Emoncms v3 beta

It is time for another big update to emoncms, our openenergymonitor open source energy visualisation web application!

Over the last four and a half weeks several different threads have come together all centering around the idea of widgets and dashboards, last week it came to a head with an in your browser dashboard editor, it was clear that a major release was called for and so here it is emoncms version 3 in good time for the holidays.

It is also optimised (well nearly) for viewing on mobile devices and there is for the first time a hosted demo site available for trying it out, see the launch page the link and use notes.

Ubuntu podcast Interview

A couple of weeks ago Laura Cowen and Tony Whitmore from Ubuntu UK podcast interviewed Trystan and myself at the HomeCamp 4 event in London. 

A recording from the interview can be heard 27 min into this weeks edition of the podcast. Download it here: http://podcast.ubuntu-uk.org/2011/11/23/s04e20-run-to-the-hills/

Trystan and I have both use Ubuntu as our main operating systems for the last few years. We rate it highly  and it keeps on getting better all the time. Its especially good for programming, we experience a lot less problems that windows users to when uploading code using the Arduino IDE. 

Thanks a lot to Laura and Tony, I'v added the Ubuntu UK podcast to my RSS reader. Its a good listen. 

HomeCamp4 Presentation Video

Here's a video of our presentation at the HomeCamp 4 a few weeks ago. Many thanks to Debbie Davies and Mike the Bee for filming editing and uploading the video:

The videos of the other presentations from the event can be viewed here: http://lanyrd.com/2011/homecamp4/video/

See our previous blog post for a copy of our slides, their not too clear in the video.

Home Camp 4 presentation slides

Trystan and I are currently traveling back to North Wales after a busy but enjoyable long weekend in London. We have been presenting the latest developments at OpenEnergyMonitor at the Open-Source Hardware Camp and Home Camp 4It was awesome to meet lots interesting and enthusiastic people often with similar interests and working on similar projects to ourselves. Ian from dangerous prototypes will be posting some blog posts with more details from the event. Check out his blog and super cool open-source hardware development tools here See below for a copy of the slides we presented at the events. OpenEnergyMonitor Home Camp 4, London Oct2011

Home camp 4: London 29th-30th Oct

Next weekend Trystan Lea and I (Glyn Hudson) will be down in London for Home Camp 4 'Hack the house' event. We will be presenting our end-to-end open-source web-connected energy monitoring system. If you live within traveling distance of London please come along, we would love to meet anyone who is involved or interested in open-source energy monitoring.

Home Camp is a series of un-conferences that brings together members of the technical community interested in using open systems to bring about a positive change in the way we use energy and appliances around the home. With ever-increasing energy prices, the race is on to develop ways to utilise smart technology to help offset domestic energy consumption and lower carbon footprints.

The event will be a combination of informal presentations on the Saturday and more 'hands on' making, hacking and tinkering on the Sunday. Trystan and I will be around on both days will be more than happy to help anyone build their own open-source energy monitoring system and deploy a server installation of emoncms. We will also have emonTx, emonBase and emonGLCD kits for sale at special prices.

When: 29th - 30th Oct

Where: Central London in the Center for Creative Collaboration 

Cost: The event is now free! Registration is required on EventBrite

Who: See the event crowd sourcing page at Lanyrd 

We will also be attending the Open Source Hardware Camp on Thursday 27th Oct at the same location (C4CC). This looks like it will also be a good event: http://oshug.org/event/oshcamp

See you there, Glyn.

Introducing Megni

Now that the project is getting to the point where we almost have a complete open-source end-to-end web-connected energy monitoring system we are excited to be starting Megni a small business to provide kits and fully assembled units that aim to make it easier to get started with open-source energy monitoring.

Our core aims are to create:
  • Technology that encourages people to make and learn new skills.
  • Technology that helps us live within ecological limits.
  • Repairable, modifiable technology with a making story
  • We have been inspired by companies such as howies and Patagonia who combine their love of the outdoors with making clothing and equipment that help people enjoy the outdoors while also striving to produce those things in ways that causes no unnecessary harm. We would love to do something similar for technology.

The name Megni is made up of the welsh word for energy egni and the M part stands for monitoring or monitro in welsh. We are both welsh speakers and live in the mountains of Snowdonia in North Wales, UK.
As well as supplying OpenEnergyMonitor kits Megni will also offer custom energy monitoring and display services to businesses and organisations.

We are currently involved in a local community energy project which is keeping us busy for the next two months after which we are going to focus our efforts on getting an online shop up and running. In the mean time if your interested please see the buy section of the emontx documentation page.

Thanks for your continued support

Glyn Hudson and Trystan Lea

Nanode up in the mountains

Glyn took the emonBase - nanode up Snowdon last week and got some nice pics. Combining two great things: open source green technology and the great outdoors!

Not all USB power supplies are created the same

We recently ordered a load of cheap (~£1.50) USB power adapters such as this one and started to notice problems, nanode missing posts, rfm12 problems, emonGLCD crashes and so we ordered another two: one branded htc another ~£4 unbranded one which work well. The more expensive unbranded one specifically outlined that it was better quality in the ebay description.

Using the sampler program we can shed some more light on whats going on here. So first here is the cheap USB power supply:

As you can see a lot of noise, a standard deviation of 6.4.

With the unbranded more expensive adapter the standard deviation is reduced to 1.5!

The branded htc adapter is pretty similar at 1.6

USB power direct from a laptop, should be as good as it can get. A standard deviation of 1.2

Conclusion: its worth ensuring that the power adapter is a good quality one in order to get consistent performance from the hardware.

Nanode Applications weekend

We have just come to the end of two great days in London at the nanode applications weekend, an un-conference style event at the Center for Creative Collaboration CC4C bringing people together to share and explore what can be done with the nanode an open-source Arduino like board with built in web connectivity developed by Ken Boak.

Over the weekend we presented our work on our end-to-end open-source energy monitoring system, comprising of the emonTx  wireless transmitter unit, emoncms energy visualisation web-app and the emonGLCD display. Download a copy of our slides

As well as presenting we attended the event to hear about what other people are working on.

Here are a few of the highlights for us of the weekend:

  • Andrew Lindsay’s arduino sketch upload to nanode over Ethernet using TFTP.  Fantastic, glimpse of the future? http://blog.thiseldo.co.uk/
  • Nick Boyle’s home monitoring with twitter and iphone notifications (partial documentation) - he gets a notification on his phone triggered by a certain energy event in his house!
  • Great to meet Franck Oxener a long time member on OpenEnergyMonitor who came all the way from the island of Texel, Northen Netherlands.

It was fantastic to meet lots of enthusiastic people all working on similar things. Since we are based in the mountains of North Wales this is not something we do on a regular basis. London can even be beautiful, on Saturday night we were treated to a wonderful rainbow display.