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 cell phone module. A short RF cable and panel-mount jack allow an external antenna to be used. The datalogger is powered by a 2-Ah Lipo battery, and a high-quality waterproof solar panel is mounted outside the enclosure to keep the battery charged. In some cases, a separate alkaline battery pack can be added to provide the higher voltage needed for some sensors. We designed and built a custom interface shield that has sockets for the various sensors, making connections in the field very simple and dependable. Sensor cables exit the case through waterproof cable glands, and brackets are bolted to the case back to allow for easy mounting to any diameter post. In the photo above, an adjustable bracket on the top of the post holds the solar panel and a solar quantum radiation sensor.