Saturday, July 31, 2010

Weather Station Receiver

One of our planned projects is a home weather station. We have looked at various temperature, humidity, and barometric pressure sensors. I have been considering how to make a self emptying rain sensor, and wind speed and direction sensor (important for siting wind turbines), as well as a solar insolation detector. Well, a lot of the hard work has already been done by La Crosse Technology with their weather stations, and the Arduino can be setup to eavesdrop on their wireless signal. See the following article:

Home weather stations typically consist of two major parts: the sensors that sit outside and measure temperature, wind speed and direction, humidity, rainfall, and barometric pressure; and the display unit that lives inside in a convenient place so you can read the external temperature while sitting around the fire warming your feet and deciding whether it's too cold to go fishing. Generally the external sensors connect together with cables with one sensor also acting as a transmitter to send updates wirelessly to the display unit.

http://www.practicalarduino.com/projects/weather-station-receiver

Arduino Makes Great Robots

If your interests lie in the robotics arena, the Arduino is a good choice for you. The folks at the Robot Shop have a good selection of resources to introduce the newcomer, or further educate the experienced robotics nut, especially in the areas of self autonomy and environment sensing.

Friday, July 30, 2010

The Brick Environment

Arduino Bricks are the Lego's of the Arduino world. Plug and play modules of various sensors with a special shield (piggy back module) that sits on top of the Arduino. These consist of switches, sensors, relays, and many more modules to extend the ability of the Arduino to touch, smell, see and hear the world around it, and act upon those senses. Download the free cookbook on how these units work, and what options are available at http://www.seeedstudio.com/depot/electronic-brick-c-48.html

Motors and Microcontrollers 101

Learn how to turn a motor on and off, and control a motors speed with a microprocessor.

See http://www.nerdkits.com/videos/motors_and_microcontrollers_101/

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Open Energy Monitor

From http://openenergymonitor.org/

This is a project to develop and build open source energy monitoring, control and analysis tools for energy efficiency and distributed renewable microgeneration.
These technologies are at the heart of sustainable energy systems, monitoring and controlling how energy flows between the various parts of the system. These tasks can be achieved using a low cost, modular, open source microcontroller system known as an Arduino, powerful and flexible enough to form the basis of a wide range of systems.
PV installation monitors, solar hot water controllers, household energy monitors etc, can be assembled from a selection of modules linked together with an Arduino and configured using simple to use software libraries.

Our new Arduino Duemilanove arrives this week!

Ok, What's a Ardunio? According to Wikipedia:

An Arduino is a single-board microcontroller and a software suite for programming it. The hardware consists of a simple open hardware design for the controller with an Atmel AVR processor and on-board I/O support. The software consists of a standard programming language and the boot loader that runs on the board.
Now we have been fans of the Basic Stamp for years, but it was time to move to something with more power, and more support. We are designing SCADA (Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition) systems for solar, wind and hydro power systems, and these units are just the ticket. We will post our projects and experiences as we progress. Some projects on the burner are power related, for monitoring volts, amps, and amp hours, charging related for custom charging battery banks, power shedding, and weather monitoring and irrigation control.