ESW-RECMS Blog Post- Week 9

We are nearing the end of constructing the RECMS device, and have verified that its individual components are fully functional; our final task is integrating the components together. Moreover, we have developed a comprehensive schematic for the system that includes major components such as the PCB, Raspberry PI, and Current Clamps; we have designed this schematic with simplicity as one of our main considerations.

We had a conference call with Dygdha from IBEKA just a few days ago, which solidified our vision for the project and provided us with insight into additional avenues we could explore to bolster the efficacy of the device. The following are the topics we discussed:

Data Transmission Methods:

Currently, we are planning on using SMS to transmit data such as current and power consumption to IBEKA. We told Dygdha that we had created a working system and tested it successfully. As we discussed other methods that might also be feasible, he explained that it might be possible to use power lines to establish communication. The power lines can communicate over 1000 meters through a Local Area Network (LAN)/Ethernet connection. We will look further into integrating this into our system.

Travel to Sumba Island:

We also wanted to discuss the possibility of 1–2 members of our team traveling to Sumba Island to assist with the integration of the system. Dygdha mentioned that this would be feasible, even though we may send members at a time frame that is different from that of the RMS team (September vs July/August).

Powering the Raspberry PI:

An additional consideration that we wanted to talk about with Dygdha was powering the Raspberry PI, which will serve as the hub for all data collection and processing. We need 5V to power the PI and wanted to know if installers would be able to procure such as power supply. Dydha mentioned that we would most likely be able to find such as power supply, but if not then we could consider integrated a 120V to 5V step down into the system; it will take a few days on site to connect to the main line, though.

Cost of System:

Finally, we discussed the cost of the system. Both we and IBEKA would like to make the system as economical as possible, so that it not only can be used by many different groups in Sumba Island, but also because a low cost ensures that it can be reproduced easily. In order to help individuals recreate the system, we will also plan on creating an instructable with detailed procedures on putting the system together.