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Tufts OpenCourseware
Author: Fulcrum Institute Development Team

Tips for Using Logger Lite and the Vernier Temperature Probes

Start with both probes at the same temperature

Temperature changes registered by the tip of each probe are easiest to compare if both probes start at the same temperature. The thermometers in Logger Lite show you the temperature of the probes.

One way to get the probes to the same initial temperature is to put both probes in a glass of room temperature water for a few moments. Wait until both probes are at the same temperature before clicking the Collect button in Logger Lite.

Optimize contact between the probe and the substance being measured

Suspend or immerse each probe to contact the spot where you are measuring temperature. When you are using two probes, try to expose both probes equally to what they each are measuring.

Minimize contact between the probe and the container (i.e. the sides of a glass if you are measuring the temperature of the water in the glass).

Use the support stand with 3/8 inch rod and thermometer clamp to suspend probes. You can use twisty ties, tape, or string to attach or suspend probes from adjacent objects.

To suspend the probe in a container, use the straw hole in a plastic drink cup cover, or punch a hole in a piece of cardboard

Data Collection

To set up Logger Lite and the probes to collect data:

1. From the Experiment menu on the bar at the top of the screen, choose Data Collection...

2. Set the time over which you will collect data by selecting minutes from the pull-down menu (the default is seconds). Then type the number of minutes in the Length box. Most investigations for this course require data collection for 20-30 min., but it is prudent to set the collection time for 45-60 minutes because once you start the experiment you can not add more time!

3. A good sampling speed is one sample every 2 seconds. To set this, type 30 in the samples/minute box.

4. Click Done.

For experimenting with the temperature probes, you can hold the probes in your hands or place them in a cup of water. When you are ready to start collecting data, click the green Collect button at the top of the window.

For additional detailed instruction on using Logger Lite, access the Tutorials. Click the Open button at the top of the Logger Lite window, then browse to the Logger Lite folder on your computer. The Tutorials folder is inside the Experiments folder.

Continuing data collection

If you would like to resume collecting data after the time you had initially set in the Data Collection menu, click Collect again. Logger Lite will ask you if you would like to append the data to the collected data, or delete collected data to start a new graph.

You can also start a new graph by clicking on the New button, or choosing New from the File menu at the top left of your screen. To save a graph, see instructions below.

Adding a Title to a Graph

Remember to title your graph. When you click twice directly on the graph, a dialog box will open with 2 tabs: Graph Options and Axes Options. Click on the Graph Options Tab. To help other people identify your graph, include your name in the title: for example, "Roxane's Melting Ice Water." To close the dialog box, click on the Done button.

Labeling Data Columns and Graphs

When you are taking the temperature of two different things, e.g. a black cylinder and a silver cylinder, make sure you label your data columns and your axes to show which line represents each temperature. To do this, double click on the column heading (temp 1). A dialog box will open. You will see 2 tabs, Column Definition and Options. Click on the Column Definition tab and change the name of the column (e.g. "Black Temperature") and short name (e.g. "black"). Click on Options to select the color of the lines in your graph.

Saving and Opening Graphs

To save a graph, click the Save button, or choose Save from the File menu at the topleft of your screen. To open a saved graph, click the Open button, or choose Open... from the File menu. Browse to the location where you saved your file, click on the filename, and click Open.

When you save your Logger Lite File to upload, include your name in the file as well as the subject. Such as: “Session2coolingcoffeeRoxane.” A logger lite file will save as a .gmbl file. Only Logger Lite software will open this type of file.

Saving a Graph in an MS Word Document

If you prefer, you can copy and paste the graph into an MS Word document.

Click on the Logger Lite screen. From the Edit menu on the bar at the top of the screen, select “copy” and then paste it into your word document.


Choose Print from the File menu at the top left of your screen.