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Topic: Alternatives to Pachube/Cosm (Read 33183 times) previous topic - next topic


Nick, what do you mean?  I took a look at the api and the language examples and it didn't look that bad.  Of course, it would be nice to have an arduino example and library, but that shouldn't be too hard to come up with.  Sure, the site has some jargon, but they have to do that to impress the marketing types that can't speak any language but their own.

At least I didn't see, "A solutions based implementation" anywhere on the site.

Take a look at the python example, even I could read it, and no one ever accused me of being one of the white coats.  Overalls and a dirty t-shirt maybe...


Ahhh, good......... I was hoping you would read this.

I found it full of buzz-speak and very unfriendly.

On reflection, I realise that it only takes one arduino user with the ability to cut through all that and the flood-gates may well then open for the rest of us.


Unfortunately, buzz speak is something that has totally taken over the technical services sites.  In my opinion, that's because they all want to get some money in their hands, so they create a site that does something cool from a technical support aspect.  Not like facebook or twitter that caters to teenagers looking to get laid, but to someone that has a technical need and just doesn't want to roll their own.  Their hope is not so much that they get customers, as much as some bigger corporation comes along and buys them out.  Then the techies that built it take the money and go do something else while the bigger corporation lowers service, raises price, and eventually fails or gets bought out by even bigger corporation.

Of course to do this they have to speak the language of the corporate managers.  Which means everything useful is hidden behind a pile of ...

I'm going to try this site, but I'm up to my eyeballs in a different project right now and probably won't get to it for a couple of weeks.



I had my gear running from here with Xively for a month and then it refused. I'm inclined to think it was them, not me. I am now finally about to establish one of the remote stations up the coast, where it needs to run unattended for about a year. I don't trust Xively so I thought I would give other guys a look, and they were the first.

I'm too old for Python but I will be interested to see if you eventually get some joy out of this. I will probably stick with Xively and take my chances........


Also looked at grovestreams as alternative to cosm/xively, that is doing so weird with their new "develop deploy products" blabla. And the API looks much richer than Pachube (what xively actually hosts) : concepts of users, organisations, components (with templates), folders and dashboards etc. Limited to 150/350 API calls an hour. Also supports SSL. The API-key is not a generated "plain text password", but a real symetric crypto key, so it is not compatible at all with existing usages. Apparently it also only supports JSON, no plain text nor XML.

So it looks very powerful, a superset of xively etc, but seems not obvious to use, as there are only 2 Java and one Python code example. Nothing for Arduino C++ etc.


Well, I took the plunge and got my stuff going into the grovestreams.com site.  I did it first on the raspberry pi since I moved my house controller over to one of those little devices, then I did it again with an arduino.  When I started the process, there wasn't an example for an arduino on the site, but I asked, and got an example that I could try out.

Their example worked on my first try.  However, it works off a temperature probe and I was too lazy to hook one up and just used a random number instead of the probe.  It worked fine for a few hours but I started noticing that the arduino was losing ram since they were using Streams in the sample.  I contacted them and they came up with a different example that seems to be pretty good.  Obviously it isn't exactly the way I'd do it, but it works and really illustrates what can be done.

I didn't buy into tochinets discussion of the richness of the API until I was chasing bugs in my code and it turns out that the site can do just about anything you could want for logged data.  They'll even average the data so you can chart it that way.  I complained about the (to me) obscure way some of the facilities are presented and they ... (wait for it) ... replied.

Yep, they actually answered my mail.  This place is new and just coming online for folks like us, and they answer questions.  I was told they were going to have a forum later when they have the time to attend to it and they have a very easy to follow tutorial on the arduino now.

My house is recording data there on a minute basis, and except for the occasional bug in my own code, has done fine.  I'd post my code that is live, but it's in python and running on a Pi now.  The arduino code I did was just to see how hard it would be to do the same thing on one of them.  Obviously I have too much free time.

One of the really cool features is that I can create an alert that will send email to me when something happens.  I created one based on power usage such that when my house power usage goes over 10kWh, it sends me an email.  That's so cool.  My house lets me know it's using too much power from a web service out in space somewhere. (I'm easily entertained).  I haven't even begun to use the things they have available, and probably won't for a while.

