USB stick data logger

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air.command
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USB stick data logger

Postby air.command » Tue Oct 09, 2007 10:46 am

Here is a nifty little device that can be used as a data logger for flight data.

http://www.parallax.com/StoreSearchResults/tabid/768/txtSearch/27937/List/0/SortField/4/ProductID/434/Default.aspx

It interfaces to a flight computer through a simple UART or SPI interface and stores stuff on a USB thumb drive. You can then remove the thumb drive and stick it in your PC and read the data files off that. No need for special software to connect to the logger. With the USB drive you get huge amounts of storage space. This device only costs US$34.
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spacelaunch
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Re: USB stick data logger

Postby spacelaunch » Sun Oct 28, 2007 11:41 am

air.command wrote:Here is a nifty little device that can be used as a data logger for flight data.

http://www.parallax.com/detail.asp?product_id=27937

It interfaces to a flight computer through a simple UART or SPI interface and stores stuff on a USB thumb drive. You can then remove the thumb drive and stick it in your PC and read the data files off that. No need for special software to connect to the logger. With the USB drive you get huge amounts of storage space. This device only costs US$34.


Nice one I have been looking at building an advanced data logger using this companies gear.

www.bipom.com

I like how they have a stackable arrangement much like PC104 but smaller , allows stacking of a CPU board, data conversion, storage & outputs.

Of particular interest for those of us who are software code impaired, is a carrier board for the basic stamp which allows basic language to be used.
Space is only 100km straight up, see you there :)

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Postby spacelaunch » Mon Oct 29, 2007 11:05 am

Another excellent source for electronics gear is Sparkfun

www.sparkfun.com

They do a huge range of sensors mounted on break-out boards, which given that most stuff is in tiny surface mount and BGA packages is a great help.

They have Gyro's, Accelerometers, Pressure Transducers and micro-controller boards. Also a lot of GPS stuff and video overlay stuff too.
Space is only 100km straight up, see you there :)

air.command
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Postby air.command » Mon Oct 29, 2007 11:31 am

Now that I have stopped drooling :) ...... Thanks for a great reference spacelaunch. There are sure lots of little modules usable for rockets, as well as robotics(my other hobby). Definitely a good site to bookmark.
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Tarpazium
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Postby Tarpazium » Mon Jun 08, 2009 7:06 am

Hi air.command

Did you ever end up exploring this device further ?

Tarp
“Measure what is measurable, and make measurable what is not so.”

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air.command
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Postby air.command » Mon Jun 08, 2009 7:43 am

Tarpazium wrote:Hi air.command

Did you ever end up exploring this device further ?

Tarp


Hi Tarp,

Sorry no, I have not tried the unit. Are you considering using it?
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Postby Tarpazium » Mon Jun 08, 2009 8:33 am

Hi George.

Yes - I was just investigating some form of Data stream logger for the GPS Project Mk II.

I thought it may be of value to be able to capture and log a flight path data from a GPS receiver both as a backup in case of coms failure. Also it may be of uses in a for use in a projects where for whatever reason, you did not wish to transmit the data to UHF.

I’ve seem chucky commercial units and wondered how easy it would really be to perform the on-board logging of the GPS data as well as or instead the transmission of GPS data.

It's really just added redundancy for data capture in case of UHF failure on either TX or RX. I do appreciate that such a feature would require a fair amount of additional development.

Image

Knowing you to be a good PIC man, did you ever have a look at the code?

Any further thoughts or comments?

Tarp

P.S.

How are those "wet" thrust curves going?

Tarp
“Measure what is measurable, and make measurable what is not so.”

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air.command
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Postby air.command » Mon Jun 08, 2009 9:50 pm

Hi Tarp,

I think it is a good idea to be logging locally as well as sending the GPS data via comms. I agree that you are likely to achieve more complete data that way than if you solely rely on your comms link. I don't think it's necessarily all that much extra work to log the data you are already sending to the transmitter, especially if you are using a self contained logging unit like that above. You still may need some little controller that generates the correct serial data for the logger, and tells it when to start or stop, but should be achievable with one of those small 8 pin PICs.

There would be some penalty in terms of extra weight/real estate/power consumption compared to a fully integrated unit where the logging is integrated directly in your transmitter electronics. But a fully integrated unit is likely to take a bit more effort to design, get debugged and working.

The logging unit above also requires a USB key that uses up more space, although you can get some pretty tiny ones these days:
http://www.engadget.com/2007/03/15/kingmax-unveils-worlds-smallest-usb-flash-drive/

http://www.geekalerts.com/worlds-smallest-usb-flash-drive/

If you are just storing the raw data on board, you may then need to do further processing on it in software after retrieving it. All depends on the final format that is stored.


