The Datalogging Shield from (the site previously at) Nuelectronics.com

This page is a menu of help for you with the nuelectronics datalogging shield for Arduinos

Some of the information is more broadly useful

Sadly- the shield at the heart of this page hasn't been available from the original supplier for some time at 11/18.

Where relevant, the tutorials all include sourcecode. Any link from this menu is useful even in isolation. If you just want to clear up a detail, by all means simply jump to the page that seems best. If you are new to either the shield or the Arduino, then at least skimming the "naming of parts" and "details of how I work" pages may expedite your progress on with the other pages. What is a shield? That's covered at the start of my page about the signals used by the shield. For helpful tricks for using my web pages generally, see my Power Browsing page.

IMPORTANT: Bears on all of the following tutorials...

If you are using the shield with a pre-Mega true Arduino, it should just plug in and work.

The board in question has "Arduino Sensor interface board v1.0/ www.nuelectronics.com" on it. Alas, the "nuelectronics.com" on the web 11/18 has nothing to do with the people who produced this excellent shield.

For the Mega, and for Arduino clones with a different footprint, you may need to consult my page about the lines used by the NuElectronics shield to learn which lines to connect between shield and Arduino.

For some of the following, the easy route is to install the "sensor_pff" library from nuElectronics on your system for what is described here to work. At 3/13, the nuElectronics site had been unreachable for some time. I have put a copy of the "sensor_pff" library, as a .zip file, on my site for you to download. (Still there 3/21). Also long bef 3/21, I did a tutorial on software libraries if you don't already know about installing them.... it isn't hard. (I did it!) And I think that today it is even easier that it was when I did the tutorial.

Datalog shield tutorials...

How to read the shield's real time clock, its DS1302. This is a good place to start in "getting acquainted" with your shield. What's here will work, even if your clock isn't "set right"... and it is easier than the other job you may need to undertake: Setting the RTC.

How to set the shield's real time clock, its DS1302. If you haven't read the tutorial on reading the shield's RTC (see previous paragraph), then read that one first. This "setting the clock" tutorial needs editing, but covers what you need. Anyway: you may not need to set your RTC!

Reading DS18B20 temperature sensors: You don't need to add any libraries to your Arduino development platform to read DS18B20s. If you want "the answer", with less "help", or to read several temperature sensors, see the next tutorial.

Reading several DS18B20 temperature sensors: You don't need to add any libraries to your Arduino development platform to read DS18B20s. If you want more "help" with basics, see the previous tutorial. This one extends what was done there into a more generally useful form.

Naming of Parts: A "boring" but necessary little page, telling you the right names for the different connectors on the shield, and discussing the signal lines brought to the connectors around it's edge.

Reading an IR remote control: Use an ordinary remote control as a keyboard for all your Arduino projects. You don't even need the nuelectronics shield. In some digressions at the end of the tutorial, I present some ideas for projects. Have fun! (If you use the library recommended, you can also send IR remote control signals from an Arduino. Again, you won't even need a shield.)

Reading DHT11 humidity sensor: A humidity sensor for about $12? (Plus sensible p&p, 7/10) Uses one i/o line? Works without libraries? Would work without shield? How cool! (Notes also refer to DHT22.) If you are feeling fit, and you want to read an exploration of the "fancy" code in the nuelectronics demo of 7/10 for this device, and of what I did while converting it to my version, then good luck to you. It is not an easy read... but easier to read than it was to write!

Writing to an SD card: Store, in machine readable form, the data that your Arduino with nuelectronics shield is seeing. Doing this is less easy than using the other features of the shield, but it does work! You could also read data from an SD card... perhaps an easy way to "re-program" an access control system with the PINs of authorized users? The same SD card could record accesses to the controlled area.

Praise for the shield... Why I like it...

