Sine wave monitor

Discussion in 'Electrical Forum discussion & Blog' started by r_2016, Jul 24, 2009.

  1. r_2016

    r_2016 New Member

    Messages:
    30
    Hi, I am wondering if there are any pc programs out there that I can use to monitor my household (sinewave) power. Thanks
  2. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

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    Location:
    New England
    What aspect do you want to monitor? Voltage, wave shape, current, frequency?
  3. r_2016

    r_2016 New Member

    Messages:
    30
    Voltage, wave form, freq. No current
  4. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

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    Location:
    San Diego
    The big question would be WHY? The frequency is controlled to a very tight tolerance by the power company. Are you doing anything geeky at home which would somehow affect the waveshape??

    To answer your question, powerline voltage monitors are very common, with a recorder, and these days I would assume any model would have some kind of serial or USB interface.

    Frequency and waveshape are monitored with an oscilloscope, and a data interface should be available on those as well. Simple programs are undoubtedly available to display the data.

    As always, let your fingers do the walking>>> GOOGLE
  5. Billy_Bob

    Billy_Bob In the Trades

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    422
    The guy on the following page shows tests of sine waves from various devices. Shows that not all sine waves are equal!

    He is using an oscilloscope. And for your PC to monitor this, you would need some sort of device to test with which would connect to your computer as well as the software.

    Basically the computer has no "direct testing" connection to the power.

    Observations on the quality of power produced by various backup devices...
    http://www.jkovach.net/projects/powerquality/

    Oscilloscope...
    [​IMG]
  6. Thatguy

    Thatguy Homeowner

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    1,460
    Location:
    MD
    Your tax dollars already paid for these kind of stats.

    Prying them out of PoCo is another thing altogether.

    I once saw a chart of NYC power. They had the envelope of 1/day, 1/week, 1/month transient magnitude and duration. Newspapers get this kind of info way easier than us peasants.

    Power quality is worse in FL or the Ozarks.
    http://books.google.com/books?id=SY...ahqMEB&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=3

    But, yeah, what question are you hoping to answer?
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2009
  7. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

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    sine wave

    He may be trying to replicate one of the "power saving" devices that purport to condition the sine waves to "equalize" and "eliminate" the wasted power in your home.
  8. r_2016

    r_2016 New Member

    Messages:
    30
    What I want to do is monitor the incoming power from the electric company. Sometimes at my house we get voltage sags and spikes, so I want to be able to monitor it with some kind of program that will create log files so I can keep an eye on things.
  9. Thatguy

    Thatguy Homeowner

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    1,460
    Location:
    MD
    The more level of detail you want, the more it will cost. Resolving a 1 µS spike needs a bandwidth of at least 350 kHz.
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2009
  10. Bill Arden

    Bill Arden Computer Programmer

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    Location:
    MN, USA
    I once wrote a program that uses the PC sound card and a AC wall wart and a resistor divider, however most sound cards have a bit of phase distortion at 60hz.

    As for better equipment there are lots of USB based scope boards. Most of the scope boards accept low voltage voltages. You can drop the voltage using a AC output wall wart or by using a 24volt "control" transformer.
  11. Billy_Bob

    Billy_Bob In the Trades

    Messages:
    422
    Actually large computer facilities want "clean power" and do so with a large "online" "true sine wave" UPS system.

    And these log all "power events" which would be anything with the power which is not as it should be.

    I've seen these and they were recording events at least once an hour. Sometimes every half hour.

    I don't know if smaller UPS units would have the detailed logging abilities of these larger units or not? But these might do what you want.

    (And a UPS is an "Uninterruptible Power Supply")
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2009
  12. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,148
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    power

    If all you want to do is register the voltage coming in, there are all kinds of recording meters which make a continuous log on a circular disc. The particular meter will determine whether the disc records a 24 hours or 7 days period. But I don't know how the knowledge will help you, because whatever your incoming power is, that is ALL that the power company can/will provide, and you will have to live with it.
  13. Bobelectric

    Bobelectric Electrical Contractor

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    Location:
    Eighty Four,Pa. 15330
    With that,I'm going to close this thread.
  14. sawdust123

    sawdust123 New Member

    Messages:
    14
    Audio Precision has a device called the ATS1 or Portable 1 that will show you voltage frequency and the distortion levels of the incoming sine wave. Of course, it does a lot more too but you would only care if you were an audio guy. They sell for several thousand dollars.
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