Tagged: rtl_amr

Reading Household Wireless Utility Meters with an RTL-SDR and Plotting the Data in Home Automation Software

Over on YouTube Debashish Sahu has uploaded a video showing how he uses an RTL-SDR to capture and decode consumption data from his home electric/gas/water utility meters. He uses the rtl_amr software which already supports a wide range of meters such as Debashish's gas meter. Later in the video he shows a Python script that he's written which continuously grabs the data from rtl_amr, and passes it into the Home Assistant software using JSON. Then in Home Assistant the data is graphed, and he is able to determine points of interest, such as when appliances turned on or off.

Using RTL-SDR to read values from wireless electric/gas/water meters
Using RTL-SDR to read values from wireless electric/gas/water meters

Monitoring Home Power Consumption with an RTL-SDR

Over on his blog "K-roy" has completed a writeup discussing how he is using an RTL-SDR dongle to monitor and graph the power usage of his home. After seeing multiple ads for the Sense home power usage monitor, K-roy decided to roll his own similar device instead. 

Many homes in the US and elsewhere no longer require meter reader personnel to come onto the property to read a physical meter at the back of the house. Instead the meter transmits wireless data in the 900 MHz ISM band about electricity usage, and all the meter reader has to do is turn up outside the house and take a reading from the street. 

These electricity usage signals are unencrypted and can easily be decoded and displayed with an RTL-SDR and a ready to use program called rtl_amr. The signals even travel quite far, and there have been reports of receiving neighbours signals up to 600m away. K-roy took his RTL-SDR and rtl_amr and wrote on top of it a program that creates a JSON output of the data for easy processing, a PHP, SQLite3 and JQuery based database system for storing the data, and an HTML5 based page for graphing and displaying the data.

If you are interested, there is also a discussion about K-roy's work over on Reddit.

Power usage data collected and graphed by K-roys RTL-SDR, rtl_amr and his software.
Power usage data collected and graphed by K-roys RTL-SDR, rtl_amr and his software.