Instructables

Live data to excel from an Arduino Light Sensor

FeaturedContest Winner
Picture of Live data to excel from an Arduino Light Sensor
Laser Trip Wire Game test one - Copy.jpg
plotly tw 1.jpg

I started this little project the other day when I saw that Instructables had posted a competition for the use of Sensors, however its turning out to be a bit more interesting.

My original idea was to take a very simple project (examples in one form or another are available all over the web) add a sensor and reprogram it in a way that would allow the sensor (a Light Dependent Resistor) to control the lights.

After all a lot of the wiring on projects can be the same its the programming that changes the way it works.

Anyway - I put it all together, got it to work and realised that it was quite a sad effort. so I decided to try to link the serial port back to the computer to send real time data to a graphing package.

You could use this as a diagnostic tool to monitor and display results from your robotic sensors to ensure that they perform as required on your projects. Yes you can do this in the monitor window of the Arduino software, but you cannot save or trend the data in that application.

More interesting uses for this type of project would be to monitor how light levels change throughout the day comparing things like cloudy days to brilliantly sunny days.

Another option is as security sensor to track entrances into a room.

Once I had captured the data I used excel 2013 to chart it, but also later on you can see that I have had a go with Plotly as well and found it to be a really good tool for creating quick and simple representations

If this interests you then please read on - if not then please take a look at some of my other projects, but I hope you enjoy all of them.

 
Remove these adsRemove these ads by Signing Up
gmartin20007 months ago

Nicely documented instrucatable. Unfortunately, PLX-DAQ.xls doesn't appear to want to run on Excel 2002 under Win 8.1. Everything appears to be set and enabled per all directions but on spreadsheet startup, I "Enable macros" but an error box pops up saying "Error accessing file. Network connections may have been lost". I have a good network so something else is wrong here. Can anyone provide any guidance?

Thanks - Grant

HUKBMBEAR (author)  gmartin20007 months ago

Hi gmartin2000

I have check on the Paralax web site the system requirements are




  • Microsoft Windows 98 or higher
  • Microsoft Office/Excel 2000 or higher

So it should run fine on most if not all computers around today. Its possible to corrupt the zip file on download - Ive had that happen on other files I've downloaded. - Might be worth downloading a fresh zip file of the PLX-DAQ add in and trying again.

http://www.parallax.com/downloads/plx-daq

HUKBMBEAR (author)  gmartin20007 months ago
Hi sorry to hear that you are having trouble with plx,I think it is possible due to plx being developed at around 2007 so after 2002 it may no be backwards compatable. The version of excel I used was 2013.

I shall have a look to see if there are any potential solutions other than upgrading the version of excel
Thanks
HUKBMBEAR (author)  gmartin20007 months ago
Hi sorry to hear that you are having trouble with plx,I think it is possible due to plx being developed at around 2007 so after 2002 it may no be backwards compatable. The version of excel I used was 2013.

I shall have a look to see if there are any potential solutions other than upgrading the version of excel
Thanks
armorer2437 months ago
Good instructable! Another option for you if you don't want to use Excel is to use MySQL and pyserial to log Arduino data to a database.
HUKBMBEAR (author)  armorer2437 months ago

OO I will have to have a look for that thank you for the suggestion - glad you liked it