7694 Personal Science Laboratory

190-006 7694 Personal Science Laboratory
192-066 7694 Personal Science Laboratory Enhancements And Statement Of Direction
194-403 Withdrawal: IBM Personal Science Laboratory Products

EduQuest PSL Support Diskette (Image)
EduQuest PSL Support Diskette (RAR archive)

IBM And The Personal Science Lab
A Buyers' Guide to Microcomputer-Based Laboratory Equipment in Physics Education
Technical Educational Research Center (TERC)

PSL Base Unit (Comms cable, Power Adapter, Base Unit, Battery module)
Temperature, Light & pH (TLp) Module (Std/Ext Temp probe, Radiometric/Photometric probe, pH probe)
Motion & Mechanics Module (Distance Probe)
Digital Multimeter Module (Force Probe)
Digital Input/Output Module (DIO) (Rotary Motion probe, Photo Event probe)
Prototype Module

PSL Explorer 1.1 (?) Maybe? PSLDEV1.SYS version 1.1 (9103)
PSLDrivers PSLDEV1.SYS ver 1.00 (8905), 1.1 (9103), 2.00 (9208), and 2.10 (9303)
PSLJRC07.C Demo Of Temperature And Distance Probe Software (TURBO C 2.0)
   Thanks to David Ress

PIF File for Running PSL Explorer Under Windows 3.1 and 3.11

Team Labs Originally a product of the IBM EduQuest Division, PSL was developed by T.E.R.C. and IBM in the late 1980s and was available in 1989. Team Labs was formed in 1994 when the PSL design team spun off from IBM.

Team Lab's 1997 Catalog

Not much is available on the web. Team Labs looks to have switched their focus over to a Thinkpad based system @ 2000, and the Explorer and Excelerator products aren't listed...

If you have documentation or actual experience with the PSL, we would like to hear it.

PSL Explorer Versions

Version 3.1
   Save files on a non-ICLASS network.
   School Vista Version 2.0 Ready.

Version 3.0
    A Windows and Windows 95 setup procedure was added, allowing either the creation of a Personal Science Laboratory Program Group with a PSL Explorer icon, or the addition of the PSL Explorer icon to an existing PSL Program Group.
    School Vista Version 2.0 ready
    RMP, DMM and PEP communications improved.
    pH calibration process improved.
    Default RMP range has been changed to +/- 60 degrees.
    Help messages for PSL Driver problems and multiple probe calibrations improved.
    Print function has been improved:

   - Default print orientation is Landscape and better scale factors for inkjet and laser printers
   - Increased screen contrast to improve screen capture printing

    User messages modified to improve clarity throughout.
    Network print opns corrected under ICLASS and non-ICLASS network installations.
    Directory/disk interface problems on ICLASS networks were corrected.
    F6-CHDrive for non-ICLASS networks resembles stand-alone operation, rather than ICLASS. This was modified for ICLASS networks to match Explorer Version 1.01 Extended functionality.
    Installation/setup process configures Host PC to use DEVICE.COM to install PSL Device Driver (PSLDEV1.SYS) in memory, rather than loading it through CONFIG.SYS. This saves RAM on the Host PC and simplifies network installations, since the Boot Image passed down from the server no longer needs to have the device driver load statement in it.

Version 2.4
    ICLASS (IBM Classroom LAN Administration System Services) assumes certain rules about directory navigation and file access. These rules are applied only when PSL Explorer senses that an attached LAN is managed by ICLASS. That means that PSL now runs on a straight Novell Network! Non-ICLASS networks are simply treated as remote disk drives.
    Experiment setup files are now organized into subdirectories. Fusion Series uses this organization, and allowing navigation up and down through the file structure helps you organize other PSL Setup files as well.
    Natural (Napierian) logarithms and exponentials are included in calculation options.
    Force Probe support (attaches through DMM Module).
    Supports any probe or device that produces a proportional voltage. Attach device to DMM, supply a slope and offset to convert the measurement of voltage to other units of your choice. The relationship must be linear for full accuracy.
    An uninstall procedure has been added to the PSL Explorer diskette.
    Distance, Light, Rotary Motion Probes, DMM, can now sample at <1 sample per sec.
    Pulse Timer and Event Timer options support non-PSL photogates and switching devices.

Version 2.2
    Checks PSL DOS Driver to ensure it is at the correct release level.
    Records timestamps more precisely, which eliminates "jitter" in derivatives.
    Eliminates hangs and "No PSL Found" conditions with RMP, PEP, and DMM.

