So far the medication is not clearing my head, but I thought I would share my design so that others can copy any useful bits.


As I stated earlier, I am using a RF circuit to catch the electromagnetic pulse for a lightning strike.

Basically, you have a piece of wire connected to a 10 Meg ohm resistor coupled to an op amp with a capacitor.

The prototype circuit I made picked up the signature of the switching power supply I used for the test, so the circuit works.  I will have to look at it again under battery power.


The optical detector will serve two purposes.  One is a Flash detector and the other is a light intensity detector.

The Flash will create a spike from the back biased LED I am using.  I will route the coupled pulse to an op amp to make sure I can trigger the CC3200 pin.

The LED will also provide a general light intensity level.

I figured that I did not need absolute values.  So I will sample the LED after the circuit is turned on as an indoor level and then look for an increased level to indicate when the detector is outside.

I intend to measure the time that the LED indicates high level as an indicator for sunlight exposure.

I can then setup a timer based upon sunlight tolerance.  For me, it would be about 20 minutes.  Yes, I have gotten a 2nd degree sunburn in that short of time, so my exposure needs to be short.


The next sensor I intend to implement is a LM35 temperature sensor.

Again, I do not need accuracy, just a relative indication of temperature rise.  So when the device is turned on, I can sample the sensor to establish an intial level and then check the sensor periodically for a rise in temperature.

Once a tolerance level is reached, I can alert the wearer to take a break and get out of the sunlight.


I plan to use a simple buzzer to generate the wearer to alert issues.  My initial plan is a 1 second burst every ten seconds for sun exposure.  A 2 second burst every ten seconds for heat exposure.

All lightning events will generate a 1/2 second chirp as soon as they occur.


I have always been on the fence about the benefits of the IoT, so I wanted to use this challenge to present my ideas on what you could do with the technology.

Collecting data from things is ok, but they usually have no immediate need for user interaction.

By making my detectors portable, yes my surprise was to mount everything in a pith helmet, so that the user can have a helping watcher while they are out in the backyard having fun.

Now I consider my backyard to be anything I do outside, like ball games, walks in the park, festivals, barbeques, etc.


By mounting the sensors in the helmet, I ensure that they are always with the user during backyard events.  The helmet itself offers a good level of protection against the elements, but it can be enhanced with the sensor pack to help the wearer to make good safety decisions as well.


As for the IoT, the cc3200 will be sending updates to the house system or monitoring station.  That way, additional detection issues can be enabled.


Use case 1, would be an elderly parent working in the garden outside.  People who garden easily lose track of time and do not notice when they have been out too long.  The house monitor could alert someone to check up on the person after fixed time intervals or if any one of the sensor reach alert levels.


For future upgrades, I would use the onboard accelerometer to monitor the wearers movements.  One clear alert sign would be a lack of activity. 


Consider the case of your wearer falling asleep, fainting, or suffering a medical emergency.  The house monitor could detect the lack of movement and immediately alert someone to a possible issue.  If no one responds within a set time, the house system could dial 911 and alert emergency personnel about the issue and provide the name and address of the person wearing the hat.


So hopefully, I have provided you all with some issues to think about while you are considering your next IoT design.

Consider the benefits for both active data analysis in addition to just remote data collection.  Combining the two areas can provide you with additional uses beyond what most would consider.


While we need to respect everyone's privacy, we can also provide a silent companion through the IoT to just keep an electronic eye on those we love.


I still hope to get this build completed before the due time, but we shall see.