Monday, May 6, 2013

Updates on my Energy Monitoring Device Project

I had the good opportunity to find a highly skilled Electronic Technician last Sunday. He did an excellent job and I must say his work is almost an Art because the soldering was very consistent and refined see pictures below.

And because of his superb workmanship, I was able to immediately assemble my project and easily made it work.
I also have started working on the software and it is now is in its early stage development.

The charting control is not yet working.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Energy Monitoring Device with Arduino

Three arduino related products that I ordered from ebay also arrived yesterday. With these 3 amazing products, I can already start developing my Energy Monitoring Device project. This device is a lot  more powerful than the DC Wattmeter and Power Analyzer I featured earlier because it will allow me to monitor the health of my battery bank even when I am away by storing the measured parameters into memory and I will be able to read this stored data later and view it graphically.

The FTDI Basic:

The Arduino Pro Mini:

The Voltage Divider Sensor:

I will first have the leads soldered on the Arduino Pro Mini once that is done, I will now be able to develop the program to allow to it measure voltage across the battery banks.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

There's thrill in making things on your own

Today, several items I ordered from ebay 3 weeks ago just arrived. I will use most of them on the projects that I am trying to develop. The first project that I have in mind is to develop my own portable charger with battery bank. Portable chargers can easily be bought from CDR King and a bunch of other stores in SM's Cyber Zone. But I prefer to create my own version.

These are the components that I will use for the project:
3. 4 pcs of lithium ion batteries(26650 6000mAh 3.2V)
4. An isolation diode
5. A plastic enclosure
6. Battery holder

Today, I already have items 1 and 2, I am still waiting for the arrival of item 3, I can easily find items 4, 5 and 6 in local electronic stores in Raon.

What makes my portable charger different is that I will be connecting the 2 li-ion batteries in parallel and will be boosted its rated 3.2V to 5V which is a typical usb voltage output.

The overall specification of my portable charger is as follows:
1. 24000mAh
2. 5V 500mA output - full size USB
3. 5V 1A input - mini USB
4. Battery Charge LED indicator

Normally, a 24000mAh portable charger will cost 4000 pesos if made in China, more than 8000 pesos if made elsewhere and not bought from CDR King.  My project has a budget of 1000 pesos plus other expenses in sourcing the components and of course my labor fee.

I plan to use the same enclosure I purchased earlier for my step-down dc-dc converter, and together with the components, this is how the finished product is going to look like:

The problem with the enclosure is it will hide the led charge indicator which is fully integrated in the mini usb charger module, so I will try to look for a transparent plastic version if available.