ate in December Xively IoT platform has announced retirement of its free service Xively Personal, support for which was already integrated into our Ethernet PoKeys devices.

One of possible alternatives is ThingSpeak IoT platform. Free version offers up to 3 channels, each can contain 8 data fields. Number of messages is limited to 3 million per year and update interval to 15 seconds. In single message all 8 data fields of single channel can be updated. If needed, more extensive data plans can be purchased at ThingSpeak homepage.

Here we will show you how to configure your PoKeys device to report data to ThingSpeak. PoKeys device installed at small greenhouse on PoLabs premises will be used as example. In this case four measurements are performed: temperature, humidity, light intensity and IR light intensity. Reported data from our greenhouse can be seen at channel https://thingspeak.com/channels/404666

 

PoLabs greenhouse

Picture 1: PoLabs greenhouse

How to configure PoKeys for use with ThingSpeak

If you used Xively service, then your device is already configured and collecting data. In this case you need to do only two things. First is to register an account on ThingSpeak and create channel there. Second, you need to reconfigure your PoKeys device, which can be easily done with use of configuration macro we have supplied for you with latest version of PoKeys software and firmware. In this case you can skip PoKeys web interface dashboard configuration and continue directly to server reports configuration chapter.

Creating a channel on ThingSpeak

First you need to register account at ThingSpeak and create a channel there. Registration procedure is standard, you will receive confirmation email with activation link for your account. After your account has been activated, you can login and create first channel.

When crating first channel, give it a name and enable as many fields as you need as is shown on Picture 2. All channel configuration (name, data fields …) can also be changed later, so you do not need to worry about correct names or about exact number of data fields at this point. After you have finished with configuration, you have to press Save channel button at the bottom to save changes and create a channel.

Picture 2: Channel configuration on ThingSpeak

Picture 2: Channel configuration on ThingSpeak

After channel has ben created, you can find API write key under API tab. You will need this key later, when configuring PoKeys device to send data to your channel.

PoKeys web interface dashboard configuration

Before configuring PoKeys for use with ThingSpeak channels, check your software and firmware version. ThingSpeak is supported from version 4.3.9. and up. You can get latest version of PoKeys software from our website.

Picture 3: Web dashboard with some configured sensors

Picture 3: Web dashboard with some configured sensors

On Picture 3 you can four sensors in our greenhouse are already configured. To add new device, click Add new button. This will add new device to the list, that must be configured before use. Data source can be sensor, detected by EasySensors module, PoKeys pins, encoder or others.

Picture 4: Sensor configuration

Picture 4: Sensor configuration

Item configuration depends of your respectable data source. On picture 4 in this example we can see sample configuration for light intensity sensor installed in our greenhouse. For reporting to ThingSpeak item caption field must be named fieldX, where X is number from 1 to 8.

PoKeys server reports configuration for ThingSpeak channel

Before configuring PoKeys for use with ThingSpeak channels, check your software and firmware version. ThingSpeak is supported from version 4.3.9. and up. You can get latest version of PoKeys software from our website.

After you finished with web dashboard configuration (or you had it already configured), server reports configuration must be updated. You can open it directly from web interface dashboard configuration windows by clicking Open report server configuration button or by opening Device dropdown menu and clicking Server reports configuration … option.

Picture 5: report server configuration window

Picture 5: report server configuration window

Here you can simply configure your PoKeys for reporting to ThingSpeak with use of configuration macro in the tab on the right side of the window. You need to insert API write key (this can be found in your ThingSpeak channel under API tab) into API key field and press Prepare settings button. This will configure PoKeys for sending data to ThingSpeak channel.

If you have not named dashboard item with titles field1 to fiel8 and is required for ThingSpeak to work, you can do this by clicking Rename items button.  All configured dashboard item will be renamed automatically according to ThingSpeak requirements. After that click Send to device button and check your ThingSpeak channel. PoKeys should start sending data immediately.