Connect a Sensor to Laptop


Thread Starter



I am retired and work with computer programming as hobby. I wanted to find a way to connect a sensor to my laptop so that I could write a program for it. Example: reading atmospheric radiation levels with some type of sensor connected to my USB port. Could you direct me as to how, or what type of connections I would require to connect these two types of hardware.

The easiest way is to get hold of an Arduino Uno or (preferably) one of the more powerful Arduino Mega units. There are a whole range of sensors available for these at reasonable prices. The software to interface between the Arduino and sensor is available, and you can read the result via USB. There are Ethernet options available - I've got a Freetronics EtherMega hooked up to my home network and can read data on a web page.

Arduino programming is a subset of C so not a great learning curve.

Curt Wuollet

PCs these days don't have really anything really useful to interface with raw sensors. Even the parallel port is gone.

Google arduino, these (relatively) easy to program and inexpensive processors have been interfaced to everything imaginable and can also talk to your PC.

I've used them as the "missing link" for a couple of projects.