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Old 11th January 2017, 8:53 AM   #31
azzachaz
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ViPeR-7 View Post
Two main ways to go about this one, the way you suggested will work great, and is easily combined with services such as pushingbox.com to provide push notifications to your phone / desktop, including the latest photo. You shouldn't really need anything else beyond a USB phone charger / power supply to run it from.

The alternative is a step up in functionality - microcontrollers are great, but when you start talking about high quality images, or worse yet video, they can start to feel a little cramped. I'd likely be considering a cheap pi board, running linux, using "motion" to provide motion triggered alerts, record stills and video, and provide live network camera streams. For this you can use one of the boards available with native camera, or a simple USB webcam.

All in one solution with camera & wifi: https://www.aliexpress.com/item/Oran...663940765.html

USB Camera: https://www.aliexpress.com/item/Blac...673429029.html

Super cheap WiFi pi: https://www.aliexpress.com/item/New-...760774493.html

More powerful ethernet equivalent: http://www.friendlyarm.com/index.php...product_id=132

I should note, either of the Orange Pi solutions will require a special power cable, they wont accept power over micro usb. https://www.aliexpress.com/item/NEW-...581161944.html, however the nanopi from friendlyarm will run from a regular micro usb charger cable, like the D1 mini.


An added little bonus, just in case you want to take it further, this would also work with any of the solutions discussed. Pan & tilt control for $4?

Pan & Tilt camera mounting kit: https://www.aliexpress.com/item/Serv...544952286.html

Servos for mounting kit: https://www.aliexpress.com/item/1PCS...673542105.html
Thanks Viper. I appreciate the time you've taken.

Just getting started, I found this: https://circuits.io/
It allows you to simulate your circuits including Arduino devices. I've been using it to go through the https://www.arduino.cc 'built in' tutorials before my parts arrive in the mail.
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Old 11th January 2017, 9:52 PM   #32
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Welcome Agg! These Arduino devices are pretty cool bits of kit. Just a few comments based on what I read here and my personal experience.

First off, it's hard to build an Arduino project without a use for it. I think of them as solutions, without a problem they are kinda useless. So I had a problem a few weeks ago in that I needed to know how much water is in my rainwater tank. Now I have a solution to that, an U/S sensor and radio link back to my PC using 2 Arduinos. For those who may be curious, I have no goddamn water... but moving on.

You've done this, but I'd recommend people buy a kit. When I started out, I just went to Jaycar and bought some resisters, diodes, switches etc but I never had the stuff I really needed whenever I went to build something.

I spend a lot of time checking out the Adafruit website. They are expensive but it's a beautiful site, lots of information and tutorials, very passionate about "making". I actually buy a fair bit of gear from the Aussie's at Core Electronics, they carry Adafruit and Sparkfun. Also, as a few other people have said, stock up on lots of cheap Chinese gear - just be prepared to wait a while for it to arrive. If you are doing a weekend project and really need a bit of gear, Jaycar carry some Arduino stuff which works in a pinch. BTW, I find the Freetronics stuff at Jaycar quite overpriced as they didn't have any competition in Oz at first. Jaycar now also carry DuinoTech which is much more reasonable although they obviously can't compete with the Chinese stuff on price.

When I started, I spent hours on Youtube getting schooled by Jeremy Blum. I found he has just the right level of detail, explaining electrical concepts without getting too deep etc, YMMV.

There is heaps of info on the internet for just about every Arduino compatible do-dad and thingamabob. Most people happily publish their code as well which I find very helpful as I have zero programming knowledge. Just open up their code and read through it, get an idea of how they are operating. Cut and paste their code into yours and tinker until it works!

A few others have mentioned the ESP8266. I think of it as an Arduino on steroids with built in WiFi! There's much more to it than that but that's how I use it. Once you've mucked around with Ardunio for a while, you should definitely get one of these chips and check them out.

A really practical idea: Get some compartment storage boxes, like 5 of em and put all the bits in them!

