Dream project, noob questions/advice

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by chrismyers81, Dec 26, 2013.

  1. chrismyers81

    chrismyers81 New Member

    Dec 26, 2013
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    Hi everyone,

    I have a total noob question about the UDOO, and thought that I'd ask some questions if that's ok? Basically, I have a dream project, and I'm trying to figure out how to make it a reality - basically an environmental monitoring/control system on steroids :)

    My initial build I'm hoping to just get my feet wet by doing some basic indoor/outdoor temperature and humidity tracking, logging the results to a mySQL database, and then building a web interface that will do graphing over time.

    From that initial build, I'm hoping to later expand that to include temperature/humidity sensors on both floors and the basement in our house, and then do stuff like trigger the furnace fan to kick on if any of the floors gets more than like 10 degrees difference from the other floors, and eventually use it to control the furnace itself (taking into consideration the furnace mode (heat or cooling) and compare the internal temperature with the outdoor temperature (and temperature trends) to determine whether the furnace should kick on, or if I should just like kick on an attic fan.) I'd also like to add sensors for smoke, water leak, power loss (or even track incoming utility voltage levels,) flammable vapor, and carbon monoxide detection, and have those sensors trigger an alarm/email/text/etc. if triggered.

    In order to do this, I need a system that can handle both analog and digital inputs, and to be able to interface with those inputs programmatically, and then do stuff with the data it collects. I was initially looking at a Raspberry Pi, but it only has 8 digital IO ports on the board itself and no analog ports, so I'd have to add some add-on boards like the ADC Pi from AB Electronics. And when you consider all of the add-ons I'd need to get my setup how I eventually want it, you're looking at a lot of money. And that doesn't even include the sensors.

    So I guess my question is - is this something that I could do with a UDOO? From what I've been reading, it looks like it's doable, but I wanted to make sure it would be the best platform for what I'm wanting to do? In my day job, I'm a Linux sysadmin and web (Java)/PLSQL developer, so I'm definitely not scared of stuff like this - it presents a fun and energizing challenge for me, one that I've wanted to do for a very long time.

    Any thoughts/comments/advice? I'm heavily considering the UDOO quad since I'll end up running a web/MySQL server on the box.
  2. DracoLlasa

    DracoLlasa UDOOer

    Oct 15, 2013
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    Welcome, sorry your post didnt get any responses until now. But here is my 2 cents

    Yes, i have worked with a few different boards and i do think the UDOO dual or quad would work perfectly fine for what your trying to do.

    I think you would want to look at the UDOO as a base station with the Linux and main Arduino ends and then instead of running wires everywhere you can use some xbee radios connected directly to an Arduino FIO with a lipo battery. The Arduino Fio is a special Arduino runs at 3.3v, has built in XBee header and LIPO connection and charger. they make perfect remote stations. You skip the Lipo and hard wire the the power if you want also.
    A couple of these in each remote point, basement, attic, bedroom etc each with a sensor bundle, like a DHT11 for temp/humidity. maybe attic one uses a relay to enable/disable the attic fan etc.
    Arduino Fio
    I know they are sold by Sparkfun - https://www.sparkfun.com/products/10116 or https://www.sparkfun.com/products/11520

    Each of these remote stations will communicate with each other and the base using 802.15.4 network with the xbee, or they can do point to point depending on how you want to set them up and what type of xbee radio you buy.
    an XBee Series 1 with a small antenna like this one should cover you https://www.sparkfun.com/products/8665
    It does point to point and multi-point networks. you will want to read the details and adjust based on the distances. maybe get a set and test before buying too many. a few plain drywall based walls shoudl cause issue but plaster, brick or stone could really kill the range

    Then you have the UDOO running linux, a web front end and MySQL DB as you see fit. the Arduino side of the UDOO can have an XBee shield and act as the hub for the remote sensor nodes sending and receiving data from them, then sending that data out over the built in serial connection tot he linux side of the UDOO. the linux side can store the data int eh DB or whatever you want to do with it. You can also have the Linux side send serial commands to the Arduino Due side through the serial connection and have to execute those functions out to the remote nodes.

    You could of course drop the remote Fio nodes and run it all from the UDOO with long wires and such, just thought that might be an interesting option for you. the UDOO can handle all of it locally as needed

    From a hardware side the UDOO has you covered. writing the code would be my biggest challenge, but i think at high level, this concept is totally feasible and the UDOO as the hub or only component would work just fine.
  3. maurizio

    maurizio Administrator

    Jul 1, 2013
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  4. mkopack

    mkopack Member

    Jun 14, 2013
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    Certainly doable.. You'll want to look into various temp + humidity sensors (places like sparkfun or pololu.com will have ones that would work well with the Udoo.)

    To control the furnace, you'll probably (don't quote me here) need to use some sort of relays to switch between the low voltage outputs of the Udoo and the higher voltage stuff on the furnace control board.

    But yeah, it's all doable! Basically you're wanting to create your own "Nest Thermostat on steriods"....

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