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    Remote Monitoring & Control

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    Congratulations to sjmill01 for Big Petro Maker Magic: $100 Datalogger That Can Save Millions!  You are the winner of the Grand Prize of a $200 Shopping Cart!


    Congratulations to mahmood.hassan for Micro Monster - Succulent Plants Monitoring Systemruchir1674 for Solar Panel Monitoring Using Particle Photon, and  dubbie for CatDogFoxBot ! You are the First Place winners of the $100 Shopping Cart!


    The Remote Monitoring & Control competition featured many memorable projects, and although just about every project received some first place votes from our community member judges.  Some really cool projects that jumped out were the Raspberry Pi Homebrew controller with Node Red UI by lawsonkeith ,  which was a really fun project that combined two things many of our members care about.  LoRa Experimental Environmental Sensors (LoRaXes) by ralphjy in which he used his Arduino IoT Grand Prize from the IoT: In the Cloud competition to build a project that took advantage of the MKR WAN 1300 and a LoRa Gateway to build a prototype device with GPS, temperature sensors, and a cool case.  This was one of the best titles for a project and it was also a loose reference to a Dr. Seuss character in his book about the plight of the environment in the industrial age. BigG used this competition as an opportunity to work on an older project, which was based on fuzzy logic and used analog moisture sensors which corroded over time and you can see what that looks like in Plant a seed and watch it grow...  (Part 3: presenting a new unfuzzy creation, well almost)phoenixcomm showed us her Smarthab: Remote Sensing and Control several forms of connectivity: Bluetooth, Zigbee, RFID, WiFi, and Internet. ipv1 reminded us that just because a technology is old because someone decides that they don't want to make them anymore, it doesn't mean you can't still use it in Hydroponics and outdoor garden control and monitor using Intel Edison.  No matter how many of these contests we have, they all turn out to be a giant celebration of the community's love of electronics & technology.


    The Grand Prize winner was a pretty unanimous choice, as sjmill01 latest splash on the community featured a really catchy name with Big Petro Maker Magic: $100 Datalogger That Can Save Millions.  One of the really cool stories which we featured in Weekly Content Journal: 2nd Week of August 2019 was the work he's done with his son in supporting The Raising Awesome channel on YouTube.  The Electronic Toys competition was running concurrently (and is still running) and his son connormiller joined the community to work on a project of his own, Spider-Man:  Into the Maker-Verse .   We're eager to see how this latest project turns out, what we know for sure is that it will be full of plenty of awesome!   The 3 First Place Winners were also very deserving and definitely earned their trophy badges. mahmood.hassan showed us all the insane possibilities with the PSoC pins while working on his Micro Monster - Succulent Plants Monitoring Systemdubbie wanted to track how many cats (and other small animals) pass through his yard using a GridEye sensor in CatDogFox #8 : No Cats but Some Nice Legs.   Finally, ruchir1674 submitted not one but two great projects using the Particle Photon board with Solar Panel Monitoring Using Particle Photon


    Without further adieu here are your winners.....


    The Grand Prize Winner


    Big Petro Maker Magic:  $100 Datalogger That Can Save Millions  by sjmill01:


    This is a great project that demonstrates how you can solve a real world problem, for a $100 and some engineering know how.  The Philadelphia Oil Refinery Explosion, was responsible for the shut down the largest and oldest oil refinery on the East Coast, and was a massive blow to the local economy. This event was the inspiration behind sjmill01 's Remote Monitoring & Control project, Big Petro Maker Magic: $100 Datalogger That Can Save Millions.   It idea for The Fixed Equipment Vitals Megalogger was to have 24 sensors logging data every one minute and run without mains power or human intervention for 7 days with no wires. By taking Rosemount 648 Wireless Transmitters used for normal internal process condition monitoring, one can measure the fixed equipment vital conditions: Surface Temperature, Strain, Vibration, and Thickness. The Wireless versions of the Rosemount Wireless Transmitters make a great solution for temporary, freaky, intense, fixed equipment monitoring.  Normally, control systems monitor what is in the pipes and vessels - not the assets themselves (with the exception of large furnace tubes and rotating equipment).


