A toilet flushing incident

While attending EC1205 in Offenburg two weeks ago, I was demoing some of the Flukso site's features on Friday night. When looking at the hourly water chart, I noticed anomalous water usage at my home. The Fluksometer was reading a nearly constant water consumption of 11 liters per minute for over an hour already. Since our electricity consumption was near its base load, I figured my better half and the children were not at home. I then SMS'ed my wife asking her to check what was going on. Somewhat grudgingly she went home and noticed that one of the toilets hadn't properly terminated its flushing operation. In electricity terms, there was a short circuit between the water supply and the drain.

A quick calculation shows that this flushing incident caused a total of 1486 liters of water to flow down the literal and metaphorical toilet in a 2h15m time span. Money-wise this amounts to less than 4EUR. Nevertheless, this kind of needless waste bothers me.

Instead of haphazardly discovering these kind of leaks, we should have a monitoring system in place that performs a number of checks automatically. As a big bonus, it will not be me spoiling the party anymore, but rather an innocent bot!

Ironically, server-side threshold alerts have been running in alpha mode for quite a while now. The only thing that's still lacking is the configuration interface. I've bumped the priority of the feature to high. That should mean a beta in a couple of weeks time.

EC1205 coming up!

The fourth elektro:camp will kick off in Offenburg 164 hours from now. The event is open (as in source) and free (as in beer), courtesy of the Hochschule Offenburg. The usual suspects have their tickets booked already. If you're planning on joining us, make sure you sign up. Further details regarding the barcamp can be found on the wiki page. w00t!

Extreme Makeover

We've been busy these past months creating a new skin for the Flukso web site. The time has come to deploy the design to the live server. So brace yourselves for an extreme makeover. Since this update requires a rather significant update of the server code base, we have scheduled a maintenance downtime from 21h to 24h CET (19h to 22h UTC) on April 2nd.

Taking the red pill and crossing fingers...

Le nouveau Fluksometer est arrivé

After shedding blood, sweat and a couple of tears in the development of the Fluksometer v2, a.k.a. FLM02, we are proud to announce the immediate availability of this new and improved version. European customers can purchase these devices directly through our web shop. People in Australia and New Zealand will be able to obtain a unit via the Rowetel shop shortly. Please note that the Fluksometer does not come with any current clamps. So make sure you order the correct quantity and type of clamps. Further details can be found here.


At the previous elektro:camp in Stuttgart, the TNO researchers in Groningen volunteered to organize the first elektro:camp in the Low Countries. This means that the third edition of the barcamp will be held in Groningen on Friday 4 and Saturday 5 November. Signing up is as easy as adding your name to the list. Hope to see you there next month!