The Blog

Wattmon 1.60 and Pricing

It has been a while since the last post, how time flies. The next 50 devices are in production and will be ready soon. Pricing has been fixed at 12600 INR including tax, in USD that is $230. This includes one wattmon device, one modbus dual current sensor, and power and Ethernet cables. Online ordering will soon be possible.

The new firmware version 1.60 has added several features, most important of which is the integrated actions support. This means that actions which are triggered will work more reliably and not consume too many system resources. Actions are used to control things or inform you of system errors. WattmonSolar 1.06 is also available for download. This also has a few tweaks and new features such as improved graphing with an additional option to count zero and non zero values for any graph able data item. This makes it simple to view the number of hours of sunlight on your panels or the number of hours an appliance was run for in a day.

Comment (0) Hits: 2189

Getting closer to release!

Wattmon is getting ready to be released! As the programming of version 1 is coming to a close the possibilities and opportunities for using wattmon seem endless. I have already installed a wattmon to control a three phase bore well pump in a remote location over 3G. It uses level sensors to control the pump and ensure the tank is never empty, this will shortly be interfaced with a modbus compatible power meter to log energy usage, and voltages and email somebody when things go wrong.

From basic energy metering, wattmon has grown to become a tool for monitoring and control of water! And this took no time to do since everything was set up using actions. Actions in wattmon let you switch on or off inputs, send en email, access a URL, or set a variable based on a set of trigger conditions. For example, the pump setup has one action to switch on a digital output when two digital inputs (high and low tank level) are off. A second action switches the output off when the high water level sensor is on.

In a more complex example, at our office we have a charger which is controlled by a wattmon relay. Several actions determine when the charger is switched on to maximise the usage of the solar panels. At night, the relay switches on when the battery percent drops below 90 and off again when it reaches 95. This could be set to any value but that's just what works for us. During the day a different set of actions are active and the relay only switches on when the batteries go below 50% which could happen on a cloudy day.

An easy to use interface makes it possible for anybody without programming knowledge set up detailed conditions to trigger actions, opening wattmon up to the world of home automation. Since most home automation controllers are sold for over 350 US dollars, wattmon could find a market in the low end home automation sector where basic control is required but budget is limited.

The temptation is to keep adding features to this already versatile device to try and foresee all scenarios but there comes a time when one must freeze the feature set. The WattmonSolar package which is installed by default on the box is specifically designed to monitor off grid solar setups and battery banks. Dual current sensors monitor both in and outbound current and battery voltage, and calculate battery percentage remaining. Logs and graphs provide information on daily generation and consumption, as well as voltage and percentage throughout the day. As this is the primary purpose of wattmon, this is the feature set that is most important. For the hobbyist, a whole other range of features are available.

Comment (0) Hits: 2203

Firmware 1.52 and WattmonSolar 1.03

Firmware rev 1.52 is now available for download, along with WattmonSolar 1.03 which brings a bunch of new features. The most important addition is the package manager and firmware manager which allows you to automatically download and install updates from within the wattmon device. Interface Page
An Interface page in the control panel lets you optimise wattmon to run on GPRS connected routers by using JavaScript includes from the wattmon.com server instead of locally.

Data Collector
The data collector page lets your create data groups which will be logged to csv files, and in the next release these can be used as data sources for graphs.

Comment (0) Hits: 2025

General Update

General

The first 10 boards of the new batch have finally arrived after numerous delays with the courier company. I have assembled and tested the first one and I am happy with the results. A couple of parts could still be optimised but all in all I am ready for the first run of fifty boxes.
This week the first wattmon went online in Thailand! So now there are 9 wattmons running and logging data.

Website Updates

I have also updated the website to provide more privacy to people, now you need to register and log in to see your own wattmon device.

Wattmon Updates

Wattmon now has a package manager which facilitates the process of updating to the latest version of the software. The wattmonSolar 1.03 package will be in the download area shortly along with instructions for upgrading. Once you have installed the 1.03 the package manager will be integrated, making it easy to upgrade in future.

Wattmon over 3G

I have optimised the wattmon interface to work over 3G and GPRS modems, making it easy to set up a remote data logger with decent performance. A new user Interface page in the control panel allows you to switch this feature on.

Comment (0) Hits: 2149