"Very practical and hands-on, and lots of learning, great experience!" (learner feedback October 2021)
The next course will run on 28 and 29 September 2022 - Open for booking now !
The course runs 9 am - 5 pm on both days.
Please express your interest in other locations here so we can fix more venues and dates.
UKCEH Wallingford, Maclean Building, Benson Lane, Crowmarsh Gifford, Wallingford, Oxfordshire OX10 8BB, UK Location map & travel directions
UKCEH Bangor & Lancaster on request (subject to enough expressions of interest)
One-day course (Beginner or Advanced):
Combined Beginners and Advanced = Full Course:
(the above prices are the early bird discount rates - thereafter £20-£50 more)
Short Course Description:
The one-day BEGINNER course will give you an introduction to electronics as applied to environmental sensors in the field (Overview of environmental sensor systems; Basic electronics concepts; Electronics measurements; Electronics components; Electronics troubleshooting and repairs; Construction project). It includes theoretical background knowledge essential to making the correct decisions in the field. You will practice the use and understand the function of various electric components by carrying out several practical exercises on circuit prototyping breadboards. The course will help you understand and apply the electronics principles needed to successfully install, troubleshoot and repair equipment in the field.
The one-day ADVANCED course will build on the Beginners course (Sessions include: Review of basic electronics principles used in field electronics; Specifications for the solar power component of the data logging system; Assemble and install the solar power component of the installation; Build and test a simple data logger; Add telemetry component to the data logger; Ruggedise the data logger for outdoor use).
We expect you to have all the knowledge and skills described in the Beginner course. You will learn about data logging systems, sensors, communication protocols and remote data downloading. Learners will practice their knowledge and improve their skills in designing, testing and installing an environmental monitoring station.
Course Objectives BEGINNER:
- Reviewed basic principles of electronic circuits and the relationship between voltage, current and resistance
- Understanding of theory through practical exercises
- Exploration of components used in field installations, including solar panels, batteries, cables and connectors.
- Learn the use of a multi-meter and the safe use of a soldering iron to troubleshoot and repair simple circuits
- Learn how to protect cables and components from the elements
- Practice knowledge in an exercise assembling and testing a simple electronic sensing circuit such as a moisture detector.
Course Objectives ADVANCED:
- Learn how to design data logging systems and determine their power requirements
- Gain construction skills and an awareness of the various components required to deploy a data logging system outdoors
- Learn how to use a range of digital and analogue sensors for environmental monitoring applications
- Learn digital sensor communication protocols to acquire sensor data.
- Learn how to use internet servers and gateways to remotely download and monitor their data
By the end of the course, you will be familiar with the basic principles of electronic circuits and their application using a multimeter. You will gain basic knowledge and skills to be able to troubleshoot and repair equipment in the field. (Beginner).
By the end of the course, you will have experience of designing, constructing, testing and installing a small solar-powered environmental monitoring station. You will gain an understanding of the steps needed to successfully develop a data logging application (Advanced).
Please express your interest in future courses here so we can fix more venues and dates.
Hardware/ Software requirements
We strongly encourage you to bring your own laptop for day 2 (Advanced). We will work with the free open-source software Arduino IDE (please check if your employer's policy allows you to install new software on your laptop). We will explain in the joining instructions on how to download and install this software. If you cannot bring your own laptop, don't worry. We can also provide a laptop with the required software for you.
Milo Brooks, Technical Development and Field Instrumentation Engineer, UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology.
Milo has worked for UKCEH as a field engineer for nine years. He has installed and maintained a wide variety of outdoor installations from water quality sensors to eddy covariance systems. He is part of the field engineering team for the COSMOS-UK soil moisture monitoring network.
- Early and mid-career field technicians and researchers from organisations performing environmental measurements
- UK Water companies
- Environmental consultancies
- Statutory agencies
- PhD students
- Business customers in the technology sector
What learners said about the course
The learner feedback on 1 & 2 December 2021 was 89% positive!
"Really useful and enjoyable course" (Lucy Clarke, Senior Lecturer in Physical Geography, University of Gloucestershire, December 2021)
"The practicals were very good, and it was a very good alternation of theory and practice." (learner feedback, December 2021)
"I liked the hands-on exercises with electrical circuits, soldering and creating a working telemetry system connected to a sensor board. This really helped getting a basic understanding of important things you need to know and check when you're deploying sensors in the field." (learner feedback, December 2021)
"I really enjoyed the course and found it gave me hands-on experience and practice . It was a good overview of the subject areas and a good introduction to working with arduinos. Thank you!" (learner feedback October 2021)