Seeking advice: how best to gather data

It’s fall - which means I’m gearing up for another winter of development! :smile:
I’m seeking advice & suggestions on how best to move forward: platforms, webhooks (or not), etc.
Goal: gain better insight on temp & humidity in attic space over winter to determine if home/attic is sealed OK
Project: place Particle Core in attic to gather temp & humidity; gather inside house temp & humidity (via API from Ecobee thermostat); gather outdoor temp & humidity (via NOAA) => graph all info to determine if house humidity/temp is leaking into attic space (want to view days-weeks at a time, so will likely log data hourly).
I made some headway late last Spring, but never settled on anything. Plotly and Ubidots both seemed to plot very granular (think daily) data, whereas, I’d like to review the week/month(s) - looking for trends. Google-docs spreadsheets presented its own challenges. I’m starting fresh, so just wanted to gather any thoughts/input on how best to easily compile this data into a single source. Any thoughts/suggestion/comments are most welcome - and thanks in advance. -Cheers.


I tried the ThingSpeak library from the official team and it worked pretty well :smile:

You can control when to publish on the Particle device side to do it less frequently as you require


Far be it from me to keep someone from building something cool but there is an easy way to find interior to attic air leaks…look for black insulation. Where it’s black that’s dust/dirt being deposited as air moves upwards. There’s also the other low tech method of shining flashlights from the attic down anyplace there’s a fixture, wiring, pipes, etc.

Good luck with your project but sounds like some serious number crunching will need to be done and keep your thermodynamics textbook handy. All that being said, if you do build something that is effective…I’d be a buyer or copier of said device!

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I can definitely appreciate the winter hacking cycle! What else are we going to do when it’s already dark when we get out of work or school?

If you have server resources a available to you like a virtual machine or even a Raspberry Pi 2 (the RPi1 works, but it’s painfully slow), you could run a StatsD + Graphite implementation. You can set your own granularity and retention. It’s not an easy install, but I can’t live without it now. And the things you can do with the Graphite API is pretty amazing.

I have a small Node.JS script that listens to my Particle event stream and forwards any events named statsd to, well, StatsD. It’s all pretty hands-off and automagic now!

Hello Mark,

Because your project requires three different sources (Ecobee, NOAA and Particle) I would suggest using Google Sheets to query the first two and then relay the data to your IoT service of choice. This way you can have all 3 variables in the same platform. I like the possibilities of Google Scripts and it’s “project triggers” where you can configure it to do a function every x amount of time, making it ideal to query webservices periodically

If you choose to send the data to Ubidots (full disclosure - I’m part of the Ubidots team) you can use a “Rolling Window” variable which allows you to choose a time-frame and an operation to resample your raw data. I know there’s no weekly or monthly option, but I could look for an example to do this query through the API

Thanks, @LukeUSMC
Yup - we have an attic (crawl space) that was air-sealed (supposedly) a few years back, then insulated w/ another 18+" of blow-in. Honestly, it was done quite well. I noticed some minimal condensation in the attic area last spring (around the chimney) and had an estimate from someone to remove said insulation and put in spray foam to form a full vapor barrier. That estimate came in around $15k… so, I figure I have a good budget to work with at this point. :grinning: I didn’t really want to remove the existing work/insulation… and after checking major air passage points from the attic (noting they were well insulated and sealed)… Instead of tackling from the attic, I went around inside the house with a trigger-ready caulk gun removing every socket cover, light cover, switch cover, and anywhere else I noticed possible air gaps. Over about a months time (and <$50 in caulk), I think we have a good air seal (also sealing a large gap in the switch box in the bathroom after installing an auto-sensing humidistat fan switch).
Now, I’m just curious as to what happens in the attic space? Perhaps it has little to do with air leakage and more to do with spring time when humidity levels rise combined with the chimney going through the attic generating a little heat = moisture? No idea - but my goal is to gather some data (engineer at heart) and see what I find. I’m fairly sure I burned (while dancing) my Thermo-book. Oops. Time for a refresh.

I’m impressed with what you’ve done already! Good old fashioned fact finding mission… Maybe AWS Lamba and MongoDB since you are trickling data it shouldn’t incur a huge charge then you can visualize however you want. Might need a touch of Kinesis too. Check out the AWS HackaDay connected mararca. You can stream data from all your sources and visualize however you want.