Physical connections are out, but how about a short-range wireless transfer technology similar to what are used in RFID cards? or use IrDA?
Whether these would be suitable would depend on how often the data needs to be collected, how many sensors, and how far apart the sensors are.
I guess that the whole point is that if you have a large number of these things, you don't want to be walking around collecting the data by hand, even if you are using RFID type technology -- much better to use a wireless mesh network to deliver the data to your PC...
Wow, I read that the product was cost sensitive - Synapse is $30!!
You can buy an Anaren (www.anaren.com) module for $15-$20 in volume @2.4GHz or as low as $5-$10 in volume @900Mhz. These come with Zigbee or TI's SmartRF protocol stacks and there are numerous third party stacks (including ours).
Depending on the application, you may also be able to do away with the host MCU - the MCU on these boards is available for use in the product.
Que? What do you mean when you say "Synapse is $30"? They have a wide range of modules for different applications - some may certainly be $30, but in my column I pointed out that David at Synapse had recommended their SM200 module on the basis that cost was an issue.
I just checked the Digi-Key website and the Synapse SM200 module is $21 for qty=1, and $14.49 apiece for 500.
Furthermore, "doing away with the host MCU" is one of the key value-adds of the Synapse offering. Not only can you use the MCU built into the SNAP module to run your own applications, but (as I mentioned in my column above) you can program it over-the-air in Python using their free development tools!
There are a few ways you can transport data from loggers to the computer, but it depends on your budget and your needs. Of course, transporting it wirelessly would be the best, but you still need to know how to arrange them. Bluetooth is also a good option, but as you already know, they can be expensive.
James - http://www.raid-data-recovery-uk.com
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