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Topic: Alternatives to Pachube/Cosm (Read 33190 times) previous topic - next topic


Thanks Paul, anyone been looking into this?


In this age of millisecond attention spans and rampant technology advancement, it's real easy to give up on an idea, but I'm old school and still looking into this.

I stumbled across emoncms.org for the tenth time and finally took a long look at it.  This is a really great open source offering for monitoring power, temperature and the like.  It took me most of an afternoon to get it working from my devices, but I did it.  I have an Arduino mega2560 concentrator that sends data to both Cosm and emoncms to compare the services and their responses.  With Cosm continuing its downhill slide, emoncms out runs and out plays Cosm by a large degree.

I had some trouble discovering how to send the data to emoncms, but with the help of their forum (which is active and well attended) I figured it out.  Turns out that the API interface is extremely simple and easy to use, just not talked about much. 

So, you folks that are looking for an alternative to Cosm, nimbits, etc., take a look at this.


Found and tried out another one.  This time it was thingspeak.com and it's pretty nice.  The API to send data is a bit scattered about the site (take a look in places besides just the documentation), but it's all there to be used.  I'm currently downloading a subset of the sensor data I collect to the site and it works fine.  I don't have enough data up there yet to make a determination about speed, but it flies on the the stuff I've tried so far.

open.sen.se turned out to be pretty nice and supports cool little filters and combiners on the site that can do some interesting stuff.

emoncms.org is the most active and has a nice facility.  The only problem I found was that they don't support cross site ajax requests.  That presents a problem with today's multi-site techniques.

Cosm.com made some really significant improvements that virtually eliminated most of my complaints.  The problem was that they worked on the various changes for months without telling their user base anything and we started to get disgusted with their problems.   Then, one day, they turned on the changes for the entire user base.  Odd way to do things, but hey, it's their site.  There seem to be a few problems still happening, but it's really hard to tell which are problems with their site and which are mistakes by the people that are using it.

nimbits.com appears to be the most capable and claims to be free.  However there is a data charge for using the service as cloud based.  That's not a problem for me, I don't mind paying for what I use (within reason of course), but I went through the charge sheet and got totally lost.  Now, I have a degree in business and have taken enough accounting courses to choke a hippo, but it was too much for me to understand.  I even asked my neighbors son (17 yo) and he couldn't understand it.  Additionally, the site documentation is so heavily buried in jargon that I couldn't understand how to actually set it up.  Maybe one of you is willing to spend the time to figure it out.

Net, there are a number of viable services out there that can take our sensor data, store it, visualize it back to us, and return it to us if we want to go local for some reason.  We have no more excuses not to totally automate every thing in our lives.

And No, I don't promise not to wake this thread up again when I stumble across another one.



Thanks for your research.  I would like to find your review of these GUI/Data Logging sites in the Arduino Playground.  Those three Blog pages with live graphs and meters are awesome!

Can you control the Arduino from any of them?


Thank you.

No, I didn't implement control through the sites.  I could have with Cosm and probably the others as well, but I like my control through my own little arduino web server.  I can do anything to it I want to without figuring out some weird API.  Besides, it's faster since I don't have to wait for somebody else's server to get around to me.  There are many folk out there that have implemented control though.


Feb 21, 2013, 01:33 am Last Edit: Feb 21, 2013, 02:43 am by Nick_Pyner Reason: 1
If there is an Arduino "Post of the Year Award", your reply #17 above would have to be a qualifier......

It now appears that my first experience with cosm, late last year, was probably not at the best time. But things appear to be better now, and all the problems I have had of late have been manifestly self-inflicted.

I understand from Klink solar Melbourne that ThingSpeak only handles digital data.

I have had mail from KSDuino as a cosm alternative. I have not actually pursued any of this and am prepared to stick with cosm - for the moment..


Thank you.  I've had good luck with Cosm for the last few months (both of them) and it looks like they have conquered their problems.  I'm not sure what you mean by digital data on thingspeak.  I send floating point and integer data to it all the time.  If you mean text, they have a status that can be used, but I haven't messed with it yet.  Other folks have though.  If you need location, I think they have a way to do it, but you'd have to check the documentation to see how.


Feb 21, 2013, 05:19 am Last Edit: Feb 21, 2013, 07:51 am by Nick_Pyner Reason: 1

I send floating point and integer data to it all the time.  

Ah, I meant integer, and it seems I was wrong anyway!

I will stick with cosm on the remote stations and have a comparative parallel dabble with the others using the home station



Could you please explain your web server control of your arduino?


Sure, I have a mega2560 that gathers data from around my house and forwards it to Cosm, thingspeak, and emoncms.  It also has webserver code to present a page showing what is going on around the house.  On that page are a number of buttons that, when clicked, cause some action.  Things like turning the pool pump on and off, raising and lowering the temperature in the house, opening or closing the garage doors, that kind of thing.  I have a description of it on my blog, but the code is a bit out of date.  I recently took on the task of moving all my devices up to Arduino IDE 1.0.3 and haven't gotten around to updating the various source code examples to reflect it.

However, feel free to look around.  The specific device that hooks to the internet for information upload to the services and web control of the house is here and the blog where a lot of this is explained is here.  Feel free to wander around and grab anything you want.


Sorry for opening an old topic, but I thought Id add my experience on here for everyone as I have been using a site not mentioned here yet.
Its a russian site, I think im the only real outside user and I have donated to it, but its a simple one and its pretty much always online, gives simple 24 point graphs, as many as you want and as many datafeeds as you like. The graphing is quite simple and limited but very usefull just the same. I use it for my on grid/off grid solar installation so i can see whats going on anytime anywhere on my phone, and can switch the house on or off the grid whether im home or not. Pretty good value for ten bux:)
Ive since migrated to Xively (the old cosm) and found it already a bit flakey.
I revert back to the KSduino sketch after ive stopped playing around because it just works.
The owner of KSduino has a forum but he is usually not really there much and info is very limited.
But the libraries and instructions are simple and just work. Of course when arduino versions march on and leaves it behind I dont know , so we all have to keep updating our projects dont we, unless we want them to just operate stand alone.




The owner of KSduino has a forum but he is usually not really there much

Thanks for your comment. I was using xively a month ago and found it bulletproof but all of a sudden nothing worked and I was pretty sure nothing was changed at my end, so it is something of a relief to hear that it can be flakey. The biggest problem with the metamorphosis of cosm was the demise of the forum. That stackoverflow forum is a disaster run by a bunch of pompous and arrogant dopes. I will definitely look at defecting to KSduino, any forum has to be better than StackOverflow, it's just that, when xively is working, it works well.....


I'm going to second the previous post about Xively and their support.  They removed the forum and went to stackoverflow and they are truly a bunch of arrogant jerks.  To add insult to injury, the Xively site has a number of things promised and not delivered scattered around it.  The old API works, but you can't move your accumulated data forward to the new facilities.  So, if you want to use their new stuff, you get to start over.

Nice going folks.  Take a good service and rip it to shreds, then turn your support over to the whims of a bunch of self righteous ....


Give GroveStreams.com a look. We're new. We would love to get your thoughts as to whether it would be useful for Arduino folks.


useful for Arduino folks.

Not the slightest bit, it would appear. Grovestreams is a land for the white lab-jacket brigade - and only those of that ilk who achieve immortality by speaking a language known only to themselves.

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