I am enthusiastic about the shield... hence the work to create these pages. (My only "connection" to nuelectronics is as "happy customer".) The shield won't slice bread, but it is a good, economical answer to some common datalogging needs. "Economical" not only as to price (£11, about $16, at 7/10), but economical and elegant in its design. Live outside the UK? It is small, goes through the post easily. Alas, the "nuelectronics.com" on the web 11/18 has nothing to do with the people who produced this excellent shield.

The shield includes a real time clock (RTC), a socket for an SD card (to store the data you log, which you can then easily "harvest" in a big computer, for display or processing), easy mechanical connection of a variety of sensors, and software for a number of useful devices.

The shield "just plugs in" to my Diecimila... but it still has things to recommend it to users of clones of different physical form. For example, only 5 wires would need to be connected between shield and Arduino clone to give the clone access to the shield's RTC. The shield has battery backup for the real time clock, and the necessary crystal and capacitors.

Another of the things I like about the shield: You can use it's features in isolation, as in most of these demos, or use (different) selections in different projects.

General discussions...

The following pages have general observations which I hope may be useful to you...

Using software libraries: Not the best tutorial I ever wrote, but if you are new to libraries, and a bit nervous, this may help. (Some of the nuelectronics.com devices required the installation of a library, if you want to use them. E.g. the IR receiver, the SD card reader/ writer, the RTC. This was no big deal, while nuelectronics still existed. Happily, big chucks were from "public" sources, and could probably re revere engineered, if you want to bring an eBay sourced board into service.)

"1-Wire" / "one wire" / "two wire": Don't be confused by the way these terms are used in the nuelectronics datalogging shield context. (A brief, but maybe important, note.)

"Normal" use of various signal lines: You can use some of the Arduino's digital and analog inputs and outputs just as you would if you had no shield. It doesn't render them "different". Plus notes on the nuelectronics LCD, tilt switch and buzzer modules.

Sensors, Actuators (Effectors) for the shield: A summary of the nuelectronics line.

See Also: The Arduino programming course from Sheepdog Guides:

Further to the Arduino ideas the page you are reading now will take you to, I have posted a series of essays which try to help you become a better Arduino programmer and engineer... but, for the best result, you will have to buckle down and work your way through them in sequence. The "How To's" here can be accessed in whatever order you like.

I also offer you free tutorials about programming for the Dallas Semiconductor 1-Wire (tm) chips, as used on a MicroLan (tm), using MicroLans with all their advantages (and overheads!).

You don't need MicroLans to use 1-Wire chips with an Arduino!

My "Programming 1-Wire" tutorials (links to same page as link two paragraphs ago) are written for programmers using the Delphi language, but they contain much information that would apply to other language environments. I also maintain pages which introduce MicroLans and explain the hardware. There are devices on those pages which could probably be accessed with Arduinos too, with just a little digging in the Arduino archives, or a little new work. My pages discuss the raw chips and also sources of the chips made up into useful modules. The "tricks" used to access the DS18B20 temperature sensor (see tutorial near top of page) are (almost) all that you need. You also need to understand the basic protocols of the chip you are trying to access. If others have done the work and posted answers, I would be glad to add links here, just write me!

Feel free to use this information in programming courses, etc, but a credit of the source would be appreciated. If you simply copy the pages to other web pages you will do your readers a disservice: Your copies won't stay current. Far better to link to these pages, and then your readers see up-to-date versions. For those who care- thank you- I have posted a page with more information on what copyright waivers I extend, and suggestions for those who wish to put this material on CDs, etc.

Editorial Philosophy

See the discussion near the bottom of the "top level" page covering the bulk of my Arduino contributions. There is information there, too, about things like "May I copy your material?", and the system of file names I am trying to work to.

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Ad from page's editor: Yes.. I do enjoy compiling these things for you... hope they are helpful. However.. this doesn't pay my bills!!! If you find this stuff useful, (and you run an MS-DOS or Windows PC) please visit my freeware and shareware page, download something, and circulate it for me? Links on your page to this page would also be appreciated!

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