Using Talking LabQuest to measure temperature of aquarium

Using the Talking LabQuest 2 to Record the Temperature of Aquarium Tanks

Caroline demonstrates how she uses the Sci-Voice Talking LabQuest 2 from Independence Science to record and analyze temperature data.

By Caroline Karbowski, Research Assistant: Department of Biological Chemistry and Pharmacology at Ohio State University

In the video below, I demonstrate how to use the Sci-Voice Talking LabQuest 2 from Independence Science to record and analyze temperature data.


We’re going to use the Sci-Voice Talking LabQuest 2 to check out the temperatures of aquarium tanks here in the lab. So, the LabQuest can give a continual readout of the temperature in either Fahrenheit or Celsius. We’re going to use Celsius today, and we have three tanks here and they’re at different temperatures because the organisms that live in them need different temperatures to live.

So, we’re going to check out the first tank and what I’m going to do is start a data collection so we can have the temperature readout throughout all of these tanks and we can compare the temperatures. So first I’m going to turn on the volume so it’s a little bit louder, I’m going to hit F2.

LabQuest (LQ) [ELECTRONIC FEMALE VOICE]: louder, louder, louder, louder

Caroline: It’s saying louder, louder (LQ: maximum). Okay, so it’s at the maximum now (LQ: CH1 22.1 C°) Perfect and so we’re gonna get the air temperature just to see… (LQ: CH1 temperature 22.0 C°)

22.0 I think it said?

(LQ: CH1 temperature 22.0 C°) 22.0 looks like is the room temperature.

(LQ: CH1 temperature 21.9 C°) Oh now it’s 21.9 so probably still around there though (LQ: CH1 temperature 21.9 C°) Okay so 21.9 or 22.0 (LQ: CH1 temperature 21.8 C°)

We’re gonna start the collection, and I’m gonna hit F3 (LQ: CH1 temperature 21.7 C°) that’s going to start collecting our data.

(LQ: collection started) Okay (LQ: 21.7) let’s go check out the first tank.

(LQ: 21.6, [CLANK] 21.6, 23.9) It’s definitely warm (LQ: 26.2)

Ooo 26.2?

(LQ: 26.8, 27.0, 27.1, 27.1, 27.2)

This is definitely warm (LQ: 27.2) 27.2

(LQ: 27.2) Okay, so that (LQ: 27.2) one was at 27.2 and we’re going to go check out the second tank here and I’m going to wipe (LQ: 24.4) off the probe just so that we don’t have any transfer of the water (LQ: 23.2)

It might go back down (LQ: 22.4) to the room temperature around 22 (LQ: 22.1)

Okay, 22.1 that’s about regular temperature (LQ: 22.1) again.

Let’s go check out the third tank!

LQ: 21.8, [CLANK] 21.7, 21.6

Caroline: Ooo! LQ: 20.2 I’m also (LQ: 20.8) using my fingers to feel where the water is so I know, (LQ: 19.7) how deep, the temperature probe is.

(LQ: 19.6) 90.6? Oh 19.6 (LQ: 19.6) and (LQ: 19.6) you can also turn down the speed to be talking (LQ: 19.6) slower faster if it’s hard to distinguish what the (LQ: 19.6) numbers are.

(LQ: 19.6) 19.6 Wow, that’s a lot colder. (LQ: 19.6)

Great! And there’s also a turtle in this tank, (LQ: 19.5) which is kind of cool.

Okay. (LQ: 19.5) We’re going to go check the third tank.

(LQ: 17.9)

17.9 so it’s definitely going back up (LQ: 17.3) to room temperature again.

(LQ: 16.9, 16.8)

Okay (LQ: 16.8, 16.9)

Okay, and we’re going to try and find the third tank (LQ: 16.9) it’s a little bit smaller and (LQ: 17.2) there is a cover, but there’s (LQ: 17.1) a small sliver open where we can stick the temperature probe into the water. (LQ: 17.2, 17.3)

Okay so it’s definitely going back up to 22 (LQ: 17.4, 17.4).

So, (LQ: 17.5) we’re just going to start it in the tank (LQ: 17.6) we won’t wait till it gets to 22, it’s okay.

(LQ: 20.6) Let’s see if it’s hotter or colder… (LQ: 26.7)

Whoa 26.7?! (LQ: 28.2). Whoa! 28 point… This is definitely going up there, this is like (LQ: 28.7) the first tank.