Version 2.0
    Print portions of Table data, rather than entire Table.
    Delete range of points from graph by "Marking" > "Change," > "Delete Marked Points."
    DMM and RMP can be used with Keyboard input.
    Sample rate can be specified for any experiment; i.e., all types of probes.
    RMP triggering enhanced to six different modes.
    Communications problems reduced w/ improved internal reset and recovery procedures.
    DMM now has 2 Ampere range for AC Power.
    pH calibration and sampling improved, warning if temperature rises to damaging levels.
    PEP can use  two probes to measure intervals, reflective mode corrected.

Version 1.0
    Choice of pre-configured experiments
    Custom experimental setups
    One software package handles all probes and modules
    Simple reconfiguration
    Easy calibration
    Precise data collection
    Provides graphical and mathematical manipulation of data
    Saves setup and data files
    Data files can be used as target or overlay graphs
    Screen display of multiple graphs
    High quality prints of graphs or data table
    Auto scaling
    Edit data files
    On-line contextual help
    Graphical data analysis
    Built-in mathematical functions:

        - Add, subtract, multiply, or divide by constants
        - Squares, square roots
        - Logarithms
        - Positive and negative exponents
        - Trig functions
        - Integration
        - Derivatives

    Runs on a network or in a stand-alone environment

Module ID Numbers

David Ress delved deeply into the Demo program and noticed:
0x10 is TLp module
0x11 is Distance module
0xFF is empty

My guess, the module ID is on the front, notice the "10"?

Ed. Since they used FF, then the module ID is hex, that leaves 16 or less possible IDs to test for. If you know how to probulate for the ID, when you get a new module, just test for ID and increment +1 for each iteration.

I would expect that each module has an EPROM (remember, 90-94 technology) that has module identification. Not likely that module characteristics are stored in the base unit, because what little I see does not suggest any base unit upgrades.

David Ress thinks the ID might be hardware. When I crack a module open, we'll get a better idea.

Serial Port Address

The PSL device driver (PSLDEV1.SYS) uses the IBM PS/2 family communications port standard for the address and interrupts (IRQ).

   1         03F8       4
   2         02F8       3
   3         03E8       3
   4         02E8       3

The cable that comes with PSL is made to connect to a 25-pin D-Shell. If your computer has a 9-pin D-Shell, you can buy a 9-pin to 25-pin adapter. Radio Shack has one with part number 26-209. IBM has one also, with part number 6450242.

"PSL device drivers are available in the Users Guide that allow highly technical customers to program their own applications."

The normal install program sets the device driver statement in CONFIG.SYS as follows:


The /n:12 enables COM ports 1 and 2 to run PSL. If the mouse is connected to COM1 change the device driver statement to:


Now PSL can only be run on COM2.

PSL Modules and Accessories

Distance Probe w/Motion & Mechanics Module 57F7922 (M&M module) (yellow box)

Non-invasive, non-contact distance measurements using an ultrasonic sonar transducer. This probe is ideal for a wide range of experiments from physics to human physiology and is very popular for use in teaching mathematics. The patented PSL housing design provides fast, easy setup in the classroom. Measurement range is 0.4 to 10 meters.

The Distance Probe uses the same technology that Polaroid Cameras and similar devices use to measure the distance to an object. In the case of the camera, the distance-sensing device allows the camera to use the appropriate settings to take a focused and normally exposed picture. The Distance Probe uses this technology to make similar calculations with an accuracy of ± 7 mm over its entire temperature range (0 ºC to 52 ºC).

The range of the Distance Probe is 0.4 m to 10 m. Your Distance Probe uses ultrasonic pulses (sound) to measure the time it takes to send out a pulse and wait for that sound wave to bounce off an object and return to the source-the Distance Probe.

Digital Multimeter Module w/Leads 04G5956 (DMM module)

A fully-isolated digital multimeter that can measure AC and DC voltage and current, resistance, frequency and AC true RMS. The DMM can measure voltage and current simultaneously to provide measurements of power. The unique ability to measure current as easily as voltage makes many experiments that were impossible, possible. The DMM is also an easy way to adapt other probes or inputs to a PSL system. The meter is fully protected against overload and includes high-flexibility red and black test leads. Voltage ranges to 40 volts, current to 2 amperes, resistance to 40 MΩ and frequency to 175 KHz.

