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.

From just £89.00


The rusting of iron

Introductionkey stage 3 & 4

During the rusting of iron, oxygen from the air reacts with it to form iron oxide and, at the same time this iron oxide combines with water to form hydrated iron oxide. In this experiment the use of oxygen in this process can be seen in that, in a sealed container, the level of oxygen reduces with time.

Educational data logger

Equipment required

  • PC with PicoLog datalogging software installed
  • DrDAQ Data Logger
  • Oxygen in air sensor (DD103)
  • 1 litre beaker
  • Beehive shelf
  • Trough — ice–cream container
  • Water
  • 5 g steel wool — fine mesh to provide a large surface area
  • Sticky fixers

Experiment setup

The experiment should be set up as shown in Figure 1.

Connect the DrDAQ datalogger to the parallel port (or USB if you are using a USB to Parallel port adaptor).

Mount the oxygen sensor, pointing upwards, on the beehive shelf. A little BluTack is useful for anchoring it in place securely. Run its connecting lead through the central hole of the beehive shelf.

Fill the trough with water at room temperature to a depth of about 3 cm and place the beehive shelf with the sensor into it. Plug the connecting lead into External socket 1 on DrDAQ.

Secure three ‘sticky fixers’ to the inside of the 1 litre beaker, above what will be the level of the water, and fix the steel wool to these. Now place this beaker, upside-down, over the beehive shelf and into the water so that it seals in the air.

Once the equipment has been set up, place it in a centrally heated laboratory or room so that the equipment remains at a near constant temperature.

rusting of iron experiment

Figure 1 The equipment setup

Carrying out the experiment

  • Load PicoLog and configure it to collect readings of the oxygen sensor every minute for a whole day (1440 samples).
  • Set it to start recording. When datalogging is complete, display the graph of percentage (%) oxygen against time.

Download the PicoLog settings

Further study

An extension to the experiment could be to place the trough, beehive shelf, oxygen sensor, beaker, steel wool etc. into a thermostatically controlled heated water bath, or on a hotplate, and see if temperature affects the rate of rusting and so the speed of uptake of oxygen. Temperatures up to 40ºC are OK. You could also see the effect of cooling, but do not go below 5 ºC as the operating range of the oxygen sensor is 5 ºC to 40 ºC.


  • 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.

  • Not many USB scopes works on Win & Mac & Linux too, so that proves me that guys from Pico really cares about us, customers. This made my decision much easier when I was looking to buy an USB scope.

    Raul Trifan
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  • PicoLog TC-08: This is a very nice unit that works consistently and reliably.

    Jeff Hulett
  • 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.

    Niels Larsen
  • Perfect Partner for Development of Encoder controlled Stepper Motor Actuators. Since the included software is really stable, this type of device is a great tool for great tasks!

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  • A superb piece of equipment worth its weight in gold

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

    John D Samsing
  • 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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