Lastly, I found I would make something, go "cool!" and walk away. It's really important to finish a project off. Get an enclosure, battery etc and mount it properly so you can walk away knowing it's finished! That will help push you towards new projects and certainly helps getting spending approval from the boss for all the gear you'll need for that reverse geocaching box

Oh, so project ideas, limited to what I've actually done!:
  1. Fish tank sensors! You'll like this Agg... water temperature, water level, lighting control - stick a light sensor outside and have the tank's LEDs turn on slowly at the same rate the sun is coming up... simulate lightning in the tank to entertain you friends and terrify the fish. Use RGB LEDs to get just the right amount of blue light in for your plants or just to show up those fish colours. With a few garden irrigation parts you could set up a 1 button press water change. You could control dosing for a planted aquarium. So much stuff!
  2. A weather station. OK it was just a temperature/humidity sensor but it uploaded the data to an online site which was a handy thing to learn for...
  3. Axillary temperature monitor. Otherwise known as "waterproof temp sensor under my arm" monitor. I had this monitoring my body temperature while cycling and uploading the data via my mobile's wireless hotspot. For no apparent reason, it just seemed cool at the time.
  4. And finally, my water tank sensor. Ultrasonic sensor measures the distance from the top of the tank to the water surface and sends it via a radio link to an Arduino on my desk. At the moment it just plugs into a serial monitor and tells me how many litres are left but later I'll wire in a nice LED bar to visualise it. I might even put another one on my second tank and add a solenoid valve so I can control the flow between them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by oculi View Post
Hang a ball from the ceiling with some string so it touches the windscreen when the car is in far enough or glue some 90 x 45 to the floor so the front wheel touches it when the car is in the right spot.
Boooo! What he needs is an combined ultrasonic and laser rangefinder wired back to an ESP8266 that can use its WiFi to send him an email when the car gets to the right distance while also being patched into the car's ignition system, killing the engine at just the right moment or activating any "auto braking" features the car may have, closing the garage door, turning the driveway light off and alerting the wife via SMS that he's arrived so she can have dinner on the table when he walks in the door.
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Last edited by Amran; 11th January 2017 at 9:53 PM. Reason: Blurry eyes
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Old 12th January 2017, 6:59 PM   #33
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....For ultrasonics, I would suggest more than one input for safety - in building a system like this, you really don't want a bit of dust covering the sensor to create an accident, just because the driver expected your system to work and it didn't. For the ultrasonic modules, a blocked sensor is the same as no object being in range to reflect sound. The laser ranging modules don't suffer from this, and will see an obstruction of the sensor as an obstacle, so produce a constant alert, letting you know to clean the sensor...
thanks for the tip on the ultrasonics, i never knew that.
I'll combine once of each type for reliability

its not my first time with arduino, i have a 90% completed "chook shed door opener" thats basically a RTC with a H bridge driver into a small 12VDC motor with a massive gear reduction.
currently, not completed as i wanted to have it doing web lookups for sunrise and sunset, but lost time/energy at this point and never got back onto it ....
soon/oneday
edit - wanted to make it run off a small SLA battery and PV solar panel too...
if i actually ever complete it, i'll put a post up around here for giggles and so you clever peeps can pick on my bad coding

Quote:
Originally Posted by oculi View Post
Hang a ball from the ceiling with some string so it touches the windscreen when the car is in far enough or glue some 90 x 45 to the floor so the front wheel touches it when the car is in the right spot.
the old fella is, well, very old. stuff on the floor is a trip hazard, and he has a wine bottle cork on fishing line setup as the current pass/fail spot test.
I wanted to make a flash version of it, just because i can, and he and mum would think i'm even cleverer than i am

Quote:
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Thanks Viper. I appreciate the time you've taken...

me too

Last edited by MUTMAN; 12th January 2017 at 7:02 PM.
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Old 12th January 2017, 9:44 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by MUTMAN View Post
thanks for the tip on the ultrasonics, i never knew that.
I'll combine once of each type for reliability
Bit more info on the laser sensors as they are newish.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MUTMAN View Post
its not my first time with arduino, i have a 90% completed "chook shed door opener" thats basically a RTC with a H bridge driver into a small 12VDC motor with a massive gear reduction.
currently, not completed as i wanted to have it doing web lookups for sunrise and sunset, but lost time/energy at this point and never got back onto it ....
soon/oneday
edit - wanted to make it run off a small SLA battery and PV solar panel too...
if i actually ever complete it, i'll put a post up around here for giggles and so you clever peeps can pick on my bad coding
This is on my to-do list as well! I was thinking a light dependent resistor would be easiest, just open the door when sunrise hits a (quite low) threshold. Or just use a large time window with your RTC, like open at 5am, close at 9pm.

