, Part 8: Wrapping up, extending capabilities

Congrats! We did something difficult!

If you’ve followed along, you’ve taken part in one of the more rewarding personal projects I’ve ever done. The best part about doing all this was that I learned quite a bit about how to set up a host/client system, and understand better the difficulties in setting up a data collection and analysis framework. It was pretty far outside my wheelhouse but well-worth the effort, and hopefully you feel the same way.

We’re not limited to BME280 data of course: we could collect all sorts of data and store it for future research using these methods. And we’re not limited to our little dash plot landing page: you could do plenty of other stuff using the flask framework. It wouldn’t be too hard from here to add users who could sign in and look at their own personal data, for example (like on

A personal extension

So what have I done to extend this further? It might seem silly or mundane to you, but I put a lot of effort into planting some grass seed last year. I noticed after a recent dry spell that it wasn’t looking too well. So, I added a cron job that computes the rainfall in the last week and sends me an email on Saturday mornings, telling me how much rainfall we got in the last week, how much I’d have to add to get that value up to 1 inch, and how for long it thinks I should run a sprinkler to accomplish that. I don’t have to think about the grass at all until I get that e-mail coming in. I still think about the grass, constantly, but I don't have to, and that makes all the difference...

Other extentions weren’t as successful, like the time I tried to use the phase lag between the exterior temperature and the interior temperature to compute the thermal mass of the house. I got a number, assuming a lumped capacitance model, but it didn’t seem to be very meaningful. Turns out sometimes models need a bit more fidelity than the simplest approach… but I didn’t know that until I had the data to check!

The end

I realize that the level of detail dropped as the project description went on. That was partially intentional: since a lot of tasks build on previous ones, hopefully less detail is required, because you can always go back to prior material. However, if you think any one part in particular desserves more explanation, try to contact me, and I’ll either describe it better for you, or perhaps even update this website. But most importantly…

I hope you had fun! I did! :-D