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Pax Instruments T400 Temperature Datalogger

Measure, record, and view four channels of thermocouple temperature data with this open source Arduino™-compatible data logger

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You can order a T400 right now on Kickstarter! https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1880050573/pax-instruments-t400-temperature-datalogger

The Pax Instruments T400 datalogger is an open source four-channel thermocouple temperature datalogger based on the Arduino™ Leonardo platform. It is ready to use out of the box with the features you want most. Measurements can be logged to MicoSD card, printed to serial port, and graphed. The T400 is a great tool for anything from live thermal process monitoring in the lab to long-term environmental data collection in the field.

Right now you can get a T400 on Kickkstarter https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1880050573/pax-instruments-t400-temperature-datalogger

Overview

The Pax Instruments T400 datalogger is an open source four-channel thermocouple temperature datalogger based on the Arduino™ Leonardo platform. It is ready to use out of the box with the features you want most. Measurements can be logged to MicoSD card, printed to serial port, and graphed. The T400 is a great tool for anything from live thermal process monitoring in the lab to long-term environmental data collection in the field.

IMG_20140814_213130-edited

System design

Here's a schematic of the 0.7 hardware.

Professional design

The Pax Instruments T400 datalogger is designed to be out of the box ready for professionals and hobbyists alike. If you need a temperature datalogger that works every time, this is the device for you.

IMG_20140801_192520Open source spirit

The hardware and software design files are available to you at no cost to use, modify, or redistribute. This allows you and others to extend the devices capabilities or tailor it to your specific application.

IMG_20140801_191821Arduino™ compatibility

Arduino™-compatible hardware means while hacking on the platform you will be able leverage the work of others while sharing your own work with large community of hackers and makers. Sharing is caring.

Hardware IMG_20140801_192215MicroSD slot

Readings can be saved to a microSD card in standard CSV format for processing in Microsoft Excel, LibreOffice, or your favorite data analysis tool.

IMG_20140801_191755USB serial port

Readings can captured live via the USB serial port. This is perfect for live process monitoring in lab experiments or connecting to an internet-enabled device.

IMG_20140801_192815Mini-TC connectors

Thermocouples connect via standard mini thermocouple connectors. The T400 is compatible with a wide variety of K-type thermocouple sensor types from stainless steel probes to rolling surface-contact sensors.

IMG_20140801_191930Ambient temperature

The MCP9800 temperature sensor is used for cold junction compensation.

IMG_20140801_191841ADC

The MCP3424 analog-to-digital converter measures the voltage produced by each thermocouple.

IMG_20140801_191956Real-time clock

The DS3231 real time clock is used to trigger readings. Between readings the device is put into low power sleep mode. The RTC wakes up the unit to take a reading. This gives a longer battery life.

IMG_20140801_192647Li-Po battery

The T400 uses a standard BL-5C battery. This is great for battery replacement in the field.

IMG_20140801_191545LCD

The generous 132×64 LCD is capable of displaying the current temperature for each thermocouple as well as a graph of the most recent readings.

IMG_20140801_191821AVR processor

The T400 runs on the ATmega32u4 AVR processor.

  • System design

    Charles Pax08/20/2014 at 16:11 0 comments

    I've uploaded a system design file (schematic). It's on the side bar. When I click the edit project button I do not see the details section. Weird.

  • Pax Instruments on Facebook

    Charles Pax08/19/2014 at 21:49 0 comments

    The Kickstarter campaign launch is just  a few weeks away. You can sign up for notification at PaxInstruments.com. If you are on Facebook, I would be thrilled to have your support for the Pax instruments Facebook page. Please like, follow, and share.

  • T400 thermal debugging

    Charles Pax08/19/2014 at 21:41 0 comments

    When analyzing or debugging your electronics project one of the easiest places to start is with the finger test. Simply touch your finger to each of the components on your board to which component is misbehaving and heating up.

    When you need quantitative answers, a thermal camera, like the $1000 Flir E4, is a great tool. At $350 the Flir One is bringing down the price of this technology, but it is still out of reach for most home labs. You can use the T400 thermocouple datalogger to achieve adequate results without the need for expensive hardware.

    Let’s use the T400 board as an example. In this setup a thermocouple is connected to the ATmega32U4 using thermally conductive silicone potting compound. This is the same compound used to pot thermocouples into stainless steel tubes.

    Screen Shot 2014-08-19 at 7.41.59

    We can use theFlir E4 to view our board and compare results to the T400. In this image you can see the ATmega32U4 is the warmest component followed by the MCP5219-3.3V regulator. The Flir E4 and T400 give the same readings of approximately 35 C. This does not indicate the E4 and T400 will always give the same temperature or that either temperature is accurate to the true temperature in this case. The E4 has an accuracy of +/-2 C while the T400 has a yet undetermined accuracy.

    Screen Shot 2014-08-19 at 7.53.10

    With four thermocouple channels the T400 can monitor four parts of your board while recording that data for later graphing. I hope this gives you a few ideas of how you can use the T400 in your own lab. Please sign up below to be notified when the Pax Instruments T400 Kickstarter campaign launches in September.

  • T400 temperature datalogger submitted for the Hackaday prize

    Charles Pax08/19/2014 at 21:40 0 comments

    You can now find the T400 on Hackaday.io. I also submitted the T400 temperature datalogger for the Hackaday Prize. Let’s go to space! Please vote for the T400 if you see it in the voting queue. Thank you for your support.

  • T400 repositories

    Charles Pax08/19/2014 at 21:39 0 comments

    can now find repositories for the T400 on Github. The design files are being migrated from the monolithic development repository to Github, so it will be at least a few days until everything is uploaded.

    You can find links to the repositories and other downloads on the T400 product page.

    Sign up to be notified when the Kickstarter campaign launches early September by going to http://paxinstruments.com/

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