ERU2 – Winter 2015: Chris’ Progress Update #1

Progress Update #1 – Arduino Datalogger

The goal of this project is to create a simple-yet-robust datalogger, capable of both real-time monitoring and remote data storage. Below are the main specifications:

  1. Hardware Requirements:
    1. Per-unit cost must be kept low; mandatorily under $150 (and preferably under $100) out-the-door, excluding installation costs.
    2. Units are to be designed to minimise installation costs by using existing, standard infrastructure where it exists.
  2. Software Requirements:
    1. Units must be monitorable in real-time, but also able to record the data either locally or remotely.
    2. The sensor must be easily field-deployable, requiring no special techniques (programming or electronic) to install.
    3. The datalogger must be compatible with a variety of sensors (temperature, humidity, noise, light level, etc.), up to 6 simultaneously, without firmware modification.

The datalogger proof-of-concept currently in design is based on an Arduino Uno with Ethernet and Power-Over-Ethernet add-ons. This hardware platform was chosen based on the simplicity of adding both digital and analog sensors and in communicating these results via ethernet.

Progress Update #1 - Pic 1 I am pleased to report that the project is on-track. Both sensors have been successfully connected to the Arduino (though I am reminded why I dislike soldering – because I am terrible at it) and are relaying reasonable data. I have attached one of the temperature sensors to a set of long wire leads and have stuck it out of the window behind my worktable to test its functionality in low temperatures (late February in Canada!). Both temperature sensors are within one degree Celsius of the reading on adjacent alcohol thermometers, which is close enough. The noise sensor works, though calibrating it will be challenging without some sort of sophisticated calibration equipment. For the moment, and likely for the duration of the proof-of-concept phase, the noise sensor is calibrated in “arbitrary noise units” which are linearly proportional to the analog signal.

There was nothing particularly new in terms of skills in this phase. Most of what was done was merely applying existing concepts to new sensors.

Next steps will be focused on integrating the Ethernet components.

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