So I have an idea for a new Hungry Hacker project – a power consumption monitor for our house. It won’t exactly be new – when I was standing out in our backyard waiting forever for our dog (who’s so fat she’s going to need cellulite treatments in around her jiggly belly – that oughta piss my wife off, haha) to do her business, I thought about trying to reverse engineer the wireless protocol the utility company uses to read the meter from the street.
Turns out that that’s not such an easy endeavor, and that the alternative method is widely known already… reading the IR flashes that are emitted out the top of the meter. But regardless, I’ve never let lack of originality get in the way of starting a new project before, and I’m not about to now… assuming I ever get off my butt and finish it.
I’m going to do something different with our system though – I don’t feel like dedicating an Arduino, AVR, or PIC to the task, so I’m going to try and rig up a circuit to trigger a parallel port on my downstairs server, and run a long cable over that way. I’m sure it’ll take a little more effort to make it robust, but I think I can do it with just what I have laying around the house.