[Solved] Have Photon figured out, but the cloud - not so much. Please Help

I’m struggling and would truly appreciate your help.

I’m a retired EE, but spent my whole career working on hardware. In school (30 years ago) I worked with Fortran, C, Pascal and a couple different processors’ assembly languages. I feel like I can work my way through programming tasks.

Now, I’m working on a project for my daughter to monitor the level of four water tanks. I would like to use WiFi to connect to something to allow her to see the levels - preferably as per cent full. After fiddling with XBees and Arduino, I found the Photon does exactly what I need. I pretty easily figured out how to get the Photon to control a MaxBotix ultrasonic range sensor and have got it set up to return the range in inches to an http query. The correct results are buried in the JSON (?) string with lots of extraneous stuff.

What I would like to do is display four graphs (dial or bar or whatever) showing the per cent full of each tank. (As a function of the depth of the water, the arithmetic is simple so that is not the problem.) The data can be updated once a minute at most. I’m thinking whatever “script” is running can poll the devices periodically. Historical data based on time of day might be interesting, but is not necessary. The display can be on a web page, a iPhone app or whatever is easiest.

So, the Photon works. I just need a way to take its range data, do some arithmetic to it to get to “percent full” and display it as a graph for each of the four devices.

My problem is I am simply not comprehending the IoT/Cloud stuff. I feel like the solution is out there, but I am so bogged down trying to understand APIs, webhooks, Java Scripts, dashboards, consoles, CLIs, JSON, cURL etc and how they all fit together, I can’t seem to understand how to move forward. I’ve worked through the Particle “Getting Started” examples and used them to get to usable code for the Photon to query the MaxBotix sensor. I ran into a wall trying to figure out how the “API Requests” fit in.

I am not necessarily looking for a step by step solution. I like learning and am willing to figure it out. What would really help are pointers to articles or tutorials to help me understand the jargon and how all the web/cloud components fit together. That would help me figure out what is applicable to my project. Also, suggestions of what free or cheap Cloud/IoT solution or App might best fit my simple needs would be helpful. With that, I could work specifically with that to fit my project.

Thank you for your help.

@Cloudy, you might consider using Blynk! The Blynk library is available on the web IDE. :grinning:


You might find this interesting as well:


Another cloud service (free) that you could use is ThingSpeak.
ThingSpeak URL

I use it to log weather info, status of things around the house, etc. I also have an Oak (Photon like) that pulls this data down to a TFT in home display. The site also provides MATHLAB tools to analyze, chart and display data.

Here’s a tutorial on getting things up and running on Grovestreams. You might take a read through this as an example of how to collect info and push it to the cloud for storage and visualization.


I can see clearly now the rain has gone . . . Sorry, but THANK YOU peekay.

Blynk is it. I got my project working :smiley: (in spite of Particle Build being offline most of the afternoon.)

Super easy. I’m really happy. Thanks agin.