Monday 16 January 2017

Automated capture of radio communications

(see also earlier blog post about this)

Aim: to log lake temperature

Method: similar to before, but with new device.

 * "SODIAL(R) New Wireless Digital Floating Swimming Pool Thermometer Bath Spa Temperature" bought from Amazon
 * Example result for 13.0degC was 01011000 01111010 00010010 10011111 10101111 00110011 1

Other notes on message:
 - there's a 'calibration' set of 8 before the main message
 - Then a long time at "1"
 - Then a long time at zero
 - Then main message
 - The start of each bit jumps from 0 to 1
 - After each bit there is a jump from 1 to 0
 - The 0 "on" is longer than the 1 "on"
 - The bits seem to be of different widths for "1" and "0"

  * Calibrated from 4 temperatures between 3 and 31degC. A linear relationship found between temperature and bits 15-24 (T = mx + c, where T is temperature (degC), m=0.1, c=-40, and x is the message in bits 15-24).

In Linux or Windows (or even Raspberry Pi):
    rtl_sdr -s 1e6 -n 3.2e7 -f 433.85e6 -g 40 output.dat
This should create a 32-second data sample at 433.85 MHz with a gain of 40dB and save the file to "output.dat".

In Octave:
  fid = fopen('output.dat','rb'); 
  y = fread(fid,'uint8=>double'); 
  y = y-127.5; 
  y = y(1:2:end) + i*y(2:2:end); 

Then many lines of Octave code to interpret and clean signal,
and then writes result to data log file with each row as follows: Year,Month,Day,Hour,Minute,Temperature(degC)

Helpful websites included:

Wednesday 4 January 2017

Moisture indoors

In Finland in winter, the indoor air is normally so dry that it causes problems with cracking/itchy skin. Ideal indoor moisture should be 30-50% relative humidity (NB. too high RH causes damp/mould), but easily indoor RH can get down to 10% in cold spells in Finland.

I have bought a sonic humidifier that has a 1 litre capacity and takes about a day to emit this moisture into the air. I want to know roughly how much effect this might have.

I'm going to ignore effects of sources/sinks/storage like showers/cooking/washing/ventilation.

If we imagine a starting point of 20C and 25% RH, then this is about 4 g/m^3.

Now let's imagine instantaneously and evenly adding all that 1 litre (1000 g) of water into the air in my flat (72 m^2 and about 3m tall, so volume of about 216m^3). This would be adding 1000/216 = 4.6 g/m^3.

So we would be roughly doubling the moisture content, and the RH would increase to about 50%. This would be a great result.

Future blog update...estimate the effect of time on this scenario by looking at the rate at which the humidifier works and the rate of ventilation in/out of the flat...