Throw Together A Temperature Logger In Minutes

[Rajendra] found an easy way to make a USB temperature logger. He already had a USB to UART adapter that takes care of the heavy lifting. On one end it’s got the USB plug, on the other a set of pins provide a ground connection, 3.3V and 5V feed, as well as RX/TX lines.

To get the hardware up and running all he needed was something to read a temperature sensor and push that data over the serial connection. An 8-pin microcontroller in the form of a PIC 12F1822 does the trick. It runs off of the 5V pin on the USB-UART, and uses the ADC to get temperature data from an MCP9701A sensor.

The sample rate is hard-coded into to the PIC’s firmware, but adding a button, or coding some serial monitoring could easily make that configurable. [Rajendra] used Processing to write an app which displays the incoming temperature info and uses the computer to time-stamp and log the inputs. We could see this as a quick solution to tracking wort temperature during fermentation to make sure your beer comes out just right.

17 thoughts on “Throw Together A Temperature Logger In Minutes

  1. Wow!. $3.90 for a USB-UART bridge. Is cheaper than cheap. Nice Project,good writeup and like this processing thingies. Have a few applications in mind myself. Does anybody know if Processing has USB wrappers something along the lines of PYUSB??

  2. I guess I’m kind of confused. This has been done a billion times over and published on the net, yet it seems to be published here as something new and exciting…. What exactly is going on here? Have you guys not seen a microcontroller before? Are serial ports becoming the future instead of the past?

  3. Or a Dallas Semi USB-to-1-wire dongle and 1-wire temp sensor

    Or a USB analog joystick with the thermistor in place of a pot

    Or use an FT232 in bitbang mode to drive I2C to an LM75

    There are a million ways to skin this cat cheaply and easily, and Rajendra’s is a fine example that met his needs and likely his junk box contents.

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