We are always happy to help you decide what to buy that will both fit within your budget and work with equipment you already own. This is often done best with a brief phone call with one of our physics specialists. Call 888-837-6437 and ask for physics tech support.
If you already have motion detectors and are happy with them, Option 1 may be right for you, and the right price. If you already own interfaces (LabQuest products or our older LabPro) and want to improve the quality of data collected, consider Option 2. If you are outfitting a physics laboratory from scratch, Option 3 is probably your best option.
All three options can be purchased with either a 1.2 meter or 2.2 meter (long) track. For most users, the 1.2 meter track is sufficient.
- This system does not include any sensors for measuring the motion of the cart. We recommend a Motion Detector or a pair of Photogates to accompany this system. You would also want one or two force sensors per setup if you want to investigate the force during collisions. Many customers also order the Bumper and Launcher Kit for impulse and momentum experiments.
- The downside of this system is that the motion detector data for monitoring the cart is not very clean data. It works, but there are improved ways of measuring that motion. For accelerated motion, running a string over a pulley at the end of the track and monitoring the pulley with a photogate offers improvement over the motion detector.
Dynamics Cart and Track System with Motion Encoder (DTS-EC)
Dynamics Cart and Track System with Motion Encoder (DTS-EC-LONG)
- This system includes the standard cart with motion encoding capabilities built in. The cart has an optical sensor that monitors the black and white decal on the track to determine the motion of the cart. The sensor sends data via infrared signal to a sensor at the end of the track, and the sensor must be connected to an interface in order to send data to software.
- You would also want one or two force sensors per setup if you want to investigate the force during collisions. Many customers also order the Bumper and Launcher Kit for impulse and momentum experiments.
- The motion encoder offers a much cleaner measurement of the cart movement than the ultrasonic motion detector. In particular, the velocity and acceleration data from the motion encoder is much better than the same data from a motion detector.
- The downside of this system is that it costs more. Also, only the standard cart has motion encoder capabilities – the plunger cart does not. That means that in order to use motion encoding to monitor the motion of both carts during a collision investigation, you would still need a motion detector, or you could purchase a second motion encoder cart or an upgrade kit to install in the plunger cart.
Option 3: (Best choice for most physics instructors)
Dynamics Cart and Track System with Go Direct® Sensor Carts (DTS-GDX)
Dynamics Cart and Track System with Go Direct® Sensor Carts (DTS-GDX-LONG)
- This system includes two carts with built-in Bluetooth sensors that communicate with any capable device running our free app Graphical Analysis app and our subscription-based upgrade Graphical Analysis Pro. Both carts that come with the system include an onboard fifth-wheel encoder system that monitors the motion of the cart on a track or off track. This capability gives you the same clean position, velocity, and acceleration data that you get with the motion encoder system. Since both carts (unlike just one in the DTS-EC) have position sensors, you can monitor both carts during collision experiments without purchasing additional items. Each cart also has built-in force and acceleration sensors, so you don’t need to mount additional sensors and you don’t need the Bumper and Launcher Kit.
- Although this system costs more, if you consider the cost of buying all of the sensors and accessories to do the same experiments as with the other two options, this one has the lowest overall cost of ownership. (Note that in this system, each cart’s position is tracked independently and each cart includes a force sensor.)
- The Go Direct Sensor Carts (like all of our Go Direct sensors) must be used with Graphical Analysis or Graphical Analysis Pro as our Logger Pro software does not work with these sensors directly. If you want to analyze the data in Logger Pro, you have to first collect the data using Graphical Analysis, export the file as an AMBL file, then open the file in Logger Pro for analysis.
See all these options on our website: