Author Topic: ATmega328P for OpenTRV use  (Read 23440 times)

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DamonHD

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ATmega328P for OpenTRV use
« on: April 17, 2013, 07:12:16 AM »
Hi,

Running alongside the PICAXE version, I'm trying to build a stack based on Arduino / ATmega which should still be easy for DIYers to use/adapt, though with the prospect of a more sophisticated solution with the low-level C/asm control possible within that framework.

Today I got the basic control loop running at 1Hz, flashing an LED, from the target 2xAA NiMH rechargables.  It uses only about 1uA for the microcontroller, and about an average of 2uA for the LED (on a rather pathetic 0.1% duty cycle).

So now, I can try an replicate some of the other functionality on this platform.

Rgds

Damon

PS. The Arduino route is more involved: I had to beg for a special version of the bootloader, and I already killed one chip moving back and forth between getting the bootloader in and dropping it into circuit.  That's a lot faster than I let the smoke out from a PICAXE!

PPS. Here's the sketch (in development) as built in the Arduino IDE 1.0.3: https://sourceforge.net/p/opentrv/code-0/HEAD/tree/trunk/Arduino/V0p2_Main/
« Last Edit: April 20, 2013, 12:51:18 PM by DamonHD »

DamonHD

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Re: ATmega328P for OpenTRV use
« Reply #1 on: June 28, 2013, 12:03:58 PM »
Hi,

It looks like my local university will help me run a proper controlled trial this winter to see if this tech really does delivery good savings, better than simple mechanical TRVs alone.

I have (almost) all the PICAXE functionality and then some on the Atmega, and a lot of elbow room for more.

A nice little chip.

We're working on a PCB for this one, which may be the production model for winter (for up to 100 units!).

Rgds

Damon

SparWeb

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Re: ATmega328P for OpenTRV use
« Reply #2 on: June 29, 2013, 02:22:16 PM »
Cool
Are you responsible for the instrumentation of the apartments too?
No one believes the theory except the one who developed it.  Everyone believes the experiment except the one who ran it.

System spec: 135w BP multicrystalline panels, regulated by Xantrex C40, DIY 8ft diameter wind turbine, regulated by Tri-Star TS60, 800AH x 24V AGM Battery, Xantrex SW4024

DamonHD

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Re: ATmega328P for OpenTRV use
« Reply #3 on: June 30, 2013, 01:49:50 AM »
This device is capable of some recording and logging (and already does some), so I guess that one thing we'll need to decide at our meeting tomorrow is what instrumentation is required and what is required beyond what the gadget can already do.

At the very least I think we'll separately want to monitor building energy consumption to look for improvements.

Rgds

Damon

SparWeb

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Re: ATmega328P for OpenTRV use
« Reply #4 on: June 30, 2013, 06:14:57 PM »
Actually what I was getting at was how big the study group was going to be, and how many researchers involved.  My understanding of a "controlled" trial tells me that there are volunteers to have your device installed, meaning you'll need a lot of them, and other volunteers, who use the system they are already equipped with, but probably a hodgepodge of thermostats, none of which record data, and most of which will not be accurate.  The volunteers in all groups will need some sort of equipment fitted in their homes.  Somebody has to go set every one up, and make sure it works...  and troubleshoot each one that breaks down...

Anyway, you have a small team working on this with you, many hands make light work.

Still, I don't often hear of the initiation of such a study - one usually only hears of the results when published in a journal, so it does pique my interest; the logistical questions and so on.
No one believes the theory except the one who developed it.  Everyone believes the experiment except the one who ran it.

System spec: 135w BP multicrystalline panels, regulated by Xantrex C40, DIY 8ft diameter wind turbine, regulated by Tri-Star TS60, 800AH x 24V AGM Battery, Xantrex SW4024

DamonHD

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Re: ATmega328P for OpenTRV use
« Reply #5 on: July 01, 2013, 04:01:46 AM »
Hi,

We've just had that chat and I'm writing up our initial discussion now.

Have a look at the files in:

https://sourceforge.net/p/opentrv/code-0/1833/tree/trunk/docs/trials/Winter-2013-2014/

and particularly:

https://sourceforge.net/p/opentrv/code-0/1833/tree/trunk/docs/trials/Winter-2013-2014/20130701CallSummary.txt

which I am editing right now.

The prof reined in my ambitions a little, but they're offering to pay for interviews with householders and so on, which is very helpful and kind of them.

