cheap automated counter reading - possible?

Discussion in 'The Projects Forum' started by ilmslb, Oct 14, 2013.

  1. ilmslb

    Thread Starter New Member

    May 20, 2004
    6
    0
    I need to read my water counters regularly each month and it drives me crazy. I simply just hate doing that.
    I was thinking about the possibility of automating this somehow.
    What I need is a way to read counters and send it wirelessly to a web server.

    My first idea was to buy some very old smart phones with Android, create a small app to take pictures on a specific date, and send the picture over the wifi to a server for OCR.
    An old working Android smartphone is like 30$ though I think.

    Is it possible to build something cheaper than that?
     
  2. sirch2

    Well-Known Member

    Jan 21, 2013
    1,008
    351
    I doubt that you could do it much cheaper. You can actually do the OCR on the smart phone, I have done it myself.
     
  3. Sensacell

    Well-Known Member

    Jun 19, 2012
    1,132
    267
  4. sirch2

    Well-Known Member

    Jan 21, 2013
    1,008
    351
    Have you seen the price of that thing?
     
  5. ilmslb

    Thread Starter New Member

    May 20, 2004
    6
    0
    actually an old Android phone is more like 50$ not 30$
     
  6. mcgyvr

    AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 15, 2009
    4,771
    971
    Got specs on this "water counter" device?
    Can you simply replace this "water counter" with one with some sort of analog/digital output?
     
  7. tracecom

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 16, 2010
    3,871
    1,394
    Are you referring to this as a water counter?
     
  8. MrChips

    Moderator

    Oct 2, 2009
    12,449
    3,364
    My water meter is connected to a 2-wire phone line. Somehow the water company can read the meter remotely.
     
  9. ilmslb

    Thread Starter New Member

    May 20, 2004
    6
    0
    Yes, that's what I refer to.
    But it's not that remote, it's in my apartment.
     
  10. ilmslb

    Thread Starter New Member

    May 20, 2004
    6
    0
    lucky you.
     
  11. ilmslb

    Thread Starter New Member

    May 20, 2004
    6
    0
    I can't. This is totally in the hands of the utility company.
     
Loading...