Before I start - apologies because I am new to this and I know I have asked related questions before.
But a few months on I am revisiting this project so in a way I am starting from scratch.
My aim is to collect energy details from both our grid supply and our PV environment. Because I was trying to stagger the costs I first purchased an emon TX v3 along with PSU and power clamps.
So my core question is this. If I install this device and attach the CTs to the relevant feeds can I only use the emon to feed information to OpenEnergyMonitor Raspberry PI based services? I do have a raspberry PI in the house which runs homeassistant (including database services such as influx DB) so in an ideal world I would love to be able to pump data into into a database reservered for that purpose.
If that is not possible could I run the required OpenEnergyMonitor collection component on a VM on a platform such as hyperv?
Does your emonTx have an ESP8266 either internally or externally, functioning as a Wi-Fi adapter, or do you want to use the built-in ISM band radio to get the data to wherever? If the first (or you add an ESP8266), then you can send the data by Wi-Fi onto your LAN, then to anywhere - emoncms.org or emoncms running on your own server (which could be another RPi). If you want to take the second option, then you probably want an emonBase, which could of course sit on your LAN to send the data onwards (as well as keeping its own database).
My colleague @borpin always recommends one RPi per task, so a RPi with the RFM69Pi transceiver would be the way he recommends, rather than running emonCMS in parallel with other tasks on the same RPi. Obviously a higher-powered server would be more capable of running several tasks at the same time.
Yes, I mean current transformers (Sorry - wrong terminology)
As for your question about the ESP8266 - how would I verify this? The unit, as purchased, was supplied with a screw-on antenna but that probably doesn’t help much. The product description (as per invoice) is an emonttxv3 emergy monitor transmitter in case (pre-assembled). Is the next step to open it up and have a look at the PCB?
Am I irght in thinking the RJ45 socket is not for lan connectivity?
You won’t have an ESP8266 inside (if it had, you would have bought this) - though there is probably a header to accept it. You can open it up and look to verify. If there’s no header, the ESP8266 connects to the programmer port, but take care and look very carefully at the photos in the User Guide (link on that Shop page), because one pin needs cutting off, and another bent across.
Correct, it is not. It is for the pulse and temperature sensor inputs only.
JP3 is where the header goes to accept an ESP8266. You don’t have either header or ESP8266. In its absence, you need to connect the ESP8266 as I mentioned to the programmer port (next to the RJ45), as per those photos.
Note: The (huge - comparatively) extra current needed for WiFi means you also need a 5 V USB adapter to power it. You don’t need the 5 V power (only the a.c. adapter) if you use the internal radio (right behind the antenna socket) and a RFM69Pi on an RPi instead of WiFi.
So having done some reading this morning it would seem that if I want to go down the PiZero route I need the following:
PiZero 2 (I believe that is the current version)
Software for the above (this I’m currently confused about because as far as I understand the role of the Pizero is to accept the data from the EmonTX and transmit it on to another local device (or in my case cloud)
PSU for the Zero Pi (Note to self - check if the EmonTX stiff needs a 5v supply)
The PiZero devices didn’t exist when I got into emon, my emonTX V2 is still going strong handling my power reporting as well as Solar Diversion.
So instead I used an OpenWRT device that basically is the same as a PiZero but without needing an SD card. All it does is just reads the emonTX’s serial port and pushes that data directly to emonCMS via its HTTP csv input. I have updated that to also push that csv string to MQTT too.
If you’re only using the serial port, and not drawing any power from the emonTx (i.e. whatever you connect to it is powered from somewhere else), then the a.c. adapter can supply enough power to the emonTx. The trouble starts when you connect something that needs more than a few milliamps, because the extra current spoils the shape of the wave you’re measuring, and makes the readings wrong.
OpenWRT was never a device as such. It was a linux operating system that you could run on several embedded hardware platforms. I ran it on a cheap TL link router. The advantage is that the TL link device had a serial port input, a WiFi adapter and a LAN port. So everything I needed to simply build a bridge between a serial port and the LAN. You don’t need to do any of that now. There are several off the shelf serial to LAN devices available.
Or just use an ESP (or similar), if you are happy with WiFi.
I have also used devices that provide a cheap Serial to Ethernet bridge.
And while they work fine, they are closed firmware and that means that you need some scripting on the emoncms server to read the data from the LAN device it creates and push that into emonCMS or similar.
￡6.46 10%OFF | FS100P USR-TCP232-T2 Tiny Serial Ethernet Converter Module Serial UART TTL to Ethernet TCPIP Module Support DHCP and DNS
I was just looking at that and trying to figure out just how @bruce_miranda used it - it looks like a wireless access point to me - Ethernet ↔ WiFi, which I think isn’t how we use the PiZeroW, or the plain RPi or ESP8266/