Most appropriate interface for digital micrometer data reading.

Thread Starter


Joined May 17, 2014
Hi all,

As part of a work/college project, I want to take the digital output of a digital dial micrometer and interface it with a computer. I then want to be able to log these results somehow.
How the data is output is well documented here:

So the output of the micrometer is in the form of six 4-bit nibbles.
My question is, what would be they best platform for reading and interpreting this data? I am complete noob to micro controllers and programming so I'm looking for something that is beginner friendly.

Currently I'm thinking of :
Raspberry Pi

Is there any reason any of these would or wouldn't be suitable?
What would you recommend?
I am interested in the raspberry PI as it might remove the need to set up a whole computer, if I can log the results to an SD card, or over a network.

Thanks in advance,


Joined Oct 15, 2009
Most digital calipers/micrometers use the "SPC protocol" from Mitutoyo and Starrett.. Sadly SPC is not really a standardized protocol.

Any of those micros you listed can do it.. some are quite frankly...overkill if thats all you will be doing with it.
All can be used with external chips to log data to SD or network..
ras pi might include more of what you need in one package but be drastically overkill as it does so much more.


Joined Nov 23, 2012
Thanks for the response MCGYVR,

If they are overkill, what would you recommend?
I would say it is overkill in terms of logging data from a calipers. However, it is not overkill if you would need to buy a workstation or laptop to place next to the caliper to allow internet access to send the data to the rest of your manufacturing site. A Raspberry pi would be a perfect node on your network to capture results, append a file and allow access by other device across your site to read the results of the logged files.

Most devices are overkill in terms of total capability. It will take longer to find the optimal device than the expense of finding any device that works. For the $60 raspberry pi, a complete solution on a board, already cheaper than mounting any other microcontroller to a board and starting to wire it together (not counting making a board, ...).


Joined Oct 15, 2009
You need to nail down your requirements a bit more..
Do you just want to log to an SD card?
Do you want to send this data to an external website?
Do you need it to be network capable? wired ethernet or wifi,etc...
Do you want an all-in-one solution or are you ok with wiring a few devices together.. (aka arduino shield + ethernet board,etc...)

I've never used a RAS PI yet so I'm not 100% sure of what it does... But I do know Arduinos and use them all the time.

And yes.. overkill just that they do so much more than the few functions you will be using it for.. But for a beginner I would either suggest Arduino or the RAS PI because I think the PI might do all you want in one package without having to buy other devices)

"easiest" is just an Arduino sending the data over serial to a PC its connected to..

Thread Starter


Joined May 17, 2014
Thankyou both, I think I'm going to go with the raspberry Pi for the moment, as it will mean I don't need a full computer setup, and leaves plenty of room for expanding functionality if I decide to.