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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Traffic noise

IntroductionEducational data logger

We are all aware of the steadily increasing noise from road traffic. There has been a recent study in Austria which found that road traffic noise can adversely affect children`s performance at school. Children who are frequently exposed to road traffic noise learn to filter out everyday sounds which leads to them not taking in as much information in the classroom (Source: "BBC NEWS | Health | Traffic noise 'harms' child health").

Equipment required

  • DrDAQ
  • Laptop PC (If measurements to be taken out in the field)

Experiment setup

Connect the DrDAQ to the PC via the parallel cable and the hang unit out of a window which is situated near a road. Make sure the sound sensor is pointing towards the road.

Warning: Ensure the DrDAQ is screwed into the parallel cable so that it does not accidentally fall.

Experiment 1

Set the DrDAQ to record the light level and the sound level at 10 minute intervals and leave the unit recording for at least 24 hours. View the data in graph view.

Experiment 2

Set the DrDAQ to record the sound level at 1 second intervals. Leave the unit recording for approximately 5 minutes. View the data in graph view.

Carrying out the experiment

Safety notice: children must be well supervised and briefed on road safety if experimenting near roads. These experiments should preferably be done by suspending the DrDAQ unit out of a building window that faces a road.

Questions and discussion of results

Experiment 1

  • Is the sound level higher on any particular day? Why is this?
  • What are the noisiest times of the day? Why?

Experiment 2

  • How many vehicles went past in the 5 minutes?
  • Which vehicles make the most noise, small cars, large cars, motorbikes or trucks?

Further study

  • Observe the differences in road noise from roads with different surroundings (sand, grass, trees, concrete, etc).
  • Observe the differences in road noise from different road surfaces.
  • Observe the differences in road noise from cars travelling at different speeds.


  • The kit (2408B) is of obvious quality, easy to setup and calibrate and the free to download software has a reasonable learning curve. Superb kit, superb support, what more can I say.

    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.

  • 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
  • We have been using Picoscope 6404D for quite some time, and are amazed by its accuracy and powerful emulations while working with numerous signal evaluations.

    J Mohanty
  • 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!

    Helmut Schoettner
  • 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
  • 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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