Project Overview – what I’m trying to do with the sensors

I have two applications for sensor networks. One is at home, where I’ve focused on temperature monitoring. I am trying to reduce gas costs by using a 6kW wood burner in the living room to heat the house, and it’s interesting to see how the heat propagates to the various rooms. Insulation is good and I achived this last year. It’s a fairly standard application of the IoT idea, so probably not of much wider interest.

The second is for gathering data over a 12 acre smallholding, the Oak Tree Low Carbon Farm. This is more challenegin as it is an island site without mains power or data communications. Remote sensing has a lot to offer a smallholding – temperature and light logging are interesting. Monitoring the state of the various 12V batteries used on site could make life easier, and control applications for managing the irrigation pumps may be feasible.

Initially I am using a Ciseco OpenKontrol Gateway to log the data. I’m not particularly using it as a gateway, more a generic Arduino kit connected to the sensors that happens to have a SD card interface and RTC on it. Eventually that could be used as its name indicates, to groom more significant status changes and alarm via SMS if necessary, for instance low battery or low water for the chickens.

At the moment I am using it as a straight datalogger for temperatures at home, to gain familiarity with the sensor and Arduino stuff. I will probably move to an EVE device for that, and move the OKG to the farm.

The first thing to do is get the OKG datalogging working right for a sensor network, in particular writing the data in a format that is usable for me. When I loaded the original version of the datalogger it didn’t work as I’d expected, specifically it didn’t log data. Some hacking was required.

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