It’s Just a Matter of Time…

Last time I wrote a post, I had gotten to the point where my anemometer reads pulses from the Hall Effect sensor, calculates the wind speed, and prints that data to a serial monitor (either the built-in monitor in the Arduino IDE, or a third party monitor like PuTTy). Since then, I’ve finished the next hurdle in the programming which is storing that data to a MicroSD card.

Wiring up the MicroSD card is relatively straight forward, and writing to the card is as simple as writing to the Serial monitor, so it wasn’t a difficult hurdle to overcome, but getting one of the necessary steps taken care of gives me that warm, fuzzy feeling inside. I’ve also included in the Arduino Code a rudimentary checking system to verify if the Arduino can communicate with the MicroSD card, and if not, skip writing to it and just print the data to the Serial Monitor. This way, if the end user isn’t worried about historical wind speed data, they don’t need to stick one in and they can just hook it up with a USB cable to view the data.

Maybe I need to think about integrating some sort of monitor to the Arduino, like an LCD screen, so a computer isn’t needed if you don’t want to store the data.

Since I’ve gotten the wind speed calculation down, and storing data to the MicroSD card is working, the next step is to work on the Time Stamp using an RTC, or Real Time Clock. I currently own a few of these IC’s (DS1307), but they won’t work for the end product. The reason they wont work is because I’m planning on powering the whole unit with a 3V LiPo battery and the DS1307 requires at least 5V to function. There is, however, an alternative, the DS1337, and I have a few ordered from Mouser and on the way. Once I get the Clock working and storing the time stamp along with the Wind Speed data, I need to start working on how the end user can configure the time and change the frequency at which the unit gets the time/wind speed and writes that data to a file on the SD card or the live graph.

That part, I believe, is going to be the most involved and difficult component before I move onto the Python program to graph data and communicate with the Arduino.

I’ve also decided to include a few pictures of the breadboard prototype I’m working with at the moment to hopefully hold your interest a little longer…

Breadboard

Arduino, at top, MicroSD middle left, and power supply at bottom. Temporary DS1307 in the middle to play with

Closeup of the Arduino and the MicroSD breakout board

Closeup of the Arduino and the MicroSD breakout board

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