Wednesday, September 16, 2009

What I'm Doing

Since the link between me and my readers (that would be you folks) is I post--you read, with no feedback I have tended to not post anything until I have some sort of closure. Projects I'm working on but have not finished are:

-Sensor array consisting of a temperature sensor, light sensor, LED along with a uController & XBee to measure light and temperature of a room and provide light based on the brightness of the room.

-Designing the database schema for sensors and controllers

-Evaluating SMD components for sensors like temperature and humidity and how I can solder them to a board without spending a tone of money.

-Evaluating a few proximity sensors to determine which work best and if I can profile them and make it so they can recognize the differences between people for recognition purposes.

-Designing LED light fixtures that could be hand-held yet provide enough light to actually provide light to a room (equivalent of a 40 watt incandescent bulb or more)

-Writing code to interface sensor arrays to the main computer.

-Writing software to remotely control and read the sensors

The reason for working several projects at a time and not finishing one before moving on to another is mostly due to ordering parts, waiting for them to arrive, altering design, research, etc. Since I don't have a brain trust handy and you folks won't participate, it's just me. that's fine and all it just takes me long to finish.

So once I have a project finished I will put together a pot about it and also put together some How-To's so you can build one on your own without all of the design alteration and research. Until then, I will provide status reports when progress has been made.

I am going to try this approach and see if it lends itself to more consist writing.


PS I've decided that my readers must really love my writing otherwise they would be providing harsh comments about my poor grammar and spelling, well poor grammar since this blogging software does provide spell check.


Paul said...


I´m very interested in your project in which you are using XBee and connecting sensors to it.

Please keep on going!



desNotes said...

I just purchased a XBee shield for my Arduino and am reading up on how to get it to connect and then talk to another XBee connected to my laptop. As soon as I have anything of value to report, it will be up on the blog.

Thanks for the comment.


CalgaryDon said...

Sounds like you're in same stage as I am - except I'm playing with the XBee Pro XSC modules. What radios are you using?

I've been publishing my exploits as well - trying to see if I can get long range results in the middle of trees and forests.

My daily frustrations finally ended in a successful test - documented and described in photos on my offgridinbc blogspot

desNotes said...

I looked at your blog...very interesting. I am using the XBee Series 2 radios as part of the Wi-9P Starter Kit. I've gotten the included radios/sensors working but am building some custom sensors using arduinos that are the next step. The sleep mode sounds interesting. I have been researching the sleep mode for the arduino but was not aware of one for the XBees. I have also been doing some research and work on energy harvesters which might be helpful in keeping your radios powered either without a battery or to help keep the battery charged.

Will you be running small generators and using the stream to produce electricty?

CalgaryDon said...

Interested in your research in energy harvesting - been looking at exactly that for the remote XBees. Have to check out solar in November to January timeframe to see if it'll be feasible - ideally I could devise some kind of pressure pushed hydraulic wheel that could keep the small batteries powered. There'll be plenty of water flowing then - maybe I can use the actual pipes to provide pressure?

I'd like to hookup sensors as well - one for monitoring flow - to make sure we shutoff the water to the micro-hydro when stream levels are low - and others to monitor pipe breaks and shutoff flow if that happens.

Out micro-hydro application is almost approved by govt - been in the works for more than a year now. Yes - we plan on using it to provide electricity for at least 4 households over winter - then use solar in summer. Most likely will need a generator to backup the battery bank.

CalgaryDon said...

Also - thought you should know I'm playing with a small JPEG camera - toying with idea of using Xbees and Arduino to get pictures and send them to remote server - kind of like a controlled webcam while I'm working here in Alberta.

desNotes said...

I'm working on a couple of posts on energy harvesting that might prove helpful. So far I've research three different ways of producing energy: photovoltaic, piezoelectric & Peltier cells. In your environment, each of them might be feasible. I hope to at least post one this weekend, with another one shortly after.

Keep me posted on the camera with the XBees as that sounds like a interesting project.

CalgaryDon said...

Look forward to the updates.

I haven't looked at either piezoelectric & Peltier cells - definitely interested. Let us know where we can read more about these topics - and how they can be applied to microcontrollers.