Portable Data Recorder with GPS Device

This page describes how to set up a portable data recorder using a Sodaq board. The goal is to record data from sensors and then upload the data for analysis.


  • SODAQ board
  • Lithium battery pack with JST connector
  • USB Mini-B cable
  • Grove cables
  • Grove devices:
    • Temperature and humidity sensor (DHT22)
    • Sound sensor
    • Accelerometer
    • Digital light sensor
    • UV light sensor
    • Button
    • GPS device
    • OLED display
    • I2C splitter board


  1. Connect the sound sensor to A0/A1 (not switched).
  2. Connect the button to A1/A0 (switched).
  3. Connect the UV sensor to A2/A3 (not switched).
  4. Connect the DHT22 temperature and humidity sensor to D2/D3 (not switched)
  5. Connect the GPS device to D4/D5 (not switched)
  6. Connect the accelerometer, digital light sensor, and OLED to the I2C splitter. Connect the I2C splitter to SCL/SDA (not switched).
  7. Connect the battery to the Sodaq board.
  8. Connect the USB cable to the Sodaq board.
  9. Turn on the Sodaq board (using sliding on/off switch)
  10. Send the Portable Data Recorder with GPS sketch to your Arduino. Be sure to select PDR / SODAQ from the microcontroller list.

Recording Data

  1. Turn on the board.
  2. Go outside to get a GPS lock. This may take a few minutes.
  3. Hold down the button for two seconds to begin recording. The OLED display will show the number of records stored in the flash memory.
  4. If you'd like to see the sensor values, connect to the board using the Arduino Console.
  5. After your recording is complete, turn the board off and on stop the recording.
  6. Visit the Arduino Import Tool to retrieve the data from the flash memory.

Example Activities

  • Familiarize yourself with the sensors. Look at the values from the sensors using the sensor plotter.
    • Are the numbers what you expect?
    • What are the units?
    • Which sensors are more stable? Which are more noisy?
    • Can you make the sensor values change?
  • Walk around the block (of your home or school). Walk around again immediately and walk around two more times the following day.
    • What kinds of patterns do you expect to see?
    • How does the data differ from one walk to the next?
    • What kinds of differences do you see within the same day?
    • What kinds of differences do you see between days?
    • Are some sensors more consistent than others?
  • Record your commute (whether by bike, foot, car, bus, etc.).
    • What levels of sound and acceleration do you experience?
    • How does the temperature, humidity, and light change based on your location?
    • What might cause changes in air pollution levels?
    • How does the path look on the map?
  • Visit a park once a day for two weeks, making measurements in three locations within the park.
    • What changes do you expect?
    • Do the locations experience the same change in temperature, humidity, light, and air pollution?
    • How does the data compare to online weather data?
  • Do a data scavenger hunt.

Additional Sensors

Here are some other kinds of that you could attach to a portable data recorder:

  • Biometric sensors: heart rate, accelerometer for measure activity, galvanic skin response, blood oxygen
  • Weather: barometric pressure, wind speed, wind direction, rainfall
  • Water sensors: pH, salnity, dissolved oxygen, water temperature