Author Topic: E.box  (Read 1936 times)

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Offline Nioonmo

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E.box
« on: October 22, 2018, 02:38:44 am »
Hi,
E.box is a completely new all-in-one device, it combines an oscilloscope, a multimeter and an audio capture device. Can be simply used like a smart plug for your home or a power analyzer for your lab. You can control E.box with our open source pc software or from your smartphone using the web interface.
It simply works like an extension cord: connect E.box between the power source and the appliance. E.box has three communication interfaces: a usb port for a fast data transfer and raw samples streaming, a dual CAN bus connector to chain multiple devices using ethernet cables and a CAN to USB adapter, a wifi web-server that allows you to monitor the device from a browser even remotely.

Have you ever wanted to monitor the power consumption of an appliance in your home, turning it on or off remotely? Are you a hobbyist tinkering with an electronic device and you want to view the current and voltage waveform of a transformer or a power supply? Are you a professional looking for a portable and light device to help you identifying faults? Are you a crypto miner and you want to monitor the power consumption of your farm? Now you can.



How to use:
E.box can be used as:
  • Oscilloscope: this function allows you to see the waveform and all the parameters of the AC signal
  • Multimeter: E.box works as a classic multimeter showing you DC or AC voltage and current measures
  • Audio Capture Device: in this mode the input signal is streamed in real time to the PC allowing you to record or analyze it with you favorite audio software (example Audacity)
  • Event logger: it allows you to set a range of values and execute different types of command (as you usually write them in your terminal) when the thresholds are exceeded (open a program, send an email/text message, …)
  • Energy monitor: in the home panel you can monitor the electricity bill of all the connected devices by setting the cost of electricity specified in your contract
  • CAN bus Table: this function is useful to view all the data in a single panel if you have multiple E.box chained using RJ45 cables

Features:
  • Works with both DC and AC power sources
  • 5V USB powered
  • Two voltage channels and one current channel
  • Built in relay to enable or disable power output
  • IEC C13-C14 connectors
  • One USB port, two RJ45 connectors, one wifi module
  • CAN bus supports up to 64 chained devices
  • Four status leds: board ready, output on, output overload, wifi status
  • One button for manual relay toggle
  • Maximum voltage: 390Vdc or 275Vac
  • Maximum current: 10A (15A unfused)
  • Frequency: 10Hz to 500Hz
  • Easy replaceable fuse
  • Measure voltage as low as 1mVdc or 0.1Vac
  • Measure current as low as 1mAdc or 10mAac
  • High voltage isolation: 7mm clearance with air gaps
  • Size: 180mm x 100mm x 50mm (7in x 4in x 2in)
  • Weight: 240g (8.5oz)

What makes it special?
  • Measures: voltage, current, frequency, active power, apparent power, reactive power, cos phi, active energy, apparent energy, reactive energy
  • Power input and output are isolated from the communication section
  • Tolerates large overloads for short periods
  • Can stream voltage and current samples via USB like an audio capture device
  • Open source software
  • Designed and Assembled in Italy

Why did you make it?
Our goal is to create a simple, reliable and easy to use device at an affordable price. E.box not only is specialized in energy metering but also mixes multiple instruments, allowing you to see voltage and current waveforms, helping you recognize faults. You can diagnose motor speed controllers, uninterruptible power supplies, and many other appliances.
« Last Edit: November 27, 2018, 03:13:58 am by Nioonmo »
 

Offline awallin

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with euro-plugs that plug in two ways you can't be sure which is L and which is N. Isn't that a good motivation for breaking both L and N (but not PE) when you want to switch things off?
 

Offline Nioonmo

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E.box is able to measure voltage between neutral and ground, so if you connect in the wrong way you can notice it
We have planned a software update to display a warning message if E.box is connected incorrectly
« Last Edit: October 22, 2018, 03:34:11 am by Nioonmo »
 

Offline dunkemhigh

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Quote
Our goal is to create a simple, reliable and easy to use device

A mains controller with built-in multimeter? That's not really a simple device - when or why would I want to use it? I have mains controllers that control mains well. I have (too many) multimeters that do multimetering very well. I can't envision a situation where it would be worth the time to take this out of its box for those features.

