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Backwoods Logger – Open Source and On Sale

The Backwoods Logger is a programmable graphing altimeter / thermometer, developed and documented here at Big Mess o’ Wires. Today is a big day for the Logger: I’m re-launching it as a formal open hardware project, and also offering a small test run of pre-assembled Backwoods Logger Mini units for sale. After corresponding with many enthusiastic people over the past months, I’m convinced there’s a community of Logger-heads out there that’s bigger than just me. My goal is to bring together people who are merely curious about the Backwoods Logger, or are interested in buying a prebuilt Logger, or have already built their own Logger, or are interested in making improvements to the existing Logger software and hardware.

Re-launching the Backwoods Logger as an open hardware project means it will no longer be a personal endeavor developed solely by me, but a collobarative effort that welcomes involvment from everyone. The project is hosted at Google Code: check out the new Backwoods Logger project page. All the source code, schematics, and other design files are there. And if you’re interested, please consider joining the project.

I’ve also created a Backwoods Logger discussion mailing list, intended for questions, ideas, or any other conversation about the Logger. The list is public and is hosted by Google Groups, and you can join or leave the list at any time via the group settings page. Membership in the discussion list is separate from membership in the Google Code project, and everyone’s welcome to join the mailing list regardless of whether they’re project developers or just curious about what’s happening in Logger Land.

Backwoods Logger Mini Sale

To help kick things off, I’ll be selling a small test run of pre-assembled Backwoods Logger Mini units. The Mini is the OLED version of the Logger, pictured above.

  • Temperature measurements in 0.5 degree steps, from -10F to 117.5F
  • Air pressure measurements in 0.01 in-Hg steps, from 5.9 to 36.12 in-Hg
  • Altitude (calculated from air pressure) measurements in 2 ft steps, from -1384 ft to 14999 ft
  • Can configure metric Loggers with units in degrees C, millibars, and meters on request (ask when ordering)
  • Graphs of temperature, pressure, and altitude over time
  • Three graph time scales: past 2 hours, past 10 hours, past 2.5 days
  • Current rate of ascent/descent
  • Estimated time of arrival at a user-defined altitude
  • Weather forecast
  • Station pressure and pressure at sea level
  • Snapshot feature – make a permanent record of date, time, altitude, temperature, and pressure at important waypoints
  • Current date and time display
  • Battery voltage indicator
  • Sound on/off control
  • 128 x 64 OLED screen
  • Battery Life: 3 – 5 months with a single AAA battery
  • Dimensions: 1.9 x 1.1 x 0.7 inches (48 x 28 x 17 mm)
  • Weight: 0.7 ounces (19g), including battery

Also check out this Backwoods Logger demo video to see a demonstration of the Logger’s features. The video shows a Logger Classic, which has a lower-resolution screen and is slightly bigger and heavier than the Mini, but otherwise has an identical set of features. Don’t see a feature you want? Join the project, and help create it.

The hole in the corner of the Mini board can be used to tie it to your backpack, or wear it around your neck on a lanyard. The Mini has no case, so if you expect wet weather you’ll need to provide your own. The last photo above shows a Mini inside a dental floss container!

The price for this test run will probably be about $59, but will depend on how many confirmed orders I receive beforehand. You should understand these will be prototype units, and may contain bugs or other defects, but I’ll do my utmost to resolve any problems that might occur. If you’re interested in purchasing a Backwoods Logger Mini, please contact me and let me know. I expect the lead time to be about six weeks.

Read 9 comments and join the conversation 

9 Comments so far

  1. Backwoods Logger « adafruit industries blog October 18th, 2011 6:29 am

    […] Big Mess o’ Wires » Backwoods Logger – Open Source and On Sale via Dangerous Prototypes… The Backwoods Logger is a programmable graphing altimeter / thermometer, developed and documented here at Big Mess o’ Wires. Today is a big day for the Logger: I’m re-launching it as a formal open hardware project, and also offering a small test run of pre-assembled Backwoods Logger Mini units for sale. After corresponding with many enthusiastic people over the past months, I’m convinced there’s a community of Logger-heads out there that’s bigger than just me. My goal is to bring together people who are merely curious about the Backwoods Logger, or are interested in buying a prebuilt Logger, or have already built their own Logger, or are interested in making improvements to the existing Logger software and hardware. […]

  2. […] Logger – [Link] Tags: Altimeter, graphing, Logger, thermometer Filed in Test/Measurements | 8 views No […]

  3. Adil March 31st, 2014 10:38 am

    Hi Steve,
    How can I purchase a Classic Backcountry logger?
    It is a great device and I love the way you have taken the time to describe it in detail.
    Thank you.

  4. Steve Chamberlin March 31st, 2014 10:45 am

    I don’t sell the Classic, but you can build your own using the schematics here. I do still have one or two Minis left, though.

  5. James June 9th, 2014 3:08 pm

    Anybody else have issues with the OLED display getting dimmer? Mine was never very bright, but recently it has gotten so dim that I can only see it in a dark room and there are some ghosting issues. I’m thinking I just bought a dud display but I’m curious as it’s a bit of a pain to replace.

  6. Steve Chamberlin June 9th, 2014 6:47 pm

    I’ve not had any issues with the displays growing dimmer on mine. Could it be a weak short somewhere on your board causing the voltage to droop a little? Maybe from something that was spilled on it?

  7. James June 27th, 2014 3:25 pm

    It was the display. I ended up buying a new one and installed it, now it’s bright and beautiful, looks a lot better than the original display I used ever did and it’s a nice light blue color instead of gray like the old one. My mini logger is usable once more, never did come up with a nice permanent housing for it though.

    I must have just got a bad display, I remember when I first built the thing being disappointed by the lack of brightness compared to other OLED displays I’d seen. Probably not a lot of quality control on these little OLED panels, they’re available all over with very little information or support to go with them. I wouldn’t be surprised if a lot of them are knockoffs of whoever made them to begin with.

  8. Matt October 6th, 2014 5:30 pm

    Got any Backwoods Logger Mini units left?

  9. Steve Chamberlin October 6th, 2014 6:00 pm

    Yes I do, as well as the BLsync adapter. Email me if you’d like one.

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