I remember meeting Lady Ada (@adafruit) at Maker Faire back in 2007, she was ALWAYS working on something new. It seems that she just released a DIY kit called Tweet-A-Watt, a wireless power meter that will tweet your power usage to any desired Twitter account, you can see a demo here of it working live @tweetawatt.
The Tweet-A-Watt is basically composed of wireless RF XBee modules, Arduino (or even your computer, I do highly recommend Comfile’s CUBLOC modules too which are easily programmed in BASIC), USB FTDI module, and other electrical components.
Most of the parts come along with the Tweet-A-Watt Kit as listed here:
- 2 XBee modules (one for receiver, one for transmitter)
- 2 XBee adapter kits (ditto)
- 1 USB FTDI cable (for updating, configuring and receiving data from XBee)
- 1 bag of parts including 10,000uF capacitor, 220uF capacitor, 2 1% 10K resistors, 2 1% 4.7K resistors, 5mm green LED, 6″ rainbow ribbon cable, and 2 pieces of 1/8″ and 1/16″ heatshrink
I’ve personally worked with people in the power industries, specifically power meters using RS485 communication to store power usage but this Tweet-A-Watt kit clearly demonstrates what kind of things you can do with Twitter. (For example, you can “tweet” the power usage and simply grab the RSS feed of your Twitter power meter account to republish or re-use for power usage stats.)
I know that PG&E recently announced that they are installing wireless power meters all over the country, (which I’ve actually seen one as of last week, they dugg up my friend’s lawn to do that.) this Twitter method seems to me a lot better solution for that. (a little too late but…)
For those of you who want to monitor individual power outlets, this Tweet-A-Watt might be the perfect twattering tool. I do also have to add that the kit is only $90, not a bad investment for a really fun Twitter Hack project.
Keep up the good work Lady Ada!