Early in 2011 I realized that open source microcontroller 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 generic underwater logging platform which can be adapted for many different environmental monitoring applications.
This ‘lowest common denominator’ approach means that any component in the build plan can be changed to suit the available parts 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.
Anyone can learn 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…
With support from the National Geographic Society / Waitt Grants Program