Success! The Adafruit Industries Ultimate GPS Shield is exactly what I was looking for! I easily logged this drive around the block and imported it into Google Earth (KMZ file) with ease. My goal here is to be able to attach the logger to my bicycle this spring and take free rides which can be imported to DailyMile (GPX format). Damn the planning of routes, just ride and map them later. Both GPX and KMZ file types were created with the web utility from http://www.gpsvisualizer.com/.
The cool thing is that the Arduino with the Adafruit Ultimate GPS Shield can be easily contained in an Altoids tin as a finished device! That is the next step for me.
Brand new and better than ever, we’ve replaced our Adafruit GPS shield kit with this assembled shield that comes with an Ultimate GPS module. This GPS shield works great with either UNO or Leonardo Arduinos and is designed to log data to an SD card. Or you can leave the SD card out and use the GPS for a geocaching project, or maybe a music player that changes tunes depending on where you are in the city.
Check out this neat video of a high altitude balloon launch. What makes this launch unique is that they sent up a Coors Light beer can in front of the video camera so you could watch the ‘cold activated can’ turn blue as the temperature drops. There are probably easier ways to test if the cans work, but they wouldn’t be nearly as fun to watch.
The Arduino’s ADC is not suitable for many sensors like thermocouples or bridge sensing for pressure, strain, and force. Also it has fairly low dynamic impedance since it has no buffer amplifier. I have been looking for a simple solution to this problem for about a year. I have found a part that is accurate and very simple to use. The part is a Delta-Sigma ADC system from Microchip. I have used it on an Adafruit Proto Shield and have connected it directly to a GPS Shield to log sensor data. See below for directions for using it. I have compared the accuracy of several of these parts with a Fluke (0.09% DC V) meter. The results agree to about 1 part in a 1000 with no calibration of the ADC for measurements in the one to two volt range.
Air Quality Monitoring – Recently I had a discussion with someone from the South Riverdale Community Health Centre on Air Quality monitoring in Ontario (AQI). I learned a number of things, there are only 40 Air Quality Monitors in Ontario and they test for six key indexes. Toronto runs a slightly different test, the Air Quality Health Index (AQHI) which is a pilot programme and reports on how the Air Quality will affect your health. The AQHI test for three key indicators. Detecting three indexes sounds pretty reasonable.
Mobile Air Quality MonitorBy building my own Air Quality project I hope to be able to reproduce the AQHI results at a fraction of the price and provide instruction to enable anyone across the province a chance to build their own.
To the left is a photo of the final (but always in a state of flux) result. It is a GPS enabled device powered by two AA’s which senses Air Quality and Ozone. I am currently running tests in a variety of ways. This is a more complex setup than it has to be. Below I’ll detail both a simple setup and a complex setup.
Simple Air Quality Monitor:
USB-Serial Connection (~$15)
Air Quality Sensor & Ozone Sensor ($6 each)
2 Resistors ($.15 – I’m using a 15k Ohm)
Connect the sensors as illustrated on the Wiring.org website. Attach to a computer and upload the data to a provider such as Pachube to share with the world. (Need an invite? Message me.)
Mobile Air Quality Monitor:
GPS Sheild ($16)
SD-Card ($20-60 depending on size – the SD-Card library uses a FAT-16 environment, so 1GB is all you’re going to need)
MintyBoost ($20 – 12 Hour lifespan for 2 AAs, 3 for a 9V battery)
Air Quality & Ozone Sensor ($6 each, see above for links)
Running out of space in your big Arduino project? Good news! Finally, after months of backorders, one can now buy the latest improvement to the ‘ATmega8′ line of chips: the ATmega328′s.
The ’328 has 32K of flash, and 2K of SRAM. Basically its got the capacity of an ATmega32 but in a slimmer package. These chips are notable for their ability to drop-in replace the ATmega168. So that means if you have an Arduino or compatible clone, it is a easy 2 minute swap.
If you have an Adafruit wave shield or GPS/datalogging shield, and you’re annoyed that the FAT16 libraries eats up so much flash and RAM, upgrading will definitely fix the problem.
I’ve merged my previous updates to the Arduino bootloader to the most recent release and also fixed 2 annoying bugs that have prevailed this long. (1. the missing signature bytes when using the bootloader directly and 2. the broken EEPROM code). Download the ’328-compatible bootloader files here.