Rgds

Damon

DamonHD

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Re: ATmega328P for OpenTRV use
« Reply #6 on: September 11, 2013, 06:17:22 PM »
Happily enough OpenTRV just got accepted into or through the first stage of this competition:

http://www.connectinghomes.co.uk/

Rgds

Damon

SparWeb

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Re: ATmega328P for OpenTRV use
« Reply #7 on: September 12, 2013, 12:07:46 AM »
Oooh there's a even big pot of money to be won.  Good luck!   :D
No one believes the theory except the one who developed it.  Everyone believes the experiment except the one who ran it.

System spec: 135w BP multicrystalline panels, regulated by Xantrex C40, DIY 8ft diameter wind turbine, regulated by Tri-Star TS60, 800AH x 24V AGM Battery, Xantrex SW4024

Bruce S

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Re: ATmega328P for OpenTRV use
« Reply #8 on: September 13, 2013, 09:05:36 AM »
WOW! just think of the panels you could buy with that win!
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DamonHD

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Re: ATmega328P for OpenTRV use
« Reply #9 on: September 13, 2013, 10:10:40 AM »
No space to put more PV on for now!  Working on that separately...  B^>

*If* any or all of that money comes my way I intend to use it to run a larger trial with the uni, avoid spending any of their money on it, and get more units built to support that expansion.

Rgds

Damon

DamonHD

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Re: ATmega328P for OpenTRV use
« Reply #10 on: September 26, 2013, 02:38:24 PM »
OK, gotta rein in those ambitions... But OpenTRV did win 3rd prize!

https://twitter.com/ConnectingHomes/status/383286545387515905/photo/1

That's Martha Lane-Fox of lastminute.com on one side!

Rgds

Damon

Bruce S

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Re: ATmega328P for OpenTRV use
« Reply #11 on: September 27, 2013, 05:12:53 AM »
3rd place is nothing to scoff at! Bummer no 30000, but still one more item on your CV  :).
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SparWeb

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Re: ATmega328P for OpenTRV use
« Reply #12 on: September 29, 2013, 07:45:34 PM »
Hats off!
No one believes the theory except the one who developed it.  Everyone believes the experiment except the one who ran it.

System spec: 135w BP multicrystalline panels, regulated by Xantrex C40, DIY 8ft diameter wind turbine, regulated by Tri-Star TS60, 800AH x 24V AGM Battery, Xantrex SW4024

DamonHD

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Re: ATmega328P for OpenTRV use
« Reply #13 on: September 30, 2013, 01:26:01 AM »
I just got described in an email this morning as "award-winning"!  B^>

Rgds

Damon

Bruce S

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Re: ATmega328P for OpenTRV use
« Reply #14 on: September 30, 2013, 07:57:23 AM »
Can I get an autograph  8).
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DamonHD

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Re: ATmega328P for OpenTRV use
« Reply #15 on: January 13, 2014, 11:07:20 AM »
Well our trial is sort of starting, with a couple of other geeks and a letter sent out by the university to less geeky potential trialists.

And I'm sitting here burning custom bootloaders into 20+ AVRs and will be testing 13 more boards ready for assembly into boxes to deploy!

Rgds

Damon

Bruce S

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Re: ATmega328P for OpenTRV use
« Reply #16 on: January 13, 2014, 08:32:06 PM »
Best of Luck!!
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DamonHD

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Re: ATmega328P for OpenTRV use
« Reply #17 on: January 14, 2014, 12:05:55 PM »
Well, pulling a figure from my fundament I guessed that 10 would work and spookily enough 10 did.

Off tomorrow to see if a green energy company is interested in getting involved, and I'm feeling hopeful that a small EU-backed grant that we've applied for will come through, which should make it possible to get out another round of prototypes quickly.

Rgds

Damon


MaryAlana

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Re: ATmega328P for OpenTRV use
« Reply #18 on: January 14, 2014, 12:51:26 PM »
Do I sense a new business in the making?

DamonHD

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Re: ATmega328P for OpenTRV use
« Reply #19 on: January 14, 2014, 01:37:33 PM »
I'm really after reducing carbon footprint, but if I can spend more time on this project and/or others like it by bringing in some revenue all the better.  But I'd get paid much more I suspect just keeping the current day job.  Our whole scheme is to give everything away as hard as we can (everything significant is permissively licensed in public repositories for example), but there can be an income in selling the sizzle even if we hope others will be selling the sausage...

