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Backwoods Logger, Available Now

The Backwoods Logger is a programmable graphing altimeter / thermometer, originally developed here at BMOW and now an open hardware project. Interested in the Logger, but don’t want to build it yourself? Assembled Backwoods Logger Mini units, BLsync adapters, and blank Logger Mini PCBs are now available for purchase! Get one for yourself, or as a gift for your favorite outdoorsy nerd. I brought the first prototype with me on the John Muir Trail this past summer, and it was awesome.

What’s it all about, you ask? The Backwoods Logger is a programmable device for measuring and graphing temperature, air pressure, and altitude. It’s designed for hikers, backpackers, climbers, skiers, trail runners, cyclists, kayakers, snowmobilers, horseback riders, and other outdoorsy people interested in environmental data logging over timescales from an hour to a few weeks. The Logger Mini’s features are:

  • 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
  • Imperial or metric units option
  • Battery voltage indicator
  • Sound on/off control
  • 3 to 6 month battery life, depending on usage
  • Temperature measurements in 0.5 degree steps, from -10F to 117.5F (-23C to 48C)
  • Air pressure measurements in 0.01 in-Hg steps, from 5.9 to 36.12 in-Hg (170 to 1250 millibars)
  • Altitude (calculated from air pressure) measurements in 2 ft steps, from -1384 ft to 14999 ft (-300 to 4500 meters)
  • Download graph data to your PC using the optional BLsync adapter
  • 128 x 64 bright white OLED display
  • 1.9 x 1.1 x 0.7 inches (48 x 28 x 17 mm) – very small!
  • only 0.7 ounces (19g) including AAA battery – very lightweight!

For more details, join the discussion mailing list, check out the user guide, and watch this demonstation video (using the older Logger Classic hardware).

I’ve spent a lot of time getting very familiar with my soldering tools over the past week so that I could bring you these. My hope is that by seeding the community with some pre-assembled Loggers, it will kick-off some firmware hacks and hardware improvements, and take the Backwoods Logger project in exciting new directions.

I’ve also built some blsync adapter boards. Blsync is optional and isn’t required for using the Logger, but it’s a handy tool if you want to do detailed analysis of your graph data. Using the blsync adapter along with an FTDI USB-to-serial converter, you can download graph data from the Logger to your PC, and analyze it using Excel or other tools. The adapter plugs into the ISP connector on the rear of the Backwoods Logger, as shown here.

You can also build your own blsync adapter using the schematic on the project web site, if you prefer.

The price for the Logger Mini is $59, and the BLsync adapter board is $6. Blank Logger Mini PCBs are $3. Shipping in the United States by US Postal Service priority mail is a flat $5.20. If you prefer another shipping method or need shipping outside the US, that can be arranged too.

Please email me if you want to purchase a Logger Mini or other parts. I also have one “factory second” Logger Mini, sold for half price at $29, with some dead pixels in the corner of the screen but otherwise working normally. More details available upon request.

Happy logging!

Read 2 comments and join the conversation 

2 Comments so far

  1. Brent Reamer (brentbxr) November 23rd, 2011 3:44 pm

    Wow, those look amazing! Are these for sell or something of that nature? Or are they only for prototyping/development? That is a great looking product! If you need some development support just let me know!

  2. Steve Chamberlin November 23rd, 2011 5:02 pm

    They’re for sale– see prices above. “Prototype” means that they’re early hardware, hand-assembled, and may still have some undiscovered bugs. 🙂

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