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Hello all,

I am very far in my current project. Now, I am at a crossroads. I am using a micro sd card shield from Sparkfun with a Ardunio Mega 2560. I am making a data logger for my GPS module. I used the code from Jeremy Blum's tutorial for GPS Receiver(data logging portion).

Code:
//Jeremy Blum's Arduino Tutorial Series - Episode 15 - GPS Tracking
//Sample Code 2 - Logging GPS Data to an SD Card
//http://www.jeremyblum.com
//TinyGPS Library and Helper Functions by Mikal Hart http://arduiniana.org/libraries/tinygps/


#include <TinyGPS.h>
#include <SD.h>
#include <stdlib.h>

/* This sample code demonstrates the normal use of a TinyGPS object.
   It uses an Arduino Mega with a GPS attached to Serial3 at 57600 buad.
*/

TinyGPS gps;
static char dtostrfbuffer[20];
int CS = 53;
int LED = 13;

//Define String
String SD_date_time = "invalid";
String SD_lat = "invalid";
String SD_lon = "invalid";
String dataString ="";

static void gpsdump(TinyGPS &gps);
static bool feedgps();
static void print_float(float val, float invalid, int len, int prec, int SD_val);
static void print_int(unsigned long val, unsigned long invalid, int len);
static void print_date(TinyGPS &gps);
static void print_str(const char *str, int len);

void setup()
{
  pinMode(CS, OUTPUT);  //Chip Select Pin for the SD Card
  pinMode(LED, OUTPUT);  //LED Indicator
 
  //Serial interfaces
  Serial.begin(115200);
  Serial3.begin(57600);
 
  //Connect to the SD Card
  if(!SD.begin(CS))
  {
    Serial.println("Card Failure");
    return;
  }
 
 
  Serial.print("Testing TinyGPS library v. "); Serial.println(TinyGPS::library_version());
  Serial.println("by Mikal Hart");
  Serial.println();
  Serial.print("Sizeof(gpsobject) = "); Serial.println(sizeof(TinyGPS));
  Serial.println();
  Serial.println("Sats HDOP Latitude Longitude Fix  Date       Time       Date Alt     Course Speed Card  Distance Course Card  Chars Sentences Checksum");
  Serial.println("          (deg)    (deg)     Age                        Age  (m)     --- from GPS ----  ---- to London  ----  RX    RX        Fail");
  Serial.println("--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------");
}

void loop()
{
  bool newdata = false;
  unsigned long start = millis();
 
  // Every second we print an update
  while (millis() - start < 1000)
  {
    if (feedgps())
      newdata = true;
  }
 
  gpsdump(gps);
 
  //Write the newest information to the SD Card
  dataString = SD_date_time + "," + SD_lat + "," + SD_lon;
  if(SD_date_time != "invalid")
    digitalWrite(LED, HIGH);
  else
    digitalWrite(LED, LOW);
   
  //Open the Data CSV File
  File dataFile = SD.open("LOG.csv", FILE_WRITE);
  if (dataFile)
  {
    dataFile.println(dataString);
    Serial.println(dataString);
    dataFile.close();
  }
  else
  {
    Serial.println("\nCouldn't open the log file!");
  }
}

static void gpsdump(TinyGPS &gps)
{
  float flat, flon;
  unsigned long age, date, time, chars = 0;
  unsigned short sentences = 0, failed = 0;
  static const float LONDON_LAT = 51.508131, LONDON_LON = -0.128002;
 
  print_int(gps.satellites(), TinyGPS::GPS_INVALID_SATELLITES, 5);
  print_int(gps.hdop(), TinyGPS::GPS_INVALID_HDOP, 5);
  gps.f_get_position(&flat, &flon, &age);
  print_float(flat, TinyGPS::GPS_INVALID_F_ANGLE, 9, 5, 1); //LATITUDE
  print_float(flon, TinyGPS::GPS_INVALID_F_ANGLE, 10, 5, 2); //LONGITUDE
  print_int(age, TinyGPS::GPS_INVALID_AGE, 5);

  print_date(gps); //DATE AND TIME

  print_float(gps.f_altitude(), TinyGPS::GPS_INVALID_F_ALTITUDE, 8, 2, 0);
  print_float(gps.f_course(), TinyGPS::GPS_INVALID_F_ANGLE, 7, 2, 0);
  print_float(gps.f_speed_kmph(), TinyGPS::GPS_INVALID_F_SPEED, 6, 2, 0);
  print_str(gps.f_course() == TinyGPS::GPS_INVALID_F_ANGLE ? "*** " : TinyGPS::cardinal(gps.f_course()), 6);
  print_int(flat == TinyGPS::GPS_INVALID_F_ANGLE ? 0UL : (unsigned long)TinyGPS::distance_between(flat, flon, LONDON_LAT, LONDON_LON) / 1000, 0xFFFFFFFF, 9);
  print_float(flat == TinyGPS::GPS_INVALID_F_ANGLE ? 0.0 : TinyGPS::course_to(flat, flon, 51.508131, -0.128002), TinyGPS::GPS_INVALID_F_ANGLE, 7, 2, 0);
  print_str(flat == TinyGPS::GPS_INVALID_F_ANGLE ? "*** " : TinyGPS::cardinal(TinyGPS::course_to(flat, flon, LONDON_LAT, LONDON_LON)), 6);

