SafeDuino – Part 02: (Partial) Parts test

I have now got some of the equipment for my SafeDuino, as has been mentioned previously I have selected Freetronics for much of my kit for this, sure I could make most of it manually, but I do prefer it being on a circuit board to make it that bit easier to mount.

So far I have obtained the following from a local Jaycar store

  • Freetronics EtherMega
  • RGB LED, This may yet be changed, as something I would like to do would be easier if I just had the RGB LED itself without the board, well rather easier without the IC on it, the board is prefered however.
  • Humidity sensor, Freetronics board mounted, however it is a “common” DHT22
  • Reed Switch, this came from my stash of components, but was originally from Jaycar as well
  • 2000 Ohm and 8000 Ohm resistors to make a voltage divider
  • NDriver Transitor relay, this is to allow me to turn on/off the LED light strip

Good news is all parts have so far passed testing, now its just a matter of waiting for the rest of the items to arive, in the mean time however I will not be slacking I will be using a simulator  (Simulator for Arduino from Virtronics) and the components already at hand to start work on this project.

Whats worse is I have already decided on my next project, several (as we have several locations on the property that require it) water tank level sensors, based upon the Freetronics EtherTen, this one has been chosen for that project as I can use the Cisco POE switches I have at home to power it from the network, meaning no external power requirements

SafeDuino – Part 01: Down The Rabbit Hole

Arduino, an easily programmable microcontroller has been around the traps for several years now, but having been out of this “game” since high school I have not given it a second thought until recently when I have wanted to start doing a little home automation, or rather monitoring (for now at least) for my own purposes. Out of this has been born my first Arduino project, SafeDuino (cliché, sure but hey).

As the project name may have led you to believe, it is to keep things safe, but in this case I am not talking about physical security, I am talking about things that need to have temperature and humidity controlled, recorded and alerts sent when needed. Whilst there are commercial products that can do this, and probably by the end of it, will have been cheaper than building my own, the ability of the Arduino to do other things as well is where my interest lies.

Currently what I am planning on achieving with the setup is as follows;

  • Monitoring
    • Temperature
    • Humidity
    • Dewpoint (as its a calculation based on humidity and temperature
    • Magnetic Reed Switch (Door to the cabinet where it is house opening so I can track changes in humidity relative to the door opening)
    • 2 Buttons, used in conjunction with LCD Panel
  • Outputs
    • Turn on 12vdc LED Strip Lights upon the door opening (hey I might as well put the action of door opening to good use to use)
    • Turn on a 240VAC Dehumidifier (Ultimately)
  • Displays
    • RGB LED
    • RGB LCD panel

I am also determined to output the data to an web feed, either private or semi-public so I can log it and do long term analysis on the data., to this end I have determined to use the EtherMega from freetronics for the base Arduino board, as well as their humidity sensor, perhaps there RGB LED, their N Channel Transistor to drive the LED array, the reed switch is a Jaycar special, the LCD panel and a LCD shield will be coming from makershed.

Let the fun begin….

Hyper-V Fix Time Sync issues

I know this has been done to death, but as this is my Blog, and the original idea for it was for me to put all the odds and sods of knowledge in one location so  I did not have to remember every little command, I am doing it again.

Hyper-V on Server 2008 and 2008 R2 has a known issue with time slipping slipping slipping into the future (sorry Steve Miller Band moment there) when using a Hyper-V based Primary Domain Controller (PDC). The first part of this is an east step, you turn OFF “Time Synchronisation” for the PDC, or whichever server takes care of your time syncing on the network (although I do it for all servers) on the Hyper-V host, this is done by selecting the Virtual Machine in the Hyper Visor, opening its properties, selecting integration services and unchecking “Time Synchronisation” as shown in the image below

Virtual Machine Settings - Integration Services - Turn off Time Sync
Virtual Machine Settings – Integration Services – Turn off Time Sync

Secondly to that, on the PDC you should set a known reliable time source, I normally select one from http://pool.ntp.org.

To add this sever and set it to your PDC time server open an Administrative Command Prompt and enter the following commands

net stop w32time
w32tm /config /manualpeerlist:PEERS /syncfromflags:manual /reliable:yes /update
net start w32time

Where PEERS is the selected time server or time server pool.

This should update itself instantly, and keep itself updated

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