Need Arduino advice

Joe Huard's picture

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Joined: Oct 23, 2017

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Need Arduino advice
October 23, 2017 - 9:25am

I need to do a simple reading and recording of a sub meter 4 times per day. The reading will be transmitted via ethernet cable from the Siemens Sentron PAC3200 to either an Arduino or a Raspberry Pi.

I was thinking Arduino would be simpler but I doubt that it can do 4 readings per day at certain times; 7 AM,11 AM, 5 PM and 7 PM. It needs room to store these 4 numbers and a clock to know the time. ANd then it would be excellent if it could run for a month before needing to be uploaded to a spreadsheet. So batteries could keep it running in a power failure.

I could run this off of my desktop computer which is never off, but occasional power outages require a restart unless I invest in a UPS.

If I used the Pi, I could use a battery backup to keep it running in case of power outage. It would also have more memory to write 160 reading to.

This is a bit over my head but I have been computing since early 70s.

I even have a Timex-Sinclair 32 K BASIC computer, but I don't like the storage system that it used, which was an audio cassette.

Aswinth Raj's picture

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Arduino should just do the trick
October 23, 2017 - 10:59am

Hi Joe,

Yes Arduino could do the trick here, in fact a Raspberry Pi will be an overkill for this project.

You would have to use two other modules with an Arduino, they will be an SD card module and a RTC module. Making the Arduino to take four readings per day and so on for one month is a very easy task. In fact I have done something similar, you can find all details here

https://circuitdigest.com/microcontroller-projects/arduino-data-logger-p...

Making the Arduino to work on for one month using Battery is also easy, you can use a normal Lead Acid battery with some Regulatory circuit. Each time when you remove you SD card to transfer data to your PC, you can also recharge you Battery and thus make it tun for the next month.

However one place where you might stumble upon is interfacing your PLC with Arduino, if you using Arduino Yun which already has a Ethenret Port then even that can be made easy. But Yun is a bit costly....

Joe Huard's picture

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I like all of these
October 24, 2017 - 2:47am

I like all of these instructions to do data logging. My project involves reading the Sentron PAC3200 sub-meter and saving it 4 times per day into a spreadsheet. I was thinking Arduino but have no experience with that. I see the direct writing to my computer as the best and shortest solution, so can you tell me if the PLX-DAQ software plugin will work with Libre Office Calc?
If I had that running it would solve this problem, and the only remaining problem would be missing data from when the computer shuts off due to a power outage. I could solve that by using a battery-backed up laptop or a UPS.
Or, even cheaper, an Arduino that can wake me up to re-boot my computer if and when it shut off when I was asleep.

Aswinth Raj's picture

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Yes Joe, the idea of using an
October 24, 2017 - 3:53pm

Yes Joe, the idea of using an Arduino was to avoid a Computer running 24*7 just for some datalogging purpose. But if you can spare one, then no pblm. Also the PLX_DAQ can work on serial data I doubt if it could be used with Ethernet. Also this plug-in is only for Excel, not for libre office

Joe Huard's picture

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24/7 okay
October 24, 2017 - 11:21pm

I run a program called Spooky2 around 21 hours a day, so I leave my computer on all the time.

I am looking for an easy method to log the actual energy from the PAC3200 4 times a day. I've already installed the meter in the hydro panel, and connected it to the computer with ethernet cable. The software, powerconfig 3.8 that came with it reads the meter and displays it on the monitor, but it doesn't record. It doesn't know the date or time. So, I took it out and my brother tried to return it to the dealer. That didn't work so I am trying to solve this problem as a 69 year old retired fart.

So, my first choice would be to get Siemens to update their software to my need.

I don't understand how an Arduino connects to my computer serially. Do you mean to use the USB port?

Last night I downloaded the PLX-DAQ program and installed it. It did open Libre Office calc. with the same spreadsheet that you showed in your tutorial. There was an error or two probably from the fact that there was no serial data.

Anyway, I guess that picking your brain any further would be overstepping, so thank you for your responses.

Aswinth Raj's picture

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"I don't understand how an
October 25, 2017 - 12:39pm

"I don't understand how an Arduino connects to my computer serially. Do you mean to use the USB port?"

Yes, The Arduino will be connected to USB port of computer and will transmit the data to Computer serially 

 

 

It did open Libre Office calc. with the same spreadsheet that you showed in your tutorial

Glad it worked for you. It should be worth giving it a try by feeding in some Random serial Data from Arduino. 

 

 

Anyway, I guess that picking your brain any further would be overstepping, so thank you for your responses.

No Problem, Hope you get it up and running soon. 

Junaid Shahid's picture

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Joined: Jan 21, 2017

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Did you get it completed ???
April 2, 2018 - 6:00pm

Did you get it completed ???