Water level monitoring through wi-fi

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by cmartinez, Apr 21, 2015.

  1. cmartinez

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    Jan 17, 2007
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    I'm planning on building a circuit to monitor the water level in a reserve tank in my house. The circuit for measuring level is the easy part, and I've got that covered.
    But what I'd like to do is connect this circuit to a wi-fi transmitter (already know how to do that too) and then send the data to a server that I choose so I can keep a log.
    My question here is, is it absolutely necessary to have an active computer in my house that would only serve as a relay to transmit this data (very small packets, about 100 bytes, once every 10 minutes) to a remote server?
    Say I built a private web page that I could log into and see the current level status of the tank... I'd like to make my device transmit the data to the modem, and from the modem directly to the server, without the need for an active computer in my house. Is it possible?
     
  2. cmartinez

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    Just found what I wanted, I've got two options:
    1. Use a real cheap android smartphone.
    2. Use a Raspberry Pi computer with a WiFi adapter
    The raspberry option is cheaper, but using a smartphone would have the advantage of having GSM available, if I ever want to skip the WiFi to Modem to ISP thing. Plus it'll keep the thing going for as long as the battery lasts, in case of a power outage.
    Guess I'm gonna keep on studying the possibilities.
     
  3. mcgyvr

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    Oct 15, 2009
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    You don't need a computer or android at all.

    Just a micro with wifi that has a built in webserver.
    Connect that to the router (dynamic IP address if you don't have a static one) and voila..
     
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  4. OBW0549

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    I'd be interested in seeing how this develops, as I've got a similar project in the queue and have settled (tentatively) on the Raspberry Pi approach. In my case I want to log temperature, dewpoint and barometric pressure into a database and be able to access it remotely, and from the reading I've done so far it looks like a RPi running Apache, MySQL and PHP will do what I want to do.

    Keep us posted, OK?
     
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  5. cmartinez

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    Sure thing... :)
     
  6. cmartinez

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    Thanks, your opinion is appreciated... but you make it sound so simple.... could you provide a specific example of the kind of device that you have in mind?
     
  7. cmartinez

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    Alright,
    A Raspberry Pi A+ costs about $20.00 usd, and a WiFi adapter about $12.00.
    So for a little more than $30.00 dlls (and maybe a considerable amount of work) I can build the thing that I want, according to this site.
     
  8. MikeA

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    Jan 20, 2013
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    Arduino Nano/Micro $2 + ESP8266 $3 = $5 total
     
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  9. cmartinez

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    Now you've got my FULL attention...
     
  10. cmartinez

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  11. wayneh

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    Now you are seeing why "the internet of things" is becoming a big deal. You could literally afford to put every appliance in your home onto the internet. A LOT of people are trying to figure out why you might want to do that. A technology looking for an application. They will come.
     
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  12. cmartinez

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    Well, it seems that I've found a promising application... but there's a difference between data describing the amount of water in your house's reservoir and data describing the contents of your fridge... :confused: I'm not so sure I'd feel comfortable knowing that that sort of thing could be potentially hacked in a malicious way...
     
  13. wayneh

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    I think that's the nub of the problem. Monitoring is interesting, but control from remote locations is more useful. But, that introduces a risk.
     
  14. cmartinez

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    This Espurino module is simply unbelievable! It has its own processor and even a 10-bit ADC!
    That means that probably I won't even need to use an external MCU to do what I want!

    Just get the module, program it, power it up, and you're all set!

    Here's a specialized forum about that chip, and here's a bbs.
     
  15. cmartinez

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    Normally I consider the Instructables site a rather crappy place with lots of details on mediocre things... but it seems I've found a golden exception to that.
     
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  16. wayneh

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    Very interesting. Already thinking of projects for this.
     
  17. cmartinez

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    And I'm beginning to feel something that I haven't felt for a while... that is enthusiasm ... :)
     
  18. wayneh

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    I wish they had used an analog sensor such as LM35. (I already have a handful of them!)
     
  19. OBW0549

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    Any more progress on this remote water tank monitoring project? I'd be interested in hearing how it's coming along.

    This thread got me interested in the ESP8266 as a means of interfacing to a chilled-mirror dewpoint monitor I'm designing, and I bought a couple of these to play with:

    https://www.adafruit.com/product/2471

    Tentatively, I plan to use the ESP8266 standalone (i.e., no Arduino or Raspberry Pi) with a LTC2440 sigma-delta ADC to measure the mirror temperature and make it accessible as a web page. We'll see how that goes.

    I also picked up a bunch of Nordic Semiconductor nRF24L01+ modules to play with (those are REALLY cheap!), and Young Son #2 gave me a couple of XBee Series 1 modules for my birthday; but either of those options would require an Arduino or an RPi for brains, so I'm currently favoring the ESP8266.
     
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  20. cmartinez

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    Thanks for the update... unfortunately no, I haven't even gotten started yet... this project is to interest a customer of mine who wants to explore its possibilities, using my house as an example of what can be done. But the customer still owes me a little money, and I won't get started until he liquidates...
    It's good to know you're making some progress though... I promise I'll post back here as soon as I get started.
     
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