Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Data Logger Development Boards

In my search for a small, powerful, and inexpensive data logger I came across a few interesting development boards.

This Maple-like board features a Microchip PIC32MX440F256H 80 Mhz microcontroller and a 16-channel 10bit ADC (only 11 channels are available on this board).  It can sample at 1MSPS and can perform conversions in sleep and idle modes. The price is very reasonable too at 12.95 EUR (<$18USD).  The UEXT connector allows you to add Olimex modules for a wide variety of peripherals and interfaces.  Modules are available for interface, adapters, sensors, LCD, IO, video, RF. RFID, Ethernet, time, GPS, MP3 and Biofeedback.

FEZ Domino Currently on sale for $29.95 while supplies last which is less than half the normal price.   This board can also be used as an Android ADK platform with it's USB Host port.  It runs the .NET MicroFramework so you can use the free Microsoft Visual C# Express for development.  I am guessing by the low price that this board is being discontinued and replaced by the slightly larger FEZ Panda II board ($39.95).

ADI part number EVAL-ADXL345Z-DB ($59.00)  This datalogger isn't as powerful with only a 40+MHz ARM7-based ADuC7024 MCU, but has a lot of features. The MCU itself has a multichannel, 12bit, 1 MSPS ADC, voltage reference, temperature sensor, voltage comparator, up to 4 DACs, power supply monitor, PLA and 3-phase 16bit PWM generator.  The board can be powered by two AAA batteries, and includes a 3-axis accelerometer, the ADXL345.  The development environment for the sample code requires a evaluation version of the compiler, but there are GNU tools available for the processor. 

One of sparkfun's more popular products, the Logomatic V2 has a simple design and fewer features than the rest and is a little more expensive ($59.95).  It uses the 60MHz NXP LPC2148 ARM7 and you can find a lot of open source code examples on the net.  The board comes with the main logging firmware on Github, and SparkFun's USB bootloader, you can modify the source of either project using free WinARM GNU tools.  Jean-Sebastien Stozel developed a few projects to extend the firmware including a generic C++ multitasking framework using FreeRTOS.

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