• RE: Some"ting" interesting...

    I'm surprised just how much variance in mains voltage there can be over a 24 hours period. Here's a graph of Ting's log data from yesterday:
    voltageSpread.jpg

    There's a difference of 11 volts between the low and the high voltage measurements. Also, there was a considerable dip in voltage overall between 3:30pm and 6:30pm, as you can see from the graph.

    posted in General Discussion
  • RE: Looks as though ESP-NOW is finally working...

    I referenced Kevin's board merely as an example. I'm sure lots of alternatives exist if you were to go looking for them.

    posted in General Discussion
  • RE: Looks as though ESP-NOW is finally working...

    @idanronen This: https://www.kevindarrah.com/wiki/index.php?title=TrigBoardV7
    Not sure ifhe's using esp-now lately, but it would be an obvious match for his trig boards. Early on he was doing typical wi-fi connections through a router, which is obviously slow if having just awoken.

    posted in General Discussion
  • RE: New To CNC PCB Routing (Warning, Long Post)

    Lots of info here: https://forum.mysensors.org/topic/8735/cnc-pcb-milling?_=1624294898545 It's as close as you'll find to a complete walkthru.

    Turnaround is faster than JLPCB (an hour vs days). Otherwise, I would agree. TL;DR: for rapid iteration, or you simply want something fast, DIY PCB's are hard to beat.

    As to topicality, it's a subject not covered well on most other forums. CNC Zone has some posts, but that's about it.

    All in all, the tools keep getting better, and it's easier now than before to find speciallized bits that make the work easier.

    posted in General Discussion
  • Looks as though ESP-NOW is finally working...

    ESP-NOW is a peer-to-peer protocol that doesn't go through a wi-fi router, so it doesn't encounter the usual multi-second delay it might if it were waking up and reconnectig with a wi-fi access point first.

    This guy gives a nice overview:
    ESP-NOW | Getting Started With ESP8266 Including Demo Sketches – 10:34
    — bitsNblobs Electronics

    I would have preferred to see an implementation of wi-fi direct, which is similar in concept and which has had android support for about 10 years, but I'm not sure where to find modules that are easily wi-fi direct capable.

    Anyhow, sleep current for ESP8266 and ESP32, the last time I checked anyway, was still kinda high, but I do wonder what the startup time would be if an ESP module were kept in a totally turned-off state until it was needed. Perhaps the higher transmit speed that is possible with a wifi PHY would allow high power to be used only briefly (~250ms in the example in the video), and so maybe total power consumed from the start of wake-up through the transmission may yet turn out to be a win?

    posted in General Discussion
  • RE: Some"ting" interesting...

    So, the answers are:

    1. No audible alarm in the unit itself. Instead, it contacts you via either the phone app, by email, by texting, or by telephone if it detects a fault.
    2. If a fault is detected, it guides you into finding out where it is. If you're not able to locate the fault yourself, then Ting says it will pay up to $1000 for an electrician to find the fault, perhaps depending on what fault it thinks it detects.

    At the sensor level, it monitors house voltage in real time, and keeps track of the high and the low for each day. It says that can be relevant if the transformer feeding your house from the utility is near a failure point, in which case it can alert you to contact the utility. It also monitors high frequency activity on the electrical system, which is what it uses to detect arcing.

    Honestly, I'm not expecting it will ever actually detect a meaningful problem, but who knows? It was free from my insurance company, and so I presume they did a due-diligence analysis and concluded that the risk reduction justified their cost of buying and distributing it to their customers. If nothing else, the power monitoring might be useful in logging brownouts and over-voltages on the mains: if a server or other device goes wonky, I guess I could see whether it correlates to a voltage fluctuation on the mains. If there is a home assistant interface for it, then perhaps I could log all the real-time data using that and use grafana to graph it. That might be interesting data to review if a fault were ever detected.

    https://www.tingfire.com/

    posted in General Discussion
  • RE: Some"ting" interesting...

    Good questions. I'll update when I find out. It phones home via wifi, over my internet connection. And it has a phone app.
    Maybe I'll get a lower rate from my insurance company for plugging it in? I need to double check. The same insurance company has an in-car bluetooth device which, if you agree to use it, spys on your driving habits, which is admittedly a bit 1984, but the upside is that if, from the data it gathers, it decides you are a "safe" driver, it qualifies you for reduced car insurance rates. Something like 30-50% lower rates are possible, which is significant. It's all voluntary...at least for now. 😆

    posted in General Discussion
  • Some"ting" interesting...

    I got a free IOT "ting" from my insurance company. "Ting" is the official name. Made by Whisker Labs. I plug it into an electrical outlet and from that point forward it listens to the in-home power grid for any signature signs of electrical arcing, which can be a fire hazard. The idea is that early detection might prevent a house fire. Clever idea. Totally free to me. The insurance company is giving them away to policy holders.

    posted in General Discussion
  • RE: Best PC platform for running Esxi/Docker at home?

    @mfalkvidd said in Best PC platform for running Esxi/Docker at home?:

    @NeverDie ...You can also use the command line tool fstrim to manually discard unused data.

    Looking into this, I think checking the "Discard" box on the "Hard Disk" tab of the "Create a Virtual Machine" dialog box inside ProxMox may automatically accomplish the same thing. Also the ProxMox dataset that the VM is saved on needs to be set to thin-client. So, those two things plus the ssd emulation that you mentioned, and of course automatic file compression like lz4 needs to be enabled. So, in total, four things need to be set correctly for it to work optimally.

    Originally I was concerned that because, if using ZFS as the file system, ProxMox only allows storing a VM as a pre-allocated "raw" file (rather than as a qcow2 file as ProxMox would if ProMox were using a linux ext16 file system instead of ZFS) that the file would take up enormous space even if the raw file (i.e. the VM's virtual disk) is mostly empty. So, I did the experiment, and it turns out that is true if the ProxMox dataset isn't configured as "thin-client" or if automatic file compression isn't turned on, but fortunately the true size of the raw file does indeed shrink down if those two conditions are enabled.

    So, having proved that to myself, I'll pass on the tip: I now create a VM's disk to be as large as I can imagine it would ever need to grow, and then I let the thin-client mechanism maintain the true size of the virtual disk to be only as large as what is actually necessary. This way I don't have to worry that I created too small a VM disk, or that the VM will later outgrow the disk size that was originally allocated for it.

    posted in Controllers
  • RE: Best time of year to buy higher quality small project solar panels?

    Thanks for the news flash. I'm guessing they'll rebuild pretty quickly though, since time is money.

    Another factor to consider, which I haven't got a handle on: there's a wide gulf between hobbyist solar panels and commercial-grade high end solar panels. For instance, in terms of longevity and performance, frameless "double glass" solar panels are thought to the best quality money can buy,
    alt text

    in part because they're warrantied to last 30+ years: 1. the double glass means they don't rely on an EVA encapsulant that will turn brown and fail over time, and 2. frameless means they're more apt to clean themselves from just regular rain and wind. I've never seen a hobby, small version of that available though. The trouble is: in a lot of cases, solar only makes sense if it has longevity. If, like garden lights, you have to replace them every year (or every couple of months when the quality is especially egregious), then the cheap stuff is just false economy. I'm not sure whether there are even any generally recognized applicable standards. Like an ANSI of some kind? Otherwise, what you get is just whatever falls out of Pandora's box.

    posted in Hardware