Build time! In the previous two articles I’ve discussed the architecture of the remote monitoring solution based on Arduino. Now is the time to build it.

Ideally, it would have been nice to use some kind of sockets to be able to connect and disconnect the sensors but I didn’t bother with this for now. At the end, I settled for the following:

  • DS18B20 is soldered directly onto the shield
  • The thermistor is extended using the two-wire 24-gauge speaker cable (as it needs to run through the crawlspace window outside) which is soldered directly onto the shield
  • DHT22 temperature/humidity sensor is also soldered directly onto the shield, as it doesn’t need to go to far
  • As for the eTape sensor, I ended up using 4-pin JST SM cable. Doing it all over again, I probably would’ve used the speaker wire as well, as only to wires are needed.

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In part 1 I have looked at the options available for the task of remote climate monitoring and settled on Arduino-based solution. In this we will discuss the design of the system.

General architecture

The high-level architecture is typical for Arduino: there is an Arduino-based board that collects the sensor data and passes it over USB to the PC that processes this data and uploads it to the database. A more parsimonious solution would be to build an Arduino board with an Ethernet or Wi-Fi shield and to connect it directly to the network, but I already had a tiny Atom-based PC (NetBox nT-535) running 24×7 and doing other tasks. Plus, Arduino library is fairly limited, so doing any more or less sophisticated data manipulation right on Arduino is difficult.

Since I needed to monitor 3 different locations (outside, crawlspace, and indoors), I could either run wires or work out some kind of wireless solution to communicate the data from different places. Wired solution is easy electronically but requires drilling holes and running wires around the place which is not fun. A good solution would not need that, so wireless was indeed the answer. In this case, I could do away with running 2 Arduinos: one sitting in the crawlspace and collecting the crawlspace temperature, outdoor temperature, checking the water level on the ground, and sending all this data to the “master” Arduino board that collected the indoor temperature and sent all collected data to the PC via USB.

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Being a paranoid person, I always wanted to monitor our summer house remotely. With all the advancement of technology, one would think such a task is easy these days but surprisingly it is not. Off-the-shelf systems look like they are still stuck in the 80s and no one has bothered to build an open and modular system for such a purpose.

In the coming several posts I’ll describe the system I’ve built for my own purposes. Hopefully, this would be helpful for the next guy trying to do the same.

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Дания. Королевский замок Кристиансборг. Большой зал. 17 гобеленов.

Рисунок гобеленов создан художником Бьёрном Норгаардом под влиянием яда лягушек Южной Америки и клея “Момент”. Большой зал используется для официальных королевских приемов, так что высокие гости из других стран могут насладиться неповторимым вкусом датской королевской четы и сфоткаться на фоне ковра.

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Since recently, I’ve started tracking adding all the pump-and-dump stocks I get in junk mail (real mail – all those “Secret Market Insider” newsletters etc.) into a special Junk portfolio for the sole purpose of seeing how much I’m missing on those “200% in 3 months” promises. Needless to say, the hilarity ensues… Maybe these are indeed useful for shorting the advertised names. Gotta try it sometime.

This is sad news. While early Intuit was a pioneer of personal finance software, currently the company is a pale shadow of former self, driven primarily by greed and an urge to milk customers for as much money as possible. Annual rehashes of the buggy and bloated piece of software, each one with a time bomb to ensure customers continue to pay, in-program ads for those who have already paid, no visible progress over the last 5-8 years. Mac version that is a joke. You name it… I’ve joined Mint precisely because it was an opposite of Intuit/Quicken. What an irony! As much as I like Mint, I don’t hold my breath about it’s future, no matter how rosy the former owners’ prognosis is. As mentioned before, Intuit is greed-driven like few other companies. Free Mint cannibalizes the sales of one of it’s cash cows (albeit the smallest of the…

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Женька (пересказывая братику свежепрочитанную “Сказку о Рыбаке и Рыбке”): “Сидит она в тереме. На ногах у неё сафьяновые сапожки. Обалдел дедушка…”

Идея игры состоит в следующем: Есть Россия с Газпромом, который вырабатывает… м-м-м… газ. Россия окружена государствами, которым она газ поставляет. Все окружающие государства – vragi или таковые же, временно прикидывающиеся друзьями (но рано или поздно показывающие свою личину.) Газпром прокладывает трубы и устранавливает на трубах вентили. И то и другое стоит денег, требуя тщательного планирования трубопроводной сети. Прокладка труб должна быть достаточно дорогой, чтобы предотвратить ситуацию, когда у каждой страны есть “своя” труба и/или “свой” вентиль. Цель игры – обеспечить газом друзей и закрыть вентили для vragov. Как отключение друзей, так и неотключение врагов чреваты снижением avtoritetа. Дополнительные кунштюки: otkat за беспроблемные поставки, veernye отключения т.н. “друзьям,” возможность сбросить на соседнее государство бомбу.