The Sensor Network Project / Fitbit Clone – Part 1

Hi all,

Even though we spend a lot of time making Upverter better every day – thank you again for all that precious feedback and bits of love you send us – we have decided to jump into a hardware project that has been on our mind for a while.

Welcome to the Sensor Network Project!

In a few words, the goal is to create a FitBit clone that will open source the raw accelerometer data and store it on a Micro SD card.

We have decided to make it completely public and collaborative. Every step of the design cycle will be broadcasted live and then posted on YouTube and Google+. Below is the initial part of the design by Mike, Steve and Zak.

We created a design review; so feel free to leave us comments. We need to clean up the layout and probably consider using alternate/different parts. Any piece of advice is more than welcome at this stage.

A few words about the design.

We love our FitBits/FuelBands/Jawbones and the like. But we wanted access to the raw data, and frankly thought no problem, we could make one of those. So here is us putting our design skill where our mouth is.

In the first part of the design, we wanted to get some basic groundwork started: the micro controller, power, storage and one of the sensors. It took us just over an hour do the design, including the PCB.

We started by picking the ATTINY26, it should be cheap and has quite a few IO pins and it was a bonus that we have used a ATTINY before. When we started up the project, we split up and hooked up a lipo charger, the programming headers, an accelerometer. We selected the ADXL345 because it was connectable by SPI. the ADXL345 is a basic 3-axis accelerometer with high-resolution measurement. We also used SPI to connect Micro SD, using a IO pin for selecting what device had the interface. A LIPO battery powers the device, with a charger. We left the pins for an external clock open and all the ADC pins are available for expansion.

The door is totally opened for those who would like to contribute and help us on the schematics or board layout during the live sessions. Drop an email to and let’s chat!

The next step will be recorded live on Tuesday August 13th. Stay tuned!

Note: We may imitate Spike Lee and Kickstart the project at a later stage!

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