Introduction: Sending Wireless Vibration and Temperature Sensor Data to Excel Using Node-RED
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Introducing NCD’s Long Range IoT Industrial wireless vibration and temperature sensor, boasting up to a 2-mile range the use of a wireless mesh networking structure. Incorporating a precision 16-bit vibration and temperature sensor, this device transmits incredibly accurate vibration and temperature records at consumer-described durations.
Step 1: Hardware and Software Required
Step 2: Setting Up Node-red
Now that you have sensors running, we need a way to do something useful with that data.
- First of all, you'll have to install Node-Red.
- Once that’s done, you’ll need to enter your command line, or Power Shell for Windows users, navigate to the directory Node-RED is installed in.
- Now type “npm i ncd-red-wireless node-red-dashboard“. This will install the nodes required to receive data from your wireless sensors and you can start Node-RED once this is done.
- To start node server write node-red in the command prompt or terminal and press enter.
Step 3: Steps to Create the Flow
At this point you’ll be viewing a large blank flow with a long list of nodes on the left-hand side, this sidebar is called the palette.
Step 4: Go Ahead and Drag a Wireless Gateway Node Over to Your Flow Canvas to Get Started.
ncd-red-wireless Provides the nodes that manage the serial connection, parse incoming sensor data, filter it by specific parameters, and allow you to configure the wireless sensors.
Step 5: Finding Your Wireless Sensors:
When you’ve delivered the node you’ll be able to view the info tab, which contains records about the node’s capability, this tab is well-populated for maximum node-red packages and consists of treasured statistics, often you will now not want to view any other documentation outdoor of the info tab, so hold it in thoughts even as you're building your flows when you have a question approximately how a node works. The next element we want to do is configure the node, when you first add it you’ll note that there is a small triangle at the top right corner next to a blue dot, the triangle indicates that the node wishes extra configuration, the blue dot indicates that the node has no longer but been deployed as part of the flow.
- Double click on the node to open up the configuration options.
- Click on the pencil icon next to the Serial Device field to configure your USB router, this will open a second configuration panel that only has a few options.
Step 6: Click on the Magnifying Glass Next to the Serial Port Field and Select the Port That Corresponds With Your Router, Then Click the “Add” Button on Top.
Step 7: Serial Device Field Will Now Be Populated Based on That Selection, and You Can Click “Done”, You Now Have Direct Access to Your Wireless Sensors! to View the Data Coming In.
Step 8: Now Go Back to Your Palette and Type “debug” Into the Search Field at the Top, Grab One of These Nodes and Drag It to the Right of Your Wireless Gateway
Step 9: Double Click on It and Change “msg.” to “complete Msg Object” Click Done
Step 10: Now Draw a Line Between the Two Nodes, and Click “Deploy” on the Top Right of the Window..
Step 11: Working With the Data:
Now out of your wireless sensors data is gathered and it is output to the “debug” tab, this 'debug tab' is placed within the right sidebar subsequent to the information tab. To see the information is available to hit the reset button. In node-red records is surpassed among nodes in a json packet. When the msg object comes into the debug tab you may make bigger it to view the overall list of information that comes with it. This is extraordinarily useful in case you need to quickly see which sensors are checking in. The other issue this node gives is an easy way to interchange your router to the network identity that devices in configuration mode document on, simply hit the button on the left of the node and the tool will switch to the configuration network, hit it once more to return it to listening mode. Once we get the wi-fi tool nodes set up, they may be set to routinely configure a sensor whilst it enters configuration mode, so it’s always available to maintain such gateway nodes present at the flow for speedy configuring a device.
Step 12: Adding the Wireless Sensors:
we need to separate wireless sensor records domestically in order that we are able to display it, we could use a switch node to split out the messages from the gateway based totally on the mac address with or sensor type, but as I referred to, the wireless nodes truly incorporate extra functionality for configuring the sensors, so we’ll start with them to give you an extra entire image of how those structures can work. In case you haven’t already seen packets coming in from both of your sensors, cross in advance and hit the reset button on the only that hasn’t started. While a sensor assessment in through any serial device configuration node, the mac address and kind of sensor is cached in a pool so we are able to quickly find it for the duration of this next step.
- Grab a Wireless Node from the palette and drag it onto the flow, double click on it to get it configured.
Step 13: Select the Serial Device From the Drop Down That You Used for the Wireless Gateway, Now Click the Magnifying Glass Next to “Mac Address” and Select One of the Available Options.
Step 14: Click Done
You’ll notice this automatically sets the sensor type for you, you can also give it a name to make it easier to identify. As noted in the info tab, the Serial Device for Config field is optional, and we won’t worry about it right now. The node you have just added effectively works as a filter on incoming sensor data, only passing through data for the mac address, or sensor type if no mac address is present.
Step 15: Now Go Back to Your Palette and Type “debug” Into the Search Field at the Top, Grab One of These Nodes and Drag It to the Right of Your Wireless Gateway
Step 16: Double Click on It and Click Done
Step 17: Adding the Function Nodes
- Now grab a “function” node from the palette, and place it to the right of the Vib/Temp node.
Step 18: Double Click on the Node to Edit the Function Node.
Step 19: Now Grab a CSV Node From the Palette and Place It to the Right of the Function Node, It Will Convert the Values CSV Format I.e Comma-separated Values.