Nope, this site ain't free.  But, it looks like us experimenters can keep under the billable level with a little attention so that it'll cost us nothing to experiment and track a few sensors.  It could wind up costing us if we expand to a whole bunch of stuff being logged really often, but the pricing looks waaaay more favorable than Xively went to.

One of the things that confused me at first was the huge description of organizations, components, streams and such.  It took a bit to get past that.  What they have is a site for things like smart toasters.  You buy the toaster and when you hook it to your wireless at home, it signs into grovestreams, gets an id, and begins to log how much toast you eat.  This takes some smarts on the web app because, as we all know, toasters are dumb.  However, that stuff can get confusing, so I recommend first taking a look at the arduino example because that's something we understand.   They also have a 'sandbox' that illustrates a lot of the features that we might want to use; recommended reading.

I don't have a blog post on my site about this service yet, but I should have later today.  I was impressed.


Thanks for paving the way on this.


You're welcome, I guess this has become a hobby for me.  I got the blog post up and have the code I used first to try it out on the arduino there.  I don't have the newest code; seems I saved it somewhere and lost track of it.


enjoy if you're into this kind of thing.


This seems to be quite ok
http://www.grovestreams.com  :)

I hope it woult stay free for small usage users


Just tried to register with Grovestreams, it was quite an effort. The site does not seem to play well with Firefox. Chrome was much better. Anyone else notice this?


Dec 02, 2013, 02:13 pm Last Edit: Dec 02, 2013, 02:20 pm by Nick_Pyner Reason: 1
It was OK with Firefox.
The magic number thingy was a bit unfriendly but it worked first time. I went as far as "creating an organisation"


It was OK with Firefox.
The magic number thingy was a bit unfriendly but it worked first time. I went as far as "creating an organisation"

I tried it on a different machine and it's OK there.  So I guess I have a personal problem.  Thanks!


+1 @draythomp for the improved sketch! Initially I could get neither that nor the example from the Grove Streams site to work. Both caused a "401 Unauthorized" to be returned from GS. Turns out the PUT url was not being built correctly; it may have been some evil with the Strings. Somehow I fixed it, before I fully realized what was happening. Seems to run quite well and no evidence of a memory leak after running several hours.

I did later remove some of the String stuff, although not the major parts, used F() to move some constant strings to PROGMEM, and changed to a fixed IP rather than DHCP and it now shows over half the SRAM available.

I have hardly begun to comprehend the web site but I really like what I see so far. This may well be the best fit for my needs.

I'll continue to work on the sketch with the aim of removing all String usage. I'll post what I end up with. Right now I have:

Code: [Select]

AVR Memory Usage
Device: atmega328p

Program:   20826 bytes (63.6% Full)
(.text + .data + .bootloader)

Data:        756 bytes (36.9% Full)
(.data + .bss + .noinit)


Glad you folk were able to get it working.  I really like grovestream.  Check the billing under your account (upper right corner somewhere) because they calculate charges based on transactions.  I think my bill came to two bucks or so which I think is very reasonable for the level of service.  I could actually lower that to nothing if I condensed the transactions.  See, they allow multiple updates within a single transaction, so I could buffer things for 15 minutes and send it all at once, reducing my transaction count by a factor of fifteen since I'm doing every minute so far.  Heck, just save up two of them reducing it by half, and I would easily fall below the 10,000 transactions.

Prowl around the site a lot as you have the time, they have a literal ton of features that could be fun to play with.  I have a monitor that sends me email whenever I exceed a power usage threshold.  I get mail when the heaters turn on and I'm using the stove.  Helps keep me thinking about my power bill.  They can send to the phone also, but I have lousy cell service out here in the sticks.  I also set up an alarm that will send email to me when something goes wrong and data isn't updated regularly, that helps me chase down bugs in my house monitoring system.

These days I have my dozen or so Arduinos all talking to a Raspberry Pi which coordinates their activity and forwards the data off to all the cloud providers I've been testing.  I sort of outgrew an Arduino for that particular job.  Still have the arduinos all over the place though.  People tell me I need a user's manual to live here.


The name GroveStreams made me think of the Grove sensor modules sold by Seeed Studios, but there isn't any affiliation that I can see.

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