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A Python based data logger

Project description

DataBear V2.2

General purpose data aquistion, processing, and logging platform written in Python. DataBear is hardware independent, but is meant to be easily integrated via a custom hardware interface provided by the user.


  • Easy to use - intuitive setup and configuration.
  • Versatile
    • Use on any hardware device that runs Python.
    • Compatible with most sensor output.
  • Extendible
    • User can integrate platform with new sensor and methods.

V2.2 Changes

Changed API to better integrate with other projects. Added new environmental variables to make operation easier.

V2.1 Changes

Added support for bus type sensors (Modbus, SDI12) via a new base class: "BusSensor" (see sensor interface below).

V2.0 Changes

Databear now uses a SQLite database for both configuration and data storage. However, direct interaction with the database is optional and configuration can still be completed using YAML.

DataBear now runs in the background and can be managed via the commandline or through socket communication.

Some potential usage scenarios:

Here are some random ideas to give a sense for DataBear capabilities (some capabilities under development).

  • Run DataBear on a Raspberry Pi ( to read a Modbus temperature sensor. The sensor could be connected to a USB port on the Pi via an RS485 to USB converter and data could be read every second, averaged, and stored to CSV.
  • Integrate DataBear into an existing Linux based measurement platform, such as the Dyacon MDL-700 (

Ideal Datalogger Features vs Data Bear 2.1

Feature Data Bear
Adjustable sampling rates for all measurements
Concurrent measurement of all sensors
Adjustable rates of data storage
Adaptive sampling
Data and metadata storage SQLite
Supports polled or continuously streaming sensors
Support for sensors on a bus
Ability to change settings on the fly Planned


  • pip install databear


A "DataBear Driver" is needed to use DataBear on different devices. Create a driver following the "Driver Interface" below.


All sensors must have a "sensor class" following the interface defined below. A repository for sensor classes has been created:

Quick start

  1. Check to see if a class has been created for your sensor(s) in If so, clone the repository and install it using pip. Since this project is new, it is likely you will need to create a sensor class or modify an existing one (See "Sensor Class Interface"). If you create a class, share it with the DataBear project so others can use it.

  2. Create a driver for your platform (See Driver Interface)

  3. Create a new configuration file (YAML) following the approach used in the example folder.

  4. Set environmental variables:

    : export DBDRIVER=<path to my>
    : export DBDATABASE=<path to folder where database will be located> *optional
    : export DBSENSORPATH=<path to folder with sensor classes> *optional
  5. Run/Stop DataBear

    : databear run <myconfig>.yaml
    : databear shutdown 

DataBear API

DataBear now features a rudimentary API for use with interprocess communication. Commands and responses are exchanged in JSON via UDP.

  • UDP Port: 62000
  • Command Format: {'command': <command>, 'arg': <Optional Argument>}
  • Commands
    • status - Return a response if logger is active.
    • getsensor <sensor name> - Get list of measurements and units for sensor.
    • getdata <sensor name> - Return most recent measurement data for sensor.
    • shutdown - Stop logger.

Driver Interface (V0)

  • A class that maps Databear virtual ports to hardware ports.
    • Class initialization should create a dictionary relating virtual ports to actual platform specific ports.
    • A connect method returns the actual port given the virtual port.
    • Add code as needed to provide any hardware specific configuration.
class dbdriver:
    def __init__(self):
        Map virtual ports to hardware ports
        #A windows example
        self.ports = {

    def connect(self,databearport,hardware_settings):
        Perform any hardware configuration and return
        hardware port for use by sensor.connect method
        #A windows example
        return self.ports[databearport]

Sensor Interface (V1.2)

  • Recommended script naming convention:
    • Class name must be 'dbsensor'
  • Inherit sensor base class
class dbsensor(sensors.Sensor):
    Overwrite base class attributes to make
    sensor specific. Overwriting measurements
    is mandatory, others are optional.
    measurements = ['measure1','measure2']
    def __init__(self,name,sn,address):
        Create a new simulator
        - Call base class init
        - Override base data structure

        #Initialize a counter
        self.counter = 0 

    def connect(self,port):
        Set up connection to hardware
        port - port returned by driver

    def measure(self):
        Override base method and define
        how sensor makes a measurement.
        Store measurement in 
  [<measurement name>].append(datetime,value)

Bus Sensor (V0)

  • A bus sensor should inherit from the BusSensor base class.
  • Provide three methods:
    • connect - initialize any communication objects
    • startMeasure - process for triggering sensor to measure
    • readMeasure - process for reading measurement after some delay

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