What’s my IP?

I was looking at ways to connect to my home PC via RDP, but my IP keeps changing on my ADSL line. Telkom (incumbent in South Africa) makes sure that all ADSL modem gets a new IP address +- every 24 hours. So my first option was to use a feature on the ADSL modem to dynamically updating a DNS record every time my IP changes. This can be done with Dyn, but will cost you n few $ to get things going. This is the easiest way to manage change IP’s and then you can always connect to a domain name like “johnhome.dyndns.org” which points the the curernt IP address of the ADSL router.

Obviously I was looking for a cheaper/free way to get my current IP address. I have a hosting account with LunarPages and can use PHP to save the requesting IP address in a file on the server, which I can view anytime I need the current IP address of my ADSL router.

My “ip.php” file looks like this : Continue reading


Arduino Ethernet and Pachube

Looking for a place to upload data for my power saving project and subscribed to Pachube which might do the job for remote sensors & web-control:

Below are a couple of sketches for Arduino Ethernet: the first can be used to share sensor data with Pachube and grab remote sensor data, so you can effectively have both “local” and “remote” sensors; and the second enables you to control Arduino Ethernet via a web page.

Pachube logoThese sketches should make Arduino-based web-controlled home automation, and remote-responsive spaces a lot easier. The advantage of working with an ethernet shield is that you no longer need to tether the Arduino to a computer in order to access Pachube and other network services!

These are coded for the official Arduino Ethernet shield. We’ve had better, more consistent, results with this shield than others that are available; we also find it easier to work with and code for so we’ll generally be developing examples using this shield from now.

via Arduino Ethernet and Pachube: remote sensors & web-control | pachube.community.


Research on saving power

Consuming power in South Africa is really getting expensive and finding ways to save money on my electricity bill is always a nice idea. That is why I started a project to find ways to save on power usage and also play around with some Arduino gadgets. SO, I have the following object to kick start the project:

  • Save as much money on the monthly electricity  bill
  • Access to usage trends to view daily, weekly and monthly power usage
  • Be able to switch off parts of the house on commend (hopefully remotely)
  • Not get electrocuted

Arduino logoI have been reading a lot about Arduino boards and would like to learn the basics of programming this versatile gadget. It a great liitle PC board that can be used to monitor all kinds of input data, like temp, pressure, light, amps, ect and then control multiple device like motors, switches, lights ect… and looks like lots of fun to get it going.

So firstly I have decided to test the Arduino board and specific modules on small scale to ensure I have it working, before installing this onto the live electrical wires! So  what to get?

  1. Arduino board: I’m not sure which one will be the best for this project, but I’m thinking of getting one that I will be able to use to learn all aspects and not get stuck with not enough input/output. So will go for the MEGA2560 R3
  2. Ethernet Shield: To upload data to a server I’ll need an Ethernet shield that fits on top of the MEGA2560 to connect to my local network and internet. I might also  be able to use a Wifi shield.
  3. Monitor Amps used: This will required something like ACS711 Current Sensor Carrier which I can find at my local robotics store. It’s only rated for 12.5 A but should be good for testing.
  4. Control with Relays: The switch on/off and circuit in the house I would need a relay to open and closed electrical flow using Arduino. The problem is that the relay needs to support max Amps on the circuit, but for testing I assume 10Amps is enough and will try the 4 Channel 5V Relay Module.
  5. Display (optional): I would like a display on the unit to display information like Current Amps used, change settings ect. So the LCD 2.8″ TFT TOUCH DISPLAY looks like a awesome display to play with. Big Smile