Early in 2011 I realized that open source micro-controller boards had the potential to replace expensive commercial sensor units with cheap & cheerful DIY equivalents. In January 2014, I started this blog to record my attempt to build a simple flow sensor using an Arduino. The project has grown quite a bit since then, and my current goal is to create a robust underwater logging platform, from pre-assembled modules, which can be adapted to a variety of environmental monitoring applications.
This ‘lowest common denominator’ approach means that any component in the build can be changed without requiring a significant re-write of the operating code. My performance benchmark is at least one full year of operation on three AA batteries, and with that system as a foundation, I will build instruments that focus on a theme of water because of it’s crucial role sustaining us, and connecting everything we do to the natural world.
It’s fantastic that anyone can learn enough to build something like this from scratch, and I hope that this blog is a useful contribution to the Makers movement; engaging people with environmental issues and giving them a chance to actively participate as citizen scientists. So if you want to start a project of your own, browse through my ongoing adventures from the place where it all started, and I hope something in there helps you out. There have been many successes and many failures along the way, and I still learn something new every day…
NOTE: If you want to read “the story” of this device, and you are not used to navigating the reverse chronological order that blogs use, you will find links at the bottom of some pages that look like this: <—Click here to continue reading—>
These links will take you through the pages in a somewhat linear narrative, skipping over most of the nerdy technical posts. I assume everyone else* knows how to use the categories in the sidebar, or the search feature, to go directly to the information they are after.
* And for the real propeller heads out there: I am doing my best to make this blog a content rich source for others, so there are hyperlinks throughout the text to the best sources I have come across so far. But I am always looking for more, so your insightful comments are much appreciated! This is my first Arduino project…actually it’s my first real diy electronics project of any kind…
With support from the National Geographic Society / Waitt Grants Program