DMM User Guide & Technical Reference w/ Support Diskette 37G0093 (DMM module)

Digital Multimeter Leads 37G0031 (DMM module)

DIN Probe Adapter Cable PSL7110 (DMM module)

Connect any of the Vernier probes with the 5 pin DIN connector such as Student Force Sensor, Magnetic Field Sensor, Light Sensor, Pressure Sensor, etc

   Jack: Voltage input. Works with 400 mV, 4 V, and 40 V ranges on the DMM
  Cable: 3 conductor, 28 AWG, 100% shield w/drain wire. Teflon insulated conductors w/ PVC outer jacket.
    DIN Connectors:  Nickle-plated zinc, die cast bodies with flexible rubber cable sleeve
   Modular Plug: 10 position modular plug with 1.3 µm gold plate for high insertion life

Three banana-plug connections; Voltage/Ohms, Current, and Common
One 10 position modular plug having Voltage/Ohms, Current, Common, +5V, -5V, two digital input/digital output lines and ground
User controlled sample rate, up to 111 samples per second
User controlled precision up to 4 1/2 digits, 27,000 counts
AC true rms (45 to 20kHz)
Fuse protection
Power conservation mode for battery operation

Force Probe Kit PSL7500 (DMM module)

Ranges of 6 and 60 newtons, factory calibration, built-in ringstand mount and a rugged, student-ready LVDT technology make this probe a favorite in the classroom. The PSL Force Probe Kit allows students to perform a wide variety of experiments with ease and accuracy.

Force Probe Accessory Kit PSL7502 (DMM module)

Provides for many common experiments and includes a Universal Stand, Bumper and Table Adapters, two springs and 2 M5 x 12 Allen head cap screws.

Force Probe (only) PSL7501 (DMM module)

Bumper Adapter provides a 12 mm "cup" that is used to hold a standard 000 size rubber test tube stopper or other impact target. This stopper is used as an elastic surface for studies of forces occurring during impacts.

Table Adapter provides a smooth, flat, 22mm diameter surface for the sensor tip. The adapter is machined from high-strength stainless steel and simply slips over the sensor tip.

Can you attach the PSL Force Probe to a Vernier system?
    A: No, not at this time. An adapter that generates the -5 volts would be required. Team Labs may produce this if there is interest.

Extension Springs:
    Length: 93.9mm
    Min. Ext. Length: 250mm
    Inside Diameter: 16.0mm
    Mass: 22.8g
    Rate: 35.03 N/m (0.2 lb/in)±5%
    Material: Stainless Steel T-302

These items were in the PSL withdrawal notice. Team Labs had even more, plus they had options to adapt non-PSL equipment.

Personal Science Laboratory Hardware
PSL Base Unit with Power Supply 57F7923
PSL Base Unit 84F9096 ?
PSL Starter Pack 57F7986
TLp Pack (Temp, Light, pH) 57F7921
Motion and Mechanics Pack (module + distance probe) 57F7922
Prototype Module 57F7924
Temperature, Light, and pH (TLp) Module 57F7925
TLp Module Standard Temp Probes (two pack) 57F7925
TLp Module Standard Temp Probes(two pack) 57F7926
Extended Temperature Probes (two pack) 57F7927
pH Probe 57F7928
Photometric Probe with Filter Holder 57F7929
Radiometric Probe with Filter Holder 57F7930
Power Supply 57F7931
Communication Cable 57F7932
Standard Prototype cards (five pack) 57F7933
Long Prototype cards (three pack) 57F7934
Distance Probe 57F7935
Digital Input/Output (DIO) Module 04G5940
DIO Cable Adapter 04G5941
DIO Modular Jack Adapter 04G5942
Rotary Motion Probe 04G5944
Rotary Motion Accessory Kit 04G5945
Photo Event Probe (PEP) w/ LED Source 04G5948
Photo Event Laser Source 04G5951
Digital Multimeter Module (DMM) 04G5956
Digital Multimeter Leads 37G0031
DIO Module Reference Manual 37G0090
Rotary Motion Reference Manual 37G0091
Photo Event Reference Manual 37G0092
DMM Technical Reference Manual 37G0093
Motion Mechanics Module 57F7992
Hardware Users' Guide 57F7936
PSL Technical Reference 57F7937

Content created and/or collected by:
Louis F. Ohland, Peter H. Wendt, David L. Beem, William R. Walsh, Tatsuo Sunagawa, Tomáš Slavotínek, Jim Shorney, Tim N. Clarke, Kevin Bowling, and many others.

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