Wireless Generator Parameter Monitoring

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DieselAddict

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Has anyone built a telemetry system for their generators? Something that would MONITOR the parameters and be visible via a wifi link or cell data link?
 

Ray70

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A WiFi camera pointing at the control panel... :naner: Although I suppose that wouldn't work once your internet goes out... have to use cell data in that case :shrugs:
 

Isaac-1

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There are a number of commercial products that will do this, but none are cheap. One example is the Flight Systems model 328 which sells for $450 to $580 depending on exact model (wifi vs cell)
 

DieselAddict

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I'm looking at a building project. Something that is more budget friendly. I'm especially interested in adding parameter trending and the ability to monitor things on my MEP003a such as heat temp.
 

Triple Jim

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DieselAddict

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That looks like a nice one Jim. Great price on it. Thanks!

I'm pretty handy with programming automation systems. I'm just glad they don't use FORTRAN. I had to learn that way back in the college days.

Working on ABB DCS systems I got to do a lot of TCL programming. TCL isn't exactly a modern programming language either. The most fun was working on a B&R PLC. I had to learn their statement language in German since at the time there was no programming interface available in English. :)
 

Isaac-1

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Ah, good old Fortran 77, I remember the classes very well EE131, 132, etc. instructors name was Mike McBride, his day job was being a programmer for the local power company, all work had to be done on the engineering schools Prime computer terminals, no outside connectivity, it ran PrimeOS some unix variant, and sometimes the system would be down for days at a time, which was not considered a valid excuse for homework not being turned in on time, homework that would only be accepted by email on that system.
 

Triple Jim

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You're younger than I am, Ike. I learned BASIC in high school, putting the programs on paper tape and running them via teletype on some county school system computer somewhere. Then at the U of MD I learned Fortran IV, putting the instructions onto cards on an IBM card punch and ran them on the school's Univac 1108. UNIX didn't exist yet.
 

Chainbreaker

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A remote monitoring project is a great idea! Sure would be useful to be able to use my tablet to monitor various parameters remotely during an extended outage on my -002a (oil pressure, temp, fuel level maybe using aux fuel level probe?, frequency or rpm, voltage with leg loading 120/240, battery charge output, etc. The ability to set alarm points would be the cats meow!

BTW, I remember booting a DEC PDP 15 (an 18 bit word computer) using paper tape! I also used PRIMOS on a Prime 2250 (the Rabbit). Does that qualify me to be part of the OF club?
 
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jamawieb

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I use a kilowatt meter inside the house to monitor the hertz and voltage so I don't have to go outside and check things. This would eliminate 2 factors to monitor.
 

Chainbreaker

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I use a kilowatt meter inside the house to monitor the hertz and voltage so I don't have to go outside and check things. This would eliminate 2 factors to monitor.
I do too! However, it requires me to get up off the couch when watching TV (no fun there :( ) to go look at it since it gets plugged into a wall outlet during an outage. Also there is no way for it to alert me if anything starts to go south AC power-wise so I feel obligated to check it more frequently. I have a "coffee table tablet" that would be very convenient to utilize to monitor all critical parameters for power output and engine vitals and its mobile. So "my preference" would be to not eliminate those 2 factors from remote monitoring.

I've not used the Arduino development board but it seems very popular and there is a large support community to assist with ideas/support for projects:

http://arduino.cc/

http://www.amazon.com/Arduino-Ultimate-Starter-Includes-Instruction/dp/B00BT0NDB8/ref=cm_rdp_product
 

DieselAddict

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I want to build something with robust IO. To keep it simple and reliable I'm looking at micro/nano PLCs. Going with a PLC it could start out as a monitoring system and grow into an autostart.

One goal will be to keep it generic so it could be used with water cooled or air cooled machines. Choose the sensors (or piggyback existing ones) to get the info you want.

I prefer to have analog data for critical engine parameters such as temp and oil pressure. That gives the option to create alarms on trends in addition to thresholds. Plus its just cool. ;)

This should be a fun project.
 

Triple Jim

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An Arduino controller would be a great choice. My son has used them, and they have a good reputation. I might use something based on the Intel 8051, but mainly because I have experience with it. The original 8051 debuted in the 1980s and variants are still being made.
 

DieselAddict

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An Arduino controller would be a great choice. My son has used them, and they have a good reputation. I might use something based on the Intel 8051, but mainly because I have experience with it. The original 8051 debuted in the 1980s and variants are still being made.
I'll most likely use that or a Raspberry Pi as the controller and web server. I want to use hardened IO and preferably something modular so it can be customized for different gensets. The challenge will be to keep the cost modest.
 

Chainbreaker

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Chainbreaker

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Looks like this guy was using an Arduino as a remote start controller for his generator:

http://forum.arduino.cc/index.php?topic=110440.0

Also if you Google around a bit you will see guys using them to monitor various automotive engine parameters. Here is one I found:

http://rennlist.com/forums/944-turbo-and-turbo-s-forum/765007-arduino-data-logger-project.html

Of course for our generator needs it requires real time telemetry, as you mentioned in your initial post, so it would be necessary to add the wi-fi module:

http://arduino.cc/en/Main/ArduinoWiFiShield

or this might be an alternative:

http://arduino.cc/en/Main/ArduinoBoardYun
 
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