Data logger, oscilloscope, signal generator and more!

DrDAQ is a versatile instrument that connects to the USB port of any PC. Using the supplied PicoScope software it can be used as an oscilloscope, spectrum analyzer and signal generator.

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Scalextric Subaru Challenge

Subaru Impreza RS

Subaru Impreza RS


The Subaru Impreza is a World Champion car with the following specifications:

  • Engine: 2.5L Horizontally opposed SOHC, 16 Valve four
  • Configuration: 4 Wheel drive
  • 0 to 60 mph: 8.3 seconds
  • Top speed: 125 mph
  • Power: 165 hp @ 5,600 rpm
  • Length: 172.2 inches
  • Width: 67.1 inches
  • Height : 55.5 inches
  • Fuel economy: 22/29 mpg (city rating)

The aim of the experiment is to measure and record the speed of the car with an ADC-11. Due to budget limitations purchasing the above Subaru Impreza RS was out of the question. The only alternative was to go for the next best thing:

Scalextric logo

Equipment required

The Subaru challenge box set was purchased, set up and tested. After a few days of testing it was decided that the technical staff should stop playing with it and actually perform a data logging experiment. The following equipment was used:

  • PC with PicoScope installed
  • ADC-11 multi channel data logger
  • ADC-11 Terminal block
  • Scalextric Subaru Challenge
  • EL031 Light sensor
  • High intensity LED
  • Magnifying glass
  • 100 k resistor
  • 1 k resistor

Experiment setup

The equipment was set up so that the cars will break the light being received by the EL031 light sensor, thus affecting the resistance and causing a larger voltage drop across it.

Subaru Scalextric experiment equipment


Subaru Scalextric Experiment circuit

Circuit diagram

Note that the digital output (DO) from the ADC-11 is used to power the LED and provide the voltage across the EL031. The light sensor was setup so that it was directly in the line of the LED. It was found that better results were achieved when the light emitted from the LED was focused with the aid of a magnifying glass.The track itself was setup as an oval, with the following parts:

Subaru Scalextric Experiment track setup

The track

Subaru Scalextric Experiment - the equipment

The equipment

It would not be fair to race cars using the above sections as no cross over sections are employed so the distances that the cars have to travel to complete a lap has a difference of over half a metre. The table below shows the track used:


Lanes Straight Straight Qty Curve Curve Qty Total distance
Inside 0.35 6 0.20 8 3.7 Metres
Outside 0.35 6 0.265 8 4.22 Metres


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    Rop Honnor
  • I have been using my 4224 PicoScope for years. I travel abroad so this has been ideal due to its physical size. Storage of waveforms on my Laptop is very easy allowing me to quickly email waveforms to my Colleagues.

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  • It is a great scope. I had a weird problem - it did not work on one of my PC’s. Customer service gave me first class service. If I could give 6 stars for customer service - I would do so.

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    Helmut Schoettner
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  • So simple to use & beats any other I have ever used hands down.

    John D Samsing
  • Rather than webcam our benchtop scope screen, it was suggested we use a PicoScope to share waveforms via screen share.

    We were a bit hesitant at first … but it worked flawlessly, and everybody is now out shopping for PicoScopes!

    T Lövskog • SVP of Innovation at Additude AB
  • Great functionality in a compact size. I really like moving the mouse pointer to a position and having the Time and Voltage display the values at that point. Calibration equipment is a breeze with that feature.

    Don Horein

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