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1  Topics / Device Hacking / Reading data from Kamstrup water meter on: December 23, 2012, 08:56:37 am
Hi. A couple of weeks ago my water supplier have changed my water meter from a mechanical type to a Kamstrup Multical 21 with IR port. The manual for the water meter says that the water meter can communicate with the Kamstrup KMP protocol, but no further information is described.

A couple of years ago I was lucky to get my hand on a description of the KMP protocol for my Kamstrup Multical 601. I builded my own IR-sensor and wrote some software for the Arduino, and it has been working without problems ever since.

I want to do the same with the water meter, but untill now I have had no success. I have tried to use the same IR-sensor and the same software. Only change is that I have tried to change the address for the water meter, and I have tried with all adresses from 0 to 255 (8 bit address value is used), but the water meter does not seem to answer my requests.

Is there anyone who have had success reading data from a Multical 21 who can help me?

Could it be that the KMP protocol is different between the Multical 21 and the Multical 601?

The manual for the Multical 21 says that the optical port on the meter is normally deactivated and will be activated 4 seconds after a magnetical IR-sensor have been placed on the meter. Could it be that the magnet in the original sensor is the one that will activated the port?

The Multical 601 worked without a magnet, and I don't have any magnets lying agound to test with. I guess this will be the next thing I will try to test.
2  Using Arduino / Programming Questions / Re: SoftSerial not working on: December 22, 2012, 06:17:19 pm
Maybe I should add that I am using an Arduino Uno.

Before I connected a wire between pin 10 and 11, I had connected an IR diode to pin 10 and an IR receiver to pin 11. The diode was connected through a 470 ohm resistor and the receiver was connected as a voltage divider through a 10 kohm resistor. I have exactly the same configuration on another Arduino, so I know that it should work.

When I used this hardware, and held the tranmitter and the diode close to each other, I could see that the character ÿ was received, no matter what I entered in the serial monitor.

To make sure my hardware was not causing the problem, I disconnected everything and replaced it with a wire between pin 10, and 11, but now I can't receive anything at all.
3  Using Arduino / Programming Questions / SoftSerial not working on: December 22, 2012, 05:15:16 pm
Hi. I have been trying all night to get SoftSerial to work, but without success.

I have tried the example included with Arduino 1.0.3:

#include <SoftwareSerial.h>

SoftwareSerial mySerial(10, 11); // RX, TX

void setup() 
  // Open serial communications and wait for port to open:
  while (!Serial) {
    ; // wait for serial port to connect. Needed for Leonardo only

  Serial.println("Goodnight moon!");

  // set the data rate for the SoftwareSerial port
  mySerial.println("Hello, world?");

void loop() // run over and over
  if (mySerial.available())
  if (Serial.available())

I have connected a wire directly between pin 10 and 11. Nothing else.

When I open serial monitor, "Goodnight moon!" is printed as expected.

However, when I write something in the serial terminal, I can see that the Rx LED on Arduino is flashing, but nothing is displayed in the terminal.

Is there something I have forgotten? Please help.
4  Using Arduino / Microcontrollers / Re: Arduino alternative on: December 01, 2012, 09:27:39 am
My current project consists of an Arduino with ethernet shield. Data is collected on the Arduino using RF sensors and analog sensors. These data are then transfered to a MySQL database on a server outside my house using the ethernet shield. On this server I can then view the data on a web page.

I was thinking of maybe saving the data locally on a SD card and represent it on a local webserver like for example on an Raspberry Pi.

Maybe I could connect a Raspberry Pi directly to the existing Arduino using the USB connection, and then install a MySQL database and a webserver on the Raspberry Pi.

In this way I could use the Arduino as an I/O extension for the Raspberry Pi.
5  Using Arduino / Microcontrollers / Re: Arduino alternative on: December 01, 2012, 05:26:47 am
I thought that it would be fun to learn a little about other platforms, maybe somthing with Linux.

Also it would give me the possiblity to store and represent the collected data on the controller instead of uploading it to a external webserver.

I think the I/O options on the Raspberry Pi are a bit limited, since there are no analog inputs or outputs.

