NOTE: this is not a yet a complete howto article, I just mention what can be achieved with this nice gadget and refer to some interesting information about this product.
Conrad sells a nice little gadget: the Voltcraft Energy Count 3000 that enables you to monitor the energy usage of up to 10 individual devices. The package contains 2 “power monitors” and a little remote receiver that enables you to “pair” with individual “power monitors”. You can also buy individual power monitors or a set of 3 extra power monitors. These devices are also sold under the brand name Velleman (type NETBESEM4) and “La Crosse Techology Remote Cost Control Monitor” (type RS3620).
After a power monitor is paired you can receive and display data from it. The data that is shown is:
- The current power usage (in Watts)
- The maximum usage of the device (in Watts) since the start of the measurements
- The total cost since the start of the measurement
- The cost per month based on the total power usage since the start of the measurements
- The total energy usage (in Wh) since start of the measurements
- The time that the device was ‘on’
- The total time since the start of the measurements
- The ID for each power monitor so that you can identify which power monitor belongs to what “channel”
For reliably determining the total cost you need to first set a “tariff”.
Besides reading out the data using the little remote receiver you can also use a RTL-SDR supported radio receiver and the GNU Radio software defined radio framework for this. The following links refer to usefull information:
To use the software you first need to install the gnuradio framework and the gr-osmosdr package
- sudo apt-get install gr-osmosdr
After all preconditions have been met you can install and test the software:
- git clone git://github.com/avian2/ec3k.git
- cd ec3k
- sudo python setup.py install
- python setup.py test
Installing gnuradio and gr-osmosdr using the default package installation for your release may result in issues. You may want to build gnuradio from source as described here.