Monthly Archives: December 2014

In the bleak midwinter…

… the lowly sidesperson starts to wonder just how cold his feet are.  St Mary’s Episcopal is keen, so we’re undeterred by our failure to get the wireless and radio signals working.   If you’re in the space, and see our logo on any equipment, don’t worry, they’re “off-the-shelf” temperature and relative humidity loggers on loan from a couple of sources, and yes, they do belong there.  There’s no live trace on the web or phone app with these, sadly.  Of course, it’s a cathedral so the closest we can come for comparators is in some Church of England publications, but the philosophy beyond HeatHack is you might as well start somewhere!

HeatHack’s first cathedral…

…or at least almost.  We can monitor the cathedral office at St Mary’s Episcopal just fine, but getting wireless or radio through those enormous stone walls is going to take some scouting around the space when it’s a bit freer than the run-up to Christmas!

The stmaryspi trace is a new experiment – adding a DS18B20 straight on the GPIO pins of the pi itself.  That’s running a bit higher than we were expecting – 30C is safe enough, but clearly not the ambient temperature.  We have the Pi and sensor enclosed in a Chinese takeway container with airholes punched in, but either that’s not enough, or we failed to notice an external source of heating under the shelf it’s on.

pesky wifi

Packaged temperature and RH sensor with radio transmitterWhen we arrived last night, we got stuck straight into boxing up a sensor location nicely for the Methodist organ – something we’ve been promising to do for a while.  Organs don’t like it too wet or too dry, so they naturally want to know how the recent building refurbishment might affect it.  We think we’ve worked it into a nice, neat package.  This picture was before we put some air holes above the sensor itself.  Arduinos don’t throw much heat, especially if stuff is sleeping most of the time, but we thought it was better if the critter could breathe a bit.

We thought then it would be a simple matter of shoving it in position (maybe with another pi temporarily, until we build a radio relay) and then we could turn our attention to giving the black globe a less occlusive rack and finding a better test location for it – but sadly, no.  The sensors and Arduinos are all working just fine, and we’re pretty sure the only thing wrong with the pi is it that it dropped wireless a week ago and we can’t get it back on.  I’ll be going back when I’m passing sometime to puzzle that out at a bit more leisure, but it’s sure to be something funny about their commercially controlled setup – the same equipment works faultlessly at Christ Church Morningside where we have full control of the router.