I guess what I am looking for is a Raspberry Pi with the same I/O options as the Arduino, but I don't know if something like this exists.
6  Using Arduino / Microcontrollers / Arduino alternative on: December 01, 2012, 04:46:17 am
Hi. A couple of years ago I did an Arduino project for home automation, where I can read room temperatures, room illumination, read data from my electricity meter and control devices using 5V 433 MHz receiver and transmitter. All collected data is uploaded to a webserver and represented on my web page.

Everything has been working fine, but now I would like to try something new.

I was thinking of upgrading the Arduino to something bigger like for example the Raspberry Pi, where the webserver can run from the controller and data can be stored on the controller also.

However, the problem with Raspberry Pi is that it doesn't have any analog I/O and also that the digital I/O is 3.3V and not 5V, which I need if I don't want to change the rest of my hardware.

So the question is if it is possible to buy a cheap Raspberry Pi similar controller with the I/O capabilities like the Arduino. Do you have some suggestions?

7  Using Arduino / Sensors / Reading watermeter on: June 08, 2011, 02:16:54 pm
Hi. I'm trying to read the water meter in my house with my Arduino, to be able to monitor my water usage on my computer, but without success.

My water meter is a Badger Meter Model 25 and looks like this:

I read somewere, that it should contain a magnet, which rotates when the water is running, so I tried if I could detect the magnetic field with a US1881 hall effect sensor: but it does not detect anything.

I tested my circuit with a refrigerator magnet, and it seems to work.

Is the magnetic field in the water meter to weak, or am I using a sensor which is not sensitive enough?

Have any of you guys had success reading a meter like this?

8  Using Arduino / Networking, Protocols, and Devices / Re: Moving receiver 2 cm stops communication (433 MHz) on: May 27, 2011, 02:36:07 pm
In the room where the sender is, there should be nothing interfering with the transmission. In the receiver room, I have a 433 MHz transmitter for a weatherstation near by, but it is only transmitting once every half minute, so this shouldn't be causing any big problems.

I have already tried 34 cm at the transmitter end, but it didn't make much difference. I might try again with 34 cm at both ends.

Are there any other tricks I can do with the antenna to improve the gain?

The antenna at the receiver side needs to be omni directionally, since I am also using it for receiving data from my weather station.
9  Using Arduino / Networking, Protocols, and Devices / Moving receiver 2 cm stops communication (433 MHz) on: May 27, 2011, 08:34:45 am
I have 2 Arduinos and I want to send data from one Arduino to the other using VirtualWire and 433 MHz transmitter/receiver. The two Arduinos are placed in two different rooms with 3 walls and 10 meters between them.

Everything was working fine, except that I lost a package once in a while, which was acceptable. However I decided to see if I could improve the stability by changing some things in the software, and I disconnected the Arduino in the remote room, to bring it to my computer, so that I could program it. When I put it back in the other room, nothing was working any more. I then put in the original program, but still nothing was working.

For debugging purpose, I wrote a small program, which send one byte every second, which counts from 0 to 255. Now I could receive almost every packet, but I discovered that if I moved the receiving Arduino just 2 cm, then no data would be received any more.

Each Arduino has a breadboard, where the transmitter and the receiver are mounted. The antennas are two 17 cm wires, with one end stuck into the breadboards in the same row as were the antenna input/output of the receiver/transmitter are connected. Both antennas are standing up vertically.

Is there some way I can change the antenna "design" to make my link immune to where I place it?

I am currently using 2000 bps, which seemed to work previously and I have also tried to change it to 500 bps, but it doesn't really seems to make a big difference.
10  International / Scandinavia / Kamstrup fjernvarmemåler on: April 30, 2011, 04:47:40 am
Hej. Jeg vil gerne hente nogle data ud af min Kamstrup Multical fjernvarmemåler til min Arduino, men har haft problemer med at få det til at virke.

Jeg har prøvet at sende og modtage data med 38kHz moduleret IR, men det ser ikke ud til at måleren reagerer på dette.

Jeg fandt så dette dokument over Kamstrups optiske læsehovedäshuvud.pdf, og ud fra diagrammet ser det ud til at de ikke modulerer deres IR?

