Camera module, monitor water flow meter

Hi there !

I’d like to monitor our water consumption by reading the “water flow meter” every minute or so.

My question is if this could be acheved with the particle spark + a camera module. If so do you have any recomendations regarding the camera module?

The meter is in a dark room, so preferable a camera module that can operate in the dark? Infrared maybe ? And/or some sort of LED diode ?

I’d say that while not technically impossible, it’s not a good fit for a Particle Photon/Electron/Core.

The camera options are limited, and the more substantial limitation is the amount of free RAM to process the image.

I’d go with a Raspberry Pi instead. There’s a nice, inexpensive, camera module, and there are good open source image processing libraries for Linux that will help in reading the numbers from the dials.

I agree with @rickkas7, a camera is not really suited for a photon or similar. Perhaps a Pi might help but still, image recognition is no easy task. Perhaps identifying each 0.1m3 would be easier with a color sensor (might be too wide) or laser or something along that line. That would be perfectly doable with a particle board :slight_smile:

Ofcourse, you’d still need to manually add the starting amount.

And while I realize you can’t modify your water meter, the way it’s typically done in industrial uses is to put a tiny magnet on the least significant dial, then place a hall-effect sensor on top of the clear cover to measure when the dial makes a complete revolution. That task is easily handled by a Photon.

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Thanks !

I’m investigating what kind of meter it is, maybe it has a magnet I could use. Awsome !

I was planning on letting my server do the image processing for me with opencv. I like the idea of using a laser though @TheHawk1337 “laser” :slight_smile:

I’ve ordered a photon starter kit, it’s a whole new world for me, kind of. I did some electronic work at uni but that was ages ago :slight_smile:

Thanks for the help guys ! I really appreciate it !

I bet you could use a color sensor. That one has a white LED on the board as well. Just set it over the least significant dial and you might be able to see the red pointer as it passes under the sensor and just count the number of revolutions.



Here’s one similar approach:

you could adapt to employ a photon.

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Thanks a lot, great feedback. I like the color sensor, I reckon I can use it for other fun projects when I’m done with the water meter thing.

Thanks for the tip @bpr, I’ll be sure to check it out when I’m a bit more up to speed with everything.