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Thread: New stoker-web

  1. #1
    TVWBB Fan Gary Bak's Avatar
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    Hello All,

    Iíve been working on a web-based program to monitor my stoker and change its settings. I like the stoker-log program, but did not want to be tied to viewing the status on a single machine. The program Iím working on is a web-app that will run on a web server and be accessible from any browser, including mobile devices. The home screen is read-only, so it can be viewed by anyone. After logging into the application, you will be able to change settings. Here is a short list of features that I plan to have in the first release.

    Features:
    ē Web Interface / multi-browser / mobile device support.
    ē Large dials for viewing probe temperatures and alarm settings
    ē Easy recognition of alarm conditions
    ē Supports multiple cookers and temperature probes
    ē Logging of cook data, supports multiple logs simultaneously
    ē Default page is view only, login to change settings.
    ē Cook profiles to store and load favorite settings.
    ē Displays and logs local outdoor weather information
    ē Email updates
    ē Real time graphs
    The temp data is provided real time to the browser as the temperatures change, and uses server-push technology. The accompanying graph is updated once a minute. It uses the telnet interface to the stoker since the JSON response times are pretty slow.

    I must add, that this program is not for everyone. It will not be as easy to setup and configure as the stoker-log. It is a web application that requires a servlet engine like Jetty, Tomcat or any other application server. My plan is to run the program on my webserver 24/7. If / when it detects the stoker online, it will start a log and begin displaying stats when I open the page.

    Edit, Project site is here: http://code.google.com/p/stoker-web/

    I'll try to get a screen shot up.

  2. #2
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    Very interesting... will you be making it available for testing / use ?

  3. #3
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    Looks interesting, let me know when you need beta testers.
    WSM 2820
    Weber One-Touch Platinum
    Stoker & StokerLog

  4. #4
    TVWBB Member Curt Timmerman's Avatar
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    Looks great. Can you provide a simple block diagram of the software/hardware pieces in your application.

    I am working on a similar application, but it's for an electric smoker.

    Curt

  5. #5
    TVWBB Honor Circle Bryan Mayland's Avatar
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    Very awesome. Which server push mechanism are you using for your updates?
    I'm that HeaterMeter guy what ruins everybody's free time.

  6. #6
    TVWBB Fan Gary Bak's Avatar
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    The project is all Java and uses Googleís GWT as the framework. I choose GWT as primarily a training exercise since I wanted to try it out.

    I am using gwt-comet for the server push.
    Jericho for parsing the http admin page
    Apache Commons Net for the Telnet libraries
    Gwt-visualization for the graphs ( I may include a JFreeChart option also)

    The current line graph is a flash based graph, so it will not work on Apple iPhones or iPads. I have plans to be able to add the option to swap that out with the simple line graph from gwt. The drawback to the gwt-visualization library is that it requires a live internet link to draw the images, so jFreeChart will be the backup for those who donít have a connection. Here are the samples for those: http://www.jfree.org/jfreechart/samples.html. I have used jFreeChart before to create histograms, so I donít see that as being too difficult to implement.

    Iím using flat files for local storage of settings and logs. I resisted my every urge to use a database just to keep thing simple. A DB would simplify the program interface a bit, but Iím more worried about maintenance. Statistics, re-indexing, purging are things I donít really want have to deal with.

    The GUI has been the toughest part of the project thus far. GWT provides a Java Swing like interface for building the gui, but there are quirks when building every component and it takes time to work them out. Iíve got the main page kind of where I want it so I can focus on the guts again.

    I have built in the use of multiple cookers by prefixing the device name with a #_ (1_, 2_, etc). This will assign the specified device to a cooker and build a section on the screen for each one. I have limited hardware so Iíll likely have to build a simulator to provide dummy data for additional hardware. As currently written (but not at all tested) stoker-web will support as much hardware as the stoker itself. I may change the layout of the gauges to be vertical if it detects more than 3 per cooker, this would allow it to grow vertically instead of making it wider.

    I still have not designed a replacement for the stoker setup where a blower is assigned to a pit probe. I thought of a good possibility last night using drag and drop items, allowing devices to be dragged into a cooker. This will have to come after the base feature set.

    I used stoker-web for a cook yesterday and it worked surprisingly well since it is only a few weeks old. I have a limited amount of time to work on the project ( usually late nights ) but Iíve been pushing hard to get it to the ready state. I need to add the login logic and read-only page before the first release, since I see that as the main feature with stoker-web. I have the login and password encryption written in a separate project and I just need to integrate it. Hopefully, I have something in < 2 weeks.

    Gary

  7. #7
    TVWBB Member Curt Timmerman's Avatar
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    Thanks Gary - lots of good information

    After a lot of work and frustration with the Arduino board, have decided to take a different route. There is a lot of effort out there to turn embedded boards into a PC, so I thought why not just use a PC?

    I purchased an asus mini-ati board that I plan to use with the Stoker (temperature sensors) and an ethernet controlled SSR to control the heating element.

    Here is a diagram. It doesn't show the SSR interface.


    Like your implementation, it is not for the casual user.

    Curt

  8. #8
    TVWBB Fan Gary Bak's Avatar
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    Hey Curt, Long ago, on another project to control 220v relays, I had been working on reading thermistor data through a Vellman board. I had to create a circuit for the thermistor, wrote code to talk to the Vellman, created a class to run the Steinhart-Hart equation and though it worked and the temps were accurate, I had no nice box for all this junk and no easy way to run cables in and out. Had it all working on the bench, but the whole process was too complex and I scrapped it. In the end, as much as I like mucking with hardware, Iím a software guy, so Iíll stick with what I know best.

    From your diagram, I guess everything will act off of the data persisted in the database? How will you fire events from the Query API to the Update API, does it poll for changes?

  9. #9
    TVWBB Member Curt Timmerman's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Gary Bak:
    Hey Curt...

    From your diagram, I guess everything will act off of the data persisted in the database? How will you fire events from the Query API to the Update API, does it poll for changes?
    The temperature monitoring/recording is a standalone application (Perl) that fires at a regular interval.

    The presentation and control are handled by an ajax javascript browser application. It polls, via the API, temperature readings that have occurred since the last poll. The browser page is updated and, if necessary, the PWM SSR is toggled. The ethernet controlled SSR comes from NCD

    Coding is for the most part is complete, I just have to find time to put the pieces together.

    Curt

  10. #10
    TVWBB Fan Gary Bak's Avatar
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    Slowly making progress...

    * Coded local weather retrieval in Json format from Yahoo.
    * Stabilized the telnet controller. Can now handle failure conditions and reconnects.
    * Added file logging, format will look something like this:
    c|00|01|Name
    c|01|db0000116f0bec30| FOOD|ALARM_FIRE|250|075|food sensor|
    c|03|230000002a55c305| BLOWER| |000|000|blower 1|
    c|02|e70000116f279030| PIT|ALARM_FOOD|320|070|pit sensor|230000002a55c305
    #start
    d|1312948017087
    d|1312948074816:01|78.3:02|79.7|0
    d|1312948134942:01|78.1
    d|1312948194783:01|79.0:02|80.4|0
    d|1312948254766:01|78.3:02|79.0|0
    d|1312948314894:02|79.7|0
    d|1312948377050:01|77.6:02|80.0|0

    Every point will not be logged if the data as not changed. I also changed the time format from seconds since epoch (seen above) to a more readable format.

    The project was finally large enough and changes frequent enough to necessitate the need for source control. Added the project to my SVN source control. I had been 7-zipping the files and throwing it on network storage for backup.

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