Jeg prøvede så at forbinde min IR LED (i serie med en modstand selvfølgelig) direkte mellem TX og Gnd på Arduino boardet.

I stedet for modtageren med indbygget 38kHz modtager prøvede jeg at forbinde modtageren på en QRD1114 afstandmåler (det var den eneste IR modtager jeg lige havde som ikke havde indbygget demodulator) med en modstand som en spændingsdeling til RX indgangen.

Dette så heller ikke ud til at virke, men jeg er i tvivl om jeg har fået forbundet det rigtigt.

Er der nogen der har haft success med at få dette til at virke, eller som eventuelt kan fortælle hvordan jeg skal forbinde IR sender/modtager, for i det mindste at være sikker på at hardwaren fungerer, inden jeg bruger en masse tid på at rode med softwaren.

På forhånd tak.
11  Using Arduino / Sensors / Hardware for reading heat- and electric meter on: April 15, 2011, 02:55:26 am

I am planning to do a project with a Arduino, where I can log the ussage of electricity and heat in my house. The electric meter has a blinking LED that I can read, and the heating meter has an IR input/output port, which I can communicate with. I need to order some components to be able to interface with the meters, and for that I need some advise what to buy.

Regarding the electric meter:


Can I use a LDR sensor like GL5528 to register the blinking, or do I need some special type of sensor?


Unfortunately my electric meter is placed outside the house, so the cable between the sensor and the Arduino must be ca. 10 meter long. I was thinking of placing a circuit at the sensor end with the LDR and a resistance as a voltage divider connected to the input of a Smith trigger, and then connect the output of the Smith trigger through the long cable to the input of the Arduino. Would this be a good idea?

Regarding the heating meter:

According to the documentation of the heating meter, the IR port is a serial port (8 databit, no parity, 2 stopbit, 2400 baud). I was thinking of connecting an IR receiver and transmitter directly the the serial port of the Arduino (port 0 and 1 on the Uno).


Would it be possible to connect the output of a TSOP32238 receiver or similar directly to the RX port of the Arduino?


About the transmitter, I was thinking of connecting a diode like this in serial with a resistor. I would then connect one end to the TX output of the Arduino and the other end to one of the PWM outputs, and then make the PWM output pulse with 38 kHz. Would that work?

Please give me some feedback about my thoughts. My hardware skills are not so good, so if you have any suggestions about the hardware, I would prefer the circuits to be as simple as possible smiley

12  International / Scandinavia / Køb af komponenter on: April 01, 2011, 01:43:48 pm

I forbindelse med et Arduino projekt skal jeg bruge nogle komponenter, og har i den kigget rundt omkring på nettet.

Desværre har de fleste butikker en tendens til at forlange en formue i fakturerings gebyr og/eller porto, i det de insistere på at sende komponenter som pakkepost i stedet for et brev.

En mostand til 5 øre kan derfor hurtigt komme til at løbe op i 50 - 100 kr. hvilket jeg synes er lidt i overkanten.

Findes der virklig ingen der kan levere komponenter til en fornuftig pris til hjemme projekter, uden at man skal købe f.eks. 1000 stk. ?

Jeg bor i midtjylland, så hvis nogen kender nogle billige butikker der, ville det også være fint.

På forhånd tak.
13  Using Arduino / Installation & Troubleshooting / Ether shield and Linux problem on: February 04, 2011, 06:45:38 pm
Hi. I am new to Arduino, and I have been playing around with my Duemilanove for a couple of days now.

Today I decided to hook up the Ether Shield, but it has been giving me some trouple. I tried to load some of the examples, like webclient, webserver and chatserver, but all of them give me the same problem: It seems like the card is receiving and sending a lot of garbage data, also when I don't expect anything to be sent or received.

The problem is exactly the same as described here:

I am running Arduino 0021 on Fedora 14 64bit. If I compile and upload the same programs from Windows 7, everything seems to work fine.

However I would really prefer using my Fedora pc for the IDE.

Have anyone experienced the same problem, and are there any known solutions for it? (except for changing OS offcourse  smiley )

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