Hello Arduino Community

I am collecting data and attempting to log it on to a Deek Robot SD shield via a Mega.

I have the data in a dataString which I can Serial.print to the monitor but would like to log it to an SD card instead. When I run the the Datalogger example sketch from the SD library I can see the data and access the datalog file from the SD card (as per point of the example) but when I try to cross-pollinate the example with mySketch the debugging message

error opening datalog.txt

is all I get.

I've uploaded the sketch, apologies it is pretty long, there's some adc stuff going on, the call for the data file open and write etc starts on line 200 and ends on 212.

I've tried positioning the datafile functions in different places in the code, using other libraries, reading forum posts but I am getting nowhere. if anyone could point out what I'm doing wrong I would be eternally grateful.

Cheers, Michael

//!!!change this to name of sketch!!!!
#define SKETCH_VERSION "SD for loop array test"

//include relevant libraries 
#include <EnableInterrupt.h>
#include <SPI.h>
#include <SD.h>

//globally define pins
#define BUSY 3    //purple*
#define RD 4      //yellow* RD+CS tied together
#define RESET 5   //grey* 
#define CONVST 6  //green* CONVSTA+CONVSTB soldered together on the board
#define RANGE 7   //blue*   *not permanent - double check!!!*

#define DB0 38
#define DB1 39
#define DB2 40
#define DB3 41
#define DB4 42
#define DB5 43
#define DB6 44
#define DB7 45
#define DB8 46
#define DB9 47
#define DB10 48
#define DB11 49
#define DB12 50
#define DB13 51
#define DB14 52
#define DB15 53

byte statusLed       = 13;
byte sensorPin1       = 10;
byte sensorPin2       = 11;
byte sensorPin3       = 12;

int sensorValue[8];
int rawData[16];

//change the size  of these arrays to match the amount of channels being read by the ADC 
int adcChannel[5];
int adcData[5];
int channelCount=5;

volatile byte pulseCount1;
volatile byte pulseCount2;
volatile byte pulseCount3;

int pulses[3];

// cs pin for sd-shield *NB 53 for Mega
const int chipSelect = 53;

unsigned long oldTime;

void setup() {             //set up the hardware

  //sd card.....  
  while (!Serial) {
    ; // wait for serial port to connect. Needed for native USB port only

  Serial.print("Initializing SD card...");

  // see if the card is present and can be initialized:
  if (!SD.begin(chipSelect)) {
    Serial.println("Card failed, or not present");
    // don't do anything more:
    while (1);
  Serial.println("card initialized.");

  enableInterrupt(BUSY, bitBang, FALLING);

  oldTime            = 0;

  pinMode(DB0, INPUT_PULLUP);
  pinMode(DB1, INPUT_PULLUP);
  pinMode(DB2, INPUT_PULLUP);
  pinMode(DB3, INPUT_PULLUP);
  pinMode(DB4, INPUT_PULLUP);
  pinMode(DB5, INPUT_PULLUP);
  pinMode(DB6, INPUT_PULLUP);
  pinMode(DB7, INPUT_PULLUP);
  pinMode(DB8, INPUT_PULLUP);
  pinMode(DB9, INPUT_PULLUP);
  pinMode(DB10, INPUT_PULLUP);
  pinMode(DB11, INPUT_PULLUP);
  pinMode(DB12, INPUT_PULLUP);
  pinMode(DB13, INPUT_PULLUP);
  pinMode(DB14, INPUT_PULLUP);
  pinMode(DB15, INPUT_PULLUP);

  pinMode(RESET, OUTPUT);
  pinMode(CONVST, OUTPUT);
  pinMode(RD, OUTPUT);
  pinMode(RANGE, OUTPUT);
  pinMode(BUSY, INPUT);

  //reset ADC to begin conversion
  digitalWrite(RESET, HIGH);
  digitalWrite(RESET, LOW);

  digitalWrite(CONVST, LOW);
  digitalWrite(RD, HIGH);
  digitalWrite(RANGE, LOW);
  digitalWrite(BUSY, LOW);


  // Set up the status LED line as an output
  pinMode(statusLed, OUTPUT);
  digitalWrite(statusLed, HIGH);  // We have an active-low LED attached

  pinMode(sensorPin1, INPUT);
  digitalWrite(sensorPin1, HIGH);

  pinMode(sensorPin2, INPUT_PULLUP);
  digitalWrite(sensorPin2, HIGH);

  pinMode(sensorPin3, INPUT_PULLUP);
  digitalWrite(sensorPin3, HIGH);

  pulseCount1        = 0;
  pulseCount2        = 0;
  pulseCount3        = 0;

  oldTime            = 0;

  // the hall effect sensors are configured to trigger on a FALLING state change
  // (transition from HIGH state to LOW state)
  enableInterrupt(sensorPin1, pulseCounter1, FALLING);
  enableInterrupt(sensorPin2, pulseCounter2, FALLING);
  enableInterrupt(sensorPin3, pulseCounter3, FALLING);

