Location

Face to face
Edinburgh

Cost

from £225

Date

-
13-14 March 2024

The learner feedback in January 2023 was 94% positive!

Location:

UKCEH Edinburgh,  Bush Estate, Penicuik, Midlothian, EH26 0QB, UK

Cost:

last-minute discounts1 Sign-up closes on 8 March.

One-day course (beginner or advanced):

Students £225

Professionals £275

Combined beginners and advanced = full course:

Students £449

Professionals £499

Date:

13-14 March 2024

The course runs 9 am - 5 pm on both days.

Sign-up online here now!

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.

Learning outcomes:

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).

Course objectives BEGINNER:

  1. Reviewed basic principles of electronic circuits and the relationship between voltage, current and resistance
  2. Understanding of theory through practical exercises
  3. Exploration of components used in field installations, including solar panels, batteries, cables and connectors.
  4. Learn the use of a multi-meter and the safe use of a soldering iron to troubleshoot and repair simple circuits
  5. Learn how to protect cables and components from the elements
  6. Practice knowledge in an exercise assembling and testing a simple electronic sensing circuit such as a moisture detector.

Course objectives ADVANCED:

  1. Learn how to design data logging systems and determine their power requirements
  2. Gain construction skills and an awareness of the various components required to deploy a data logging system outdoors
  3. Learn how to use a range of digital and analogue sensors for environmental monitoring applications
  4. Learn digital sensor communication protocols to acquire sensor data. 
  5. Learn how to use internet servers and gateways to remotely download and monitor their data

Target audience:

  • 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

Level:

Beginner/ Intermediate

Places:

14 places

Hardware and 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.

Accommodation:

The cost of accommodation is not included in the course fee. Edinburgh location and accommodation guide (update Sep 2022). You can find accommodation guides also on our FAQs.

Course leader:

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.

Previous course participants said:

The learner feedback in January 2023 was 94% positive!

"The trainer was very knowledgeable and has lots of experience deploying field sensors and electronics. The course has just the right amount of theory and is very hands-on, practical, relevant, and fun! "   (Michael Tso, Environmental Data Scientist, January 2023)

"From an absolute beginner and amateur in electronics, the course was super easy to follow and it was really engaging. I really liked it." (learner feedback, January 2023)

"Big thanks to Milo for delivering this course, which was very engaging I learnt a great deal and feel confident enough to be able to repair basic issues with my field electronics." (learner feedback, January 2023)

"The course was very useful and Milo was engaging and very knowledgeable, he was able to answer questions and the course provided lots of useful further reading" (learner feedback, November 2022)

“Building and testing the different circuits was enjoyable and is a very useful way of gaining understanding for troubleshooting electrical problems.” (learner feedback, September 2022)

“The course was well organised, practical and enjoyable” (learner feedback, September 2022)

"Really useful and enjoyable course" (Lucy Clarke, Senior Lecturer in Physical Geography, University of Gloucestershire, December 2021)