I think we’ve found our best option for scaling up meter capture for more sites – this is from an unmodified MotionEyeOs image, 5 mm text from 80 cm cropped from a 640×480 image, taken in a dark room. Continue reading … and a simpler option→
Our Tuesday night on 22 December turned out to be Christmas festivities, HeatHack-style – not a mince pie in sight, but we did have fairy lights, packages to open (our supplies for Innovative Learning Week!), happy snaps, and our very first blanket fort. Results, too – we have the final design for version 1 of our gas meter camera. Continue reading The result of HeatHack’s Christmas festivities→
On Tuesday night, Iain brought back most of the bits we’d left in St Columba’s by the Castle. I suppose we should have a “making of” blog post at some point, and some comment about what we see – but for the moment, he’s waiting on the data, and we hate to disappoint!
The guys have taken me aside to explain about relays and what happens if you try to draw too much current through an Arduino, and so we’re ready for our next design: a gas meter camera with “flash”. We’ll be designing and prototyping that tonight (City of Edinburgh Methodist Church basement, 25 Nicolson Square, 19:30) as well as talking about what microcontrollers to buy for our RFM69 radio tests, and maybe modifications to our web server. The hunt for broken bike lights and torches was surprisingly unsuccessful – I have one red and two white, all at different voltages – but I’m off on a hunt for some very seasonal battery operated LED fairy lights that could be just the ticket.
We have a mix of logging going on in St Columba’s at the moment – some of it is our own sensor locations, sending live readings out, and some of it is Lascar loggers, that just save readings on a USB stick.
Of course, we’ll want to see the readings all together.
I’m just counting up to see if we can field in one more church before Christmas, but we’re pretty much out of bits and pieces for building sensor locations – which means it’s time to order more. Before I do that, I thought I’d review the radio range situation.
We struggle to all gather together at the same time, so I thought it would be useful to describe what plans we have for making stuff together as a group in the near future.We know we want to concentrate on the tools we need to understand actual buildings – so, in rough time order:
I’ve decided that I don’t want to mess once again with some very brittle drivers for controlling my old Nikon Coolpix from a Pi. That means it must be time to figure out how to provide enough light for gas meter photos by hacking something on the Pi itself. And that means exposing just how little I understand electronics, once again…
Here’s advanced notice for Tuesday night (8 December, 19:30) – instead of the Methodist Church, we’re going to meet up at St Columba’s by the Castle, 14 Johnston Terrace, Edinburgh, EH1 2PW.
Johnston Terrace runs pretty much under the castle. It has two St Columba’s on it within sight of each other, so don’t get confused! The hint’s in the name – the one you want is closer to the castle than St Columba’s Free Church. There’s a doorbell mounted on the stonework at the main door that you can ring to get our attention. If you tell us ahead of time that you’re coming, Jean will give you her mobile number, “just in case”.
There are three regulars that we know can’t come, so we’re expecting it to be small. We’ll be looking at the data coming from the equipment we already have in place at St Columba’s, and also thinking about how to place two things we failed to put in before: time lapse photography on the gas meter and boiler flow and return for the church. For the gas meter, the problem is lighting and a cramped space; for the boiler flow and return, we can’t reach the one place we can see to put the instrumentation in the boiler room, but we might be able to figure out the nearest equivalents we can reach outside the room itself. We may also take a sneak peak at the building modelling requirements for our Innovative Learning Week event, “Adventures in U-Values – Modelling Heat Loss is Kid’s Stuff” – and think about what other instrumentation we could usefully get in place before February.
We might also talk about our future plans for HeatHack, if the set of people who show up on the night are interested in that – more about that soon.