19 January, 2013

Twine "Internet of Things" Monitor

My children know what kind of gifts that please their father, so they gave me a Supermechanical Twine for Christmas. It is described in this way:
Want to monitor things and environments remotely without a nerd degree? Maybe you want to get a tweet when your laundry's done, an email when the basement floods, or a text message when you left the garage door open.

I am presently using it to monitor the temperature in the outer part of the basement, where there is a chance of freezing when the outside temperature drops below about -15 C (5 F). I can continuously read the status such as the temperature on any web browser on my computer or mobile phone. I can also set threshold values that trigger an email message.

The Twine is easy as a breeze to program, by using simple rules as shown below.

08 January, 2013

GSM phone power control and signalling

When you measure the energy out of a GSM cell phone at the moment of initiating a call, you get the picture to the right. It shows the first 15 seconds.

For the first 3.5 seconds there is the signalling between the phone and the base station. Then the connection is established, but after some time (at 4.2, 5.6, 7.5 and 9.5 seconds) one can see how the phone turns the power down, according to the commands it gets from the base station.