Tag Archives: homecamp

Connecting the gas meter to Current Cost

John Crouchley‘s been beavering away and has been writing about his new project – connecting his gas meter to the Current Cost Envi. By doing this John has been able to track his electricity and gas usage and been publishing online his gas use as well as electricity to Pachube via Arduino.

In his  final circuit, the resistor and capacitor values give a time constant of about 0.5 sec and he has added a pull down resistor on the reset line just to make sure it is low unless deliberately increased.used waterslides buy

Once he had built the circuit and connected, John simply fixed the reed switch to the meter and board with the Current Cost development board and two AA batteries into small containertian xiao cheng. To see it all click here.

This is not just a mousetrap

This is a Current Cost Energy monitor. 

The Envi (CC128) was released during February - the interest in it has been incredible. It delivers all of the features you’ve grown to expect from Current Cost products… a 7 year battery life in the transmitter (in fact, that bit hasn’t changed, so is fully compatible with the Classic)..it has on screen graphing, historical data and of course PC connectivity.  But, with the Envi, you can input 9 further sensors, these can be a mix of extra CT based transmitters for individual circuits or our soon to be released IAMs (Individual Appliance Monitors) – these really help you understand what an appliance costs – and with the graphing facility, you can also judge when an appliance is beyond its serviceable/cost effective life. Watching your appliances degrade over time has never been so much fun!

 All of the data is delivered in an xml message, covering 7 years of history. I’m pleased to report an enthusiastic community of hackers are already at work with applications. For more detail, see http://www.currentcost.com/cc128/xml.htm

 But what’s this about mousetraps?


 

OK, maybe not crystal clear just yet.

 

Lets remember that the Envi delivers information every 6 seconds to the outside world  for 10 different sensors ….. sensors aren’t just those useful devices that record energy usage, the transmitter boards can sense a whole range of events and alert within 6 seconds, as an on/off event (gates, lights, windows, flood/smoke detection, security, presence, motion, mousetraps being sprung!..etc)  .. or maybe something  more analogue like temperature or light levels.

Now whether any of these alerts are worth a text or a twitter is up to you … or maybe you fancy that information flashing up on your TV screen …. (perhaps with a horror film filter). The point I guess is… this isn’t just an energy monitor… (although I say it myself, it is a splendid one) its much, much more - and so it should be.

Why is any of this important?

We have over 500,000 users of the Current Cost system, their reasons for using it may be the environment or it may be to save money, its a win-win either way, but not only do we need to keep it interesting and engaging, this should be the start of a much longer journey that  will give us more information, more control and a better future. 

Anyone that attended Homecamp and asked for a dev board, should receive one very shortly – for everyone else we’ll get them on Ebay soon.

Digital dev board

Its fairly self-explanotory, it requires   3VDC and the NO switch circuit is across CH2 the other two inputs are still analogue.

Pair to a free appliance channel on the display (use the up/down arrow buttons) press and hold the down (far right) button until the LED flashes, then press the dev board button for >9 seconds. When you see the 0 appear, you are done – short out CH2 and you’ll see the fixed value of 500 appear.

This particular board delivers the signal within 6 seconds, the next version will be circa 2.5.

We’ll also be working on an Envi that counts the events so the data doesnt need to be always connected.

 

What’s coming next?….  we think you’ll like the next products in the range!