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  • solarishot

    You have given me great advice in the past via the electric imp forum, and if you happen to have a moment, I would appreciate any thoughts you have about this:

    I'm thinking of using a Steca TA VM2 flow meter on a whole house domestic water line and counting pulses with an Imp. In the last year or two I have taught myself a fair amount about electronics and the imp, but mainly with temp sensors and relays. Pulse counters are new to me. Below is a link to the meter.

    My goal is to set up an alarm when water use exceeds normal values. I know that will take some thought. However, for now, before I try to build such a device, I'm curious if this meter (Steca TA VM2) is a good match for the Imp, or if another type of pulse output meter will be easier to work with? Mainly, do you know good quality meters with a better output? Thanks in advance.

    March 2015
    • mlseim
      Sorry, I just noticed this message in my "inbox".

      I think that pulse meter would work just fine. If you test it and find the pulse is noisy, there is an imp function to "debounce" the input. It seems like that meter you have is designed for a solar system? But you can use it for your house. My determination would be cost. If that one seems to be of good quality for the cost, it would be good.

      You would have two counters running ... one is continuously counting pulses for a total amount of water, the other counter is like 5 seconds long and counts the pulses that occurred each 5 seconds and determines the "real-time" flow rate. That is the one that alarms if rate is too high. After 5 seconds, the count is zeroed and it starts again.

      My real email is:

      This message system sucks ... so email would be better to discuss.


      Max Seim
      Cottage Grove, Minnesota, USA
    • mlseim
      I just noticed that the flowmeter you show gives 1 pulse for every 10 liters of water. For me in the U.S., that is 2.6 gallons. If you ran your water for 1 minute, you might only get 2 pulses. That's poor resolution. I would think that you might want more pulses to allow a real-time reading every 5 seconds. So, a meter that has a pulse for every 1 liter would be better. Or even 2 pulses for every liter ... 1 pulse would be 1/2 liter. You then run a sink faucet and measure for 10 seconds. You would probably measure 4 pulses every 10 seconds if your meter pulsed every 1/2 liter. That is much better accuracy, and can be measured.

      So I take back what I said previously ... that meter (1 pulse every 10 liters) would not be a good match for you. Find a meter that gives a pulse every 1/2 liter.
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    May 2014
  • etotman
    Thanks for the suggestion regarding a hosting service and php/mysql. Do you have an example or link you could send of the device/agent code and the php server side code to receive the data?
    January 2014
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    October 2013
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    April 2013