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  1. mwk1000

    mwk1000 Member

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    I use ubuntu , It has some quirks to get the Arduino IDE running and the serial port monitor working on 64 bit but it is a good and very popular flavor of Linux. Centos is another ( The free version of RedHat ). Bear in mind that at the core they are all pretty much the same based on the kernel you are using. The look , feel, software packaging, desktop , are all varied by the different distributions ( distro's ).

    I have gotten it all working properly for Ubuntu 8.10/9.04/9.10 so I can share the tricks needed.

    If you are using an older PC with 32 bit then I think there are no problems.

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  2. Medman

    Medman Feeling the Heat

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    I will be running 32 bit. Thanks for the recomendation, I was looking at Ubuntu and Red Hat. I probably will wait until after Christmas to get this going, but one of the challenges I face is that I have no high speed connection at home. I have to download everything at work, then install at home later. If I need a patch or other software It has to wait until the next day.
  3. mwk1000

    mwk1000 Member

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    Sounds like fun - NOT. My advice, Linux patches and the software distribution manager tools are a blessing and a curse. I have been doing this for 20 years professionally. Once you get to a place where it is working resist the temptation to "update to the latest". Each update will break as much as it fixes, NOTHING can waste your time like a computer!

    That said .. I need to do something that does not involve a keyboard right now ...
  4. EricV

    EricV Feeling the Heat

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    Which board is this? I see several examples they have.
  5. twitch

    twitch Member

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    Most of us here that use the Arduino are using the USB Arduino board. It makes programming easier because you can connect it directly to your computer without needing additional components. I suggest http://www.sparkfun.com as a good site for Arduino boards and other components that will work with it. They are having a FREE day on January 7th that you can get $100 worth of free stuff. I think it starts at 9:00AM and they are limiting the total that they give away so start early, and no I have no affiliation with them, just like their selection and customer service.
  6. twofer

    twofer New Member

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  7. EricV

    EricV Feeling the Heat

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    Awesome, just ordered one and a couple one wire temp sensors to start playing with.

    Thanks for sharing the code.
  8. mwk1000

    mwk1000 Member

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    I will have to spend a moment to see how to attach non-photo's if you can. My thought was to post the sketch, the ttylogger script that reads the serial port , timestamps and stores the data. The graphing, database whatever can happen later. For anyone wanting a working model this would make up the basics. It's always easier to edit and I was pretty impressed with what can be done for less than a hundred dollars.

    I used the same board about 30$ and opted to locate it close to a computer in a wire closet. I used RJ-45 CAT 5 network wiring to run out to the sensors and the relay since I had it all in the walls and it is a cheap way to get there without actually adding the Ethernet module. ( I just use the wires -- one pair for temp sensors another pair for relay ... ) Cheap easy to get RJ45 at the hardware store.

    I also thought this was a handy kick start since it will run directly from the arduino http://powerswitchtail.com/default.aspx. A very fast and easy way to get the pump working nice little red LED on it.

    I have 6 temp sensors, one arduino, one powers switch tail. I'll mount the microcontroller in the wire closet and maybe use it for more things - home control related. I have an old RJ45 wall mount box to put the arduino in and I will have the power, USB , and a RJ-45 jack (Maybe two ) coming out of it. Into the patch panel -> out by the tank and furnace -> sensors and relay are a strange octopus wired to an RJ-45 plug. That's the plan anyway. Works great for me because I have a Linux PC in my wire closet as my Internet gateway/Firewall rack mounted. USB will plug right to it.
  9. EricV

    EricV Feeling the Heat

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    If you want to send me the files I have a ton of extra web space on my server and would be happy to put up a page for sharing this stuff.

    Eric
  10. Gooserider

    Gooserider Mod Emeritus

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    Far as I know, Craig currently has the board set up so that the only file formats that will upload into the forum area are picture formats, however it is possible to post reasonable amounts of code using the "Code" tags in a message... I haven't experimented to find out just what he has the Wiki set up to allow, but I think you may be able to post more different formats in that...

    Gooserider
  11. semlin

    semlin New Member

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    for those of us who have no experience with this, is there a cost effective "plug and play" option for datalogging a system?
  12. sgschwend

    sgschwend New Member

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    If you are asking if there is a multi channel temperature data logger. You may like this product. Eight temperatures, 3 relays, LAN (connect it to your local network), uses a web browser to setup and review the data from your easy chair, office, or anywhere you have web/network access. The cost including 8 probes would be about $300.

    http://www.controlbyweb.com/x300/software.html
  13. semlin

    semlin New Member

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    thanks. ideally i was hoping for something simpler and cheaper, just to log temperature inputs and boiler/pump operating time to learn exactly how the house works this winter to get a real handle on my consumption needs. if i was going to buy a controller unit i think i would want something with more than three relays
  14. Gooserider

    Gooserider Mod Emeritus

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    No personal experience, but someone posted a link to this site, WEL Energy logger a while back, which probably isn't any cheaper, except perhaps on a cost / sensor basis - but offers a pretty good pre-fab web-based logging setup. Uses the "Dallas One-Wire" sensors, so in theory you can have even more sensors than the 10 that it comes with, for about $5 / each additional. Doesn't seem to offer any control capability though, just monitoring.

