Public Lab Wiki documentation

  • 3

Data Logging

Data loggers can help to record data from a sensor over time -- often over days or weeks, or even months. There are a variety of data loggers available, both commercial and open source. Each entry from a logger -- stored on, for example, a memory card -- may have a timestamp and some data loggers can record location from a GPS as well.

Design constraints

What are we trying to do that existing commercial data loggers don't do, or don't do well enough? We're looking for designs that optimize:

  • low cost (i.e. <$100)
  • easy to use
  • easy to build or buy
  • weatherproof (possibly)
  • waterproof (possibly)
  • Arduino-compatible (so that they're compatible with the huge Arduino ecosystem)


More coming soon... please add any you know!

See the full spreadsheet here (by @cfastie)


Title Author Updated Likes
What is your favorite program to plot data from a data logger? @gretchengehrke 15 days ago
Can commercially available water sensors work with DIY data loggers? @gretchengehrke 29 days ago
What information do I need to assess if a data logger and sensor will be compatible? @gretchengehrke 29 days ago
What are ways to record ambient temperature every 5 sec and export easily? @carohowe about 1 month ago
What would be a good basic activity to test out a data logging device in water? @stevie 2 months ago
Sparkfun data logging troubleshooting? @efuhrm 2 months ago
Any simple ways to measure wind direction from a data logger? @warren 2 months ago
Getting a Raspberry Pi to output data by emulating a keyboard @warren 4 months ago
lightweight air quality sensors for a weather balloon @glenc 10 months ago

Ask a question  or help answer future questions


We're hoping to collect a set of activities you could do with several different data loggers here, such as an example "field test," so please add help us by adding activities which can be performed with different data loggers:

Purpose Category Status Author Time Difficulty Replications
Build KnowFlow: automatic water moniter - - @shanlter - - 1 replications: Try it »
Simple data logger - - @david_uwi - - 0 replications: Try it »
Compost is hot, says Riffle field-test - @cfastie - - 0 replications: Try it »
In the heat of the pile observe - @cfastie - - 0 replications: Try it »
Blink a LED - Write a 'Sketch' and build a breadboard circuit for the Riffle build review-me @pdhixenbaugh 1h medium 1 replications: Try it »
Riffle test 1 verify - @cfastie - - 0 replications: Try it »
Riffle campout test-limits - @cfastie - - 0 replications: Try it »

Add an activity  or request an activity

Activities should include a materials list, costs and a step-by-step guide to construction with photos. Learn what makes a good activity here.

Waterproof enclosures

The #riffle project -- and others -- have explored a lot of ways to make cheap waterproof enclosures for data loggers, but where wires and sensors can still stick out. Here are a some notes and prototypes under the tag #data-logger-enclosures. You can also visit the page on sensor enclosures here

Title Author Updated Likes
Nalgene submarine @cfastie over 1 year ago
Riffle conductivity caps and other housing ideas @mathew over 1 year ago
buoy for water sensor @DavidMack almost 2 years ago
Rubba Stoppaz @donblair almost 2 years ago
sensors in soda bottles @mathew over 2 years ago
sketching a waterproof pop bottle sensor system @mathew over 2 years ago

tool riffle data-logging method nano-data-logger datalogging data-logger-enclosures