My first attempt at monitoring gas use with a CurrentCost development board was partially successful. I could get a reasonable idea of when the boiler was firing but I didn’t really find that information particularly useful. So, plan B was to actually count the pulses from the gas meter. The second circuit, which is described in the 8. More about triggering section of this 555 timer page, has been running ok for a few weeks now, so I’m thinking about actually soldering it together. Thanks to Richard for suggesting VeeCAD, which led me to TinyCad, this is circuit number two (much easier than using MS Paint!).
I’ve been using R1 and C1 values of 122k Ohms and 47u F for the 555 timer, to trigger an output pulse that’s just long enough to get transmitted by the CurrentCost development board (~6 seconds). I may yet tinker with the timing to make it long enough for three transmissions; the time between pulses on the gas meter is long enough and it might make receiving pulses more reliably.
Thanks to Mark and Andrew for some ideas for laying out a circuit on strip board, here’s what I hope is the same circuit using VeeCAD:
Might get the soldering iron out next time Jo’s away!
Update: For plenty more advice on moving from breadboard to a more permanent prototype, have a look on the Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories blog. (11 March 2010)
Update: Finally got round to pulling everything off the breadboard and soldering it together…
…and it actually still works! (14 March 2010)
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Can you get more of the CurrentCost devboards? I can’t seem to locate a source. I would like to one or two, but if it has to be 10 or more, okay, because I would like to be able to put other variables, like pulse counts on it like you are showing us here.
They had disappeared from the CurrentCost shop for some reason, but it looks like they’re back now…
Thanks for posting the info JT. If anyone needs any help with the dev boards, they can ping me on twitter: @yellowpark
@Chris, thanks for getting the dev boards on to ebay.
@Steven, if you get hold of some, there’s a nice round up of dev board info on the Current Cost blog…
(guessing that’s thanks to Chris as well!)
I have one on the way for development of a boiler monitor. Actually it was your project that got me going on the hunt. I plan on making something that monitors the pulses from a Minol water flow meter (a 4-20mA unit with high resolution is out of the question) It’s open contact so I have to do a pull-up and pulse counter similar to your efforts. But in order for it to be a true BTU Meter it needs to know the differential between the incoming and outgoing water. Or least the outgoing. Now, what is the residential boiler (what we call here just a “hot water heater”) supplying? It’s supplying hot water for showers and baths, dish washing, clothes washing and of course water for cooking, although we tend to use the bottle water, not so muc because of the quality to the house, but the house I am is 80 years old and I haven’t replaced all the piping…
Anyways a btu meter could also scale it’s output to be kwh signal. What data or info do you get with the boards from CurrentCost – in otherwords, are these dev boards a true 1-5 or 0-5 input, or are they just bare transmitter boards expecting some sort of CT load/input?
I’ve only used the board to transmit a simple on/off but looking at http://currentcost.posterous.com/current-cost-dev-board-potentiometer you might be able to do some suitable scaling. I’ve no idea what input the dev board is expecting though (doesn’t seem to be documented anywhere) so worth getting in touch with Chris. Would be interested to hear how you get on anyway.
hello I think you are interested in developing the map https://jtlog.wordpress.com/2010/02/21/my-second-currentcost-development-board-circuit/
I seek to have a meter on the 12v ac I seek to have a reading does real-time production of photovoltaic panels? if someone has a track my pliers Additional how to assemble?