Sub-$20 Arduino-Based Telemetry System

[William Osman] set out to prove that unlike expensive commercial data logging rigs, he could get the same results for under twenty bucks. He wanted to build a wireless three-axis accelerometer for a race car project, allowing engineers to make modifications to the suspension based on the data collected.

The hardware consists of an Arduino Pro Mini connected to a three-axis accelerometer, and an nRF24L01 wireless module. Power is supplied by the race car’s 12 V, changed to 5 V by a linear regulator with the Pro Mini in turn supplying 3.3 V. The base station consists of an Arduino and another nRF24L01 module plugged into a laptop.

The telemetry system is based on COSMOS, an open-source, realtime datalogging platform put out by Bell Aerospace. COSMOS consists of fifteen separate applications depending on how you want to view and manage your telemetry. You can download [William]’s COSMOS config files and Arduino sketch on Google Docs.

We’ve published a bunch of pieces on telemetry, like this ESP8266 telemetry project, a rocket telemetry rig, and open sourcing satellite telemetry.

[Thanks, Dennis Nestor!]

15 thoughts on “Sub-$20 Arduino-Based Telemetry System

      1. I hate to be “that guy” but that video is not informative at all. It’s half slo-mo half dubstep and just a bunch of clips in a row. I don’t care how *shiny* it is. Tell me something about it.

        1. Read the blog page – not a complete tutorial but much better stuff there to at least give a sense of how it’s all plugged together. Anyone who includes “It took me days of frustration, deteriorating moral, and wallowing in pity.” as part of the build process is probably okay.

      2. Hello to a fellow member of a Formula SAE electronic team! That was one of the best times I’ve ever had – accomplishing a lot in so little time under such a pressure, sleeping in the workshop, devising insane kludgy workarounds etc.

  1. so they are only sending telemetry of the 3 axis accelerometer? Wouldn’t it just be easier to data log it (with other useful parameters such as suspension travel) and then analyze it after? I mean the reason that race cars typically have telemetry is so that the pit team can help diagnose faults and other issues in longer races. If i remember correctly, the endurance portion of the competition is about 30 minutes. it seems like this is a solution in search of a problem and not really a proper solution. in order to change suspension settings, you would need to know what the suspension is doing (suspension travel data, steering wheel angle) as well as what the car is doing (3 axis accelerometer) and if your really hungry for data, tire temperature data will help considerably.

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