This is an instructable for a data acquisition box using a Raspberry Pi and depending on the MCP3008 8-Channel 10-Bit ADC With SPI Interface (https://www.adafruit.com/product/856). It's purpose is to help with data collection and plotting that data (using the free tool gnuplot), a series of buttons (for marking events such as start, stop, and important events), and a 16 Char x2 LCD display so that the Pi does not have to be hooked up to a monitor and keyboard to be used.

Everything in the project: drawings, schematic, BOM, sample data and plots, and code for this project is in a github repo, I recommend you check it out for any updates or issues after this instructable was posted:


So, who is ready to make some science?

Step 1: Plans and Materials

SketchUp was used to plan/design the box. The drawings are attached to the page (and in git at SketchUp Drawing), and a screenshot is in the images.

The wiring schematic was done in Fritzing and is attached to the page (as well as available at Wiring Schematic ) a screenshot is also in the images.

Bill of Materials (attached and also at Github BOM ):

ItemCountPriceUrl / Source
Red Oak Hobby Board (Common: 1/4-in x 6-in x 2-Ft; Actual: 0.25-in x 5.5-in x 2-ft)1$6.47http://www.lowes.com/pd_9365-34050-OAK6X140-U2S___
Plexiglass sheet1$2.97http://www.lowes.com/pd_55844-1638-11G0810A___
Motherboard mounts8$7.90 (for 50)http://amzn.com/B00008VF6K
Round-Head Standard (SAE) Machine Screws #4 & #6 size~16$1.24 for 12http://www.lowes.com/pd_62045-37672-491276___
Nylon Standoffs8~$2.00Local Big Box Store
ItemCountPriceUrl / Source
Raspberry Pi 2 or 31$37.99 or $45.97http://amzn.com/B018L66L9S or http://amzn.com/B01CD5VC92
Push Buttons (green, black, red, blue)4$6.98 (for 10 in one color)http://amzn.com/B015CYF3VE, http://amzn.com/B015CYHS3U, http://amzn.com/B015CY8WJ4, http://amzn.com/B017EFQD6S
5 way navigation button1$2.95https://www.adafruit.com/products/504


LCD 16x2 Char Display1$15.95https://www.sparkfun.com/products/709
3 pin polarized connector (Male & Female)4$0.50http://www.kr4.us/polarized-connectors-housing-3-pin.html
Optional: 16 Pins Round Hole DIP IC Chip Socket Adaptor1$5.16 (for 10)http://amzn.com/B00X77NYG0
Optional: PCB Board 16 Pin17.11 (for 20)http://amzn.com/B01173BKZW (I got mine for $2 at Radioshack)

Odds and Ends

  • Hook-up Wire
  • Paint & Primer (or wood stain)
  • Wood Glue
  • Small nails
  • Wire shrink wraps
  • Electrical Tape
  • Old IDE Cable for GPIO pins (http://amzn.com/B002BBNEOU)
  • Motherboard mounts (also listed above)
  • Screws #4 & #6 (also listed above)
<p>Cool!</p><p>Do you have some kind of special lighting or something like that? Your pictures are amazing!</p>
<p>Thanks, no nothing too special with the camera setup, just a Nikon D700 with a flash and white photography paper for the backdrop.</p>
<p>Oh, I see. I use the D3000, But I've heard that the smaller the number in &quot;D&quot; the better, But way more expensive</p>
<p>The lens makes a huge difference, spend your money on quality lenses. I use a 60mm for most shots, allows me to get real close with the macro shots. This is the one I primarily use: Link: http://amzn.com/B0013A1XDY</p>
<p>My dad bought this camera several years ago, But I use it pretty much everyday.</p><p>I'd really love to have a good macro-lens for close-ups, But I don't have money for those.</p><p>I'd rather rather spend more money on projects, Than have an extremely amazing camera instead of an amazing one. My Nikon can still produce amazing pictures.</p><p>I think spending $20 more on good lighting will make a bigger difference than a $500 lens... :)</p><p>My all time favorite pictures are Bokeh, I'm addicted to taking them (I've attached below some that I think are really good) </p><p>All of my photography skills have been self taught, I'm just a 13 year old that loves making things :)</p>
<p>Nicely done. As a tip: use plywood instead of raw planks since the latter tend to bend (as seen in step 2). Plywood is by far more stable.</p>
<p>Nice, thanks for the tip!</p>
<p>I love DIY lab equipment</p>

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