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Data logger question

Discussion in 'Electronic Basics' started by scsisys, Sep 4, 2011.

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  1. scsisys

    scsisys Guest

    I've got a stand-by generator for the house and I'd like to be able to keep
    track of
    the DATE(s) and TIME(s) when it is operational. When the gen was installed,
    I had
    a power meter installed in a supply closet to keep track of the KWH's
    generated, so
    from that, I can tap into a 120v line for power for whatever I use as a
    logger.

    TIA for any suggestions.
    thinman
     
  2. Winston

    Winston Guest

    Adjust a 'time delay relay' in 'interval time delay' mode
    to pulse it's contacts for say three seconds every time
    A.C. power is detected from the generator.
    Adjust a second relay in 'delay on operate' mode to pulse
    it's contacts for a second, starting two seconds after A.C.
    power is detected from the generator.

    Connect the contacts of the first relay across the
    'half press' contacts of a digital camera focused on
    your kWH meter. Connect the contacts of the second
    relay across the 'full press' contacts of that
    same camera. Power the camera from a high capacity
    battery pack that is charged from house A.C.

    Viola! A set of pictures of your kWH meter showing
    the date and timestamp each time it started.
    Derive 'run time' by subtracting the kWH readings.

    I've not used any of these products.
    This is just one example of the parts I'm on about.
    http://www.dareelectronics.com/products/time-delay-relays/default.html

    --Winston
     
  3. Jasen Betts

    Jasen Betts Guest

    first you need a data logger, find one and post the specifications.
    Hooking it up to your setup should be fairly easy.
     
  4. Rich Webb

    Rich Webb Guest

    When you picture this in your mind, what do you see?

    There are so many approaches to this. Some multimeters and scopes have
    built-in data loggers. You can buy commercial/industrial data loggers.
    If you're in the mood, building a custom setup would be fun. Say, with a
    microcontroller with an internal RTC, a serial EEPROM for logging, maybe
    a salvaged paper tape printer for a "human readable" record, with a
    keypad and character LCD display. Or, go with quarter VGA touchscreen or
    push it up to a full iPAD display with a web server. Have it estimate
    the amount of fuel remaining and automatically place an order or at
    least send you a text that it's getting low.

    Maybe this will do what you need?
    <http://www.dataq.com/products/hardware/el-usb-data-loggers/el-usb-5-data-logger.html>
     
  5. Bob Masta

    Bob Masta Guest

    This may be overkill for your project, but if you have a PC
    with a sound card you can turn it into a simple data logger
    using my Daqarta software. See "Data Logging" at
    <http://www.daqarta.com/dw_oo0o.htm>

    The example macro there reads the frequency of the line
    input (at whatever time interval you specify via the
    WaitSecs command) and appends it to a text file along with
    the current time using the LogTxt command. You can add the
    data as well via a slight modification:

    LogTxt=Freq+p20+t+p40+d

    This reads the Daqarta Frequency Counter and puts the freq
    first, the time at column 20, and the data at column 40.

    You can get log voltage as well, using the same basic idea
    with the Volts command to read the Daqarta Voltmeter:

    LogTxt=Freq+p20+Volts+p40+t+p60+d

    You'll need a little transformer that isolates the sound
    card from the AC line. An old AC "wall-wart" (maybe from a
    discarded cell phone charger, etc) should be fine. The
    sound card input is AC coupled and can handle about 1 Vrms,
    so you will also need a simple voltage divider on the output
    of most transformers.

    One money-saving tip: Daqarta has a free 30-session/30-day
    trial period, during which all features are active. That
    should be plenty of time to get the above system working
    (contact me if you need help with that). After that you can
    keep the system working with a US$29 Personal / Hobby
    license, but you will lose the ability to save new macros
    unless you have the US$99 Pro license. So the tip is to
    create several macros during the trial period, with various
    settings that you might need in the future (like different
    time intervals between data points). That way, you can get
    by with the $29 version and will still be able to choose a
    macro with the settings you want, even though you can no
    longer create totally new macros.

    Best regards,


    Bob Masta

    DAQARTA v6.02
    Data AcQuisition And Real-Time Analysis
    www.daqarta.com
    Scope, Spectrum, Spectrogram, Sound Level Meter
    Frequency Counter, FREE Signal Generator
    Pitch Track, Pitch-to-MIDI
    Science with your sound card!
     
  6. Bob Masta

    Bob Masta Guest

    Oops! Should have said "add the date", not "data" there.
    Again, should have been "date at column 40".

    Sorry for any confusion...


    Bob Masta

    DAQARTA v6.02
    Data AcQuisition And Real-Time Analysis
    www.daqarta.com
    Scope, Spectrum, Spectrogram, Sound Level Meter
    Frequency Counter, FREE Signal Generator
    Pitch Track, Pitch-to-MIDI
    Science with your sound card!
     
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