GPS device to track and broadcast power failure and location

Hello, I would like to develop with the help of arduino device and GUI, one that will monitor energy reading on a distribution transformer and broadcast message via email or text to a specific group on Power outage on the transformer. This message would contain the GPS location of the source broadcast and time stamp. The flow is simple, monitor the energy flow on the specific cables broadcasting only when voltage is equal to OR less than x or voltage is greater than or less than y or voltage is equal to zero. I think first we need to have an LCD device that can monitor voltage output, and a function that will only be triggered when the above condition is met. Output message will be sent to either phone numbers or email. Your guidance will be highly appreciated. Thank you.

The fastest, smallest GPS library is NeoGPS. The NeoGPS examples are a better starting point than those from other libraries. There lots of configuration options to help squeeze out the most RAM and performance.

If space/budget allows, get an Arduino with more than one Serial port. You can get I2C or SPI displays, but GSM modules are almost always Serial. To listen to the GPS at the same time requires a 2nd port. If you want to see debug messages or upload new programs without disconnecting hardware, that's 3 ports. You could save a port by using an ICSP programmer and a software serial port with a Serial-to-USB converter (for debug messages).

If you don't get a board with extra serial ports, you may be able to listen to only one port at a time. It's doable, but it requires more coordination, and it usually reduces your update rate. Be sure you can use the pins requred by AltSoftSerial (8 & 9 on an UNO). It's a much better choice than SoftwareSerial. If those pins really aren't available, be sure to check out NeoSWSerial. It is also much better than SoftwareSerial, but not as good as AltSoftSerial.

Cheers, /dev

Try this device out. http://www.dfrobot.com/index.php?route=product/search&description=true&search=sim908 SIM908: GPS receiver, GSM, GPS antenna and GSM antenna for sending texts all in one module. You supply a SIM card. I have one connected up to Serial1 on a '1284P so Serial is free for downloads/debugging. Since it uses just 1 serial port, I assume the commands are little different so the device can distinguish between text commands and GPS commands.

I don't know if does e-mail, that would imply internet connectivity somehow? GPS/GPRS/GSM Shield V3.0 (Arduino Compatible) This is a GPS/GPRS/GSM shield from DFRobot. This shield with a Quad-band GSM/GPRS engine works on frequencies EGSM 900MHz/DCS 1800MHz and GSM850 MHz/PCS 1900MHz. It also supports GPS technology for satellite navigation. It's possible for your robot and control system to send messages and use... Product Code: TEL0051

Distribution transformers do not move, so I see no reason to use GPS.

we are not moving any DT, we simply need to track current flow in it and be able to get notification when the dt is out on supply and the location of the specific location of the notification source (the location of the DT that is out on supply). i dont know if you understand.

williamsng: we are not moving any DT, we simply need to track current flow in it and be able to get notification when the dt is out on supply and the location of the specific location of the notification source (the location of the DT that is out on supply). i dont know if you understand.

I think the point was that you only need the location. You could get that from a map, or a GPS, or whatever... you wouldn't necessarily need a built in GPS receiver.

williamsng: monitor energy reading on a distribution transformer

How will the transformer be moving around?

Why is there any need for GPS?

...R

See my recent FS listing... Give each site a meaningful name, and sense/control four devices. Doc at www.SL4P.net

we need a GPS on the device, when there is power failure on the transformer, a broadcast message will be sent to the control center which can be any where,

Robin2: How will the transformer be moving around?

Why is there any need for GPS?

...R

we need a GPS on the device, when there is power failure on the transformer, a broadcast message will be sent to the control center which can be any where, this message will contain a specific information and the GPS co ordinate of the transformer with power failure.

williamsng: we need a GPS on the device, when there is power failure on the transformer, a broadcast message will be sent to the control center which can be any where, this message will contain a specific information and the GPS co ordinate of the transformer with power failure.

I infer from this that the transformer will NOT be moving around. So just take a handheld GPS to the transformer location. Figure out the lattitude and longitude and enter it into the Arduino program.

...R

williamsng: We need a GPS on the device, when there is power failure on the transformer, a broadcast message will be sent to the control center which can be any where, this message will contain a specific information and the GPS co ordinate of the transformer with power failure.

Suspect this is an "administrator" of some nature, speaking.

Clearly not an engineer. :roll_eyes:

Would also help a bit if some details of the transformer were included. Distribution transformers are usually hi voltage primary (11 KV +) and 415 / 230 / 110 secondarys. How is the actual measurement of whatever is to be measured to be made.

Paul__B:
Suspect this is an “administrator” of some nature, speaking.

Clearly not an engineer. :roll_eyes:

In reality all that is needed is a unique ID number for the transformer. The database back at the ranch can contain the latitude and longitude.

…R

Robin2: In reality all that is needed is a unique ID number for the transformer. The database back at the ranch can contain the latitude and longitude.

...R

yeah, you right, am not an engineer. that's why i need your help figuring this out.

In reality all that is needed is a unique ID number for the transformer.

Which it has. The power company knows, by address or lot/parcel number, where each transformer is. Sending GPS data will not help locate the transformer.

williamsng:
yeah, you right, am not an engineer. that’s why i need your help figuring this out.

Why not ask one of your own engineers?

They will probably know far more about it than anyone here.

…R

Or maybe this is a fictitious distribution network as part of a college project?

Is it really so ridiculous to send GPS data? GPS receiver is pretty cheap and low-power so cost isn't a thing. If you dont have GPS then you rely on having a unique ID assigned to each site (if you use GSM you probably can just use the mobile number)- seems simple but how are you going to keep track of the mapping between unique ID and actual location? You send a bunch of devices out with your field service crews and hope that they correctly record the UID against the right site.. Anyone who thinks that this will never go wrong hasn't worked in the field for very long.

I could imagine a little device with GPS, GSM communications, stuck on the top of a pole transformer so it could both sense the current and get parasitic power from it as being quite feasible and interesting.

rw950431: Or maybe this is a fictitious distribution network as part of a college project?

Is it really so ridiculous to send GPS data? GPS receiver is pretty cheap and low-power so cost isn't a thing. If you dont have GPS then you rely on having a unique ID assigned to each site (if you use GSM you probably can just use the mobile number)- seems simple but how are you going to keep track of the mapping between unique ID and actual location? You send a bunch of devices out with your field service crews and hope that they correctly record the UID against the right site.. Anyone who thinks that this will never go wrong hasn't worked in the field for very long.

I could imagine a little device with GPS, GSM communications, stuck on the top of a pole transformer so it could both sense the current and get parasitic power from it as being quite feasible and interesting.

now somebody finally gets me. Atlist the gps device is in one place so the error in GPS co ordinates will be very minimal and precise compared to human error. thanks bro.

So back to defining the problem.

You want to monitor some parameters at each of many locations. Each location is identified by a name/ID/location. When something goes out of spec, the monitoring device sends a notification text message back to the control centre (assuming it still has its own power supply available).

Easy. There are many off-the-shelf solutions on eBay, or you can go for something with a bit more intelligence (PLC like capabilities), and additional channels. Perhaps monitoring access, tampering, etc, as well as remote control of any local devices at the remote site - locks, lighting etc.