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PostPosted: Mon Jun 06, 2011 8:41 pm 
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A little knowledge can be dangerous... but from my limited understanding, to accurately count pulses the Optismart sensor will need to be on 24/7 (although only transmitting once every 6 seconds), unlike the current clamps which can turn on, sample, and then turn off very quickly, thus conserving the juice.

Is this going to negatively impact on battery life drastically? Has any testing been done to see how long the batteries last in real life situations?


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2011 12:48 am 
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No reply at all? This is a support forum, direct and reasonable question about the product?


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 10, 2011 12:39 pm 
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Location: East Sussex
I don't suspect the power consumption will be that much higher than the present clamp transmitter...

Both transmitter types are active all the time and transmit data every six seconds.

The OptiSmart I guess will just have a photo transistor (or the like) to look at the LED on the electric meter.

I can't imagine that circuit using much power...

Automan.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 22, 2011 10:54 am 
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The CT clamp meter is NOT active all the time, it sleeps then wakes up for a fraction of a second to sample, transmit then go back to sleep again - it is effectively 'off' for 95% of the time (roughly).

A phototransistor meter will need to either be awake all the time (so as to not miss any pulses) or will be asleep but awoken frequently (by those pulses) to count them.

A reply from CurrentCost would be lovely....


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2011 1:48 pm 
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Location: Pembrokeshire, UK
warwickwater wrote:
The CT clamp meter is NOT active all the time, it sleeps then wakes up for a fraction of a second to sample, transmit then go back to sleep again - it is effectively 'off' for 95% of the time (roughly).

A phototransistor meter will need to either be awake all the time (so as to not miss any pulses) or will be asleep but awoken frequently (by those pulses) to count them.

A reply from CurrentCost would be lovely....


Surely the clamp sensor is passive, just a coil around the mains live conductor - neither on nor off? Won't the control circuit in the transmitter just measure the current in the sensor every x seconds.

I imagine that the Optismart has to be active all the time because the pulses are irregular. My meter is 800 pulses per kWh so varies from 0 pulses/hour to about 1600 pulses/hour for my ~2kWp PV system.

On the other hand, what do I know about these units :?

Simon

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2.16kWp PV, 20 tube Navitron solar heating, 7kW wood burner in rural Pembrokeshire


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2011 12:14 pm 
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Location: East Sussex
warwickwater wrote:
The CT clamp meter is NOT active all the time, it sleeps then wakes up for a fraction of a second to sample, transmit then go back to sleep again - it is effectively 'off' for 95% of the time (roughly).


If the unit is off for 95% of the time it could be very inaccurate.

I would have thought it would be on all the time adding up the data from the current transformer and sending the accumulated value every six seconds.

The send every six seconds would be when the load on the battery would peak.

Automan.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2011 5:20 pm 
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Location: Melbourne, Australia
Automan wrote:
If the unit is off for 95% of the time it could be very inaccurate.
IMO You are all partially right, but sorry to say you are all partially wrong.
Now I don't have any knowledge of how the optismart units work, but I have been playing with my own attempt to read the flashes from the meter using a photo-transistor and an MSP430 (low power mcu).

While the photo-transistor circuit will be drawing current all the time, there is no reason for it to use much current ( order of micro amps). The big user of current is the mcu which all of these sensors would use. Low power mcus like MSP430 can switch from a quiescent state to full power in nanoseconds so the preferred method of operation is to switch to full power on a photo-transistor state transition, perform all processing then switch back to quiescent state. Depending on the amount of processing very low power consumption is possible.

Now all that is required is for someone to pull an optismart apart and tell us what really happens!!!

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2011 5:00 pm 
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Location: East Sussex
Perhaps they use one of these inside?

http://www.microchip.com/en_us/technology/xlp/

Automan.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 18, 2011 11:02 am 
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Location: East Sussex
I have an excess number of envir transmitters so I just took one apart (CT clamp ones that is) :)

If of interest it has a Motorola PIC16F689 MCU inside.

Automan.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 18, 2011 4:38 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 02, 2011 11:50 am
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Location: Pembrokeshire, UK
Any suggestions for conversion to reed switch activation rather than optical pulse from meter. I have a water meter which has reed switch activated by magnet on each rotation of gauge dial. i.e. makes every revolution.
Simon

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2.16kWp PV, 20 tube Navitron solar heating, 7kW wood burner in rural Pembrokeshire


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