As with most projects, my most recent project was born out of an inconvenience, an an empty wallet, and an idea.
The inconvenience: walking outside in sub-zero temperatures to check my fuel oil gauge. I know it’s lame and I’m lazy, but there’s something annoying about not having the information at my finger tips (ie. the internet) no matter where I am.
The empty wallet: checking….yep…still empty.
The idea: to be able to read the information from my current oil gauge and feed it to a web-enabled service so I can not only check the current level, but have stats and trends available from anywhere in the world.
So far I have the general process all figured out. A series of infrared emitters and sensors will span the oil gauge “tube” and scan for the indicator. A server will periodically query my ethernet-enabled arduino to get the reading of all the sensors and return a percentage value. These value will then be stored in a MySQL database and processed accordingly with some PHP code.
At this point I’ve been able to get the sensors all wired up and tested. Everything seems to be working quite well. I received my ethernet shield last week and started playing with that. I’ve got a bit more tinkering to do with that before starting the build of the actual sensor enclosure. I’ll post updates as I progress.