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“Robomussels” in the New York Times

Robomussel in mussel bed at Hopkins Marine Station, Pacific Grove, CA.

Robomussel in a mussel bed at Hopkins Marine Station, Pacific Grove, CA.

For several years, starting first at UC Santa Barbara around 1999/2000, and then in the mid 2000’s and early teens at Hopkins Marine Station, I would spend one or two low tides per year going out to the seashore and gluing fake plastic mussels into the middle of real mussel beds (as shown above). These ‘robomussels’ were originally created by Brian Helmuth (now of Northeastern University), … Continue Reading

iButton internals

I’ve written in the past about iButtons and my attempts to waterproof them. Although iButton temperature dataloggers are fairly well sealed, they are not waterproof. But if you know an old person that used iButtons in the late 90s or early 2000s, they might claim that iButtons are absolutely waterproof.

It turns out that iButtons are one of those rare things in life that really were better when you were a kid. In the old days they could be put out in the ocean for weeks or months, completely bare, and most of them would survive just fine … Continue Reading

A thermocouple datalogger based on the Arduino platform

Updated with new Arduino code July 8 2012.

It never hurts to collect more data, and I often find myself wanting to record temperatures from a few extra animals. Most (all?) commercial thermocouple dataloggers that will record temperatures from multiple thermocouples cost several hundred or thousands of dollars. I set out to put together a relatively cheap 8-channel thermocouple datalogger based on the open-source Arduino development platform.

My 8-channel thermocouple datalogger. A single type-T thermocouple is plugged in to one of … Continue Reading

Thermocouple datalogger – the USB-501TC

In 2008, Measurement Computing released a self-contained datalogger that will record temperatures from a thermocouple continuously.

USB-501TC

The USB-501TC will read 32,510 temperature samples, each time-stamped. It will read K, J, and T-type thermocouples, and ships with the K-type thermocouple shown in the picture. The temperature readings can be taken at a number of intervals ranging from 1 second out to 12 hours.

Under the cap you find a standard USB plug, and the housing can be opened to access the replaceable 3.6V  lithium battery … Continue Reading