Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Add logging to your project for about $5

A inexpensive way to start logging data from your sensors is with a SD Card. Although some shields come with onboard SD Slots, if you don't have one you can add it to your project for about $5


This board is 5v & 3.3v friendly.

Examples and instructions for reading and writing to SD Cards can be found at http://arduino.cc/en/Reference/SD


CS 4 53
MOSI 11 51
SCK 13 52
MISO 12 50

Stay tuned for a number of upcoming SD Card logging projects!
  SD card datalogger

 This example shows how to log data from three analog sensors
 to an SD card using the SD library.

 The circuit:
 * analog sensors on analog ins 0, 1, and 2
 * SD card attached to SPI bus as follows:
 ** MOSI - pin 11
 ** MISO - pin 12
 ** CLK - pin 13
 ** CS - pin 4

 created  24 Nov 2010
 modified 9 Apr 2012
 by Tom Igoe

 This example code is in the public domain.


#include <SPI.h>
#include <SD.h>

// On the Ethernet Shield, CS is pin 4. Note that even if it's not
// used as the CS pin, the hardware CS pin (10 on most Arduino boards,
// 53 on the Mega) must be left as an output or the SD library
// functions will not work.
const int chipSelect = 4;

void setup()
  // Open serial communications and wait for port to open:
  while (!Serial) {
    ; // wait for serial port to connect. Needed for Leonardo only

  Serial.print("Initializing SD card...");
  // make sure that the default chip select pin is set to
  // output, even if you don't use it:
  pinMode(10, OUTPUT);

  // see if the card is present and can be initialized:
  if (!SD.begin(chipSelect)) {
    Serial.println("Card failed, or not present");
    // don't do anything more:
  Serial.println("card initialized.");

void loop()
  // make a string for assembling the data to log:
  String dataString = "";

  // read three sensors and append to the string:
  for (int analogPin = 0; analogPin < 3; analogPin++) {
    int sensor = analogRead(analogPin);
    dataString += String(sensor);
    if (analogPin < 2) {
      dataString += ",";

  // open the file. note that only one file can be open at a time,
  // so you have to close this one before opening another.
  File dataFile = SD.open("datalog.txt", FILE_WRITE);

  // if the file is available, write to it:
  if (dataFile) {
    // print to the serial port too:
  // if the file isn't open, pop up an error:
  else {
    Serial.println("error opening datalog.txt");