HVAC Control and Power Monitoring Project

Thomas W. Lewis produced two excellent projects to remotely control his HVAC system and monitor his home power usage.

He wanted to turn off his HVAC system completely before leaving for an extended period of time, like going on vacation, and then turn it back on just before he gets to his house. Thomas found the controls wires on the thermostat and uses a relay to turn on or off the thermostat. He made it remote controllable with the ioBridge IO-204 module and control widgets placed on a mobile phone.

HVAC and Thermostat Control with the ioBridge IO-204

HVAC and Thermostat Control with the ioBridge IO-204

In additional to remotely being able to shut down his HVAC system, Thomas also monitors his temperature and whole house power using the analog inputs of the IO-204. He used AC clamps around the house power mains to get a power utilization relative to the current through the wires.

Power Monitoring for the Whole House

Power Monitoring for the Whole House

More details and photos are available on Thomas’ Smart Grid section of his blog.

RFID Enabled Phone Dialing, Alternative Telephone Control

Stephen Myers, the original ioBridge hacker, has created a really interesting project. As part of his research and projects at University of Florida, Stephen thinks of ways to enable technology for the elderly and stroke patients that have trouble with tremors which results in the difficulty of dialing a simple telephone. He developed an RFID enabled system that allows a user to swipe an RFID badge with a person’s picture. The system decodes the information on the RFID and relays the data through the ioBridge IO-204 to a web application that links the phone to GrandCentral (Google Voice). This process setups the call causing the phone to ring, on pickup the telephone connects to the other party. In Stephen’s demonstration he uses his iPhone, but it’s not limited to mobile devices. Ingenious! Good luck pushing this idea further in your research.

For more infomation visit Hack-a-Day or Stephen’s Cygnet Engineering blog.


RFID Reciever, Arduino, and ioBridge

RFID Receiver, Arduino, and ioBridge

Real-time Power Monitoring System

Jason Winters, the famous Picodore and fishcam inventor himself, created a Do It Yourself (DIY) power monitoring system to chart and track power usage in your house using AC transducer clamps and an ioBridge module for web-casting the data. This project has found a lot of interest on the world wide web and the ioBridge community. Jason has used the system and discovered some amazing inefficiencies and some power suckers all around his house. I think we are interested in knowing where our money goes and how to become more efficient. I have also noticed lots of claims that this has been done before. If you dig deeper, you will find that no one has quite solved the problem quite like this and will be surprised with the ability to use it with Google Charts, Google Documents, and social networking widgets.

Jason has provided plenty of photos and details on how to recreate the power monitoring system for your own benefit. You can check out his Picobay Projects Blog or the very detailed Instructables.