    Big Petro Maker Magic: $100 Datalogger That Can Save Millions

    "I really liked this project. Sean explained it really well, and  showed his steps of how he developed his project, and all code is published. The end product looks usable too." - Community Member Judge



    "Sean did a great job of detailing this project and providing a solution to a real world issue in an innovative way. The end result is a very cost effective way to improve the safety and monitoring of pressurised systems." - Community Member Judge

    "Entertaining video. Always a pleasure to follow them along on their journey." - Community Member Judge

    "The project is the grand prize winner. Some impacting aspects of the project IMHO match the most important aspects of the philosophy of Project 14: it's open source (very welcome), and it's really original for the topic, the field of application and for the idead in general. Then the project is well done very near to a on-field testing prototype than just a proof of concept demonstration. As a chemis I can appreciate the value of this project in the chemical production plants." - Community Member Judge


    Product NameManufacturerQuantity
    Arduino MegaArduino1Buy NowBuy Now
    LCD 2x 16, I2CMidas
    1Buy NowBuy Now
    Real Time ClockMaxim1Buy NowBuy Now


    Product Name

    W5100 SD/Ethernet Shield
    Rosemount 648 wireless transmitters
    Autodesk Fusion 360
    3D Printed Parts


    3 First Place Winner


    Micro Monster - Succulent Plants Monitoring System by mahmood.hassan:


    Over the last few years mahmood.hassan has had different types of succulent plants but due to the extreme outdoor environment he has lost many of these. After a lot of experimentation, he now knows exactly how to take care of these plants in alien conditions. The most crucial factor in healthy or controlled growth of these plants is soil moisture level and environmental temperature. These plants can die within few days if soil remain wet/moist and environment is cold. Therefore he has decided to build this system so it can enable me to monitor these from anywhere.   The most important factor that he took care of in building this project is communication security. Because standard MQTT or HTTP communication between server and device is very insecure and anyone can easily view the exact transmitted or received data. Another important feature of this project is implementation of remote device restart, reset or firmware update through secure communication. With secured cloud integration one can easily add other features like AI/ML in this project (Future work).  For remote monitoring and controlling of any device you need internet access, MQTT broker, and storage for remote & local data logging and management system. IBM watson fulfills all these requirements and it was used in this project. To use the wireless capabilities of PSoC6 kit he used the  WICED Studio (TUTORIALS). This IDE has builtin all the required platform related files and WiFi SDK is also already configured and ready to use with similar to ESP8266/ESP32 functions but far more capabilities. He uses secure MQTT communication protocol v3 with TLS and token authentication with QoS level 1 (because this is requirement of IBM bluemix for manged device communication) to ensure at least one time delivery of MQTT data. DHT temperature and humidity sensors are pretty useful for DIY environment monitoring applications. You can easily interface it with Arduino devices but when it come to other devices like PSoC from cypress semiconductors you wont find any library or ready made solution. He was using this sensor in my project and successfully interfaced it with PSoC6 device after some effort. Therefore he decided to share my adventure of interfacing PSoC devices with DHT sensors to help other. Finally mahmood.hassan  was able to interface all the sensors and successfully transmit all the data to the IBM IoT platform.


    Micro Monster - Succulent Plants Monitoring System



    "Very nice seeing IBM IoT being used for a change. Lots of detailed with code snippets for each step." - Community Member Judge

    "This is in my opinion the second winning project. the idea to chose a not very commong kind of plants evidentiated some issues that the maker faced and solved very well. The project is well described and gives a sens of completeness. Appreciated the use of more than a single sensor to get a more detailed environmental status of the plant." - Community Member Judge

