posted Tina Mantaring
July 4, 2009

Top and bottom: Our first sensing prototypes measuring and streaming temperature, humidity, and light data

Diego came home with Arduino boards and all kinds of sensors for us to play with. Using these (and some other electronic components), we were able to wire up a prototype of the following system:
  • An LM35 temperature sensor that can measure values from -55 C to 150 C
  • An HS15P humidity sensor that detects relative humidity
  • A light-dependent resistor that measures the amount of ambient light
  • An Arduino Duemilanove board that reads the analog sensor data, converts these to their digital equivalents, and send them to the computer via a virtual serial connection through the USB port
A listening program was then written and run on the connected computer. This program "listens" for incoming data on the port, formats the data, and then appends it to a text file, together with the timestamp. The said text file can now be used to create a variety of visualization schemes.

Right now, the sensors are in the middle of their own mini-garden, gathering data every couple of seconds. The hardware is still a prototype, which is why we are still using a breadboard, and there are wires all over the place. Still, it works, which is good enough for now.

Next up: soldering and wiring the components on their own boards, and connecting more sensors!