Arduino is a popular, inexpensive and easy to learn “open source” microcontroller platform for making interactive projects (https://www.arduino.cc/). Components and kits are available at popular sites such as Sparkfun (https://www.sparkfun.com/categories/103) and Adafruit (https://www.adafruit.com/category/17). Numerous “shields” are available which stack on top of Arduino boards to extend communication, control and sensing functionality. Programming in C++ is straightforward using the free Arduino IDE.
We combined an Arduino UNO with a TI ADS1115 16-bit based ADC board available from Adafruit. The picture below shows our demonstration setup. Although the ADC board is capable of supporting 2 differential or 4 single-ended channels, we show just one channel hooked up in this case.
The Arduino UNO streams data out via USB to a connected computer. CTserial was used to capture and parse the serial data and send it to CloudTurbine. CTserial was launched as follows:
java -jar CTserial.jar -c time,v1,v2,v3,v4 -p COM4 -s ArduinoTest
CloudTurbine data can be viewed using WebScan, as shown in the image below.
As of 2016-12-21, component hardware costs from Adafruit for this demonstration were as follows:
Arduino UNO R3: $24.95
ADS1115 16-Bit ADC: $14.95
Combining this inexpensive hardware with free open source CloudTurbine software creates a simple yet powerful data acquisition and display system.