Internet Connected Power Usage Monitor

Monitor the power usage for your home and individual devices with this Particle Photon connected Current Cost EnviR power monitor.

Introduction
Current Cost make a range of electricity power meters, including the EnviR that wirelessly connects to a clamp meter for the house supply, these can be picked up relatively cheaply on eBay as well as individual IAM modules for appliances. The Envir displays the power usage and trends on an LCD screen which is nice, however getting this data to the internet for long term monitoring and potentially acting on is a different matter.

The Envir doesn’t have built in Internet connectivity but Current Cost do sell a NetSmart module that plugs into the Envir, however this only sends the data to CurrentCosts own platform (my.currentcost.com), which leaves a lot to be desired, what I wanted was some way to get my electricity usage data to my preferred IoT platform (Tinamous.com - see my profile for one of the reasons why :-) ), and to use the power of the Photon to do some processing before sending the data.

After a little digging I discovered the Currrent Cost Envir monitor uses a simple serial interface via the RJ45 jack, this can also be used to power the Envir unit as well. Just add a Photon (or Electron), a RJ45 lead and some code….

The RJ45 pinout is nice and simple:

Pin 1 Vcc supply (3v3 on Photon)
Pin 4 GND (Gnd on Photon)
Pin 7 EnviR Rx (Not connected).
Pin 8 EnviR Tx (Rx on Photon)
My initial prototype was with a breadboard and RJ45 breakout board.”

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