Mar

1

Gratifying Graphic Gizmos

8 years ago, at the start of March | 2 Comments

Yesterday the Current Cost unit actually got installed for real, something I was dreading. Dreading not because it was a difficult thing to do but simply because I expected the figure it would show would be terrible. Guess what, it wasn’t. In fact it seemed to be fairly close to that of other people who are monitoring theirs. The initial figure of 371 Watts didn’t last too long once the dishwasher and oven came on and an interesting spike appeared when the hob went on for the kettle.



Continuing with my sudden graphing fetish, as well as using a Current Cost unit I have dotted a number of little devices I’ve built with Xbee and Arduinos to measure temperatures (and other things) around the house. More information on those will come out later, but it’s an interesting project too.

Since I have the data for those it’d be rude not to graph them too, there’s a sample in the thumbnails below.

Not content with graphing them locally I picked up a Pachube invite and started graphing data there too. The process is simple really and as you can see on the right hand side of this page under ‘Graphy Stuff’, graph images can be embedded in your own or other sites. The really interesting thing about Pachube is that you can share your data with people who may be interested. The data they get to see is delayed by approximately 15 minutes. If you output your data in the eeml format then you can specify your own tags too.

Electricity Usage GraphTemperature in the garage



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March 1, 2009 8:47

Feb

13

Current Cost Capers

8 years ago, mid-February | 4 Comments

My Unbioctium Current Cost CC128 arrived on Thursday and although I’m not going to actually get a chance in install it for a couple of weeks I did have a play. The first thing to do once it was all up and paired with the base was get the output into my laptop. To do this you will need to buy the data cable or make up your own…

At first I tried to be smart with reading from the serial port, as that seems to be a bit unreliable I fell back on the old tried and tested method. I also decided from the outset that I was going to parse the XML that the the CC128 spat out rather than just filter the bits needed with regexp.

You will need to make sure you have the perl modules Device::SerialPort and XML::Simple installed. If you don’t have them then as root on your linux box do the following:

perl -MCPAN -e shell

then install each module, for example Device::SerialPort,

install Device::SerialPort

and here’s the script which is also available for download.Updated to make it more reliable.

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#!/usr/bin/perl
 
use Device::SerialPort qw( :PARAM :STAT 0.07 );
use XML::Simple;
 
$port = "/dev/ttyUSB0";
 
$ob = Device::SerialPort->new($port) or die "Can not open port $port\n";
$ob->baudrate(57600);
$ob->write_settings;
$ob->close;
 
# using XML::Parser speeds xml parsing up lots!
$backend = 'XML::Parser';
$ENV{XML_SIMPLE_PREFERRED_PARSER} = $backend;
 
# we use this to only do 1 iteration (or not)
$escape=0; 
 
open(SERIAL, "<$port");
 
while($escape <= 0) {
	sleep(2);
 
	while ($line = <SERIAL>) {
 
		# for debug
		#print $line;
 
		$isValid = (index($line,"<msg>") != -1);
 
 
		if (!$isValid) { last; }
 
		print "This data is".($isValid==1?"":" not")." valid\n";
 
		# force XML::Simple to see this as a string not as a file
		# since XML::Simple is stupid and needs to be shot
 
		$line = "<fakeTag>$line</fakeTag>";
 
		$isHistoric = (index($line,"<hist>") != -1);
 
		$nref = XMLin($line,forcearray => 0);
 
		$ref = $nref->{msg};
 
		# just for reference, show if data is historic or not
 
		print "This data is".($isHistoric==1?"":" not")." historic\n";
 
 
		if (!$isHistoric) {
 
	        	$dsb        = 0 + $ref->{dsb};
        		$recordTime = $ref->{time};
        		$ccname     = $ref->{src};
        		$temp       = $ref->{tmpr};
			$ch1watts   = 0 + $ref->{ch1}->{watts};
			$sensor     = 0 + $ref->{sensor};
			$id         = $ref->{id};
			$type       = 0 + $ref->{type};
 
 
			if (defined $ref->{whatever}) {
				# do something based on whatever
 
			}
 
        		print "This $ccname was born $dsb days ago as at $recordTime - temperature is: $temp :: Current Watts in use on channel 1 are $ch1watts :: Sensor is $sensor, with an id of $id and a type of $type\n";
 
			# for cacti you'd probably just want to output CC_Temperature:$temp CC_Watts1:$ch1watts 
 
			# insert data into db
 
			# if you want to exit after a 'good' iteration set this to 1 otherwise set it to 0 (or don't change it to 1 :) );
			$escape=1;
		} else {
			#process or ignore historic data
		}
	}
}
 
close(SERIAL);

and here’s some example output, remember that I haven’t actually connected the loop around my electrical cable as yet.

This data is not historic
This CC128-v0.11 was born 1 days ago as at 21:16:44 - temperature is: 23.7 :: Watts used on channel 1 are 0 :: Sensor is 0, with an id of 02835 and a type of 1

Historic data isn’t processed at the moment but it would be trivial to do. I’m not processing it since I don’t really see the point if you’re going to store the results in a database.



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February 13, 2009 9:38

Current Electricity Use (15min)


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