This tutorial will walk you through using IFTTT to set up a log of when your Internet goes out. It’s a great walkthrough if you’ve never used IFTTT (or even Spark) before. The only hardware you need: A Core or Photon. Also, you’ll want to have a Google account since we’ll be using Google Drive as our action channel (note that this is a really full tutorial that walks through each and every step. So it looks long. It’s not)
This will also go extra quick if you’ve already signed up for an IFTTT account. If you haven’t, just go here.
Here we go…
My husband and I used to live in an apartment that had some Internet issues. There were constantly (unnamed Internet provider) reps out at the building trying to fix stuff and often making it worse. Thus we would call them all the time to tell them that the signal had been dropping a lot recently.
Unnamed Internet company phone person: How often?
Me: I don’t know. A lot.
I wish I could have answered that question with some actual data that I had easily collected. “It tends to fail several times in the evening” or “It goes in and out all day, often 6 or 7 times.”
So let’s build a super easy project to help collect that exact data.
####1. Connect your device to the Internet and claim it to your account. (If you’ve already claimed your device skip to step 2)
If this is the first time you’ve opened your board let’s start out by getting your Core/Photon claimed. The best way to do so (provided you’re not in a conference setting) is via our app. Read through our start page and get your board claimed and connected to the Spark cloud!
Return to this tutorial once your board is “breathing” cyan and you have named and connected it to your account.
Your Core or Photon comes pre-loaded with firmware called “Tinker” that is already running a program on the board. For the Trigger we’re going to use in this example, you just need some sort of firmware on your board (it doesn’t matter what) so for now we’re just going to leave Tinker loaded on and dive right into IFTTT. If you’ve already been playing with your board that it totally fine – you just want to make sure some sort of firmware is actually flashed to it.
2. Log onto IFTTT and Create a Recipe
You’ll then be taken to the below screen:
3. Select Spark as your Trigger Channel (IFTTT step 1)
If you have not already activated the Spark channel you’ll need to do so now. Use the same email address you use for your Spark login account (but note that it needs to be all lowercase here for some reason).
4. Choose a Trigger (IFTTT step 2)
Select “Monitor your device status”
5. Complete Trigger Fields (step 3 in IFTTT)
If (device name or ID)
• Select the name of your board. For me that’s jackfrost.
Is (Status of your device)
• Decide if you want to know when your board is online or offline. I’ll choose offline for this example
6. Choose Action Channel (step 4 IFTTT)
I’d like to keep a log of how often my internet goes throughout the day so I’m going to set up a spreadsheet to track this. I’m going to select the Google Drive channel (which will let me set up a google sheet). If you have not activated this channel, go ahead and do so now. You’ll need to approve allowing IFTTT to connect to your account.
7. Choose an Action (step 5 IFTTT)
Select “Add row to spreadsheet”
8. Complete Action Fields (step 6 IFTTT)
Now we set up what our spreadsheet is actually going to be called and the exact data it’s going to collect.
- I’ll personalize that spreadsheet name to “Tracking Internet at home”
- This is populated with Ingredients that have been automatically populated. I like what the outcome will be so I’ll keep it as is. It will result in entries that look like this: Jackfrost / offline / January 13, 2015 10:12am
Drive folder path
- I’m going to change this folder path to “IFTTT” so it’s easy for me to find in the future.
Ready? Hit Create Action
9. Create and Activate (step 7 IFTTT)
This is where you can write a nice description of your recipe (or else just leave what is automatically populated)
10. Now it’s time to collect data (and look up the phone number for your internet provider!)
(Heads-up that it sometimes takes several minutes for this integration to connect. We recommend waiting a few moments and then disconnecting power to your Core or Photon. You should now be able to find a log of your data in an IFTTT folder of your google drive.
Here’s what your data should end up looking like:
Next Steps: If you want to keep going, a great next step is to measure when that same Core/Photon comes online. This way you can get not only how many times your signal dropped but also measure how long it was out. To do this, just follow the exact same steps as above, except at Step 5 select “online” as your status. You can even have the data pump into the same google sheet as your offline data by making sure the paths match in Step 8.
Hope you’ve enjoyed this!!