Perky Sentry

Perky Sentry is a home automation project which detects outside vegetation fires.

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2018 was an epic year for wildfires in Northern California. The Camp Fire (Paradise) in particular was striking because there were many reports from survivors who were unaware that the fire was upon them. These complaints are easy to understand, I would be also caught by surprise if there were a fire on my own property. What could be done?

Perky Sentry is a solution to this problem: a collection of sensors which can be attached to fence posts to monitor for sharp changes in temperature that indicate a fire near the sensor.

Sensors communicate to a hub which can display alert messages.

Perky Sensor should be an attractive commercial project. Sensors and hub could be mass produced and sold in retail outlets. The hub could communicate to an external (subscription based) notification service to spread the alarm via eMail, SMS, etc.

A Perky Sentry unit attaches to a fence post w/a infrared (IR) sensor pointed at the ground.  Should a vegetation fire move past, the heat will be detected and reported to a home automation hub which can relay the alarm to an external messaging gateway.

The sensor package can be augmented with additional instrumentation such as orientation sensor to warn if a fence post has fallen over (ask anybody with horses).  

Commercial Sentry unit should be solar powered and be reliable for years.

Distances are frequently too far for reliable WiFi, a better communications solution would be a mesh network which would permit the sensors to relay observations for each other.

  • Proof Of Concept

    Guy Cole05/30/2019 at 04:06 0 comments

    First task is to verify the detection of vegetation fires.  I needed a inexpensive platform w/a infrared sensor to verify detection of a heat source.  My solution came as a Texas Instruments CC2650 SensorTag which is a fun and versatile device.  

    The CC2650 SensorTag comes populated w/a variety of sensors such as lux sensor, pressure, accelerometer, humidity, ambient and object temperature (infrared).  This device has a bluetooth low energy (BLE) radio so it can communicate w/a smart phone or tablet.  TI is nice enough to provide a nice companion application ("SimpleLink") for Android devices.

    Now that I have a infrared temperature sensor, the next step is an experiment.  Time to play with fire!

    TI SimpleLink (screen shot)

    TI CC2650 SensorTag

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