To gather the power usage data he used an RTL-SDR connected to a PC running rtlamr, which is software that can read data from ERT compatible power meters that transmit in the 900 MHz ISM band. He also uses some custom code he wrote that automatically plots the data over time and allows him to integrate it with his home automation system. In addition to his post he also uploaded a video shown below that shows his system in action.
Monitoring house power using a $20 RF RTLSDR USB stick
Smart meters are meters that monitor electricity usage and wirelessly transmit consumption data to the electricity company. They are a part of the “smart grid”, and allow for better electricity control and usage reporting.
Douglas recently wrote in to us to let us know about his work on RTLAMR, an RTL-SDR based Automatic Meter Reader (AMR) decoder. Currently Douglas has tested the decoder on his local Itron C1SR smart meters, but notes that it should work on any meter using the common AMR protocol known as Electronic Receiver Transmitter (ERT).