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Nanospark: Machine Monitor

Posted by on Dec 20, 2016 in Home | Comments Off on Nanospark: Machine Monitor

Nanospark: Machine Monitor

Our first, and very versatile commercial product was Nanospark: Machine Monitor. Ideal applications are CNC Machines, 3D Printers, Plastic production machinery, Air compressors. Below are some of the key features of this machine event monitoring tool. For more information about the Machine Monitor you can download the datasheet. Or see our product website (www.Machine-Monitor.com) which has installation instructions, application notes and the monitor for...

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Photo Monitor in Home Office

Posted by on Oct 29, 2015 in Home | Comments Off on Photo Monitor in Home Office

Photo Monitor in Home Office

Here’s a note from a gentleman who is using Nanospark: Photo Monitor as a security camera.

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Nanospark: Photo Monitor

Posted by on Oct 2, 2015 in Home, Projects | Comments Off on Nanospark: Photo Monitor

Nanospark: Photo Monitor

Have the tablet take a picture in response to a switch or sensor. . .

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Nanospark (Android version)

Posted by on Sep 30, 2015 in Home | Comments Off on Nanospark (Android version)

Nanospark (Android version)

The first Nanospark controller and products were made using Apple tablets and phones- primarily the iPod touch. However, we now have taken this same solution set (tablet+hardware) into the world of Android.

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NEMA 4, Polycarbonate box

Posted by on Jan 8, 2015 in Projects, Technical Info | Comments Off on NEMA 4, Polycarbonate box

NEMA 4, Polycarbonate box

I’m looking into a Nanospark application where, given the environment (automated greenhouse), I figured we’d want to use a NEMA 4 box to protect the tablet and electronics from humidity and water.  So the question naturally arose, will the wifi signals work with the box? Wouldn’t you know it, I happen to have a NEMA 4 box on my desk.  It’s polycarbonate with hinged clear cover (model YH-060604-05), made by a company called PolyCase.  I pull out the gasket, drilled a small hole for the Nanospark cable, put the gasket back in, tucked the iPod touch 4 in the case, latched the lid- ready to test.  On the Nanospark housing I put an alcohol sensor module (MQ-3) and connected the vcc of the module to digitalOutput2. It works perfectly.  To be fair, I’m about two rooms and 30 feet away from the router.  So I was starting to think of further tests, when something that’s second nature to my generation finally triggered in my skull.  Google it.  Turns out polycarbonate is an ideal enclosure material when working with wifi. Here’s an example of what I found: “One of the major reasons why polycarbonate enclosures work so well in this telecommunication industry is that the polycarbonate material does not block the wifi “waves” and the whole system can be placed inside of the enclosure.” (from www.integraenclosures.com) So, if we can take this automated greenhouse somewhere, you’ll probably see it in a NEMA 4 polycarbonate enclosure. Of course, the same would apply if you’re going to put a Nanospark system in a dusty, grimy industrial...

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Nanospark Ignites A New Learning Environment for UW-Stout Students

Posted by on Jun 25, 2014 in Projects | Comments Off on Nanospark Ignites A New Learning Environment for UW-Stout Students

