a month ago •
I'm still working on firmware, and am waiting for another (faster) PIC for my sensor and will report all that when I have some accomplishments to talk about.
Tonight, a good friend on IRC pointed me to a KickStarter project, the Water Hero, that is pretty much matches my project.
Well, kind of.
Let me say right up front, they have designed a very cool device!
There are a number of differences between their design and mine and it really doesn't meet my requirements, but it may yours.
- The Water Hero (WH) depends on WiFi from the sensor and talks directly to the internet. Mine talks to a base station.
- The WH has no local dedicated display, a feature that I believe is crucial for awareness and conservation.
- The WH is only suitable for indoors installation and virtually all water meters here are outside and underground. The KickStarter does say that an outdoors version is under development.
- The WH requires an AC outlet to plug in the power supply. (My sensor is solar powered)
- The WH requires you install an app to access the system, and they offer both a free and a paid 'premium' service to monitor your system. Again, no local dedicated display.
- The WH has an optional shut-off valve actuator. (very nice!)
- As far as I can tell, the WH is totally closed. Nothing "open" to it at all.
It looks like they've done some fine work there, and I hope their project succeeds. If their product meets your needs, I would encourage you to support them.
Several folks have asked if I am going to support their KickStarter.
Well ..... no.
I've already built one. :-)
2 months ago •
Not a whole lot to report yet. I've been working integrating a real time clock (RTCC) to my project, and optimizing my code that drives the LCD display. But one interesting thing did happen ... I got interviewed.
Elecia White, one of the Hackaday Prize judges, and her husband Christopher White host and produce a podcast called "Embedded". I am a bit of a podcast junkie, and theirs is one of my favorites. I was a bit startled when Elecia contacted me and asked if I'd like to be a guest on their show. I mean, they have some pretty notable guests on there and I had a bit of an "I'm not worthy" moment. But one of the up-sides of being my age is that you can approach a lot of things saying "What the hell, sounds like fun." So last Saturday we recorded the show and now it has been published.
In it, we discuss the hackaday prize contest and my entry, or course. We also talked about contests in general and a raft of other topics. All in all it was a great deal of fun talking with them and the 70 minutes flew by amazingly fast (and I don't think I came across as too big a doofus).
So THANKS Elecia and Chris for having me! And I hope you folks enjoy listening to it.
Here's the link: EMBEDDED #74 : ALL OF US CAME IN SIXTH
2 months ago •
Well, the top five entries in the Hackaday Prize have been announced, and I didn't make the cut.
Am I angry? Nah. Am I bummed? Yeah, you could say I'm moderately bummed. But that is kind of offset by the fact that the projects that did make the final five are pretty awesome. I can't point to any one of them and honestly say that my project is superior (though I think I match a couple of them). What's more, I'm probably going to use the SatNOGS project as source material for my own ALT-AZ antenna mount design, and the PortableSDR? Damn, I just want one!
And this being bummed out about not making the elite five will be so short lived that it's almost passed as I write this. Here's the thing. I believe you can choose your attitude and your outlook. You don't have to let disappointment and the little dark voices color your thinking. So I CHOOSE to look at it this way; I came in 6th. As far as I'm concerned all 45 of us that didn't make it came in 6th. And you know what? 6th out of 800 is PRETTY DAMN GOOD! :-)
As for the project, I am absolutely going to finish it and complete the documentation here. It's kind of funny that not making the final five will actually improve the quality of my project. Had I made it, it would have been a crazy push to meet the final deadline. Now, with deadlines off the table, I can take a little more time. I want to improve the code in my sensor module, and the code in my display will certainly be much better for not having been written in a time-crunch. That being said, I am going to take a break.
Maybe a week or two. The weather is finally cooling off here in the desert and I can start using my real shop again (I've been working on a small table in my living room). It's also a train wreck out there, so I'm going to spend a week or two getting my shop bailed out and cleaned, and spend some time just not thinking about this project or the contest. I'll come back to it refreshed, because this HAS been quite a push.
Congratulations to the final five! You're doing some amazing work!
Congratulations to all the other 6th place winners!!
Thank you to everyone who followed my project, gave it skulls, or left comments.
Thank you to Hackaday and SupplyFrame for running such an awesome contest.
And Thank you to the judges who took on such a daunting task (even though you chose poorly) . <grin>
I'll see you all back here in a week or so. :-)