Our goal is to create inexpensive and open-source hardware to help you learn about what is happening in the outdoors—be it your garden, a local creek, or a glacier on the far side of the world.



Northern Widget

Open source for the outdoors.

Northern Widget is a company founded by three friends in Minnesota to make scientific data collection in the field easier, cheaper, better, and open-source.

In 2013, we released version 1.0 of our ALog data logger. We are currently working to help clients deploy this data logger while improving its software libraries and sensor capabilities, including incorporation of the new SDI-12 Arduino library. Our longer-term goal is to create a data logging system that supports telemetry and many additional inputs, making it suitable as a low-cost base station.

Contact us if you are interested in working with our equipment; we would love to learn about your project, and are happy to provide suggestions and revise our code base to suit your needs.


We support the Open Source Hardware (OSHW) Statement of Principles and Definition v1.0.


Who are we?

The Serious

Andy Wickert

Andy Wickert developed the ALog in his free time while a Ph.D. student with Robert S. Anderson at the University of Colorado’s Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research. He received his S.B. in Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Science from MIT in 2008, was a postdoctoral researcher at the Institut für Erd- und Umweltwissenschaften at the Universität Potsdam, and has been an assistant professor at the University of Minnesota’s Department of Earth Sciences in 2015 (personal webpageresearch group webpage). He continues to develop the ALog system with the goal of improving knowledge about the natural world by providing a data logging platform that is cost-effective, open-source, and easy to use.

Chad Sandell

Chad Sandell is a mechanical engineer, a graduate from the University of Minnesota, working in the HVAC industry. Measuring his wealth in ‘life points’, he strives to try/learn/experience as many things as he can, periodically reminding himself that he only gets one life. Not afraid to dive in head first, he can quickly find himself in too deep (How did I end up having six aquariums in this little shared apartment?) or suddenly move on to something new (Six kilometer foot race? No thanks.). Current interests: programming, CNC, ALoggers.

Lorenzo Dandrea

Lorenzo was born in Saint Paul, Minnesota and grew up on the same block as Chad and Andy. He attended Saint Mary’s University of Winona, Minnesota, where he graduated with a Bachelor’s in History. After graduation he has moved on to sales, currently working for Warners’ Stellian (A local appliance vendor). His key interests in the area of data logging is the programming side. Having been around computers and built a couple from scratch, learning the language of programming seems like the logical next step. He will help with the marketing and selling of the product while continually developing the company for the future. He looks forward to enjoying the opportunity to do something many others have not been able to: work with a group of his best friends.

The Fun

We are a group of childhood friends who have known each other since we could walk. Well, Chad could walk before Andy or Lorenzo were born, but you get the picture…