Nanospark Ignites A New Learning Environment for UW-Stout Students

NANOSPARK IGNITES A NEW LEARNING ENVIRONMENT FOR UW-STOUT STUDENTS Nanospark and University of Wisconsin-Stout joined forces to create a hands-on learning environment for students.  Nanospark sponsored an iOS app development lab that allowed UW-Stout students to practice their software developing techniques and gain project management skills. Students were mentored by Professor Dennis Schmidt and Professor Brent Dingle, who facilitated the independent study. Both professors took on this opportunity to help students advance their skills.  As most universities began teaching students the iOS platform when it first arrived to the marketplace, small schools struggled to find the resources.  Nanospark gave UW-Stout the resources needed to explore Objective C and iOS, along with the professors donating their time and support to the independent study. Learning the theories behind development is crucial, but the independent study practiced the information in a hands-on environment, preparing them for a career.  In the app development lab, students expanded their programming, system design, and collaboration skills through various projects.  Students faced different progress reports including the basic understanding of development, documentation of the applications that were implemented, and a presentation showcasing their application. Different iOS applications were built including a game app by a sophomore originally from Gilman, Wis.  Interacting with the iOS device, the objective of the game is to collect points through flipping pancakes without losing control.  The user must tilt the device back and forth to succeed, creating a physical interaction with the application.   As a student in her second year, she now has a better understanding of Objective C and iOS development.  Enrolling in the independent study, she gained skills that she may not have achieved until later in her education.  Such as project management, software development techniques, and awareness of what is needed to submit an application to the app store. Learn more about the Nanospark Controller or University of Wisconsin-Stout’s Software Development...

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Nanospark: Alerts – Helping Your Machines Talk to You

Posted by on Jun 18, 2014 in Alerts | Comments Off on Nanospark: Alerts – Helping Your Machines Talk to You

Nanospark: Alerts – Helping Your Machines Talk to You

    The more aware you are of the state of your machines, the more productive you can make them be for you.  This is where Nanospark: Alerts can be quite helpful.  The alert notifications can be applied to nearly any machine- enabling it to talk to you.  Here’s an example.     Our parent company, Senasys, has a machine shop for stamping parts, making fixtures, etc.  In said shop we have a Knowledge MT SA-32 CNC swiss machine with a Hydrobar Express 332 S2 bar feeder .  Since it can run unattended, the expectation is that we can continue to crank out parts all night and all weekend.     Except, of course, that bar stock (crafty as they are) seem to feel that Friday evening about an hour after everyone has left is the ideal time to not load properly.  Monday morning we were coming in to find a red light and an empty bin rather than a pile of parts. Irritating enough, true, but add to it the fact that the owner and several employees who could fix the bar loading issue and restore production, live close by.     If only the swiss machine could tell us that it has stopped running; we would quickly resume making parts.  Now, through Nanospark, the swiss machine does just that. How We Did It    The swiss machine has a stack light to indicate status (red, yellow, green).  The stack light uses 24V LEDs.  So we found the terminals in the control box for the red and green lights and drew the voltage down to 4V (just to be safe).  Then we ran wire from the one terminal to Nanospark’s digital input 1 for red and from the other to digital input 2 for green.  Now when the swiss machine stops running and lights the red LED, digital input 1 on Nanospark turns on.     Finally, we setup an alert in the Nanospark Controller App so that if digital input 1 turns on during hours when no one is in the shop, we receive a text message notifying us that the machine is down.  Whoever is “on call” fixes the swiss machine- and we walk in Monday to see a pile of parts. (Note: Since the alert comes through text message, there is no need for the various employees to standardize phones.  Apple, Android, Blackberry, and even plain old cell phones, Nanospark sends the swiss machine’s messages to them all.)     Nanospark has 8 digital and 6 analog inputs, so from a single Nanospark you can receive alerts from up to 14 different machines.  And, of course, the alert doesn’t have to be ‘I’m down’.  Nanospark is extremely (and economically) versatile- so your machines can give you just the information you need.    If your machines could talk to you, what would you like them to tell you?  How will you use Nanospark to be more in touch with your...

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Nanospark: Alert Notifications

Posted by on Jun 3, 2014 in Development Progress, Features | Comments Off on Nanospark: Alert Notifications