Step 20: Now Double Click on It and Type the Column Names Separated by Comma and Output As “a Message Per Row” As Shown in the Picture Below.
Step 21: Now Go Back to Your Palette and Type “file” Into the Search Field at the Top, Grab the One Which Shows “Writes Msg.payload” to Store the Values and Place It Right to the CSV Node. You Can Also Attach the Debug Node to Check the Out of the File Node.
Step 22: Double Click on It to Edit the File Node, Enter the File Name Where You Want to Store the Values As Shown in the Figure.
Step 23: Now Connect All the Wires and Click on the Deploy Button.
Step 24: OUTPUT
Now you can check the excel output
Step 25: Node-RED Flow
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Installing Node Red
Node-Red is a node application and before you Install node red you will need to first install node. Here are the instructions:
Then you can Install node red on Windows and Linux (including raspberry pi) using:
Using the -g option adds the node-red command to your path. See the documentation.for more details.
Node-Red on Pi Notes:
Node red is already installed on Raspberry pi but npm (node package manager) isn’t.
You may need to upgrade node-red which you can do by doing an install using npm but you will need to install npm first. This you can do using:
Note: npm install failed on my pi and I had to use this command first:
You can check the versions of npm,node and node-red using:
However Raspberry pi provide an install script which can be used for installing and upgrading node-red on the pi and recommend using it. The procedure for download and using it are here.
I recommend you copy the command from the page and paste it into your command prompt.
Starting Node Red
To start node red on Windows go to a command prompt and type:
if you installed node-red using the -g option.
Note: you may need to change into the node directory.
If it fails you can use:
Firstly running node by typing node may not work as apparently node is a short cut to nodejs and the short cut may not be present.
In addition there appears to be a naming conflict with another package. see this explanation
The screen shot show how to create the symbolic link
Now that node is working you can run node-red.
Type node-red at the command prompt
. If that doesn’t work it’s probably because the link isn’t configured as shown above. You can try the alternative.
As shown below
At the top of the screen you can see the version of node and node-red that you are using and the location of the flows..
At the bottom of the screen it tells you the url to use to access the node-red web admin interface which you use to create your flows.
This console stays open and you will find it useful as when you start creating flows as you will see log information appearing there.
Starting Node-Red as a Service
On Raspberry pi you can also start node-red using:
which starts node-red as daemon.
to stop it use:
and to view the log files type
Starting Node-Red on Boot
If it isn’t already configured you can automatically start node-red on system start by using the command:
and disable it using:
When running on start up you can stop it using the node-red-stop command and restart using node-red-start command.
If you want to load node-red on startup with a different settings file than the settings.js you will need to edit the file /lib/systemd/system/nodered.service.
un-comment the line ExecStart if not already done and the Environment=”NODE_RED_OTPIONS=-v” line to something like:
Node-Red Start Process Overview
When node-red starts it first loads the settings file settings.js which is used to set the admin port, user directory, and flows file etc. The start process is illustrated below.
Node-red uses a settings file called settings.js.
On Linux it is located in the /usr/lib/node-modules/node-red/ folder by default. on Windows it is located in c:node-install-directorynode-modulesnode-red .
On Linux the settings.js file is copied from the /usr/lib/node-modules/node-red/ folder to your .node-red folder in your home directory when you start node-red, and there is no settings.js file present.
You can create your own settings file and customise it either by copying the existing file or using the file available from Github here.
To use your own settings file use the -s switch when starting node-red e.g.
Important -If you place a settings.js in the .node-red folder then that will be used by default.
The documentation here takes your through the settings file in detail.
The .node-red Folder
On both Windows and Linux user settings and flows are stored in the .node-red folder. This folder is located in the users home folder.
E.G For user steve on windows and on Linux
/home/steve/.node-red ……….. Linux
Node-red Flows Files and Storage
Node red flows are stored in a .json file in the .node-red folder.
By default this file is called flows_machine_name.json. For example my windows machine is called ws6 and the default flows file is called flows_ws6.json.
New modules that you install are installed under the node_modules folder in the user directory which by default is .node-red.
Useful Command line Options
Node red has a very limited number of command line options. Use:
The -v switch turns on verbose mode.
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The -p switch will let you change the port that node-red admin interface uses.
You can use this option to quickly and easily run multiple instances of node-red.
In version .20 a safe mode has been added to allow you to start node-red without deploying any flows.
This is very useful if a flow is stopping node-red from running.
To use a different flow file than the default you can use
Because you haven’t specified a settings file it uses the default settings file.
Running Multiple node-red instances
It is possible to run multiple node-red instances on a single machine.
To do that you will need to give each instance a different admin port and also a different user directory or alternatively create and use a new settings file.
You can do this using the -p and -u switches when starting node-red e.g
the admin port is 1881 and the user directory is user1 the flow file name uses the default flow name.
Note: If you don’t use a different user directory then they will all use the same flows file which could result in conflicts.
If you create a new settings file e,g mysettings.js you can then edit the line starting with flows and remove the two forward slashes.
// flowFile: my’flows.json’,
You could also change the port by editing the line near the top of the file
To use port 1888
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You then use the command:
to start the flow.
You could also use the command
to use a different port.
Video Node Red Flow and Startup Files
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>How to use the Admin Interface, nodes and flow basics.
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