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Early in 2011 I realized that open source microcontroller boards had the potential to replace expensive commercial sensor units with cheap & cheerful DIY equivalents. In January 2014, I started this blog to record my first attempt to build a simple flow sensor using an Arduino. The project has grown quite a bit since then, and my current goal is to create a generic underwater logging platform which can be adapted for many different environmental monitoring applications.
This ‘lowest common denominator’ approach means that any component in the build (including the Arduino) can be changed to suit the available parts without requiring a significant re-write of the operating code. My performance benchmark is at least one full year of operation on three AA batteries, and with that system as a foundation, I will build instruments that focus on a theme of water because of it’s crucial role sustaining us, and connecting everything we do to the natural world.
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.