  //this prints the name of the sketch !!!read line 1!!!
  Serial.print("sketch version: ");


void loop() {
  //change this value to preferred sampling rate
  if ((millis() - oldTime) == 1000) {

    oldTime = millis();


    //tell ADC to start read (converting analogue input to digital output)
    digitalWrite(CONVST, LOW);
    digitalWrite(CONVST, HIGH);
    //when read-conversion is complete ADC sends the BUSY pin low triggering the bitBang ISR

    //print ADC data from array within the bitBang ISR to a string
    String adcString = "";
    for(int thisChannel=0; thisChannel<channelCount; thisChannel++){
      adcString += String(adcData[thisChannel]);
      adcString += ",";

    //disable interrupt to access current pulse count
    //grab current pulse count and store in a variable
    pulses[0] = pulseCount1;
    pulses[1] = pulseCount2;
    pulses[2] = pulseCount3;
    //reset pulse count
    pulseCount1 = 0;
    pulseCount2 = 0;
    pulseCount3 = 0;
    //enable interrupt and start incrementing pulse count again
    enableInterrupt(sensorPin1, pulseCounter1, FALLING);
    enableInterrupt(sensorPin2, pulseCounter2, FALLING);
    enableInterrupt(sensorPin3, pulseCounter3, FALLING);

    String pulseString = "";
    for(int i=0; i<3; i++){
      pulseString += String(pulses[i]);
      if (i<2) {
        pulseString += ",";

    String dataString = String(adcString + pulseString);
  // open the file. note that only one file can be open at a time,
  // so you have to close this one before opening another.
  File dataFile = SD.open("datalog.txt", FILE_WRITE);

  // if the file is available, write to it:
  if (dataFile) {
    // print to the serial port too:
  // if the file isn't open, pop up an error:
  else {
    Serial.println("error opening datalog.txt");


//start again

//grabbing ADC data ISR (for n channel)
void bitBang ()  {
  //a for loop to bitbang the values fom the analogue (ADC) channels (maximum 8) sequentially storing them in a variable array (equal to the channels of the ADC)
  for(int thisChannel=0; thisChannel<channelCount; thisChannel++){
  //send ADC read pin low to bitbang the first channel  
  digitalWrite(RD, LOW);
  //read the state of the 16 pins and store in a variable
  rawData[0] = digitalRead(DB15);
  rawData[1] = digitalRead(DB14);
  rawData[2] = digitalRead(DB13);
  rawData[3] = digitalRead(DB12);
  rawData[4] = digitalRead(DB11);
  rawData[5] = digitalRead(DB10);
  rawData[6] = digitalRead(DB9);
  rawData[7] = digitalRead(DB8);
  rawData[8] = digitalRead(DB7);
  rawData[9] = digitalRead(DB6);
  rawData[10] = digitalRead(DB5);
  rawData[11] = digitalRead(DB4);
  rawData[12] = digitalRead(DB3);
  rawData[13] = digitalRead(DB2);
  rawData[14] = digitalRead(DB1);
  rawData[15] = digitalRead(DB0);
  //convert into 16bit 2s compliment and store in a variable array 
  adcData[thisChannel] = rawData[0] | (rawData[1] << 1) | (rawData[2] << 2) | (rawData[3] << 3) | (rawData[4] << 4) | (rawData[5] << 5) | (rawData[6] << 6) | (rawData[7] << 7) |  (rawData[8] << 8) | (rawData[9] << 9) | (rawData[10] << 10) | (rawData[11] << 11) | (rawData[12] << 12) | (rawData[13] << 13) | (rawData[14] << 14) | (rawData[15] << 15);
  //send ADC pin high to say we have read the first channel 
  digitalWrite(RD, HIGH);
  //repeat for n channels

//counting pulses ISRs
void pulseCounter1(){
  // Increment the pulse counter
void pulseCounter2(){
  // Increment the pulse counter
void pulseCounter3(){
  // Increment the pulse counter
  • I think the shield doesn't use 53 as CS. usually pin 10 or 4 is used for Uno compatible shields. but pin 53 must be used as OUTPUT if Mega is SPI master
    – Juraj
    Jul 10, 2019 at 7:47

1 Answer 1


The SD card uses SPI for communications. You appear to be using those pins for some other purpose. If you want to use the SD card, then you need to choose other pins and let the SD card have 50, 51, 52, and 53.

  • Thank you Delta G, you are a G! I was using an old version of my sketch, what an idiot! I had all the wires connected to the correct pins but hadn't double checked it in the sketch - schoolboy error 101. Thanks again and like I said, I'm eternally grateful. Hit me up if you're ever in Blighty - I owe you a drink at the very least. Cheers, Michael
    – Microk
    Jul 10, 2019 at 9:04

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.