Overview

sensors_davinci_notebook.jpg
Picture by Todd Dailey via Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0) https://www.flickr.com/photos/twid/3013680713

The Past

Before the advent  of computers, all data was written in notebooks. One of Leonardo da Vinci's notebooks, above, is an example, as are the notebooks by the great scientists of the past. 

The Present

While observation by eye is still used today, more often than not we automate readings by electronics. In any given day, billions of sensors worldwide take readings of heat, light, wind, etc. But where does that data go?

The Spreadsheet

To record and analyze readings, it is easiest for most folks to use a spreadsheet. Available on all computer platforms, a spreadsheet is one of the first programs people learn. And, the analytical capabilities (re. plotting/graphing) are excellent.

This guide will quickly allow you to learn about placing data readings directly into the spreadsheet of your choice, A Circuit Playground Express and it's multitude of sensors, will log data to a spreadsheet and an Android phone.

Parts List

Circuit Playground Express

PRODUCT ID: 3333
Circuit Playground Express is the next step towards a perfect introduction to electronics and programming. We've taken the original Circuit Playground Classic and...
$24.95
IN STOCK

USB cable - USB A to Micro-B

PRODUCT ID: 592
This here is your standard A to micro-B USB cable, for USB 1.1 or 2.0. Perfect for connecting a PC to your Metro, Feather, Raspberry Pi or other dev-board or...
$2.95
IN STOCK

For the plant monitoring example - there is an all-in-one kit or if you already have an Circuit Playground Express, add alligator clips:

Circuit Playground Express Soil Sensor Mini Kit

PRODUCT ID: 4060
The thirst is real! Keep your flora (plants, not the board *wink*) happy and hydrated with the Circuit Playground...
OUT OF STOCK

or

Small Alligator Clip Test Lead (set of 6)

PRODUCT ID: 4100
Connect this to that without soldering using these small alligator clip test leads. 18" long cables with color-coded alligator clips on both ends. You get 6 pieces in 6...
$2.95
IN STOCK

For monitoring to an Android phone, add:

Micro USB to Micro USB OTG Cable - 10-12" / 25-30cm long

PRODUCT ID: 3610
This cable is a little unusual, rather than having a USB A plug on one end, it has two Micro B USB connections! What is this for? It's for when you have a "USB...
$1.95
IN STOCK

Or a standard USB OTG cable adapter

USB OTG Host Cable - MicroB OTG male to A female

PRODUCT ID: 1099
This cable looks like a USB micro cable but it isn't! Instead of a USB A Plug, it has a USB A Socket on the end. This cable is designed for use with OTG (On the Go) host devices...
$2.50
IN STOCK
This guide was first published on Aug 14, 2018. It was last updated on Aug 14, 2018. This page (Overview) was last updated on Jun 26, 2019.