DIY Datalogger Enables Remote Data Collection on the Cheap

The JLogger-601 just landed on Tindie. A low-power precision wireless datalogger, the device was created to fill the role of a go-to for remotely monitoring a variety of sensors. Even in places where power is unavailable or unreliable, the JLogger-601 is able to monitor and log data for a range of analog and digital sensors from load cells to thermocouples and more, and it does so without requiring expensive equipment. Monitoring a handful of sensors in a remote location could mean dropping thousands of dollars, which is probably not in the books for small projects. Even with optional add-ons included, the JLogger-601 clocks in at just over $100. In addition to a lower price tag, the JLogger-601 has a much lower power consumption than other equipment that serves the same purpose. The board’s basic specs are six precision 24-bit analog input channels, 8MB of flash storage, approximately 14 μA sleep current, and MOSFET-controlled 3.3V output. The six differential inputs have a programmable gain amplifier from 1 to 128, and the board also features sockets for custom input modules on each channel, along with four high-speed 12-bit analog inputs and one 12-bit analog output. JLogger is built to accommodate as many use cases as possible, with expansion headers and the option to include an RFM69 radio with the build. Other customization options available upon order are with or without a soldered antenna connector as well as with or without a 3D-printed enclosure. Powered by a 250 mA LDO regulator, the board itself needs about 50 mA when communicating with sensors. The regulator also powers all terminals on the device. It does include both an onboard LiPo charger and an onboard EUI-64 MAC IC. All documentation for the device is available on GitHub, including all libraries that need to be installed to use the onboard hardware. Currently, there is no all-in-one library, and what is needed depends on your intended use, but that may come in the future. The page includes step-by-step instructions for installing the board support package in Arduino and examples for a few of the required libraries. There should be more than enough to get a user off the ground, and for a much lower cost than one could expect otherwise.

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