It sounds to me like you've made some mains monitoring thing and figured that the bit that measures the waveform could also be tapped into to provide low voltage input too, so you've added that because you could. But in doing so I think you are confusing the message of what this device is really about.

I would suggest that you forget the multimeter stuff. Sure, leave it in and it's a nice surprised to a purchaser, but that's all it is and shouldn't appear in the blurb. Making it a feature detracts from the more unusual features that are what will sell this. Concentrate instead on the mains waveform and power monitoring, and the relay stuff is a sub-feature of those.
 

Offline Nioonmo

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We have designed E.box as a powerful and flexible device, having direct access to voltage and current samples offers numerous opportunities. E.box is not intended to replace your multimeter, its main purpose is to monitor a power rail but can be useful in many other situations.
 

Online 2N3055

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Not a single word mentioning safety standards.   Not a single one.  It is something connected to mains, and human operated equipment.
Something you would have connected to mains for days, increasing statistical probability it would be exposed to over-voltage spikes..

I would be very cautious...
« Last Edit: October 22, 2018, 08:31:34 pm by 2N3055 »
 
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Offline julianhigginson

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Yikes! What safety compliance testing have you done?
 

Offline Nioonmo

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Thank you for asking this, sorry if we didn’t write anything about this topic.
E.box is rated for 2400V 50A overload for a few seconds.
Insulation is rated for 800V continuous, 5kV for 1 minute.
« Last Edit: October 22, 2018, 09:12:25 pm by Nioonmo »
 

Offline julianhigginson

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Thank you for asking this, sorry if we didn’t write anything about this topic.
E.box is rated for 2400V 50A overload for a few seconds.
Insulation is rated for 800V continuous, 5kV for 1 minute.

that answer is actually worse than the initial lack of info about electrical safety standard compliance in the first place.
 

Offline Nioonmo

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We don't understand why you don't like the specified ratings.
Every E.box is tested with high current transformers (up to 50A) and high voltage transformers (up to 2kV).
From these data you can understand that E.box tolerates larger overloads than the overload immunity of most of the domestic appliances that are plugged in 24/7 like power supplies and chargers.
E.box is our first product, we are not a company, we are a team of young electronic designers.
We wrote in this forum to receive advice on how to improve E.box. We can respond to your questions, just tell us what you want to know precisely.
 

Online 2N3055

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Re: E.box a completely new All-in-One test instrument now available on Tindie
« Reply #10 on: October 23, 2018, 07:28:57 pm »
We don't understand why you don't like the specified ratings.
Every E.box is tested with high current transformers (up to 50A) and high voltage transformers (up to 2kV).
From these data you can understand that E.box tolerates larger overloads than the overload immunity of most of the domestic appliances that are plugged in 24/7 like power supplies and chargers.
E.box is our first product, we are not a company, we are a team of young electronic designers.
We wrote in this forum to receive advice on how to improve E.box. We can respond to your questions, just tell us what you want to know precisely.

That is an honest answer. That is good.

Please look here :
http://www.ni.com/white-paper/2827/en/

That should get you started.
 
