Vernier Software and Technology
Vernier Software & Technology

Go Direct® Sound Sensor User Manual

Go Direct® Sound Sensor

Go Direct Sound can be used for a variety of activities with sound waves.

  • Demonstrate how the wave pattern changes when frequency and amplitude are changed.
  • Compare the waveforms from various musical instruments.
  • Measure the speed of sound by using reflected sound waves in a tube.
  • Demonstrate beat patterns.
  • Determine the period and then the frequency of a sound by measuring the time between peaks on the waveform.
  • Measure sound level in decibels.
  • Investigate sound insulation and room acoustics.
  • Investigate the logarithmic nature of the decibel scale.

Note: Vernier products are designed for educational use. Our products are not designed nor are they recommended for any industrial, medical, or commercial process such as life support, patient diagnosis, control of a manufacturing process, or industrial testing of any kind.

What's Included

  • Go Direct Sound
  • Micro USB Cable

Compatible Software

The Go Direct® Sound Sensor may require a compatible interface and software. Choose a platform below to see compatible interface and software options.

Getting Started

Please see the following link for platform-specific connection information:

www.vernier.com/start/gdx-snd

Bluetooth Connection

USB Connection

  1. Install Graphical Analysis 4 on your computer, Chromebook™, or mobile device. If using LabQuest 2, make sure LabQuest App is up to date. See www.vernier.com/ga4 for Graphical Analysis 4 availability or www.vernier.com/downloads to update LabQuest App.
  2. Charge your sensor for at least 2 hours before first use.
  3. Turn on your sensor by pressing the power button once. The LED will blink red.
  4. Launch Graphical Analysis 4 or turn on LabQuest 2.
  5. If using Graphical Analysis 4, click or tap Sensor Data Collection. If using LabQuest 2, choose Wirelss Device Setup > Go Direct from the Sensors menu.
  6. Select your Go Direct sensor from the list of Discovered Wireless Devices. Your sensor's ID is located near the barcode on the sensor. The LED will blink green when it is successfully connected.
  7. Click or tap Done to enter data‑collection mode.
  8. This is a multi-channel sensor. To change the default channel selections, see www.vernier.com/start/gdx-snd
  1. If using a computer or Chromebook, install Graphical Analysis 4. If using LabQuest 2, make sure LabQuest App is up to date. See www.vernier.com/ga4 for Graphical Analysis 4 availability or www.vernier.com/downloads to update LabQuest App.
  2. Connect the sensor to the USB port.
  3. Launch Graphical Analysis 4 or turn on LabQuest 2. You are now ready to collect data.
  4. This is a multi-channel sensor. To change the default channel selections, see www.vernier.com/start/gdx-snd

Charging the Sensor

Connect Go Direct Sound to the included Micro USB Cable and any USB device for two hours.

You can also charge up to eight Go Direct Sound sensors using our Go Direct Charge Station, sold separately (order code: GDX-CRG). An LED on each Go Direct Sound indicates charging status.

Charging

Orange LED next to battery icon is solid while sensor is charging.

Fully charged

Green LED next to battery icon solid when sensor is fully charged.

Powering the Sensor

Turning on the sensor

Press button once. Red LED indicator next to Bluetooth icon flashes when unit is on.

Putting the sensor in sleep mode

Press and hold button for more than three seconds to put into sleep mode. Red LED indicator stops flashing when sleeping.

Connecting the Sensor

See the following link for up-to-date connection information:

www.vernier.com/start/gdx-snd

Connecting via Bluetooth Wireless Technology

Ready to connect Red LED next to Bluetooth icon flashes when sensor is awake and ready to connect.
Connected Green LED next to Bluetooth icon flashes when sensor is connected via Bluetooth wireless technology.

