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Hacker Highlights: Kevin’s Arduino DAQ

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Arduino DAQ Interface

Arduino DAQ Interface

Kevin Hughes, whom I had the pleasure to meet while we were both presenting our respective work in India a few months ago, has created a nifty Arduino-based data acquisition system using a Python GUI. For those who aren’t familiar with the concept, a DAQ (or Data Acquisition) system is generally used to feed parallelized analog and/or digital datastreams into a computer for analysis and/or storage. DAQs can be very expensive, and difficult to interface with – I know from experience, having used them both in my college courses, and for the prosthetics research that I completed way back in 2008. Kevin’s DAQ works by running a sketch on your Arduino that reads the analog inputs and sends the values to the computer over serial. Then, a python script on the computer watches this serial stream, plots the data, and saves it to a CSV file in real time. The resolution is 10-bits (since the Arduino’s ADC is 10 bits[0-1023]), and the acquisition speed is limited by the max serial baud rate. You can learn more about the project on Kevin’s website, and you can download it from GitHub.

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