First, I want to thank everyone who contributes to this forum. Having this incredible and valuable resource has made my exploration of the Electric Imp possible. I would not have made progress on my project without you all…sincerely.
Second, a summary of what I’m asking. Explanation about why I’m asking is in the background info, below.
Is there an easy (and cheap) way to get a high temperature alarm notification just once, or once per day, or to limit the amount of notifications within a specific time period? Meaning, if a sensor hovers above and below a set value, but you only need to know about it once, what’s an easy way to limit subsequent notifications?
What’s the easiest tool for creating a single graph showing multiple temperature channels from a Feed? Any chance the same tool can graph multiple channels from multiple feeds (meaning multiple Imps) simultaneously?
Am I dumb, or by using Xively do I not have access to all of my measurements in a database, or maybe a spreadsheet? Is there an alternative to Xively which would also give me access to the full set of records in a general format, like a spreadsheet?
Third, some background on my project (for anyone crazy enough to read it all)!
I have some general questions about how to plan and execute my Imp project as it develops in the future, so I’m asking for any ideas which you think may be a good way to go. These may be painfully dumb questions to the advanced users of the forum, and for that I apologize. I have limited experience with code, controllers and digital electronics, but I have learned a lot recently and am moving forward…
I’m making a basic solar hot water controller with Electric Imps. My plan is to deploy individual Imps at multiple locations, each monitoring (and eventually controlling) a variety of solar hot water systems. I have a few built already, using a 9v battery and a thermistor to record temperature, mounted in Serpac clear cases. They pass temperature to Xively. Each device uses a unique Feed ID and API Key.
Xively works great for now, but I’m slightly bummed that I’m not easily able to put multiple temperatures from one Feed on a single graph, probably due to my lack of code skills. In this first stage of development my goal has been to collect at least three temperatures (collector fluid temp, top of water storage tank and bottom of water storage tank). And, I may be missing something, but it looks like in Xively (free) I do not have direct access to a full database of each temperature reading? I’m bummed about that as well, but I think I have a handle on how I can record data to my own host in parallel with the Xively graphing, something I played with earlier, thanks to a nice online tutorial.
The main motivation for this project has been to remotely watch solar hot water systems which have been tending to overheat. Overheating is a bad thing, and when the collector fluid starts boiling away, I need to know ASAP. So, I set up a Xively trigger which activates a zapier web hook (thank you jwehr, you rock!) and in turn sends me a text when the solar hot water collector loop is overheating. Problem is, I can easily envision a situation where the fluid temperature might fluctuate above and below my trigger temperature (set in Xively) a few times (at least) in the course of an overheating failure. This would in essence create redundant notifications. I’m pretty sure there is nothing I can do to tweak the current alarm notification system, so more elegant ideas are welcomed.
Anyway, I have a bunch more thermistor circuits in the works and in a week or two will be able to deploy the first units. Until then I’m reading as much as possible about the various ways I can publish data online and set up useful alarm notifications. However, my limited knowledge of code means I will be favoring simple solutions. This is probably for the best, since I’m hoping that the clients who own these solar hot water systems will want to watch and/or use the data from their Imps, too.
Thanks again for everything. This forum is amazing.