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The iButton Portable Programmer

Check out this cool project from Jeff Miller featuring the SparkFun Arduino Pro Mini!

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Definitely not actual size.

That is the iButton. Kinda looks like a big watch battery, doesn't it? Well, the iButton is actually a pretty nifty little gadget. Crammed inside of that slick casing is a unique data-logging solution for tracking temperature or humidity. It includes the power source, memory, and sensors necessary to log data. It is small and rugged, so it has a wide range of indoor and outdoor applications. When you're done logging the info you're looking for, you snap it into a connector and plug it into your laptop and - boom! - information galore. But, for a product that is so awesome-ly portable, wouldn't it be nice to have an equally portable way of programming the iButton?

Enter the Portable Data Logger Programmer from SparkFun customer Jeff Miller (author of the blog Arduino Fun). This is a great portable way to harness the unique power of the iButton. Using the iButton cable, you can attach your device and program how you want it to log data without dragging your laptop into the field. If you want immediate info, attaching the 1-Wire Temperature Sensor (also from Maxim) will allow you to view temperature in real time. Jeff's programmer uses an Arduino Pro Mini 328 as well as a SparkFun Project Case. Check out the video below to see this awesome project in action!

Comments 7 comments

  • I saw an interesting application of those iButtons recently on TV: it was being used to measure an elephant's core temperature. They would feed the animal one of these things (embedded in a lump of wax) and pick it up a few days later in the poop.

  • Why Sparkfun does not sell any iButton product? Only maxim can sell them?

  • Used the temp ibutton on pongsat missions for my kids. The easiest & I'm guessing cheapest way to program and read out the data from ibuttons is the usb dongle, which can be obtained here http://www.ibuttonlink.com/ds9490b.aspx
    for $28

    • I use the USB dongle to download data from the iButton to laptop. I might add a feature to download straight into the data logger programmer in the future. I have not had a need yet to leave the iButton in the field long enough to run out of sample memory to warrant the extra complexity.

  • man, this would have been nice to have a few months back. I was in Alaska doing a thermal study of the ice, used different thermochrons than the ones you listed (needed the high resolution ones). We had to keep our laptop in our parka so the LCD would not freeze as fast when we went to download the data every hour. I would be really cool to add on a feature to dump the data to an SD card or CF card. Neat project!

  • gahh, this brings back memories of programing gen 1 segway keys.

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