Connecting via USB

Connected and charging Orange LED next to battery icon is solid when sensor is connected to Graphical Analysis via USB and the unit is charging. LED next to Bluetooth icon is off.
Connected, fully charged Green LED next to battery icon is solid when sensor is connect to Graphical Analysis via USB and fully charged. LED next to Bluetooth icon is off.
Charging via USB,
connected via Bluetooth
Orange LED next to battery icon is solid when sensor is connected to charger via USB and the unit is charging. Green LED next to Bluetooth icon flashes when sensor is connected via Bluetooth wireless technology.

Identifying the Sensor

When two or more sensors are connected, the sensors can be identified by tapping or clicking Identify in Sensor Information.

Using the Product

Connect the sensor following the steps in the Getting Started section of this user manual.

Channels

Go Direct Sound has four measurement channels. The channel names are

  • Microphone
  • Sound Level A-weighted
  • Sound Level C-weighted
  • Wave Amplitude

Microphone

The default channel that is active when the sensor is connected is Microphone. This channel is used for capturing sound waveforms. Follow these guidelines to collect good waveforms:

  • By default, microphone data-collection parameters are set that sample very quickly for a very brief time, effectively taking a “snapshot” of the sound waves present when data collection is started. With this in mind, start the sound source you wish to investigate before starting data collection.
  • Make sure the sound level is in the correct range to produce good wave patterns. If the sound is too loud, the wave pattern will be clipped off at the top or bottom. Move the Microphone farther from the sound source or turn down the volume of the sound.

While capturing waveforms, Go Direct Sound can store up to 5000 data points. It is possible to capture high frequency (>10,000 Hz) sound waves by increasing the data-collection rate. Likewise, it is possible to capture more wave cycles, which is desirable when creating FFTs, by increasing the data-collection duration. However, Graphical Analysis will not let you select data-collection parameters that will yield more than 5000 data points per run.

Note: When connected via Bluetooth wireless technology, collecting a large number of data points will lead to a delay when the data appear in Graphical Analysis. The transfer rate of data over Bluetooth wireless technology is relatively slow compared to wired connections.

Because of the unique data-collection parameters required to capture a waveform, this channel cannot be active if any of the other channels (sound level or wave amplitude) are selected.

Sound Level

There are two Sound Level channels: A-weighted and C-weighted. The A‑weighted channel applies a filter to the sound level reading that mimics the human ear’s response to loudness and frequency. In most classroom situations, you'll want to measure A-weighted sound levels. For more information on the difference between A- and C-weighted sound levels, see www.vernier.com/til/3500

The microphone is located inside the hole in the top of the case. Because the microphone is located inside the sensor, it is helpful to point the microphone hole toward the source of the sounds you are measuring.

When using the sensor, be mindful of the environment around it. Wind blowing across the opening or vibrations from the surface on which it is resting can cause the sensor to read much higher sound levels than it should. When collecting data, place the sensor on a soft surface or hold the sensor in your hand to separate the microphone from extraneous vibrations.

Example Sound Levels

Source Sound Pressure Level (dBA)
Threshold of pain 130
Construction noise 110
Subway train 100
Noisy restaurant 80
Busy traffic, normal radio 70
Normal conversation, dishwasher 60
Quiet office 50
Soft whisper 30
Threshold of hearing 0

 

Wave Amplitude

The Wave Amplitude channel only reports the amplitude of the waveform, rather than capturing an entire waveform. The wave amplitude is not the same as the sound intensity or sound level, but it is related to them.

If you would like to investigate the logarithmic nature of the decibel scale, collect both sound level and wave amplitude data at the same time. The wave intensity is proportional to the square of the wave amplitude. Plotting sound level vs. wave intensity will produce a logarithmic graph.

Calibrating the Sensor

Microphone and Wave Amplitude

The Microphone and Wave Amplitude channels are uncalibrated, which means that the vertical axis has arbitrary units on waveform graphs. The voltage from the microphone output is what is graphed. For more information, see www.vernier.com/til/656

Sound Level

The Sound Level channels will never need to be calibrated. Each sensor is carefully calibrated before it ships, and this unique calibration is stored on the sensor.