Rgds

Damon

SparWeb

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Re: ATmega328P for OpenTRV use
« Reply #20 on: January 14, 2014, 07:41:47 PM »
Quote
...And I'm sitting here burning custom bootloaders into 20+ AVRs and will be testing 13 more boards ready for assembly into boxes to deploy!

Then the mass-production has begun.  :)
Many things that begin as open-source hardware end up being economic successes (especially if one considers the numerous chinese Arduino copies as flattery by imitation).

As an ideas person myself, I often have difficulty picturing what a process-oriented person could bring to my projects, but those talents can be exactly what makes the difference between a good idea that some people enjoy and a successful idea that many others can enjoy.  When an idea like this comes along and you think it can take off, step back and ask yourself if you're the person that can give it a proper launch.  If you are convinced that you (and your colleagues on this project) are the ones who believe in it and have the abilities too, then you are probably the best people to make it succeed.  I probably read too much of the entrepreneurial propaganda in magazines, but it sure seems like a story I hear often, that the businesses that fail are the ones whose creators either didn't believe in or didn't have the ability to propel. 
No one believes the theory except the one who developed it.  Everyone believes the experiment except the one who ran it.

System spec: 135w BP multicrystalline panels, regulated by Xantrex C40, DIY 8ft diameter wind turbine, regulated by Tri-Star TS60, 800AH x 24V AGM Battery, Xantrex SW4024

DamonHD

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Re: ATmega328P for OpenTRV use
« Reply #21 on: January 15, 2014, 06:05:52 AM »
Hi,

If you're saying that founders are not necessarily long-term managers, and that inventors are not the same as skilled mass-producers I entirely agree.  Been there and done that in a couple of different ways.

I definitely don't have the skills and scale to produce cheap mass-produced stuff that just works, and I don't think that the current OpenTRV community/team does either though has lots of skills beyond mine clearly, but that's not what we're trying to do.  We're trying to take out some of the technical risks up front and make it easier for (say) a Chinese or Western OEM to adapt our reference design, stack 'em high and sell 'em cheap.

We're aiming for ~100 hardware cost for a typical UK household to self install to maybe halve their 500/year heating bill.

Each current prototype costs 50--100 depending on what costs you include!

Rgds

Damon

SparWeb

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Re: ATmega328P for OpenTRV use
« Reply #22 on: January 16, 2014, 11:01:35 PM »
Actually, my point fell more along the lines of:
You and your group are the ones who have the ideas, creativity, and understanding to move the project forward now, and keep it moving forward in the future if it were to become a commercial product.  You may not believe you're able to take it to that step, but maybe all you lack is only one team member, perhaps one with some contacts, looking for this kind of product.

Unlike the do-it-yourself "hobby" stuff that this forum is mostly about, you have come up with something that could save a lot of people money and energy.  That's worth getting into the hands of as many people as can use it.  Since most people have no interest in building electronics kits, then only the development community will take part in the OpenTRV phase.  Rather than wait for Honeywell to swoop in (but with no million-euro check and no licensing contract) to promulgate it, why not carry the ball yourself, right across the goal line?
No one believes the theory except the one who developed it.  Everyone believes the experiment except the one who ran it.

System spec: 135w BP multicrystalline panels, regulated by Xantrex C40, DIY 8ft diameter wind turbine, regulated by Tri-Star TS60, 800AH x 24V AGM Battery, Xantrex SW4024

DamonHD

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Re: ATmega328P for OpenTRV use
« Reply #23 on: January 17, 2014, 12:37:26 AM »
That may happen, I agree.

We'll just have to see how things pan out.

It's important to remember that we're still at the technology proving stage yet; this has not yet been shown to do what I'm hoping it does.

Rgds

Damon

PS. We went to see an energy retailer that I know well on Wednesday, and the CEO has said that they'll help OpenTRV.  Maybe we'll see some branded versions of OpenTRV from them next winter, who knows!

Bruce S

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Re: ATmega328P for OpenTRV use
« Reply #24 on: January 17, 2014, 06:21:44 PM »
Yea, but don't give them the source code.... just yet....
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DamonHD

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Re: ATmega328P for OpenTRV use
« Reply #25 on: January 18, 2014, 01:59:15 AM »
Everything is already published.

Besides, this particular retailer has already been running some of my code on their site for a while, allegedly one of the most popular pages on their site!

Rgds

Damon

Bruce S

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Re: ATmega328P for OpenTRV use
« Reply #26 on: January 18, 2014, 08:57:15 AM »
That is good to read.
Are they giving you credit where credit is due as well?
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