This is the 6th of my Blogs for the Bluetooth Unleashed Design Challenge



The other posts are here :-

Link to other posts
BT_Sentry Introduction
BT_Sentry : Zero Emission Detection
BT_Sentry : Data Transmission
BT_Sentry : Sentry Power
BT_Sentry : Raspberry Pi



The idea is to detect the bluetooth transmitted from the vehicle and signal other Home Automation functions.

If the vehicle is known then it can open the garage door, and inform the home owner that xx is home.



The detection point needs to be at the start of the driveway, and because there is no power source, this will need to be low power with solar charging.

The PSOC range seems a very good fit, but because of the timeline and my need to upskill, the inital design will be Arduino based and some form of RF transmitter/transceiver.


Adding a vehicle detection loop or beam is necessary to ensure those vehicles without bluetooth will also trigger the system.





Sadly my time away has eaten into some useful creation time, but it was pre-planned some time ago.

32 of us went to what should have been a much warmer Coolangatta in Australia for a car event, and we had a ball.


Last blog I eluded to going shopping at one of the retail stores for some LED lamps.

Sadly that never happened, but I did go looking at other places and spied some great work by a guy doing CNC signs.



I sneakily took these to see how he was getting the very fine finish.

It turns out he simply stains them, then laquers them, but I thought the shaping of the outside made them even more presentable than others I have seen.

Damien also makes LED light signs at a reasonable price. They seemed to be made from 10 or 12mm acrylic and some had a framed border.



Okay you're wondering what this has to do with this blog, but thanks to fvan ( he gets blamed for all my purchases ), next week I'm heading over to Westport for two days to visit Vertigo Technologies.

They make CNC Routers and I've decided that one of these has to come home.


So hopefully the next version of these Edge Lit signs  will be a little more consistant, and easier to make.


So there is another two days gone from my Challenge, and no doubt another distraction while I destroy various materials instead of finishing the other parts ....




I did spy some interesting Minions that I haven't seen before.





While I was away my shopping basket turned up, and I'm grateful to danzima for chasing down where it was held up.

It's rather interesting that the Raspberry Pi Touchscreen enclosure in the NZ/AUS site doesn't have the mounting screws, but the overseas version does.

Raspberry Pi Touchscreen





Bluetooth options

Just before I departed, the package from Cypress turned up containing the Solar Powered IoT Device

While I haven't powered it up yet, I have downloaded the various files.

What amazes me is how small it is.



The first picture shows the package, while the second shows the working part next to a AAA battery.


What I am getting concerned with is that instructions suggest you need a MiniProg3 to program these.

Ooch ... thats the USD price ...





While I was away, my cheap solar lights seem to have decided to exceed the energy input, and presented a dull glow when triggered.

I wasn't surprised as the weather hasn't been very good, and to be honest it's what I expected.


That made me think that solar isn't the only option for this kit, and they provide information on energy harvesting from vibration.


I'm not going to stand there pressing a piezo, or making something that flexes it, but since I can apply any voltage, I decided that a wind powered generator could be used.

It could be interesting to make a wind powered piezo generator ...


The location means it is exposed to wind from several directions as shown below.

Our predominant wind is a North Easterly, which tends to arrive after lunch and hangs around unit dark.

It tends to be a relatively constant wind, while the southerly is associated with rain and poor weather (which we seem to be having for the last two days).


Now that I have some options, I not as concerned about power management, so hopefully my BT selection is a little easier.






Wind Generators

Everyone should be familar with a wind generator .... they seem to shove them on top of hills and it's rather hard to hide them (unlike some of our hydro schemes)


Once you get up to a certain size you need to ensure they are loaded, or stopped, since they will overspeed and self destruct.

The old wind powered water pumps had a furling tail, which was designed to angle the blades away from the wind once the spring force was overcome, and therefore provided a self regulating feature.


Obviously I only need a small generator, but I also need one that starts at low wind speeds, much like a traditional wind powered water pump.



While I was searching around for OTS units at the sort of price I wanted to pay, I ran across this approach.

PVC Wind Turbine Blades |

Here the author is using PVC pipe to get the required shape


There is a reference to some fairly heavy maths about making the most efficient version here

I also found a lot of very good references here Wind Turbines

Popular mechanics also seem to have collected some very interesting designs



While all these are great, it requires some rather careful manufacturing and then balancing, along with a decent hub to hold it all together.



I prefer this approach where they use an off the shelf propeller and spinner.





To me the small wind powered generator becomes a lot more practical, and much less desirable than a decent sized solar panel sitting at the end of the driveway waiting on someone with non hourable intentions to spot it.


So while my week hasn't involved any software or hardware, it hasn't been wasted, and has probably saved me a lot of hours out in the workshop.



In the meantime to save me a week or so sorting out the wind power, I'll simply power the gate with a battery, and recharge it as required.

As a few of us know the time on these Design Challenges can be very quickly eroded by events and this way I can concentrate on the other aspects.