I allways have been a fan of pinball machines and I admire the work that has been put into te Pinmame pinball emulator. This emulator runs copies of the original roms wich where the hart of many fantastic pinball machines. Pinmame provides hardware emulation of these machines with compatible in/outputs and could be used for making your own virtual pinball machine. Pinball lovers already did a great job at this with the VPinmame project. Also a great fan of the Unreal game engine I wanted to connect the Unreal engine to the Pinmame emulator. Pinmame is build as a COM control wich makes interfacing not straightforward because you have to deal with things like “Marschalling”. After some trail and error I managed to contruct some C++ Blueprint Function classes for Unreal that work very wel during first testing. So I decided to post a first preview of this new project.
I whipped up a little connection diagram of my wifi energy meter. In addition to the first design i did add some led indicators and some buttons. Experienced engineers and critical readers wil spot some flaws in this design. The MAX485 RS485 to serial converter is a board with 5v logic levels. This normaly would make it incompatible with the ESP32 and its 3.3v logic levels.
As this project is ment to be a quick and one time build to do some one time measurementsi don’t think this wil be a issue.
Espressif CEO, Teo Swee Ann stated in a facebook message that the ESP32 is 5V “tolerant” . The build in snapper diodes would protect the module if 5V levels are connected to any input.
If you read the posts about my XPEnology webserver you mayby know that plans where to find out how much power my “cheap” webserver was consuming. I’ve got a good feeling about power consuption but as we Dutch say ” meten is weten “.
The only way to know for sure is to measure and log energy consumption, preferably under different server loads/conditions.
As core for my project I wil be using a china energy meter type DDS238-2 ZN/S as shown in the picture above. One could measure power consumption by only using this meter but i would like to use it’s modbus feature to do some more detailed logging and probably connect it to my domotics system. I know you can buy lots of ready to use wifi energy meters but for me this is a nice oppertunity to get some ESP32 practice.
As mentioned in my previous post I was looking for a way to run my own webserver on some leftover hardware running Synology DSM.
Main reason is that I wanted to run several websites from this server and I would like to find out how this compares to the costs of hosted sites.
Looking trough the “junk” i collected over the years if found a Dell Latitude E4310 witch is a quite small 13″ laptop i used for network troubleshooting in the past.
I’m Dutch so my choice had to be cheap in purchase and in power consumption.
Looking for way to run my own webserver and beeing fond of the Synology range of diskstations the choice was easy.
An easy win for Synology because of the user friendly interface, backup possibilities and all the nice stuff that works almost out of the box…
-At that point I remembered the not quite optimal performance experiences I had running a webserver on the diskstations I own-.
Enthusiasm about my first and easy choice gone and back to the drawing board.