Home Monitoring

Thursday, April 14, 2011

It all started last Spring. I had a new roof put on my house and the roofing company sold me on this ventilation system that was supposed to be just right for my type of home. Well things were great in the Spring but as we got in to the heat of the summer, I found it to be very difficult to keep the second floor of my house cool. Curious as to how hot the attic was getting throughout the day, I put a remote temperature sensor in the attic to monitor the temperature. It sounded like a good idea at the time but a couple of problems arose. First, I couldn’t store any data and second, it was so hot the batteries in the remote sensor would only last about a day or so.

At about the same time, a friend was working on some projects with a microcontroller platform called Arduino. We spent some time talking about how we could create a 1-Wire network with the Arduino and some DS18B20 temperature sensors and then got to work. We built a project using an Arduino Nano that connects to the temperature sensors using RJ11 phone wire and were able to read in the temperatures from the sensors.

Next we needed to find a way to easily store and access the data without having to run multiple programs on a server. With a little research, we found ThingSpeak.com which offered the solution! In addition to storing the data collected from the sensors, I was able to graph my data with easy to read and see charts that are dynamic. I can now monitor my attic temperature as well as other temperatures in my house and see if the changes I make to my attic ventilation and HVAC usage are effective. And who knows, maybe I can reduce my carbon footprint by having this knowledge.

You can see the graphs from my sensors above and more detail about my project here.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

A little Donkey Kong in the P's basement arcade.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

The storm I had to navigate around to get to PIT today.

Sunday, February 25, 2007


With this years second big winter storm hitting the Northeast, I wasn't sure I would make it to Richmond tonight. Now the challenge will be in the morning when I have to fly RIC-LGA-PHL-LGA-RIC.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Cannon Beach, OR

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Carlsbad Caverns, NM

Over 750 feet below the surface.

Roswell, NM

8/18/2006 on our way to Carlsbad, NM.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Bandelier National Park, NM

Cliff dwelling remnants of a Ancestral Puebloan community established 7 or 8 centuries ago.