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Offline Nioonmo

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Re: E.box a completely new All-in-One test instrument now available on Tindie
« Reply #11 on: October 23, 2018, 10:51:18 pm »
Thank you for your advice.
We are now performing more overvoltage tests in our lab to better understand E.box transient immunity
 
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Offline timgiles

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Re: E.box a completely new All-in-One test instrument now available on Tindie
« Reply #12 on: October 24, 2018, 12:05:22 am »
Its refreshing to have a group of EEs asking for advice and taking the time to process that advice :-)
 

Offline Cyberdragon

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Re: E.box a completely new All-in-One test instrument now available on Tindie
« Reply #13 on: October 24, 2018, 01:58:23 am »
Thank you for your advice.
We are now performing more overvoltage tests in our lab to better understand E.box transient immunity

You still have to get the device certified. Unless you are qualified for in-house certification, you have to actually send the device to their testing labs to be certified.

https://www.ul.com/customer-resources/preparing-for-your-ul-mark-evaluation/

You also have to get your CE certification.

https://europa.eu/youreurope/business/product/ce-mark/index_en.htm
*BZZZZZZAAAAAP*
Voltamort strikes again!
Explodingus - someone who frequently causes accidental explosions
 

Offline Nioonmo

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Re: E.box a completely new All-in-One test instrument now available on Tindie
« Reply #14 on: October 24, 2018, 04:02:21 am »
We think that only companies have the possibility to obtain this type of certification.
As we wrote above, we are a group of students not a company.
This is why our product is only available on Tindie (a store for hobbyists) in limited quantities, we do not do it for business and we are not interested in mass production.

We are happy to answer any questions or perform any tests in our lab and share it with the community.
 

Offline Bassman59

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Re: E.box a completely new All-in-One test instrument now available on Tindie
« Reply #15 on: October 24, 2018, 06:20:35 am »
We think that only companies have the possibility to obtain this type of certification.
As we wrote above, we are a group of students not a company.
This is why our product is only available on Tindie (a store for hobbyists) in limited quantities, we do not do it for business and we are not interested in mass production.

The lawyer who sues you for wrongful death doesn't care whether you are a company or a group of students, nor does he care whether the product was sold through standard retail channels or through Tindie.
 

Offline Mr. Scram

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Re: E.box a completely new All-in-One test instrument now available on Tindie
« Reply #16 on: October 24, 2018, 06:26:40 am »
The lawyer who sues you for wrongful death doesn't care whether you are a company or a group of students, nor does he care whether the product was sold through standard retail channels or through Tindie.
While true, the ability to show you did due diligence should make a relevant difference. The CE certification can be self certified in a lot of cases.
 

Online 2N3055

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Re: E.box a completely new All-in-One test instrument now available on Tindie
« Reply #17 on: October 24, 2018, 07:13:13 am »
The lawyer who sues you for wrongful death doesn't care whether you are a company or a group of students, nor does he care whether the product was sold through standard retail channels or through Tindie.
While true, the ability to show you did due diligence should make a relevant difference. The CE certification can be self certified in a lot of cases.
This..
But you do have to do the process, do it according to ALL applicable standards, have technical file and all diligently documented.
In which case you can self certify. Unless one of the standards stipulate that some measurements have to be done by certified lab.

It's not easy.
 

Offline Mr. Scram

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Re: E.box a completely new All-in-One test instrument now available on Tindie
« Reply #18 on: October 24, 2018, 09:37:17 am »
This..
But you do have to do the process, do it according to ALL applicable standards, have technical file and all diligently documented.
In which case you can self certify. Unless one of the standards stipulate that some measurements have to be done by certified lab.

It's not easy.
I suspect that a lot of products wouldn't make the cut if you'd look hard enough, but that's a different discussion.
 

Offline Nioonmo

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Re: E.box a completely new All-in-One test instrument now available on Tindie
« Reply #19 on: October 24, 2018, 09:52:05 pm »
Putting the CE mark on a product, as many do, is not sufficient (for example most of the products from china).
Obtain the self-certification is not simple: one of the fundamental aspect is that you have to sign up your company in the register of manufacturers, and do it for business.

Regarding the security aspect of the product, this has been one of the fundamental aspect in the development of E.box: the circuit board is safe and insulated.
Thanks to the requests of the community, we are dedicating more time to perform advanced overload tests, and we will share the results with you when they will be available.
We want to inform you that every E.box is shipped with a safety precaution manual to keep you and E.box safe.
 


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