My school is kind of strange. We don't have a cafeteria, but we do have a four week course on "The Simpsons." We don't have a jungle-gym on the elementary playground, but we do have a half-buried firetruck. We don't have a football team, but we do have a bee-keeping club. It's pretty awesome.
This year I decided to do some cool experiments with honey bees. This project uses 12 temperature probes placed throughout a beehive to track the movement of honey bees over the course of several weeks. The project is completely solar powered, weatherproof, and can log months of data onto a 1GB memory card. I wouldn't have been able to build this without the parts supplied by the bee keeping club.
Parts you'll need (in no particular order):
- Waterproof temperature probes x 12 = $107.52
Cable glands x 13 = $22.88
- I'm linking to the smaller size of gland, when I actually bought the larger size. While the larger size did work, you won't have to tighten the smaller ones as much and they should work much more easily.
Arduino = $29.95
- I used an Arduino Mega, but this was way overkill. Any Arduino will do just fine. Because I used a Mega, the code is a bit affected.
- SD card shield = $19.50
- SD Card = $9.95
- Large weatherproof enclosure box = $19.95
6600mAh Lithium ion battery pack = $39.50
- Yes, it's a giant battery, but we want this thing to keep working if it rains for a few days!
- Lithium ion battery charger = $24.95
- Large, 6V solar panel = $34.95
- 3.7v to 5v boost converter = $19.50
Here's the code I wrote for this project. Much of it was modified from existing Arduino SD card examples.
The parts for the SD card may have to change a little depending on what shield and Arduino you use. Because I used a Mega here, I had to do a bit of a work around to get the SD shield to work without modifying it, so it could probably be simplified a bit further.
Step 1: Mount the Cable Glands
The outermost cable glands had a nut on the inside that ran into one of the box's support posts. I just cut off part of the outside of the nut to make it fit – it shouldn’t compromise the seal too badly, and the box should survive splashes from the rain just fine (hopefully this thing won’t end up entirely underwater!).