    I like the concept of the DOW sensors, in that one can pack a lot of data onto a very few terminals, as opposed to the discrete sensor type units...

    Another option that is more "roll your own" but seems to offer more potential options for having control outputs is the stuff from Hobby Boards who have a bunch of different kits for various DOW using input and output devices. Prices looked pretty good, and they also had a nice "how-to" section for how to hook up the sensors and so on...

    Haven't used any of these myself, just mentioning links that other folks have pointed at in past threads.

    Gooserider
  15. mwk1000

    mwk1000 Member

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    Yes I tried the code tags with the sketch. The 6500 character limit will get in the way. As it should ! - not sure people actually want to scroll through code on the forum.

    The wiki however, looks fine. It will take a TXT file and that should work. I would prefer to keep it there close to this forum as it were. It's likely to be available if this forum is so someone reading a message can find it , maybe even a year from now. I'll put the stuff up there over the next couple days, maybe make a DIY Boiler control page where we can all put whatever ...

    Thanks for the offer Eric, I was looking up your email but I think the wiki is worth a shot.
  16. Gooserider

    Gooserider Mod Emeritus

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    Gooserider =/= Eric, but you're welcome anyway... One thing that might be helpful is to toss a link from any forum posts where you discuss the code to any relevant wiki article, makes stuff a little easier to find...

    Gooserider
  17. sgschwend

    sgschwend New Member

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    Yes the Control by Web devices use the one wire probe. The unit I posted is one of several that they have, they are made to cascade together, to increase capability. The Data logger is just over $200 bucks. I ordered the probes from another source for $3.40 each (however these have no cable added, so to be fair it might be worth the five bucks to some to obtain a ready to use part).

    The X300 can also send email, act as a thermostat and interpret Basic. Other models that just log temperature run in the $130 range.

    At some point you either stick with what you have, invest your time to invent something new, or purchase another solution. How many folks have a computer sitting around, or a wireless router? Adding one or both of these would make a very powerful system.
  18. twitch

    twitch Member

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  19. pybyr

    pybyr Minister of Fire

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    As someone who's still in need of devising and constructing my control scheme (right now, using "wire nut logic"), what's the reasonably expected reliability of the Ardiuno-based systems?

    I've worked with electronics quite a lot over the years, and have found things built to commercial or mil-spec standards to be fantastically reliable (I've got WWII communication equipment that still functions flawlessly), but on the other hand, things built to consumer or hobby standards (where parts are run at the ragged edge of their voltage and current ratings, or parts are spec'd with no regard to MTBF), not so much so...
  20. sgschwend

    sgschwend New Member

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    Pyro, you have hit on the number one area that we focused to improve reliability, that is knowing how to reduce the ratings of each component we used. It was a big effort, but it really matters. Heck that effort was so intense that the number of engineers working on it was equal to the number supporting the manufacturing. I don't want to say the company name because frankly I am un-happy with the way they dumped all those great manufacturing jobs and moved everything to Malaysia.
  21. twitch

    twitch Member

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    This is one of my concerns as well, what happens if I'm at work and the controller craps out. I decided to keep my aquastats in place but change the settings so they would only activate if the controller stopped working. My system would run hotter, but would still allow the pump and air handler to run.
  22. twofer

    twofer New Member

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    Not sure of that myself. Because of that the one part of my system I was worried about was the SSR on the boiler circulator but I've since swapped that out for one that operates in the normally closed position. This way if the Arduino craps out then the circulator will still be controlled by the EKO controller.
  23. Gooserider

    Gooserider Mod Emeritus

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    Sounds like a good approach - and this is one of the key concepts that needs to be kept in mind with any control strategy - there is a need for "failsafe" design to as great a degree as possible, and making sure that the "failsafes" can fail safely...

    In addition to having some redundant mechanical backups, another thing that I would want to do if making an electronic setup is include some "failure monitoring" such that temps that are out of their expected ranges will make the logging system sound an alarm - possibly even sending you a message on your cell, or equivalent...

    Gooserider
  24. mwk1000

    mwk1000 Member

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    Funny, I'm doing close to the same. In my situation it is not controlling anything critical. I also want to see it prove it's reliability. Locating it in the wiring closet for me also means that it is under a good power conditioned UPS. I had intended it to be a home made differential set point controller ( and data logger ) to stop my storage tank from giving back the heat once it is "full". The boiler to HX and the circulator for the furnaces are not actually going to be changing. Worst case is like operating without a tank, But I am leaving the aquastat right where it is, just in case.

    Time will tell , this board is pretty popular, and I don't see any bleeding edge configurations in the board itself to contribute to the Fear Uncertainty and Doubt (FUD). The concern I would have in any reports is that a large portion of the reliability of the "systems" will be in the hands of the DIYer and the components they choose, like choosing poor power or driving components off the board that really need a separate power source.
  25. mwk1000

    mwk1000 Member

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    http://www.hearth.com/econtent/index.php/wiki/File:ttymon_v1.tgz/

    I have managed to post the tty monitoring utilities - only gzip tar files seem to work. Not txt not plain tar. Arduino sketch is in the tar file as well. That will make something you can download and save for later if you ever want to play with the arduino board and Dallas one wire sensors.
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