550 Universal Interface - UI-5001



Meet PASCO’s 550 Universal Interface.

The 550 Universal Interface is fast, flexible and powerful. The 550 has half the ports and many of the features of our 850 Universal Interface in a smaller package and at a lower price point. It also offers Bluetooth compatibility and can be used with SPARKvue software as well as PASCO Capstone software.

For existing ScienceWorkshop 500 and 750 customers, the 550 offers an affordable pathway from our legacy software, DataStudio, forward to our feature-rich Capstone software, while using the ScienceWorkshop Sensors already in your labs and classrooms.  And the 550 Universal Interface features two PASport inputs, allowing you to expand into our PASport line of more than 70 sensors.

But there’s so much more to the story – we took many of the great features of our 850 Universal Interface, and put them into a smaller, yet still robust, little box! The 550’s two digital inputs are compatible with all ScienceWorkshop digital sensors, and with timing devices and photogates. It also includes two Analog ports, which offer 2MHz max sampling and 1.22 mV resolution with an analog voltage sensor, something our competitors just can’t match.

That’s not all though, teachers will applaud the 550’s built-in signal generator. Need to power a motor, a speaker, or perhaps a circuit? We’ve got you covered, no need for an external power supply. Use your new 550 with PASCO Capstone software and you can control DC and various AC waveforms, without needing to add extra devices to your experiment, or to your budget. The 550 provides 8V @ 400mA, with selectable voltage limit, and DC offset. Using Capstone software also turns your 550 into a live oscilloscope displaying multiple simultaneous traces, such as the 550’s built-in signal generator voltage and current measurements, as well as signals from the analog ports.

Wireless Connectivity.

There’s still more to the 550 Universal Interface. Beyond having USB 2.0 connectivity, the 550 also features the ability to wirelessly send data from sensors plugged into the 550 directly to a Bluetooth Classic enabled Mac or Windows computer running PASCO Capstone or a computer, iPad or Android tablet running SPARKvue software. 

Note: Our new line of wireless sensors connect directly to computers, tablets, Chromebooks or Smartphones directly using Bluetooth 4.0 and do not require an interface. These sensors can still be used in conjunction with the 550 with devices that meet the connectivity requirements.

Comparing the 550 and 850 Universal Interfaces

Feature and Spec Comparison

Typical Applications

The 550 can directly connect all existing and legacy PASPORT (blue) and ScienceWorkshop (black) sensors. It can also be used in conjunction with our new wireless line.

The 550 also boasts a built-in signal generator and power output for investigating circuits, driving our Mechanical Oscillator/Driver and much more.

This makes it the ideal interface for the physics or engineering lab or anywhere that it's additional features and very high sampling rates are required.

Special Features

With the 550 your physics lab is equipped with high speed data collection, signal generation and power supply, oscilloscope and FFT displays, timers and more.

  • 2 MHz max sampling rate
  • 2 high-speed analog inputs
  • 2 digital inputs for photogates and other timing sensors
  • 2 PASPORT sensor inputs
  • Signal generator with built-in Voltage and Current sensors
  • Connect to computers via USB
  • Wireless connectivity via Bluetooth Classic


2 High-Speed Analog Inputs
  • Measurement Range: ± 10 V differential input
  • Input Impedance: 1 MΩ
  • Input Protection: ± 250 V continuous
  • Selectable Voltage gain: X1, X10, X100
  • Bi-directional
2 Digital Inputs
  • Digital sensors such as Photogates and Time-of-Flight plug directly into the 550 Interface
  • Compatible with all ScienceWorkshop digital sensors
  • Sensor Connect Detection
  • 0-5 V TTL
  • Bi-directional
2 PASPORT Inputs
  • Compatible with all of PASCO's complete line of more than 70 PASPORT sensors
  • Sample rates depend on sensors
Signal Generator
  • Waveforms: sine, triangle, square wave, positive and negative ramps, DC
  • Frequency range: 0.001 to 100,000 Hz with 0.001 Hz resolution
  • Amplitude Range: ± 8 V
  • Resolution: 3.9 mV, 12-bit DAC
  • Max Output Current: 400 mA at 8 V, over-current detection
  • Selectable Voltage Limit
  • Selectable DC Offset
  • Frequency Sweep Function
  • Measure output current, voltage

Buying Guide

Software Required

SPARKvue software or PASCO Capstone software may be used. PASCO Capstone is available for Mac and Windows. SPARKvue is available for Mac, Windows, iOS, Android and Chromebooks.

Learn more about Bluetooth Compatibility.