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Need Power Outage Recorder

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I need a power outage recorder than can monitor mains (120 VAC in this case) and record any power outages over a period of at least a month.   Would not have to be any more accurate on time than 1 minute.  So, it would have to have a clock/calendar and make a downloadable record of date and time when power becomes present and when it goes away.  Total event recording capacity of about 100 would suffice.  I don’t expect more than 10 outages per month.  Should just start rolling over if event memory becomes full.  Download of data could be by any wired or wireless means.   Would require an internal battery for clock/calendar, means for setting it, and numerical display.  Should also have memory clear switch and status LEDs.  Should be compact and plug into a wall outlet.

Could build it using Arduino but would prefer an off-the-shelf device.  Any suggestions?

Mike in California

A little out of the box thinking but I have these little WiFi Nest cameras that somehow detect motion and last for 6 months or so on an internal battery.  They notice anything including power fails etc. and send me messages, put an event in a log and send a ping to my phone if setup this way, I can even get a film clip of the events.  I can tell when the UPS man comes to my front door.  Might be a nice way to do it.

Back in the day, dong reliabiliity demo tests, I would setup my old VHS camcorder running in slow or stop action and record things.  We would often have a watch or clock in the corner of the shot to get time stamps.  I never trusted the time in the camera.

I don't know of a commercial product like that, but if you Google for 'power outage logger arduino' you'll find a number of projects that may be useful.

But if I were doing this, I would look at a 3.3V 8MHz Arduino Pro Mini with LED removed, powered by an 18650 battery backed up by a TP4056 USB charger, and the DS3231 RTC module known as the ZS-042, which also has a 4KB EEPROM on it.  I don't think I would bother with a display.  The input voltage to the TP4056 from a wall wart could be divided down to 3.3V, and used to trigger an interrupt on the sleeping Pro Mini - falling edge to record an outage, and rising edge to record power restoration.  On each interrupt, the Pro Mini would read the current time from the RTC, and save an entry to the EEPROM.  Then it would go back to sleep.  Actually, a much smaller battery than the 18650 would probably do fine.  The processor will sleep at something less than a microamp, and the RTC will have its own coin cell.  it will probably all last for years.

Then to read out the data, your code would just read the contents of the EEPROM and export it to serial output, and any terminal program listening would save the data to a file.

One thing you would have to figure out is how to handle an outage that isn't clean, but has flutter.  Maybe a transition isn't counted unless it lasts at least one minute.

For DIY,

As for a commercial device, it's all in the keywords (Power Failure Detector with Text Message and Email Alerts   )   :)

Thanks for your response.  I’m familiar with the monitor sold on Amazon.  It requires a continuous WiFi connection to the net to work … not feasible in my case.  Also depends on a web service which may not last long.  There are devices, off-the-shelf and the DIY described on, that will report power outages via the cell phone network.   This would work, but I’m not sure I want to pay monthly for that … but I might.  I’m actually more interested in a historical log rather than being notified immediately when the power goes out.

Mike in California


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