I published on the Italian Magazine for Electronics “CQ Elettronica” (issue N.485 September 2007) an article about my project based on Atmel ATtiny2313 microcontroller that converts the RF data stream (OOK modulation at 433 MHz) received from Oregon Scientific meteo sensor model THGR228NF (look at this link for more details). This device was also revised by Hack-a-day in September 2007.
Recently, I created an Android App to display the received data on a tablet or a smartphone, using an USB-Serial interface to connect the receiver to the device. You can find the App on my page on Google Play Store and more informations at this link.
After the first version, I created a new one that uses a PIR sensor (Passive InfraRed) to swap the screen from a flip-clock to the meteo data screen when a person passes near the box. This is the prototype:
Well, after that I had the idea to publish my webcam on the Internet, superimposing over the picture (taken every 20 minutes) the meteo data received from the Oregon Scientific meteo sensor. This will enhance the picture with useful meteo data. Here is an example of what you can see clicking my webcam link :
As you can see, at the bottom of the image there are two information lines. Such lines are created by a PHP script that I stored on the server. The first line is the date and time of the picture, while the second is the date and time of the meteo informations (sent every 10 minutes), together with the temperature and humidity at the specific time.
The picture sent by the webcam hasn’t any information, being the camera a very simple device (look below how simple is..)
The bridge from the meteo receiver to the second line of picture is a new App written for an old 7″ tablet, running Android 2.2. This App does what the previous did, but every 10 minutes sends an HTTP GET request to a specific PHP script that I saved on the server. This GET request is formatted with a simple crypting and contains the temperature and humidity read from the sensor. The PHP script on the server receives the meteo data and creates a file with such infos. When the user clicks the link of my webcam, the PHP script loads the picture received from the webcam and the meteo data received from the tablet and creates on-the-fly the image you receive on your browser. Obviously, the tablet running the App connects to the Internet thru the home modem / router that acts as a WiFi hotspot.
I haven’t published this App on Google Play ’cause I decided to use, as communication port, the internal ttyS0 of the tablet. Such communication port was present in almost all the first models of tablets, but was used by the system for the “console” service. I modified the init.rc file of my rooted tablet (running Uberoid image) in order to disable the console service on that port, so I connected my RX-Met1 receiver directly to ttyS0 without any USB-Serial interface. This approach is too “specialistic” and therefore isn’t idoneous to the Play Store distribution. I just added a small video to show how I arranged the old tablet in a box with the receiver and the PIR sensor… (Dailymotion video)
This way of sending sensor data over the Internet can be easily achieved with new low-cost modules, like ESP8266 that gives you the power of WiFi at very low price, with extreme easy of use.