new education team - please explore

Harry Sweet hsweet at
Wed Jul 25 14:14:37 BST 2007

You have much more experience with these than I do then.   

What I was thinking is that it might be possible to read the probes 
directly without going through their system.  Most of them I believe
convert sensor input to an alalog voltage or resistance change.
That can be read with a regular volt-ohm meter and calibrated to
the input source.

Once you had that information it should be possible to build a adc circuit
and program a logic controller to send the data to a computer using
an open language.

In other words, build an open version of the Pasco Box as well as the 
software to read it.

Sounds like a good open source project here.  All that would be needed 
is a decent electronics guy and a programmer or 2.

It would be a great addition to open source education.  Nothing that would
help for for the next school year, though.


>>> "Phoenixink" <phoenixink at> 07/25/07 8:15 AM >>>

I do appreciate that data logging is not rocket science. I have been doing 
data logging with data acquisition equipment for over 20 years. And 
certainly can build a system of my own for Linux.

However, this is not an option. The school already owns abut 100 of these 
Pasco Explorer USB probes which cost about $300 each and do EXACTLY what is 
needed in a way that 7th grade students can easily work with the supplied 
Data Studio software.

Pasco will not give me the information I need to write a new data logging 
software for their probes and the school does not have funding for new probe 

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Harry Sweet" <hsweet at>
To: <phoenixink at>; <john.ridge at>
Cc: <edubuntu-users at>
Sent: Tuesday, July 24, 2007 6:00 PM
Subject: Re: new education team - please explore

2 thoughts on the subject;

1. There is an open source cell phone coming out.  Data logging is not 
rocket science.  A long term solution might be to build our own.

2. Many of the probes (I can't remember which one I have) connect to a TI 
calculator which can collect the data + communicate with a pc.  Do they work 
with linux?  If they did you could go probe -> TI -> PC and take it from 

>>> "Phoenixink" <phoenixink at> 07/23/07 7:42 PM >>>
Hi John,

Unfortunately I have not been able to make any progress with this.
The last suggestion I had from the users group was to see if the software 
called the USB as a com port.
If it did I may have been able to redirect the com port through WINE to make 
things work.

I have checked the software itself and as many of the associated files as I 
can but have not found any reference to com ports.
Therefore, I am assuming the software communicates with the USB port 

At this time I have tried all I can think of without success.

I am copying this to the users group also in case some one has any 
suggestions not yet thought of.



----- Original Message ----- 
  From: John Ridge
  To: Phoenixink
  Sent: Monday, July 23, 2007 5:38 PM
  Subject: Re: new education team - please explore


  I am wondering if you have made any progress with data logging (of any 
sort) and Ubuntu/Linux

  My reasons:
  1. I teach science (mainly biology) at Stanmore College and have recently 
been given responsibility for developing science courses.
  2. The Min of Ed has made money available for projects involving wireless 
  3. as you point out, data loggers not working is a show stopper.



  On 9 Jul 2007, at 14:02, Phoenixink wrote:

    Hi Jim,

    I saw you new team message and wanted to explain a scenario and ask a 

    I am currently working with a middle school science teacher to build a 
LTSP network for his class.
    We have put together 4 clients and a server that all work very well 
    The target is 20 clients.

    However, there is one real problem that is stopping us from using this 
solution over a Microsoft solution.
    The problem is the "Pasport Explorer" and the "Data Studio" software by 
"PASCO" ref:
    You collect temperature and other data via the USB port from the 
Explorer with the Data Studio software, which then plots and otherwise 
allows you to manipulate the data.

    I have tried to use WINE as a windows emulator for the Data Studio 
software and it works well except there is no way to access the Explorer 
probe on the USB port, so even though the software runs it cannot collect 
the data from the Explorer probe. This is a show stopper as far as being 
able to implement Linux.

    I have contacted PASCO and they have no Linux software, no intention of 
doing a Linux software, and will not give me the commands for the Explorer 
probes so I can write a software myself.

    With all this in mind, how can we expect schools to actually switch to 
oss such as Linux?

    I appreciate any comments you may have and of course any ideas on a 
solution for our particular situation.


    Jim Cooney
      ----- Original Message ----- 
      From: Jim Hutchinson
      To: edubuntu-users at
      Sent: Saturday, June 30, 2007 2:20 PM
      Subject: new education team - please explore

      Greetings all,

      I have just set up a new education related team 
( and I would like to find 
others interested in helping to build it. The main focus in to build a 
community of teachers wanting to use oss and those wanting to help teachers. 
If you have any thoughts, ideas or suggestions please share them with me. If 
you'd like to join - please do.

      Jim Hutchinson

      Please avoid sending me Word or PowerPoint attachments.


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