    CatDogFoxBot  by dubbie:


    dubbie has been blessed (or plagued) by wandering cats and the occasional fox in his back garden, so he decided to make something that would detect how often a cat (or other small animal) actually passes by.  Having interest in the GridEye thermal array sensor he wanted to see if he could use a GridEye to detect these cats. The Grideye module was much smaller than he was expecting, although not a problem. For this project, he will also be using one of the step motors that he used in HoloPiBot #10 : It Actually Works - It Really Does!  Having created a nice 3D printer holder for my DC motor mobile robot ( DCMotorsMobileRoBot #4 : 3D Printed PCB Holder,   he decided to try and do the same for this project and he will be using another connectorless Nano. Having collected together all the parts needed to get started he sits down for a couple of hours using TinkerCAD to design some 3D printed parts to hold everything together. He's made the platform to hold the stepper motor and a widget to connect the Grideye PCB to the spindle of the stepper motor. For the initial design he used the parts in combination with some metal pillars a compact and a tidy module was produced. He demonstrates scanning the Grideye sensor backwards and forwards through 180 degrees. He makes the I2C connections between the GridEye sensor and the Arduino Nano. The specific GridEye sensor that he purchased did not seem to have any accompanying documentation, although it was claimed there was some on the supplier’s website but he could not find it. So, he decided that as it was a breakout board that most simple GridEye breakout boards would be pretty much the same so he used the Adafruit documentation and library.   There was one problem in that the GridEye is a 3.3V device but the PCB he has just says Vin. After a close look at the PCB there does seem to be a voltage regulator so assuming they would have put 3V instead of Vin if there wasn't a regulator he connected it to the 5V supply from the Nano. The other I2C connections were straight forward.



    "A nice study of how to not just collect data, but how to try to pull out useful information from it, to determine the presence of animals. It was a challenging project, and dubbie has done a lot of work to get this far. Very interesting to read." - Community Member Judge



    "Micro Monster, great project, well described with support material." - Community Member Judge

    "This was a very well explained project over a comprehensive set of blogs. The project implemented a fully functional solution but also with some options for future improvements." - Community Member Judge

    "An interesting project with a lot of good examples of working through problems and/or issues." - Community Member Judge


    Solar Panel Monitoring Using Particle Photon  by ruchir1674:


    The aim of the project was to improve the efficiency of solar panels. Th project is designed to supervise solar photovoltaic power generation to enhance the performance, monitoring and maintenance of the solar plant. With advancement of technologies the cost of renewable energy equipment is going down globally encouraging large scale solar photovoltaic installations. This massive scale of solar photovoltaic deployment requires sophisticated systems for automation of the plant monitoring remotely using web based interfaces as majority of them are installed in inaccessible locations and therefore are easy to be monitored from a dedicated location. The project allows monitoring power output of a solar panel, incident light intensity and the operating temperature.   In this project, the particle photon is interfaced with the voltage output pin of the solar panel, LM-35 temperature sensor and LDR sensor to monitor the power output, temperature and the incident light intensity respectively. A character LCD is also interfaced to the particle photon for real time display of the measured parameters. The Photon not only displays the measured parameters on the LCD screen, but also sends the measured values to the cloud server. For viewing the real-time data and logs sent by the board, the user needs to log in to the registered account from the Particle's official website.


    Solar Panel Monitoring Using Particle Photon

    "Solar Panel Monitoring, Great project, well described." - Community Member Judge

    "This is a great project on a subject that is likely to have an impact on the future of energy generation. The blog was well detailed with a guide to the design, build and implementation of the project." - Community Member Judge


    "The Solar Panel was technically the most proficient in using resources and the results were good." - Community Member Judge

    What's Happening Now


    There's always stuff going on in the community and the best ideas always come from you.  Suggest your idea in the Monthly Poll,  and vote on the themes you want to do projects on. Build projects that scavenge energy from sources such as solar, vibrations, heat, etc. and store them in an associated storage such as rechargeable batteries, super capacitors, etc. in the Energy Harvesting competition.  Or, build an electronic toy such as an executive toy, puzzle toy, educational toy, or cuddly toy. Or create a techno toy from an existing toy by adding electronic innards in the Electronic Toys competition. 


    Energy HarvestingElectronic Toys
    Project14 | Energy Harvesting: Build Projects that Scavenge Energy from Wasted Energy Sources! The Useless Box

    Energy Harvesting Electronic Toys



    Thank you for continued support of Project14 !


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    Be sure to Congratulate the Winners and Keep Being Awesome!