Specifications

Microphone frequency range

 100–15,000 Hz

Typical max frequency

10,000 Hz

Sound level response

A- or C-weight (user selectable)

Sound level range

55–110 dB

Sound level accuracy

+/–3 dB

Sound level resolution

0.1 dB

Sound level Frequency range

30–10,000 Hz

USB specification

USB 2.0 full speed

Wireless specification

Bluetooth v4.2

Maximum wireless range

30 m (unobstructed)

Battery

300 mAh Li-Poly Rechargeable

Battery life (single full charge)

~10 hours continuous data collection

Battery life (long term)

~300 full charge cycles (several years depending on usage)

Care and Maintenance

Battery Information

Go Direct Sound contains a small lithium-ion battery. The system is designed to consume very little power and not put heavy demands on the battery. Although the battery is warranted for one year, the expected battery life should be several years. Replacement batteries are available from Vernier (order code: GDX-BAT-300).

Storage and Maintenance

To store Go Direct Sound for extended periods of time, put the device in sleep mode by holding the button down for at least three seconds. The red LED will stop flashing to show that the unit is in sleep mode. Over several months, the battery will discharge but will not be damaged. After such storage, charge the device for a few hours, and the unit will be ready to go.

Exposing the battery to temperatures over 35°C (95°F) will reduce its lifespan. If possible, store the device in an area that is not exposed to temperature extremes.

Water Resistance

Go Direct Sound is not water resistant and should never be immersed in water.

If water gets into the device, immediately power the unit down (press and hold the power button for more than three seconds). Disconnect the sensor and charging cable, and remove the battery. Allow the device to dry thoroughly before attempting to use the device again. Do not attempt to dry using an external heat source.

How the Sensor Works

Go Direct Sound uses a MEMS microphone that has a frequency response covering essentially the range of the human ear. When collecting waveforms, the sensor samples the microphone output very quickly. When measuring sound levels, the microphone output is amplified and calibrated to produce a sound level measurement. If the Sound Level A-weighted channel is selected, a filter is applied to the sound level data to mimic the human ear’s response to sound level and frequency, either increasing or decreasing the dB reading. Collecting wave amplitude data is similar to that of sound level data, but the sensor skips the calibration to decibels.

Troubleshooting

Connect the sensor to the Graphical Analysis app and try the following:

  • Collect simple waveforms from a whistle or sound generator using the Microphone channel. Do the waveforms look reasonable?
  • Collect sound level data using the Sound Level A-weighted channel. Normal classroom levels would be 60–70 dB; a quiet office would be closer to 55 dB. Are the sound level measurements reasonable?

For additional troubleshooting and FAQs, see www.vernier.com/til/4253

Repair Information

If you have followed the troubleshooting steps and are still having trouble with your Go Direct Sound, contact Vernier Technical Support at support@vernier.com or call 888-837-6437. Support specialists will work with you to determine if the unit needs to be sent in for repair. At that time, a Return Merchandise Authorization (RMA) number will be issued and instructions will be communicated on how to return the unit for repair.

Accessories/Replacements

Item Order Code

Replacement Battery

GDX-BAT-300

Micro USB Cable

CB-USB-MICRO

USB-C to Micro USB Cable

CB-USB-C-MICRO

Warranty

Vernier warrants this product to be free from defects in materials and workmanship for a period of five years from the date of shipment to the customer. This warranty does not cover damage to the product caused by abuse or improper use. This warranty covers educational institutions only.

Disposal

When disposing of this electronic product, do not treat it as household waste. Its disposal is subject to regulations that vary by country and region. This item should be given to an applicable collection point for the recycling of electrical and electronic equipment. By ensuring that this product is disposed of correctly, you help prevent potential negative consequences on human health or on the environment. The recycling of materials will help to conserve natural resources. For more detailed information about recycling this product, contact your local city office or your disposal service.

Battery recycling information is available at www.call2recycle.org

Do not puncture or expose the battery to excessive heat or flame.

The symbol, shown here, indicates that this product must not be disposed of in a standard waste container.

Contact Support

Fill out our online support form or call us toll-free at 1-888-837-6437.

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