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Author: Shannon Hicks

Next generation rugged datalogger

Our Arduino datalogger designs have gone through a few improvements since our original models four years ago.  This past year we refined the design even more and have come up with our most rugged and reliable system yet.   The datalogger is still based on the Seeeduino Stalker board, which has solar battery charging circuitry, memory card slot, real time clock, and a socket for an XBee radio or ce...[Read More]

Ultrasonic water depth sensor

We have been using submersible pressure transducers for water level measurements for many years, but some of our installations are in areas with very shallow water that might freeze during the winter.  Most pressure transducers will be damaged if they are in water that freezes, so we’ve been experimenting with an ultrasonic rangefinder that will allow us to measure the water level from above...[Read More]

SDI-12 sensor display

Whenever we install a sensor in the field, it’s always helpful to make sure it is reading properly before connecting it to the datalogger.  Having a display to show the live data from a sensor is also helpful when doing calibration and testing of the sensor in the lab.  We use a variety of sensors from Decagon Devices.  Their high-quality, research grade sensors output the data in two format...[Read More]

Undervoltage protection switch

I recently built a device that is very useful but is hard to find commercially, and even information was scarce about how to build one myself, so I’m posting the details here in hopes that it helps anyone who might be looking for a similar device. It’s called an undervoltage protection switch.  In Europe, it’s commonly called a no-volt release switch.  What does it do?  It is bas...[Read More]

Teaching With Open-Source Electronics

These instructions were written to help teachers and students get the necessary software installed on their computers in preparation for our Introduction to Environmental Sensing workshop.   If you want to try this at home, you’ll need to follow one of the Adafruit tutorials listed below. Download and install the Arduino IDE software. (For detailed instructions on software installation, visi...[Read More]

Portable soil respirometer system

After having great success with the laboratory multi-chamber soil respirometer system, we built a portable version that could be deployed in the field for in-situ measurements.  It still uses the same Licor LI-840 gas analyzer system and a smaller Arduino controller, based on the Sparkfun ArduinoPro board since it has better power efficiencies than the Uno, which is important for battery-powered o...[Read More]