Digital Control Unit

Product image for Digital Control Unit
Product in use image for Digital Control Unit

The Digital Control Unit (DCU), combined with features in Logger Pro, makes control of electrical devices, such as buzzers, lights, motors, pumps, and relays, both straightforward and flexible. The DCU is a great way to introduce hands-on STEM and engineering projects.


Including a DCU with your standard Vernier sensors provides a perfect way to implement Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) in the classroom. The engaging quality of DCU projects will appeal to students who may not necessarily be drawn to engineering or computer programming. In addition, DCU projects can be simple and fast enough to easily integrate into your sensor-based science curriculum. For those students wanting more, the DCU can be used to create fun, sensor-based projects such as a motion-controlled drinking fountain or an automated blood pressure cuff.

Controlling an electrical device is easy with the DCU and Logger Pro software. The DCU connects to a Vernier interface the same way a digital sensor does; just connect it to a digital port (an LED on the DCU will provide feedback that it is properly connected). There are two easy ways to connect your electrical device to the DCU; connect your electrical device to the DCU header pins or screw the electrical device’s wires into the DCU’s screw terminal. Once the electrical device is attached to the DCU, an external power supply, such as the LabQuest or LabPro power supply (not included), is required to power the device. Start Logger Pro and start using your DCU to run a low-cost STEM activity from simple DC electronic components.

The DCU can also be controlled using National Instruments LabVIEW for Education software. In addition, the DCU can be connected to an Arduino or NI myDAQ.


  • Output lines: 6 (Logger Pro software allows independent control of the first 3 lines)
  • Maximum current on each line: 600 mA
  • Allowable power supply and output voltage: 5 to 12 volts

Download the user manual for full specifications


Engineering Extension Activities

Engineering Extension Activities provide a way to take an existing Vernier science lab experiment and easily incorporate engineering. Use sensor data, the Vernier Digital Control Unit and Logger Pro software to quickly create sensor-based control systems. Engineering Extension Activities »

Experiments and Lab Ideas

Lab Ideas and Innovative Uses

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What’s Included

Sensor Requirements

The Digital Control Unit requires a computer running compatible software and a compatible interface to collect data. Software and interface are each sold separately.

Compatible Software

  • Logger Pro version or newer
  • NI LabVIEW 2009 or newer

Compatible Interfaces

Ordering Information

All prices are for U.S. educators.

NameOrder CodePriceQuantity
Digital Control UnitDCU-BTD$61
Optional Accessories
DCU Terminal Plug KitDCU-PLUG$39
Vernier AC AdapterIPS$12

Related Products

Educational use only: Vernier products are designed for educational use. They are not appropriate for industrial, medical, or commercial applications. Product usage disclaimer »

Order Code DCU-BTD
U.S. Educator Price $61

Sample Data

Configure the Digital Control Unit to activate using simple logic statements in Logger <i>Pro</i>
Configure the Digital Control Unit to activate using simple logic statements in Logger Pro
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