Best Arduino board for data logging

Hey there!

I am new to the forum and new to Arduino boards. I was wondering if someone could tell me what Arduino board would be fit as a data logger.

I am trying to capture data as I rate springs. I will be using a spring perch load cell to measure the load going through the spring as it travels. So my plan is to have the spring perch load cell plugged into the Arduino board as it rates and logs the data. I would like if it could output the data into a text file. Also, is there a way to watch the amount of load going through the spring as its happening? Is that something I can view on my computer? Or is that something I would use separate screen for?

Once again I am new, so if I did not follow forum protocol I apologize. I tried to find some information on this topic on the forums already but was unable to find what I am looking for. Therefore, if I have missed a thread discussing this already please point me in that direction.


Just about any Arduino would do what you want to do. If it were me, I'd just get an Uno to start out with. Order an 2x16 LCD display with the I2C board attached and an SD datalogger.

I have one of these that I'm using:

It works great on the UNO, with the RTC onboard, you can have it time stamp the entries that are written to the SD card.

An LCD like this one:

would be fine to display the data.

Datalogging can get out of hand as far as memory is concerned but, if you just want to do what you say you do, a Uno should be fine and it is the most universally used.

Is that something I can view on my computer?

IF you can work with a connection to the PC, you don't need an LCD, you don't need an RTC, and you don't need an SD datalogger. It's all nonsense, and you really just need to be aware of the difference between using an Arduino as a stand alone device and as a interface between the sensor and the PC, whereby the PC justifies its investment and does all the hard work.

You need to get a proper terminal programme, like RealTerm. There are others and they are all freebies. Using that, you can

  1. see what's going on as it happens
  2. record the data to a CSV file for later use
  3. add timestamping to the data as you record, using the PC clock.

If you have the need and have or can beg, borrow, or steal Office 2003 or older, you can painlessly send the data direct to Excel and get a live graphical display as well.

All with just a Uno and your sensor.

Read this and it's links.

Thanks everyone for all the ideas and the advice! I am going to go with the Uno board as everyone has indicated would be the best fit for the job. I am going to look into programs like RealTerm. I will be able to use my PC as a connection so I think the LCD screen is not going to be needed at this point. Once I get everything set up and running I will update everyone on how it works!

Thanks again!

We have been using UNO's for exactly this kind of tethered DAQ application:

The new serial plotter is a fantastic tool for live viewing of sensor readings. Using the Serial Plotter Tool with an UNO DAQ

I usually just copy and paste the numbers directly into excel, but Coolterm is another good option for capturing those numbers for graphing:

Seeing Sensors: How to visualize and save Arduino-sensed data