I found this Youtube video and several others like it helpful with extending battery life.
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Last edited by Amran; 12th January 2017 at 9:48 PM. Reason: Laser sensor info
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Old 12th January 2017, 11:08 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amran View Post
Bit more info on the laser sensors as they are newish.



This is on my to-do list as well! I was thinking a light dependent resistor would be easiest, just open the door when sunrise hits a (quite low) threshold. Or just use a large time window with your RTC, like open at 5am, close at 9pm.

I found this Youtube video and several others like it helpful with extending battery life.
thanks for the links
those ToF sensors are sweet, definately getting the "big sister". I'll source the supply from the garage door opener, that way it'll be powered only as required

wrt the LDR as a trigger, what about cloudy days or clear nights on a full moon ?
my chook is up right on dawn and is into roost +/- 3 minutes of published sunset time.
i was thinking if i dont have any joy with times from web gets, I'll just run a large operating window around the times based on a fortnightly or monthly schedule that i setup manually
should be trivial to pull in two or three years of times and make a small look up table
the other thought i had was clock drift, but maybe a network time lookup would be easy from a low power wifi dongle ?
anyway, its stalled right now, just not enough hours in a day
edit - one other method I'd briefly thought of was a load cell on the perch ??

Last edited by MUTMAN; 12th January 2017 at 11:10 PM.
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Old 13th January 2017, 9:45 AM   #36
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I think the ambient light on a cloudy day would still be way higher than even a full moon night, but that's just a guess. Probably best just to set times, it doesn't matter if the chook can't get out the moment she wakes up. I often don't let mine out until the afternoon and they just wander back in the evening and I shut the door at around 8pm. I wouldn't worry about your RTC drifting, as far as i know they are crazy accurate, that's kind of what they are for!
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Old 13th January 2017, 6:31 PM   #37
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Great info in here guys, thanks very much.
Subbing as motivation to press forward with learning Arduino.
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Old 13th January 2017, 8:16 PM   #38
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This site with home automation projects might interest some people.

http://www.bruhautomation.com/

I've got a Arduino project kit, nodemcu and some other parts on order and am planning on playing with home automation such as closing windows. I've already got Home Assistant running on an RPI controlling a few Yeelights using a Xiaomi Mi Home kit but there's so much more it can do.
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Old 14th January 2017, 9:11 AM   #39
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Save yourself ALOT of hassle and go check out www.mysensors.org.

They provide a complete ecosystem for Arduino + radio = remote sensor/actuator network.



I have spent the last 10+ years playing with Arduino's and the ecosystem the guys have created at mysensors is just fantastic. They just work and are very cheap

Some of the things they have sketches and detailed instructions for are:

Sensors & Actuators
Air Humidity
Atmospheric Pressure
Bed Occupancy
Dimmer - LED
Display and Time
Distance
Door/Window/Button
Dust
Gas Detection
Gesture Controller
GPS Sensor
Heatpump Control
IR Sender/Receiver
Irrigation Controller
Light Level - BH1750
Light Level - LM393
Motion
Orientation Actuator
Orientation Sensor
Parking Sensor
Pulse Power Meter
Pulse Water Meter
Rain Gauge
Relay Actuator
RFID
Scene Controller
Secret Knock
Servo
Smart Alarm Clock
Soil Moisture
Starry Sky
Temperature
UV
Whole House Fan

Quote:
IoYT
You've probably heard the recent hype - Internet of Things where everything is connected! Yay, you think... That sounds awesome... but wait a minute...

