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Old 04-23-13, 09:59 PM   #1
scottorious
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Default instant (kind of) whole house power display

So I have recently fallen in love with micro controllers, especially picaxe and I have built a device that counts the infrared pulses from my digital meter and does a calculation and then displays that result every 15 seconds. Each pulse from the meter is supposedly supposed to tell me that I used one watt hour so. I am working on making it wireless to be more convenient but thus far its pretty slick. I just figured out a way to data log onto my computer also so I can graph a days worth of data to see if I can figure out where I can cut. If anyone is interested I can go into more detail or share the circuit and coding for all of it.

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Old 04-24-13, 01:26 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scottorious View Post
So I have recently fallen in love with micro controllers, especially picaxe and I have built a device that counts the infrared pulses from my digital meter and does a calculation and then displays that result every 15 seconds. Each pulse from the meter is supposedly supposed to tell me that I used one watt hour so. I am working on making it wireless to be more convenient but thus far its pretty slick. I just figured out a way to data log onto my computer also so I can graph a days worth of data to see if I can figure out where I can cut. If anyone is interested I can go into more detail or share the circuit and coding for all of it.
Lucky you -- I wish I had some ability with electronics.

If I am understanding you correctly, your calculation for watts will be
3600*pulses/15.
That leaves quite a range for error. You might be better off counting pulses for say two minutes at a time.
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Old 04-24-13, 08:02 AM   #3
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the equation I'm using is pulses*240 which is the same result as your equation. seems like it hasn't missed a pulse yet I have stood next to it with my video camera and night shot to make sure it does not miss one. I have thought about going out to two minutes or even five.
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Old 04-24-13, 08:09 AM   #4
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This same principle is used by devices such as the Black and Decker power monitor. I used to use one and it would update every 30 seconds to a minute depending on its mood and would display 300 watts minimum(often rounding up or bouncing between 300 and 0 with each update) but the kwh count remained accurate to the meter. My meter is a dial instead of a digital but the device handles both.

Just in case you need any ideas, you could look at that to see what features you might want.

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