Mini Pearl Logger Kit
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The Mini Pearl Logger will be available again in mid July when a more energy efficient microSD card module can be included in the kit.
This kit includes all the parts to build a very capable data logger based on an Arduino Pro Mini microcontroller. Connections among the Pro Mini and two other electronic modules, a microSD board and real time clock board, must be soldered using the included wires.
Environmental data loggers made with these components have seen much recent research and development by Ed Mallon for his Cave Pearl Project. That site has extensive discussions and instructions for fine-tuning the Cave Pearl Logger for reliability and longevity -- Ed's loggers reliably collect data unattended for more than a year. This can require disabling LEDs on the modules and adding resistors which are not included in this kit.
Without all of Ed's modifications, this kit will build a data logger that is likely capable of collecting data unattended for a few weeks on small batteries. For greater longevity, all of Ed's modifications are open source, well documented, and easy to do. The real world performance with only a subset of the modifications is still being tested.
This kit does not include any sensors other than the temperature sensor built into the real time clock. Several types of environmental sensors can be added to your order from this page.
The Arduino Pro Mini does not have a USB port (that's why it can last so long on batteries), so programming the Arduino requires an FTDI USB to serial adapter or cable (one example) which is not included in the kit.
An included LED can be programmed to flash red, green, or blue when the sketch completes certain tasks. This is intended for use during programming (e.g., debugging) and for confirming that the logger is working just before field deployment. If all looks good, the LED should be disconnected so it does not use extra battery power. Installing the LED is optional, but is very helpful especially if you remove the LEDs on the modules to save power.
This kit does not include step by step instructions for assembly. A user guide and a starter sketch can be downloaded here. The wiring diagram below is your primary guide to assembly. If you have any questions check these research notes and leave comments or click Contact above.
- Arduino Pro Mini compatible microcontroller
- MicroSD card board
- 4GB microSD card
- Real time clock (DS3231) board
- CR2025 coin cell battery for RTC
- Common cathode RGB LED
- Resistor for LED (470Ω to 1kΩ)
- Case for four AA batteries (has switch and leads)
- Loose headers for Pro Mini
- A bunch of 24AWG stranded wire of different colors
|Wiring diagram for the Mini Pearl Logger. When hooked up as shown, data from sensors can be saved to the microSD card with accurate timestamps. The I2C hub (not included) allows the connection of multiple I2C sensors.|
|A simple way to wire the Mini Pearl Logger. One or more I2C sensors can be connected to an I2C hub built into the RTC.|
You must supply:
- soldering iron
- wire cutter/stripper
- heat shrink tubing (optional)
- connectors (optional)
- cables for sensors
- FDTI converter for programming
- weatherproof enclosure for field use