|Norgo NG101 Receiver and transmitter|
About a month ago, I bought a NGE101, it's a cool gadget that records and displays how much power a household is using.
It works by counting the light pulses emitted from digital Smart meters and then transmits that data back to the receiver. According to the manual, it does this once every 45 seconds.
This also means that the device will only with with the new digital smart meters, and not the old "analog" type with a spinning wheel and mechanical counters.
The smart meter that is installed in my apartment blinks a red LED light once for every 1 kW that is used, so by timing the duration between two blinks, it is possible to calculate how much power is being used at any moment.
You can read more about the device here.
Its all nice and good that the NGE101 can show the real time usage, and also the totals for the last 5 hours, 5 weeks and 5 months, but I want more :)
I would really like to collect the real time power usage numbers into a database so that I can graph them over time with a higher resolution that what the NGE101 can do itself.
As a first step I took the receiver apart, mostly because I was curious, but besides a few testing pads and open jumpers, the only real interesting thing I spotted was the dangling ground wire coming out of the receiver PCB. Its not the antenna, as it's just connected to ground and the real antenna can be seen to the far right in the "Guts" image. I don't know a lot about antenna design, but it seem to be strangely placed if it is supposed to be the ground plane for the monopole antenna. Antenna design is apparently really complicated, so who knows :)
|Main logic board|
|Transmitter circuit board|
|Keyboard circuit board|
I hope that the 433 MHz transmitter is using ASK modulation, which is commonly used in wireless weather stations and other one-way cheap wireless devices. And I also happen to have a arduino microcontroller and a 433 MHz receiver module handy, so the next step is to see if I can receive any data from the NG101 transmitter.
But that will have to be another post, another day.