By L R Davison and J M Hills, Bristol Polytechnic
This paper was first published in GE’s January 1983 issue.
In 1978 the data-logging equipment in the soils laboratory at Bristol Polytechnic was gathering dust, because no one could get it to do what they wanted. The simple reason was that it had not been designed for the sort of tasks required in a soils laboratory and was unsuitable for them. After talking to people in other laboratories and to several equipment suppliers, it became clear that this problem was widespread and that the equipment needed was not available at a price that could be afforded.
The solution was to design and build what was required within the polytechnic, a course of action made possible by the nature of higher educational establishments which have the required range of expertise. With the collaboration of a colleague in the electronics section, an intelligent logging system has been produced, based on the Commodore PET desk-top computer. This system has been taken up and is exclusively marketed by Engineering Laboratory Equipment