(LQ: 29.0, 29.1). Wow, 29.1 this is (LQ: 29.2) fairly hot.

(LQ: 29.2) 29.2 (LQ: 29.1, 29.2) Okay so 29.2 sounds like (LQ: 29.2 collection ended) what the final temperature is.

Oh, yeah that’s perfect! (LQ: 29.2) Okay and also notice it’s still reading out (LQ: 29.3) the temperature even though collection ended (LQ: 29.0) so, you really would, if you wanted (LQ: 26.4) you don’t have to hit collect that’s just if you want to hear like a graph at the end or (LQ: 28.6) check out your data, but it is going to continue to read a temperature readout (LQ: 25.0) if you just wanted to get one temperature.

(LQ: 24.4) Okay, so I’m curious (LQ: 23.8) what the line graph would sound like (LQ: 23.4) for all of those data points we took. (LQ: 23.1) I think it’s going to be like showing different temperatures (LQ: 22.5) so, the, if the, the graph will be (LQ: 22.4) a higher tone if it’s hot and a lower tone if it’s cold (LQ: 21.7). So, I’m going to guess that when we go to the first tank (LQ: 21.5) it’s going to play a higher pitch it’s because we started at room temperature (LQ: 21.0) and went to the warmer tank, and then the, the pitch is going to go low (LQ: 20.8) when it goes back to room temperature, and then (LQ: 20.6) the when we go to the cold tank the pitch is going to go really low, then (LQ: 20.4) it’s going to go up a bit for room temperature where it’s around like (LQ: 20.2) the 17 or 16°, and then it’s going to go really high (LQ: 20.2) when it goes to the hot tank at the end.


So (LQ: 20.1) let’s see if that was right, we’ll find out. I’m going to (LQ: 20.0) hit um F12 to go to (LQ: 20.0) the graph page.

(LQ: lab page, push button, mode selector)

And now I’m going to hit F10 to go to the different file menus and we’re going to listen for the one that says “sonify,” click that. (LQ: menu, file, menu item new) Okay.

(LQ: menu, graph, menu item, menu, sonify) Great there’s sonify! (LQ: hit, start sonification).

(LQ: menu item temperature, run 1) Yep that’s the one we want!

(LQ: Push button, run selector, [sonified graph with clicks at each second: click, rapid increasing pitch tone, constant high pitch, click, decreasing then constant low pitch, click, decreasing then constant lower pitch, click, decreasing then constant even lower pitch, click, very rapid increasing pitch, click] Whoa! The end is so funny! Okay, let’s hear that again! It’s like crazy at the end, okay.

Screenshot of Talking LabQuest 2 graph
Screenshot of Talking LabQuest 2 graph

The keyboard is also laid out in fours so it’s really easy to find the keys, like I can find 1, 2, 3, 4 for F4, and then up to F8 and then F12 will be the rightmost key. So we’re going to go to F10.

Let’s press F11 to see what the graph looks like when high contrast mode is turned off. So now instead of a black background for the graph we’re going to have a white background. Let’s check out the graph again. (LQ: menu, file, menu item new)

(LQ: menu, graph, menu, menu, sonify) Here’s sonify (LQ: menu, start sonification) I’m going to enter.

(LQ: menu item temperature, run 1) Yep okay so I’ll narrate them too, to figure out like what each point means

(LQ: Push button, run selector, [click, rapid increasing pitch tone, constant high pitch, click, decreasing then constant low pitch, click]) this is like you know, room temperature to hot tank.

(LQ: [decreasing then constant lower pitch, click]) room temperature.

(LQ: [decreasing then constant even lower pitch, click]) and then this is definitely like the cold one.

(LQ: [very rapid increasing pitch, click]) And then the hot tank!

So that was kind of cool and we could always check out the minimums and maximums and find out what the exact temperature was for each of those. You could also maybe just remember or write down each tank using a braille display or a brailler, or a slate and stylus to remember what our data points were, or we could also just go through the data graphs on the chart to check it out and remember our data.

So that’s great I’m glad we were to check this out and check what our temperatures are!

Note: Closed captions are edited and include Caroline and the LabQuest’s audio.

To learn more about accessible lab techniques, check out Independence Science:

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