Posts with «pinoccio» label

Electricity Monitoring with a Light-to-Voltage Sensor, MQTT and some Duct Tape

When it comes down to energy management, having real-time data is key. But rarely is up-to-the-minute kilowatt hour information given out freely by a Utility company, which makes it extremely hard to adjust spending habits during the billing cycle. So when we heard about [Jon]‘s project to translate light signals radiating out of his meter, we had to check it out.

From the looks of it, his hardware configuration is relatively simple. All it uses is a TSL261 Light-to-Voltage sensor connected to an Arduino with an Ethernet shield attached. The sensor is then taped above the meter’s flashing LED, which flickers whenever a pulse is sent out indicating every time a watt of electricity is used. His configuration is specific to the type of meter that was installed by his Utility, and there is no guarantee that all the meters deployed by that company are the same. But it is a good start towards a better energy monitoring solution.

And the entire process is documented on [Jon]’s website, allowing for more energy-curious people to see what it took to get it all hooked up. In it, he describes how to get started with MQTT, which is a machine-to-machine (M2M)/”Internet of Things” connectivity protocol, to produce a real-time graph, streaming data in from a live feed.

Now, with all this valuable information, other applications can be built on top of it. Interfacing with something like the Pinoccio microcontroller system can allow for devices to be turned off during peak-power times, helping to reduce the billing price at the end of the month.

Energy-intelligence platforms like this assist in conserving electricity while keeping the rate-payer consistently informed of their power usage habits. A real win, win. However, we still need to figure out how to (legally) extract the data from other types of meters.

One example is to harvest the information wirelessly with a special USB dongle to gather the data emitting from the Utility meter. But this only works for that brand of meter. Another solution is to read infrared flashes with an AVR, a resistor, a capacitor, and a phototransistor, which is similar to what [Jon] created above.

So, what kind of meter do you have? And, do you think there is a better way to extract the kWh data? Let us know in the comments, and let’s see what we can come up with.

Filed under: home hacks

Internet Connected Necktie with LEDs

Internet connected wearable devices are on the rise. Software writer and self-proclaimed tinkerer, Hector Urtubia has developed the first internet connected necktie. Using the platform Pinoccio along with Adafruit’s Flora RGB Smart Neopixel LEDs, Urtubia has created an entertaining and timeless piece of technology you can wear. Why Pinoccio? Urtubia […]

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Interview with Pinoccio Co-Founder Eric Jennings

Eric Weddington, marketing manager for open source and communities at Atmel, posted an in-depth interview with Pinoccio's Eric Jennings. Pinnoccio is a new, open source hardware company. Their first product is a microcontroller board aimed at creating “a complete ecosystem" for the internet of things. Pinoccio calls their board an "Arduino Mega with wings." It's Raspberry Pi-friendly, too.

Read the full article on MAKE

Insert Coin: Arduino-compatible Pinoccio microcontroller sports battery, WiFi

In Insert Coin, we look at an exciting new tech project that requires funding before it can hit production. If you'd like to pitch a project, please send us a tip with "Insert Coin" as the subject line.

It's been said that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Improving on a good idea, however, is truly the ultimate homage, according to the makers of the new Pinoccio microcontroller. Inspired by the Arduino, the brain trust behind the Pinoccio decided to take the stuff they liked about the popular platform -- ease of programming and low cost -- and add some features to make it even better. These include a rechargeable battery, a temperature sensor and a built-in radio that allows one Pinoccio with a WiFi shield to communicate wirelessly with other Pinoccios. The microcontroller also delivers performance that stacks up well with an Arduino Mega but at a smaller size -- the Pinoccio only measures a couple of inches long and an inch wide. The project is currently trying to raise $60,000 at Indiegogo, with supporters netting the standard Pinoccio by pledging $49 and a microcontroller with a WiFi shield for $99. For more details, feel free to check out the video after the break or peruse the project's Indiegogo page by clicking at the source link.

Previous project update: The Lomography Smartphone Film Scanner was apparently ready for its closeup. The Kickstarter project more than tripled its $50,000 goal with two more weeks to go.

Filed under: Misc


Source: Indiegogo

Open Hardware Pinoccio Is A Wireless, Web-Ready Microcontroller

I met Eric Jennings at the Hardware Innovation Workshop last May where he was showing off plans for a new wireless Arduino-compatible mircocontroller board. After going through nine prototypes since then, he and co-founder Sally Carson launched the Pinoccio this week. Here’s how Eric describes the platform: Pinoccio is a [...]

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