Photon Remote Water Level Sensor
Resources and Going Further
For better system reliability (to keep running during Internet outages) you could run the particle cloud locally (which would require more processing to log data on ThingSpeak), use long-range serial radio transceivers (like this one to communicate directly between the Photons), or eventually, just communicate directly between the photons. Don't forget you can use long-range antennas like yagi antennas to boost your connection range.
If you want to take this further, you can always:
- use an Photon Internet button to remote control the pump
- build an aluminum light-shield (with a hole for the photocell) to keep the box from getting too hot in the summer
- log the humidity and temperature in the tank using this sensor (or others)
- log the water temperature with a sensor
- log water pressure near the pump with a sensor
- log water flow rates with a flowmeters
- alerts for too high or low of temperature (ideal charging temperatures are 32-113 F, and the electrolyte in the batteries starts to decompose at about 160 F) -- if you're in the desert, you might want to get a text if the box is getting hot so you can cover it with a wet shadecloth, or permanantly shade the box with aluminum
- analysis of pump flowrate/water usage using MATLAB processing in ThingSpeak
- analysis of energy use/pump on time with MATLAB processing
- analysis of pump hours run, and alerts when it's time for maintenance or nearing the pump's end-of-life
- uptime of photons
- motion sensor alarms late at night with ThingSpeak reacts
- web interface for controlling the pump
- remote control button for pump control
- remote monitoring in the house, etc (OLED, TFT, WS2812 LEDs) for telemetry data
I've already created a simple web form that can be used to remotely control the pump, and switch it between manual and auto mode, but it requires a little more coding of the Photons, and serving a web page. Perhaps in a future tutorial I'll show you how to do these things.
Again, all the code for this project can be found on GitHub.
For more Photon fun, check out these other great SparkFun tutorials: