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Sensors and Actuators (Effectors)

for the nuelectronics data logging shield for Arduinos

So far, the bulk of this page is a summary of the sensors available from nuelectronics.com for their excellent datalogging shield. And the one actuator (effector) they are offering so far: a buzzer.

But don't come away with the idea that you need to buy things from nuelectronics to use the shield! At the prices they are charging, I suspect nuelectronics only supply the sensors to make it easy for you to use their shield. Anything that you can connect to one or two Arduino analog or digital lines can be connected via the shield, easily... that ease of use, plus the RTC and SD card reader/writer (if either are important to you) is the reason I like the shield. You don't need a shield, anyway, do you?

Having said that... if for some reason you don't want the shield, at these prices, you may want to buy these sensors anyway!

A detail: You will see "one wire" and "one wire interface" in the nuelectronics documentation. This is not always connected with "1-Wire" (a Dallas trademark) at all, and even when you are connecting a 1-Wire device to a nuelectronics "one wire" connection point, you won't often (ever?) get dragged into some of the more complex 1-Wire issues. Don't get me wrong... I like 1-Wire... it is powerful. But to get everything you can from 1-Wire gets dangerously close to Serious Work. neElectonics lets you use some of the (marvelous) 1-Wire devices without the work! (I have a little note that says all that again, if you are still unclear.)

The nuelectronics range

Don't look for the RTC or SD card reader/ writer below. They are integral to the shield.

Do visit the nuelectronics site if you want technical details. The circuits of what is on each board are given, if you want them. Nuelectronics is not trying to pretend that, say, the DS18B20 sensor is anything terribly clever: It is just a DS18B20 and a pull up resistor, nicely packaged, at a reasonable price, into something you can just plug into the shield.

Accuator(s) / Effector(s)

Buzzer: This incorporates a transistor and a piezo sounder. Draws power from the Arduino's 5v line... but not much! The module has it's own built-in oscillator... so for the easy life, all you have to do is pull the input (to the module) high, and you get a remarkably loud (for the module's size and cost) steady tone. At the nuelectronics site there is a more complex example which may or may not work. If it does, it lets you generate tones of differnt frequencies. I suspect it is left over from a time when the module didn't have it's own oscillator, and you had to "do things the hard way". About $4 at 7/10. (The site's prices are in British pounds, but they accept PayPal, and the devices are so small that they should travel through the mail without incident.)

Sensors- "expensive"

These MODULES... easy to plug in, remember, and, like the buzzer, they can be used via breadboards, too, if you don't want a shield... cost about $12 each...

DHT11 temperature and humidity: The name says most of what you need to know. The temperature will be the temperature of the sensor, which may be affected by the needs of the humidity sensing. It will be a good guide to ambient temperature, but for accurate weather recording, you might want to use an additional, separate temperature sensor.

DS18B20 temperature sensor: A digital device, with a long and robust pedigree. Good for -10 to 85 degrees C.

MQ-3 gas alcohol sensor: Make your own breathalyser.

Sensors- inexpensive

At 7/10: About $3 each... for the MODULES, not just the sensor.

Light sensor: Uses a small light dependant resistor (LDR).

NTC thermistor: I'd use the other temperature sensor, for a variety of reasons... but one of them is just that I don't know much about thermistors! To me, the slight extra cost is well worth the extra accuracy. The thermistor will sense -20 to +105 degrees C.

Tilt switch: Umm... what can I say? Switches when it is tilted. No mercury.

IR remote control signal sensor: Lets your Arduino "read" signals from IR remote controls, like the one you turn the TV off with. Nuelectronics will sell you a remote, if you need one. Try one of the ten you already have first... it will probably do!


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.

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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In addition to the information about the nuelectronics data shield of which this page is part, I have other sites with material you might find useful.....

Tutorials about the free database which is part of the free Open Office.
Sequenced set of tutorials on Pascal programming and electronics interfacing.
Some pages for programmers.
Using the parallel port of a Windows computer.

If you visit 1&1's site from here, it helps me. They host my website, and I wouldn't put this link up for them if I wasn't happy with their service... although I was less than pleased the other day to have what I was doing interrupted by a telephone call from their sales team, trying to get me to extend my involvement. Sigh. Hardly a rare event, but I'd thought 1&1 were a bit classier that some of the people who have my telephone number.

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!

Click here to visit editor's Sheepdog Software (tm) freeware, shareware pages.

And if you liked that, or want different things, here are some more pages from the editor of these tutorials....

Click here to visit the homepage of my biggest site.

Click here to visit the homepage of Sheepdogsoftware.co.uk. Apologies if the "?Frmar3ne1sensact" I added to that link causes your browser problems. Please let me know, if so?

Click here to visit editor's pages about using computers in Sensing and Control, e.g. weather logging.

To email this page's editor, Tom Boyd.... Editor's email address. Suggestions welcomed!

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