I’m making a controller to control several kilns at the same time. I’m using my PC as the front end where the firing procedure is specified, and also as the backend where the data is displayed and analysed.
The Arduino will be given its “instructions” with the PC connected. I will then unplug the PC and use it for other things. Arduino will control the kilns and log temperatures over a number of hours, currently to EEPROM. Given the limited size of the on-board EEPROM, I’m looking at other solutions for storing the data, and subsequently uploading it to the PC. I’m looking for as close to plug and play as I can get, not a solution where I have to hack about, either in terms of hardware or software.
I considered a USB memory stick (plenty of storage, and avoids an upload over the serial interface). I looked at the Sparkfun USB Host Shield. It talks about interfacing with a lot of stuff, but I don’t see a plain old memory stick. Is this just taken for granted, or do I need software to correctly format my data on the stick so that Windows can access it?
I considered EEPROM (I’ve already developed for this - presumably an easy upgrade path for me). I looked at an inexpensive module from dfrobot. It mentions their Interface Shield For Arduino, without being clear whether I really need this. The Arduino playground article it links to says there isn’t a library, but offers some code - not too encouraging.
I considered an SD card, but the shield I looked at seems to conflict with the pin usage on the thermocouple multiplexor board that I’m using (The multiplexor uses SPI and uses D4,5,6,7,9,12,13; the SD shield uses D 8 to 13). Presumably its perfectly all right to share the SPI standard pins 10 to 13, but I cant work out whether the other pins present a problem.
Each avenue is full of ambiguity for me, probably because i’m not used to this low level stuff.
Any overall advice (best direction to pursue, warnings), specific product/project experiences, or help clarifying any of the above would be appreciated.
Sorry about the long post