Nanospark: Alert Notifications

And it’s here! We’ve added alert notifications to the free Nanospark Controller App.  Alerts are especially useful when combined with the scheduling and remote monitor/control features already part of the Controller App. We setup alerts to be simple to configure.  Here are some of the key configuring options: – Schedule the days/times when the alert should be monitoring – Watch any of the 24 analog or digital inputs/outputs on the Nanospark Controller – Send alert simultaneously to multiple contacts – Customize the alert message What’s so great about using Nanospark Alerts?  1. Watch exactly what you need to watch in your facility.    Since the heart of Nanospark is a 5V control board you can wire nearly any type of sensor or switch to it.  This means you can have one input monitoring your compressor, another your water heater, another your loading dock door.  The same Nanospark watching up to 14 different types of situations to keep your operation running smoothly and safely. I might add that since Nanospark interacts with such a wide variety of sensors, components are much less expensive than similar automation products intended for the residential market. 2. Receive alerts wherever you are.  The alerts are sent via text message so as long as you have a phone signal you’ll be in touch with your equipment.  The generic nature of text message is an advantage here.  Regardless your phone type or even how “smart” (or not) your phone is you’ll receive the alert.   Contact us to discuss how to use Nanospark Alert Notifications in your facility or order one and put it to use (I hope you’ll let us know how you used it). These are some screenshots of the Alerts feature:             ...

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Digital Timer Switch Comparison Chart

Posted by on Mar 31, 2014 in Development Progress, Features, Scheduling and Timing | Comments Off on Digital Timer Switch Comparison Chart

Digital Timer Switch Comparison Chart

As we prepared to focus on promoting Nanospark as a digital timer for equipment, we accumulated a fair amount of data about other digital timers on the market.  We’ve compressed the data down to key features, and represented it in a comparison chart. We hope this will help you see the value of Nanospark for your timing needs.   There are a couple things from the above chart worth expanding on.  First is the interface.  Most of the digital timers have a seven segment display (that is a small LCD screen) and then 6 to 9 buttons to cycle through menus and setup programs.   Nanospark is a true touch screen- using an app on a tablet, smartphone or iPod touch as the interface.  This makes programming schedules simple to learn and easy to setup. Next, take note of the remote override feature.  Though given the same label, Nanospark’s remote override is quite different from Tork’s.  Tork includes a remote override switch that can be installed anywhere within a facility and then wired back to the timer with a control wire (small gauge, low-voltage).  So the “remote” switch is still somewhere within wiring distance. Contrast that with Nanospark’s remote override which is through text message.  Nanospark uses a service called Twilio which, for $20 or less a year, allows you to  check on the status of all equipment wired to the timer (individually or systemically).  Then with a text message turn equipment on or off thereby overriding the current schedule. Of course, we can’t neglect the bottom line.  Nanospark excels when we look at number of circuits (or outputs) for the price.  Timers in the same price range as Nanospark only have one or two circuits; Nanospark has 10.  Without Nanospark, to get that many channels- that many pieces of equipment controlled by one timer- you’re looking at 3 to 10 times the cost of Nanospark. We’d love to hear from you too.  What features do you find important for your equipment timers?  What features are missing that you would love to have (we many just build it for you)? If you prefer to make your own in-depth comparison, you may appreciate the following links to the product pages on the various timers: Nanospark Universal Equipment Timer Intermatic ET8215B Tork ELC series Omron H5F Tork E Series Intermatic...

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Industrial Equipment Timer | Now Available

Posted by on Feb 17, 2014 in Development Progress | Comments Off on Industrial Equipment Timer | Now Available

Industrial Equipment Timer | Now Available

Universal Equipment Timer Package We proudly announce the release of two complete packages to help you put the power of Nanospark to good use.  We’re calling them Universal Timer Package 2 and 4.  They’re “Universal” in that the relays included in the package will allow you to easily connect Nanospark to all sorts of machines. The package includes an iPod touch 4th Generation with the Nanospark Controller App and the Colour Detector app installed and ready to use.  You’ll like how easy it is to program schedules using the Controller App.  For instance, choosing the dates for your program to run is done with a rolling wheel selection.  With the slide of your finger on the screen, assign which output(s) are run by the program. Run several outputs with the same schedule, or create a new schedule for each output.  There is no limit to how many schedules you can make for Nanospark’s 10 outputs (8 digital and 2 analog ). Learn more about this Universal Timer. Contact us if you have questions or to order your equipment timer package, (715)...

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