  gps.stats(&chars, &sentences, &failed);
  print_int(chars, 0xFFFFFFFF, 6);
  print_int(sentences, 0xFFFFFFFF, 10);
  print_int(failed, 0xFFFFFFFF, 9);
  Serial.println();
}

static void print_int(unsigned long val, unsigned long invalid, int len)
{
  char sz[32];
  if (val == invalid)
    strcpy(sz, "*******");
  else
    sprintf(sz, "%ld", val);
  sz[len] = 0;
  for (int i=strlen(sz); i<len; ++i)
    sz[i] = ' ';
  if (len > 0)
    sz[len-1] = ' ';
  Serial.print(sz);
  feedgps();
}

static void print_float(float val, float invalid, int len, int prec, int SD_val)
{
  char sz[32];
  if (val == invalid)
  {
    strcpy(sz, "*******");
    sz[len] = 0;
        if (len > 0)
          sz[len-1] = ' ';
    for (int i=7; i<len; ++i)
        sz[i] = ' ';
    Serial.print(sz);
    if(SD_val == 1) SD_lat = sz;
    else if(SD_val == 2) SD_lon = sz;
  }
  else
  {
    Serial.print(val, prec);
    if (SD_val == 1) SD_lat = dtostrf(val,10,5,dtostrfbuffer);
    else if (SD_val == 2) SD_lon = dtostrf(val,10,5,dtostrfbuffer);
    int vi = abs((int)val);
    int flen = prec + (val < 0.0 ? 2 : 1);
    flen += vi >= 1000 ? 4 : vi >= 100 ? 3 : vi >= 10 ? 2 : 1;
    for (int i=flen; i<len; ++i)
      Serial.print(" ");
  }
  feedgps();
}

static void print_date(TinyGPS &gps)
{
  int year;
  byte month, day, hour, minute, second, hundredths;
  unsigned long age;
  gps.crack_datetime(&year, &month, &day, &hour, &minute, &second, &hundredths, &age);
  if (age == TinyGPS::GPS_INVALID_AGE)
  {
    Serial.print("*******    *******    ");
    SD_date_time = "invalid";
  }
  else
  {
    char sz[32];
    sprintf(sz, "%02d/%02d/%02d %02d:%02d:%02d   ",
        month, day, year, hour, minute, second);
    Serial.print(sz);
    SD_date_time = sz;
  }
  print_int(age, TinyGPS::GPS_INVALID_AGE, 5);
  feedgps();
}

static void print_str(const char *str, int len)
{
  int slen = strlen(str);
  for (int i=0; i<len; ++i)
    Serial.print(i<slen ? str[i] : ' ');
  feedgps();
}

static bool feedgps()
{
  while (Serial3.available())
  {
    if (gps.encode(Serial3.read()))
      return true;
  }
  return false;
}

When I connect the shield to a separate breadboard and jumper it to the Arduino it works fine. But when I mount the shield to the Arduino(pins are lined up), I get this error in the serial monitor, "Couldn't open the log file!". There is nothing wrong with the sd card and I wired everything correctly. What am I doing wrong? Should I insert the shield to a Uno instead?
 
Also, the pin outputs are below
 
2560   sd shield
D50 -->  MISO (12)
D51 -->  MOSI (11)
D52 -->  SCK (13)
D53 -->  CS (eight)
3.3V --> 3.3V
GND --> GND
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How are you connecting 50 to 12, 51 to 11, 52 to 13, and 53 to 8?
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How are you connecting 50 to 12, 51 to 11, 52 to 13, and 53 to 8?

I placed the shield in the bread board and jump wired every pin directly to the Arduino. When I did that, the logging worked.

I did the same with the shield mounted on the Arduino and jump wired everything the same way. When I did, the logging did not work.
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Need some help from someone with more SD card experience at this point.
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Do you know of any good sources?
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Do not jumper D53 to D8. That is a really bad idea. D53 will be set to OUTPUT, and so will D8. One will win, and one will lose.

edit: That is presuming that D8 is actually your slave select for the SD card.
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Do not jumper D53 to D8. That is a really bad idea. D53 will be set to OUTPUT, and so will D8. One will win, and one will lose.

edit: That is presuming that D8 is actually your slave select for the SD card.


I get this message everytime,

Initializing SD card...initialization failed. Things to check:
* is a card is inserted?
* Is your wiring correct?
* did you change the chipSelect pin to match your shield or module?