How should I collect the information from all my things? And where do I store it?
What should I do with my information? How do I perform actions (like sending email or SMS) based on the information?
I cannot find any "thing" suitable for my needs! All my stuff is "dumb" and in need of smartification!
Our vision at MySensors is to provide an open platform for collecting sensor data and to help you to build your own dirt cheap wireless sensors and actuators.

We call it the "Internet of Your Things" - where you are in control!

We provide...
Easy-to-follow how-to examples to build your own wireless sensors that immediately start communicating with each other.
Free MySensor plugins for a bunch of different controllers.
Instructions for building your own gateway that "cloud-enables" your sensors.
An friendly community support forum where you can have those crazy discussions about your projects or share code with fellow entusiasts using codebender.
A Storefront where we'll help you pick out the bits and pieces that you'll need for your sensor project.
A platform for sharing your finished projects with the community.

We enable you to...
Send a push message to your phone when the temperature in that "dumb" old freezer suddenly rises [because someone accidentally left the door open].
Build your own RFID sensor that only allows your pet to enter the house through a pet-door. Perhaps you would like to restrict pet-door access to a specific schedule?
Bring that old "automatic" garage door to life again by connecting a wireless relay that opens the door when your car pulls up or control it from your home automation system.
Collect humidity levels from your bathrooms and increase ventilation in the house if a shower has been detected.
Build a remotely controlled cat feeder.
Create your own secret-knock sensor that opens the door to the wine cellar.
Create fancy RGB LED lights, controlled using your calendar holidays.
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Old 18th January 2017, 10:28 AM   #40
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So I made a massive Aliexpress order last night.

Based on Vipers 'shopping list' and some other stuff it came to over $200 in tiny orders
Went to pay for them all at once but the payment failed, leaving all the individual order in 'awaiting payment'.
I had to pay each order individually, triggering a fraud inquiry call from the bank for suspicious activity.

Cant wait. I've also ordered a variable bench power supply from ebay. It designed for mobile phone repair but should be perfect for arduino development.

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/152172858...%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

I was going to build my own as a project but for $40 I thought it was worth a try.
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Old 18th January 2017, 12:36 PM   #41
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Quote:
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So I made a massive Aliexpress order last night.

Based on Vipers 'shopping list' and some other stuff it came to over $200 in tiny orders
Went to pay for them all at once but the payment failed, leaving all the individual order in 'awaiting payment'.
I had to pay each order individually, triggering a fraud inquiry call from the bank for suspicious activity.

Cant wait. I've also ordered a variable bench power supply from ebay. It designed for mobile phone repair but should be perfect for arduino development.

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/152172858...%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

I was going to build my own as a project but for $40 I thought it was worth a try.
The review for that item doesn't look promising.

I'm in the process fo designing/building a bench power supply using an ATX Power supply.
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Old 19th January 2017, 4:23 PM   #42
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"chook shed door opener"
Try looking for a library called timelord. It's been deprecated but still usable. Based your latitude and longitude and a given date it will calculate sunrise and sunset for you. There is also a function to adjust the time for daylight savings but only for northern hemisphere. You will need to rewrite the logic for Brissy.

Biggest problem I have with Arduino projects is they never get finished because of scope creep.
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Old 19th January 2017, 8:42 PM   #43
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timelord for arduino. because it eats your time
thanks for the heads up. I might have a look when i do get some time to spare on this project
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Old 19th January 2017, 11:36 PM   #44
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for a power supply, this one has been pretty reasonable for me (http://www.manson.com.hk/products/detail/42).

http://www.radioparts.com.au/product...ench-top-black

Arduino's are crazy fun. Totally agree about the challenge being closing the box on a project...but I have a few now that just work and never get touched...
* Energy monitor
* Whole house audio IR reciever/serial proxy
* 16 Relay and 8 opto-isolated inputs
* Garage door sensor

I am about to deply wireless moisture sensors around the garden now that I have crached getting the i2c probe to shutdown. That was fun!
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Old 20th January 2017, 11:50 AM   #45
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You guys have convinced me to get involved. Havent had a project to work on for a while and my skills are going to waste at work so what better thing than go spend a heap of money on a hobby I never worked on before.

Got a lot of learning to do but from what Ive seen from this thread, Arduinos are great but we have better low cost options available.
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