Tech Info Library

Photogate Troubleshooting and FAQs

Photogate, order code VPG-BTD, $45
Specifications and User Guide

-Primary Test: Is the shutter positioned properly? A mechanical shutter is used to block the internal gate, switching the device to laser gate mode.
-Secondary Test: Connect the photogate to a LabPro and run the data collection program. On the main screen, confirm that blocking and unblocking the gate is working OK by using your hand to block the gate.
-If the photogate is not working with your picket fence, make sure that the protective plastic covering the picket fence has been removed.

If you are new to photogates, we have two very informative guides to getting started:

With Logger Pro on a computer:

With LabQuest as a stand-alone device:

-TIL 3328: How do I set up photogates for data collection (LoggerPro)?
-TIL 3329: How do I set up Photogates for data collection (LabQuest)?
-TIL 1360: Why does my photogate not respond to block/unblock events?
-TIL 3364: How do I set up photogates for data collection in a projectile motion experiment?
-TIL 2667: Can I use Photogates with TI calculators?
-TIL 1141: How does Logger Pro calculate velocity and acceleration from photogate data?
-TIL 1279: Why doesn't my photogate auto-id? What are the specifications of the cable for the Vernier Photogate?
-TIL 1658: My photogates won't work when daisy-chained.
-TIL 2120: How can I collect data from a photogate and a motion detector data at the same time in Logger Pro?
-TIL 1467: What is the timing precision of photogate measurements in LabPro or LabQuest?
-TIL 1596: Why do I get no photogate data when also using an analog sensor?
-TIL 2620: What nut size will work the the accessory rod that comes with the Photogate and Dual-Range Force Probe?
-TIL 2698: Why does my data table have holes (empty cells) in it?
-TIL 2968: Why won't my Motion Detector (or other digital sensor) plug into the channels of my LabQuest 2?

Vernier Photogate with Picket Fence:
-TIL 2311: How can I use a Vernier Photogate to measure g?
-TIL 2275: How can I compare my g measurements to a local value and improve their accuracy?
-TIL 2312: Why does my Vernier Photogate record a really high velocity at the beginning of a trial with the picket fence?
-TIL 2074: Why is my picket fence blue and black instead of clear and black?
-TIL 2313: How do I measure motion with the Vernier Cart Picket Fence?
-TIL 2210: Does the Pasco picket fence work the same as the Vernier picket fence?
-TIL 2170: What are the dimensions of the cart picket fence?
-TIL 2936: Why does the Cart Picket Fence edge get detected by a photogate?

Public List of TIL Entries for VPG-BTD

-new order code: VPG-BTD
-old order code: VPG-DG (ULI only)
-Power requirements: 5 VDC at 40 mA
-Infrared source: Peak at 880 nm
-Output is high and LED off for unblocked gate
-Output is low and LED on for blocked gate

It is not necessary to calibrate this sensor.

Ultra Pulley Attachment, order code SPA, $24
Picket Fence, order code PF, $7
Bar Tape, order code TAPE, $5
Laser Pointer, order code LASER, $19
Laser Pointer Stand, order code STAND, $14

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