Thursday, January 12, 2012

2011: the year we made contact

Indeed it was a good year! we made contact! with the boiler, via OpenTherm! it has been running for over a month, with little to no hiccups. There are still some bugs to be ironed out in the daemon listening to the whole thing, but that will happen soon!

This weekend I hope to finish the whole project in terms of hardware, the boards have come back from fabrication, and I will assemble it this weekend and get it in the box!! hurray!! So stay tunned for a new post soon!
Meanwhile, here is a snapshot of the boiler data:

boiler data of the last 8 hours: black-setpoint; gray-water leaving the boiler; blue-water returning; yellow-pump running; dark blue-domestic hot water demand; red-flame active

Also in 2011 the garden door got automated, with an RFID reader connected to a JeeNode. Also that has been running fairly reliably. I had some issues with power, as the whole thing, even with some basic power saving was draining the batteries very quickly, so I added a small 6V solar panel, which has so far been capable of loading the batteries during the day, even in the shortest days, with a covered sky. I must say, it is very convenient to be able to just show a card to a door in order for it to open, instead of having to search for the keys in your pocket, and find the keyhole, in the dark and under the rain!

On the software front, I made significant progress on the dashboard, and that will be the next major project to tackle, and I built a little movie center - a small computer based on a mini-itx board, with a big disk, where all (or almost all) my DVDs are saved. Any movie (that I have) is now at the distance of a menu and a click, instantaneous and easy to browse! it uses XBMC! Great package!!

For this year, like mentioned above, I plan to finish the OpenTherm project, and maybe even improve it by making a self powered version (JCS from the bits and bytes is working on it...I don't really understand how it works), finish a version of the dashboard which will be installed in a tablet a friend is getting me, and then develop water sensors to put in the crawling space under my house, as I get water there sometimes, and I want to be warned about it! Also on the water front, I want to make a sensor to detect a clogged main sewer pipe (It happened a few times and it is annoying), and of course, automate the water readings, the only one not yet automated!

I realised yesterday, that I have been collecting data automatically since 2008, so 4 years worth of data! I would also like to do some statistical analysis of that!

Lots of plans!

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