I used the 'CardInfo' example. And I inserted the shield directly on top of the MEGA(no jumping).

Code:
/*
  SD card test
   
 This example shows how use the utility libraries on which the'
 SD library is based in order to get info about your SD card.
 Very useful for testing a card when you're not sure whether its working or not.
 
 The circuit:
  * SD card attached to SPI bus as follows:
 ** MOSI - pin 11 on Arduino Uno/Duemilanove/Diecimila
 ** MISO - pin 12 on Arduino Uno/Duemilanove/Diecimila
 ** CLK - pin 13 on Arduino Uno/Duemilanove/Diecimila
 ** CS - depends on your SD card shield or module.
  Pin 4 used here for consistency with other Arduino examples

 
 created  28 Mar 2011
 by Limor Fried
 modified 9 Apr 2012
 by Tom Igoe
 */
 // include the SD library:
#include <SD.h>

// set up variables using the SD utility library functions:
Sd2Card card;
SdVolume volume;
SdFile root;

// change this to match your SD shield or module;
// Arduino Ethernet shield: pin 4
// Adafruit SD shields and modules: pin 10
// Sparkfun SD shield: pin 8
const int chipSelect = 8;   

void setup()
{
 // Open serial communications and wait for port to open:
  Serial.begin(57600);
   while (!Serial) {
    ; // wait for serial port to connect. Needed for Leonardo only
  }


  Serial.print("\nInitializing SD card...");
  // On the Ethernet Shield, CS is pin 4. It's set as an output by default.
  // Note that even if it's not used as the CS pin, the hardware SS pin
  // (10 on most Arduino boards, 53 on the Mega) must be left as an output
  // or the SD library functions will not work.
  pinMode(53, OUTPUT);     // change this to 53 on a mega


  // we'll use the initialization code from the utility libraries
  // since we're just testing if the card is working!
  if (!card.init(SPI_HALF_SPEED, chipSelect)) {
    Serial.println("initialization failed. Things to check:");
    Serial.println("* is a card is inserted?");
    Serial.println("* Is your wiring correct?");
    Serial.println("* did you change the chipSelect pin to match your shield or module?");
    return;
  } else {
   Serial.println("Wiring is correct and a card is present.");
  }

  // print the type of card
  Serial.print("\nCard type: ");
  switch(card.type()) {
    case SD_CARD_TYPE_SD1:
      Serial.println("SD1");
      break;
    case SD_CARD_TYPE_SD2:
      Serial.println("SD2");
      break;
    case SD_CARD_TYPE_SDHC:
      Serial.println("SDHC");
      break;
    default:
      Serial.println("Unknown");
  }

  // Now we will try to open the 'volume'/'partition' - it should be FAT16 or FAT32
  if (!volume.init(card)) {
    Serial.println("Could not find FAT16/FAT32 partition.\nMake sure you've formatted the card");
    return;
  }


  // print the type and size of the first FAT-type volume
  uint32_t volumesize;
  Serial.print("\nVolume type is FAT");
  Serial.println(volume.fatType(), DEC);
  Serial.println();
 
  volumesize = volume.blocksPerCluster();    // clusters are collections of blocks
  volumesize *= volume.clusterCount();       // we'll have a lot of clusters
  volumesize *= 512;                            // SD card blocks are always 512 bytes
  Serial.print("Volume size (bytes): ");
  Serial.println(volumesize);
  Serial.print("Volume size (Kbytes): ");
  volumesize /= 1024;
  Serial.println(volumesize);
  Serial.print("Volume size (Mbytes): ");
  volumesize /= 1024;
  Serial.println(volumesize);

 
  Serial.println("\nFiles found on the card (name, date and size in bytes): ");
  root.openRoot(volume);
 
  // list all files in the card with date and size
  root.ls(LS_R | LS_DATE | LS_SIZE);
}


void loop(void) {
 
}
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Maybe a problem with the uSD card? You have the SPI data lines still jumpered?
D50 -> D12
D51 -> D11
D52 -> D13

Just don't jumper D53. Use D8 for the slave select.
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Does any one know if / how it's possible to use a straight line of pins (i.e. pins 46,48,50,52)on the Arduino MEGA 2560, so that a breakout board with pre-soldered headers could work directly on the board, instead of via a breadboard?
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Does any one know if / how it's possible to use a straight line of pins (i.e. pins 46,48,50,52)on the Arduino MEGA 2560
You can not use 46 and 48.  The Mega SPI pins are 50-53.

See http://arduino.cc/en/Main/ArduinoBoardMega2560
Quote
SPI: 50 (MISO), 51 (MOSI), 52 (SCK), 53 (SS). These pins support SPI communication using the SPI library. The SPI pins are also broken out on the ICSP header, which is physically compatible with the Uno, Duemilanove and Diecimila.
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