Ability to use Twine as a power sensor when running on USB-supplied power
  • I use my Twine with a USB power adapter and batteries as a backup. It would be nice if the presence of USB power could be added as another sensor rule - when USB power turns off/on then send email/text/etc - so Twine also acts as a power sensor. I'm using my Twine to monitor electrical equipment via the breakout board and an AC current sensor, and that equipment is never going to run in the event of a power failure so it would be great to get an alert when that happens, or build that condition into other rules.
  • 22 Comments sorted by
  • You would also need a UPS to keep wi-fi alive long enough to send the alert.
  • Good point. Yes, I currently have my router, access point and FiOS ONT all on backups, so theoretically the network remains up for a while after a power failure.
  • I have 3 APC UPS units, and they each have a USB connection that can be used to signal loss of power to an attached PC, presumably so the PC can shut down gracefully. I haven't done anything with that feature yet, but it might be possible to hook into that shutdown procedure somehow and fire off an email. The email could go to you, or to IFTTT do log the event, etc.

    You might check your UPS for a similar option.
  • This has been the issue all along with wanting the USB/Battery notification; if the USB loses power, your WiFi router is probably also going down. But, how about an email/SMS alert based on, "your Twine, which has been alive and well, has suddenly gone dead", from the Twine server?
  • This would be a great feature. I need to monitor a GFCI outlet in my crawlspace that my lift station is plugged into, and want to know if it trips BEFORE my it backs up and leaks sewage into the crawlspace. I don't have any worry about my wifi going out, since it's not powered by the same outlet that I am monitoring.
  • I'd like to see this type of feature as well - is Twine running on batteries or USB power. (Also would like to see the Twine 'alive/dead' status type monitor/notification from Twine servers, Gerry.)
  • That's really not a valid assumption -- that WiFi will go down when Twine power is lost. All of the AT&T U-Verse boxes come with UPS that powers the WiFi in an power outage.

    The USB power may be unrelated to the WiFi power, or the user may be on a WiFi ISP or corporate (campus) scenario.

    That said, I'd also like a mail notice when XX minutes/hours have gone by without a report. Nexia does this.
  • There are many scenarios where "if the USB loses power, your wifi router is probably also going down" is absolutely false.

    The report page already says when the device is on external power. Making that a rule trigger should be easy.
  • Where does it say that my Twine is on external power? All I see is that the voltage hasn't changed, but it doesn't explicitly say AC power.
  • In my experiment the other day - the report page only showed 'external power' when I took the batteries out. Once I put them back in it switched back to voltage reading. It would be nice to have that display both power source AND battery voltage.
  • This would be a great feature. I am trying to find a way of getting an alert that power is out at a house and could tie a Twine to a small UPS with enough power to keep a computer and wireless network running for a couple of minutes.

    I just need to know if power is out in the winter primarily so that I can deal with things freezing, knowing temp drops is good but when I stop getting alerts I won't know if all is good (I can look at a webcam but would like proactive notification) or there isn't power.

    Alternatively, if anyone has advice on a UPS with some alerting software that works with a Mac I could use that info too.
  • I need this too. I would like to know when the power drops. Ideally, I would power twine from an AC Power Supply. Then, if the power fails, I would like it to use the internal batteries as a backup, to send the messages. My wireless is powered by battery so communications are not interrupted by the power outage. I was thinking the battery voltage may be a solution. When under AC Power, is the Battery Voltage unusually high? Can that be an indicator that the unit is under AC Power, and if the voltage drops below 3.2 volts, a notification can be sent that Twine is on Backup Power?
  • Mine is on AC power and currently shows 3.08V . This is power and status side of things is definitely an area the guys need to work on.
  • +1 for this, need remote power monitoring for second home. DSL is on battery backup. Many people in the area use 4G wireless which would also work in the case of power failure. Run on AC power, if power fails battery takes over. Need a status flag for changes in external AC power.
  • Ditto.  This would be a great enhancement.
  • I would also like to see this feature implemented.  I will be using my Twine in our fifth-wheel camper and would like to know if the power gets cut.  Campers, like automobiles, get hot in the summer time and our two dogs that will be in the camper alone if the wife and I step away for a bit do not need to be trapped in a sweltering camper without air conditioning.  Twine will be a great aid to me getting back well before disaster happens.

    Regarding wi-fi going away when the power goes, I plan to have both my wireless hotspot and Twine connected to A/C power.  Both devices have batteries so should the power go out, both will continue to operate.

    My rules will be to alert on temperature, but I'd like to know as soon as possible that the power to the camper is out.
  • Those are compelling uses. We'll look into it for a future update.
  • A way I found to get the alerting I want though not through a Twine is via a dropcam camera.  

    If I lose power or the camera loses connection with the network I get an alert after about 30 minutes, would still like to be able to do this via Twine but a dropcam will accomplish for me the same thing and I am using it anyway - dropcam + cheap thermometer setting in front of it is a better solution than Twine right now.


  • Definitely want this feature (both the external power lost as well as notification from the server if the twine has been offline for ### minutes). 

    Would love to have feedback from the SM folks if you think this is likely to come our way or not.
  • +1 I need this. Please implement!

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