Bench space reclaimed!

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Furnace monitor 

Well, that only took a little over 9 months and 25 days. Way back in December 2009 I started a project to monitor the runtime of my furnace and compare that against the outside temperature. Over the past 10 months, I have added monitoring of the air conditioner and temperature of the upstairs and downstairs of my house. Today, I finished the (essentially) final mounting of the hardware. No more prototype boards and loose wires precariously strewn across my work bench. It is all mounted, tied up and hanging on the wall out of the way.

I used a black painted particle board stand from a large picture frame as the board to mount the circuits onto. This is screwed to the little shelf made from 2x4 cut offs. The circuit boards are mounted with standoffs unceremoniously ripped from dead computer power supplies.

The blue wire is from the furnace and carries:
  • 24AC power
  • W / Y - heat and cool signals from the thermostat
  • DS1822 one-wire data from a sensor in the cold-air return upstairs, directly above the furnace.
The brown wire is from a DS1822 one-wire temperature probe in the cold air return in my shop, which is in the basement - this provides the basement temperature.

The two yellow / light green wires are DB-9 to 1/8" 3 conductor patch cables harvested from a couple of Barbie Cameras I purchased years ago from XS-cargo (I might still have a camera or two kicking around). The cameras were cheaper then serial cables from any computer store.

The top circuit board is power conversion, PC / stamp/pic interface.
Next is the BasicStamp.
A large high voltage capacitor is used to filter the raw AC before the 7805 voltage regulator.
Finally a project box containing the opto-isolators and wire busses to connect the external lines.

For those interested in details, I have the following files available for download:
  • cron_list.txt
     - List of crontab jobs to keep this all running
  • MAY19201.BAS
     - BasicStamp code that monitors the thermostat (effectively the furnace / AC)
  • furnace.txt
     - script which pokes the stamp and records the status that is returned. A large number of batch scripts then process this raw data into pretty graphs.
  • gettemp.txt
     - Script to scrape Environment Canada's Winnipeg current conditions page
  • getonewiretemp.txt
     - Script to interface with the one-wire controller from P. Anderson which reads one-wire temperature probes I picked up from the Gray-E TGIMBOEJ.
So, all this results in a daily update to these graphs which record the temperature outside, inside upstairs, inside downstairs, kWh used to heat and kWh used to cool my house. The past 7 days looks like this:

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