring physics into the real world. Due to the quality of some videos, they are sometimes difficult to analyze. Here are some tips for recording good videos for analysis:

  1. Support the phone or camera to keep it still. Use a tripod, tape the phone to a box, or find another way to avoid the shakiness of hand-held video. This will also prevent the tendency to follow the motion with the camera.
  2. Record the event in a well-lit area. Outdoors in daylight is the ideal environment, as even an overcast sky can provide more light than can be found indoors. However, going outside is not always practical. Old overhead projectors can provide a bright light that has no flicker, even when filming in high speed. The brighter the lighting, the less motion blur you will see in the video.
  3. Position the camera so the line of sight is normal to the plane of motion. Ideally, all the motion would take place at a constant distance from the camera, but that is nearly impossible to achieve. Therefore, arrange the scene to have as little distance variation as possible. This is to make sure the scale you choose applies to as much of the motion as possible.
  4. Place a ruler, meter stick, or other scale item in the same plane as the motion being recorded. Having the scale object at that same distance eliminates parallax error in scaling.

These and additional tips can be found in our support article How do I collect good videos for analysis in Video Physics or Logger Pro?

General Tips for Using Ion-Selective Electrodes

Vernier Ion-Selective Electrodes

Vernier offers five Ion-Selective Electrodes (ISEs): Ammonium (NH4+), Potassium (K+), Calcium (Ca2+), Nitrate (NO3), and Chloride (Cl). ISEs require careful use; follow these guidelines for best results:

  • Calibrate ISEs very carefully and often. Two calibration standards ship with each ISE. It is important to soak the electrode in the High Standard solution for at least 30 minutes prior to calibration. If, at any time, the reported reading is a constant 1.0 mg/L (and the electrode is not in a 1.0 mg/L solution), you need to recalibrate.

  • Be certain that your standards are uncontaminated. Because the High Standard is 100 times more concentrated than the Low Standard, it is very easy to cross-contaminate the solutions. To keep your standards from being contaminated, thoroughly rinse and blot dry the sensor tip prior to placing it in a standard. You can purchase fresh standards from Vernier or make your own using the instructions found in the sensor booklet.

  • If you know the approximate concentrations of your samples, you will save time if you analyze them from lowest concentration to highest. If there is great variation in concentration from one sample to the next, it can take several minutes for the reading to stabilize.

  • Choose a specific time at which to calibrate and take your reading for each sample. For example, if you calibrate when the ISE has been in a solution for 60 seconds, you should also collect data for your samples after the sensor has been in the sample for 60 seconds.

  • The ISE actually measures voltages and then converts the voltage values to concentration values. This conversion is logarithmic, so keep in mind that a small voltage change can cause a large variation in the concentration reading.

  • Replace the membranes of the Nitrate, Calcium, Potassium, and Ammonium ISEs as needed. Each of these ISEs has a PVC membrane with a limited life expectancy; depending upon the amount of use and how well they were taken care of, the membranes should give good readings for 1–2 years. If you notice distinctly different voltages or slowed response during calibration, it is probably time to replace the membrane module. The replacement modules have a limited shelf-life, so they should be purchased immediately prior to use.

If you have additional questions, email us at

Tech Tip: Which pH Sensor Should I Buy?

Years ago, in simpler times, if you wanted to buy a pH sensor from Vernier, there was one choice—the Vernier pH Sensor. These days, you have five options (including, still, the Vernier pH Sensor). All of our pH sensors have similar accuracy, response, and sensitivity, so which one should you buy? It depends on how and where you plan to use your pH sensor. Here is some information to help you choose wisely.

Electrode Amplifier included? Features
pH Sensor
pH Sensor
Yes (built-in)
  • Best choice for general use
  • Measure pH in aqueous solutions (e.g., observe acid-base titrations, monitor an aquarium, or investigate water quality in a stream or lake)
pH Electrode BNC
pH Electrode BNC
  • Detachable electrode makes replacement less expensive
  • Measure pH in aqueous solutions
Vernier Go Wireless® pH
Go Wireless<sup>®</sup> pH
Yes (detachable)
  • Collect pH data wirelessly
  • Measure pH in aqueous solutions
Tris-Compatible Flat pH Sensor
Tris-Compatible Flat pH Sensor
Yes (detachable)
  • Double-junction electrode allows measurement of the pH of solutions containing proteins, sulfides, or Tris buffers
  • Flat shape of the sensor tip makes it easy to clean, allows for smaller sample sizes, and measurement of pH of semisolids (e.g., food or soil slurries)
Glass-Body pH Electrode
Glass-Body pH Electrode BNC
  • Measure the pH of aqueous and non-aqueous solutions
  • Can be used in solutions containing organic solvents and in highly concentrated acids or bases

* Electrode Amplifier or Go Wireless Electrode Amplifier is required

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