Tuesday, January 20, 2015

La Crosse Weather Station Gateway

Its alive! Last Christmas (or was it the one before that?), I received a La Crosse wireless weather station from my mom who is obsessed with them. This one has just a small display that can gauge inside and outside temperature. What interested me is that it's a simple 433Mhz radio link. So sometime between then and a while ago, I got a 433Mhz receiver from Sparkfun with the intention of capturing the binary data from the outside sensor.

Stock photo from SFE - CC BY-NC-SA 3.0

Finally Some Home Automation

With all the busyness of FriedCircuits and with taking a late honeymoon to Europe, there hasn't been very much time left for other just-for-fun projects. It's taken a long time to scale up productivity after our trip. A few weeks ago I finally started to dive into getting some sort of a start on home automation, or domotica, as its called across the pond. Since the failure of the Smart Outelet I decided to start on a smaller piece of the home automation beast this time around. Having been following JeeNodes for awhile now, I wanted to make a custom version in which I actually had done last year and never posted about it. I did some testing with his setup and the HouseMon server running on a Rasberry Pi. I have been toying with the idea of writing my own from scratch but I don't have the time and why reinvent the wheel, right? On my daily travels of the web (Feedly) I have come across a lot of home automation projects, but one piece of software struck my interest and this is what got me back to exploring this space.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Wizkers.io Is Live!

Happy New Year! Begin 2015 with Wizkers.io - an easy to use Open Source application that is great for makers and programmers alike. It was designed and is managed by Edouard Lafargue, a fellow maker who has greatly contributed to the USB Tester, which is supported by Wizkers.io. Now that's Open Source in action!

//We look forward to posting projects using Wizkers.io and the USB Tester!

Here is his press release:

"We are live! 
After about two years of work, I am very happy to announce the launch of Wizkers.io.
What is Wizkers? Wizkers is an Open Source application that gives a web interface to your instruments. And much more. 
What's in it for you ? Your measurement instruments often have great IO capabilities that are underutilized. Wizkers unlocks those. You are building a great project that generates a lot data, but you don't want to get locked into one particular Internet of Things provider, and don't want to spend inordinate amounts of time building a great user interface for it. Wizkers solves this. 
With Wizkers, you can visualize, log, download, and send instrument data to cloud services, all using one consistent interface. And if your instrument supports it, you can do full remote control too! 
Imagine your USB-connected power meter being able to do full-screen data graphs, data logging, and even real time uploads to IoT services. This is exactly what Wizkers lets you do. 
Wizkers is a pure HTML5/Javascript application which runs in Google Chrome, and is incredibly easy to setup: you can head over to the Chrome webstore (goo.gl/DgLqXH) and get up and running in a matter of seconds. 
Wizkers is not limited to running as a Chrome app. You can also install it on any embedded device - Beaglebone or other - to create a web interface for your measurement instruments, or even for your own DIY projects. And thanks to the Apache Cordova project, a native Android version is coming up too. 
Wizkers is still beta software. Expect a few bugs, but I feel that I have now reach a level of stability that makes it possible for a larger audience to start experimenting with it. Your feedback will be invaluable! 
So what instruments does Wizkers support out of the box today? At the time of release, we have support for the Medcom "Onyx" Geiger counter, the Fried Circuits USB current/voltage/power meter, Fluke 287/289 digital multimeters, and the Elecraft KX3 Amateur radio transceiver. And more instruments are on the way. 
Wizkers also supports IoT data services like helium.co for data input. 
Last, all the data recorded by Wizkers can be forwarded on to cloud services - talking to "dweet.io" is a no brainer - with a generic REST API output plugin, and more specialized services like Safecast.org. 
Wizkers is already being used daily by a team of beta testers whom I really want to thank for all their support, encouragement and great feedback! 
With this, I encourage you to head over to wizkers.io and discover what it can do for you!"