Date: Thu, 28 Feb 2002 13:52:18 -0600 (CST)

Author: Paul Nord

Subject: Re: Air Track

Post:

Jerry,

You make some good points which might shade my judgement of the PASCO
tracks. My Ealing tracks have been around for many years. They may have
been adjusted and tuned over the years by former faculty members. It's
even possible that defective tracks were replaced. All that might
indicate that what remains is a culled sample; the best of the set.

Probably why we get the impression that they don't make things the way
they use to. All the old junk was thrown away. Only the good stuff
survives.

I agree that the base support on the track is not as good. I even
noticed in a "American 3B Scientific" catalog, dropped off by a salesman
two days ago, that someone is marketing the tracks (Made by Daedalon)
WITHOUT the support base! They call it a "Precision Air Track." All the
hardware matches the one I have from Pasco. They have another model with
a new support. It might be better. Check www.a3bs.com for information.

Paul

On Thu, 28 Feb 2002, Jerry DiMarco wrote:

> We purchased a set of the Pasco air tracks back in the late
> '80s. I've been taking care of them for about 7years. No question, the
> blowers are quiet. And with variable speed they are good for demos. But
> they needed some work when I first came here. A plastic housing had
> cracked in most units, and several had loose hardware internally.
> The rubberband bumpers work fine if students use them properly. But
> students tend to leave all the attachments on the gliders, and that's hard
> on the equipment. So to prevent abuse I plugged the non-essential holes in
> the gliders with set screws.
> The bumper blade cuts the rubberbands so I got rid of it. The bumper
> contacts the glider directly now, and I've rounded the edges of the glider
> so they don't cut either. The only thing that affects the rubberbands now
> is the elements, so I store them in a plastic bag.
> A couple years ago a realignment was necessary. This was very time
> consuming, and the results left something to be desired. Part of that may
> be my fault, but it also seems like the alignment channel is underfit for
> the job.
> The pins for the glider masses are held in only by friction, and fall
> out too easily. I've had to replace most of them over the years. I've
> also replaced the needle and wax receptacles as they seemed unnecessarily
> heavy. We don't use the pulley except for demos with the dynamics
> cart. It seems to have very low friction but I can't yet comment about its
> durability.
> The setup is now fairly robust and gives good results. But it took a
> lot of effort to get it that way...
>
> Jerry
>
>
> At 2/27/2002 08:42 AM, you wrote:
> >Tappers,
> >
> >I'm seeking advices about the air track.
> >
> >Our physics lab is using 8 sets 1.6 meter air tracks made by Ealing for
> >about 30 years. Now we got $9,000 to replace them. I'm considering the
> >PASCO 2 meter air track with all it's accessories. The PASCO stuff are
> >somewhat different with the Ealing's, e.g. it use rubber band instead of
> >metal band as the bumper at the end of the glider, it use the ball bearing
> >pulley instead of the air pulley at the end of the air track etc.
> >
> >I'd appreciate someone has used the PASCO air track to share their
> >experiences about the product. Is it a good choice to buy it? Any better
> >bet? Is the old Ealing still available?
> >
> >Thanks in advance.
> >
> >Cliff Chen
> >Occidental College
>
>

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