Although not necessarily logging related I came across this the other day:
http://www.myathletegps.com/index-1.html

I don't have any specs on it in terms of sample rate or whether it would even be suitable for rocketry, but looked interesting. (May be expensive as well?)

Cheers

- George

PS. The wet thrust measurements have been going well. We just recently measured the performance of our variable nozzles that change diameter during flight. I am still writing up the results of those experiments. :) I'll post the results when they are in user friendly form.
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Postby air.command » Mon Jun 22, 2009 8:15 am

Tarpazium wrote:Hi George.

Yes - I was just investigating some form of Data stream logger for the GPS Project Mk II.

I thought it may be of value to be able to capture and log a flight path data from a GPS receiver both as a backup in case of coms failure. Also it may be of uses in a for use in a projects where for whatever reason, you did not wish to transmit the data to UHF.

I’ve seem chucky commercial units and wondered how easy it would really be to perform the on-board logging of the GPS data as well as or instead the transmission of GPS data.

It's really just added redundancy for data capture in case of UHF failure on either TX or RX. I do appreciate that such a feature would require a fair amount of additional development.

Image

Knowing you to be a good PIC man, did you ever have a look at the code?

Any further thoughts or comments?


Tarp


I had a further thought this morning for onboard logging of the GPS data. It may not be the pure digital way of doing it, but if the data is being sent as an audio signal over the UHF link, then theoretically you should be able to split off that signal and also send it to a digital voice recorder. Something like this: http://www.ts-market.com/products/?action=showProd&grpId=85&prodId=19. The audio stream would be recorded whether it is received or not on the ground.

After landing you could just replay the audio data in the same way that the UHF radio would have received it.

I know it's a round about way of doing things but it may be an option. You would need to make sure that the voice recorder though has a high enough sample rate.
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Postby PK » Mon Jun 22, 2009 9:20 am

I had a further thought this morning for onboard logging of the GPS data. It may not be the pure digital way of doing it, but if the data is being sent as an audio signal over the UHF link, then theoretically you should be able to split off that signal and also send it to a digital voice recorder.

I've recorded it to tape. You can also use audio recording software on the PC.
Not much point though, the decoding software is pretty robust.

In the early days I added a flash chip to the GPS telemetry system and recorded on the rocket. I sometimes still do this when I'm only transmitting every 5 seconds.
The units we are building now use a 5Hz GPS which I have dumbed down to 1Hz. I guess if you had a use for that 5Hz update rate then logging onboard would make sense.
I guess it really comes down to what you are trying to achieve. For me, GPS in the rocket is purely about getting it back after I've lost sight of it at 15000'

Having said that, I've been giving some thought to the datalogging system we use at the moment. Craig built it and it's worked really well for some time. But it was designed a few years back and electronics move on so I'm thinking along the lines of something that logs the basics (baro, 3 axis accell, and maybe roll rate) and has some digital and analog inputs. Logging to a FAT filesystem on an SD card.

The main issue we have with the current system is the time it takes to dump the data out over a serial link. Data download was the largest part of the cycle time of the last thing we flew. Swapping out a memory card would improve that. One of the products we make uses SD cards so I've got plenty of hardware.

PK

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Postby Tarpazium » Mon Jun 22, 2009 11:40 am

PK wrote:Logging to a FAT filesystem on an SD card.


The ability to daisy chain a SD Card or multi-channel data log to a SD-Card would be a very nice add-on to a wish list for the GPS project Mark II.

COMMON AUSTRALIAN ROCKETRY AVIONICS STANDARDS

I am continually amazed at the ingenuity of many of the contributions I have seen made to the technical section of this forum.

In order that the entire Australian Rocketry community can gain the most from these contributions I was wondering if anyone would like to share any thoughts on the development of a common design protocol (an open source as it were) for daisy chaining various avionics modules ie GPS Module, Timers, Launch Detect Module, MAD Module, Data loggers and recorders.

Perhaps in this way we can ALL work from the same page (so to speak) and allow individuals from a variety of backgrounds and skill levels contribute to broadening both the skills base and diversity of such projects for the greater benefit of ALL.

Please keep ALL of us informed of any further thoughts or comments in regard to this. Thanks again for your assistance in "pushing the envelope".


Tarp
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Bicky51
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Sd card

Postby Bicky51 » Thu Oct 22, 2009 6:30 pm

Perhaps a Micro sd card being smaller & lighter.


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