Connecting Power Cost Monitor to Focus Meter

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Old 06-13-09, 08:43 PM
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Connecting Power Cost Monitor to Focus Meter

I have a Landis & Gyr Focus Cellnet Form 2S Meter and I am trying to determine if it is compatible with a Blue Line Power Cost Monitor.

The meter has infrared ports that the Blue Line is supposed to read, but when I check those LEDs with a digital camera, I see no flashing. I am testing at night, turned the oven on to make sure there's a good load, and I see no flashes. I checked my camera with a few infrared remote controls and it sees all of those flashing just fine.

http://www.landisgyr.com/na//files/p...al_Rev_2.5.pdf

BLUEline PowerCost Monitor and Energy Meter - BLI25100 - Smarthome

The Blue Line instructions say to position the infrared sensor over the optical port on the meter. Blue Line says "If your meter seems to have two ports, the one closest to the center of the meter is the optical port."

The Focus manual says that the hole closest to the center is the "Calibration LED" and the other one appears to be referred to as the "Optical Configuration Port". It says "The calibration LED is deactivated 24 hours after the meter powers up. Once reactivated (recycle power) the calibration LED remains active for 24 hours ... The user can fix an LED pickup device to the front of the meter ... The calibration LED produces pulses in response to energy whether it is delivered or received. "

If I shine a flashlight into the meter housing, I can clearly see both of the LEDs, so they are not blocked by a mechanical plug.

On first reading L & G seems to be saying that the calibration LED is completely off after the 24 hours. But then they say that it pulses to show energy delivery. I couldn't find anything from either company saying "The utility can turn on or off the LEDs" but that's not surprising.

Anybody got any clues for me? Maybe if I'm lucky we'll have a power failure soon!
 
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Old 06-14-09, 07:35 AM
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At our power co's website, they state that these new meters are not compatible with the Blueline powercost monitors.

On the first 'wave' of meter swapouts in this area, I guess they noticed I had a Blueline strapped to my disk type meter. They called me up to say they have to remove it and it will no longer work.. and I could either let them do it now, or wait till 'some future date'. I said Ill wait.
Im hoping they come up with some compatible unit. Otherwise the best they offer for 'monitoring' is next-day stats on your usage via a web site. I dont really think next-day stats is comparable to being able to view your current real time usage.

Maybe Blueline can still offer something. I dont think the real-time data can come via the power co's website.. since it would involve too many meters calling into the local rf hubs too often.
 
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Old 06-14-09, 03:43 PM
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Originally Posted by DaveC72 View Post

Maybe Blueline can still offer something. I dont think the real-time data can come via the power co's website.. since it would involve too many meters calling into the local rf hubs too often.
Did you contact Blue Line? Their manual and online info says nothing about the optical port LEDs being "off". The docs don't steer anybody away from any specific brands of meters, but if the meter company's default is to turn the LED off after 24 hours, for whom could this possibly work?

It's nice to not have the meter reader in my back yard anymore, but the narrow focus of these upgrade projects is disappointing. When the new meters were put in about 3 years ago I inquired about getting stats from them. They wrote back at least, a personalized note, and said that that stuff was now possible but they had no plans for implementation.

Looks like back to the back burner on this one.
 
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Old 06-14-09, 08:12 PM
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I suppose it would be possible to read your power consumption another way. How about a couple of amp-clamp type inductive coils on your 2 hots just before the main breaker. This would then give you a low-current reading that you could interface to a circuit etc (sum the 2 readings, convert to kw, multiply by your cost etc).

The 2 sticky points would be installation (our powerco gives you one 'free' meter or fuse pull per year to allow you to do work around your line or main breaker)... and code. Is it allowable to introduce something like a coil pickup in the main breaker area ? It would also require penetration of the enclosure either in the main breaker area, or the panel area to interface with your circuit. They dont like much monkey business in the main area.. so I dunno.
 
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Old 06-15-09, 05:37 AM
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Yes, I have seen split CTs that can be put on the mains inside the load center. Also my meter has an option for a KYZ output that could probably work. But neither of those is off-the-shelf or as cheap as the Blue Line. For example I think the split CTs cost $40 each, just for the CTs. I can get the Blue Line set up for about $100 including shipping so, you know, it would be a lot easier if that infrared meter LED just pulsed once for each Kh!
 
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Old 06-19-09, 09:48 PM
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It appears the available ports are for the POCO meter department, both for programming (display features, scrolling speeds, etc.) and for calibration verification; not for the consumer. From what I can read from the manuals you posted, it sounds like you're out of luck.
 
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Old 06-20-09, 07:23 PM
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I have seen the documentation for I think a Black And Decker electric monitor, which specifically states the Landys+Gyr Focus meters won't work with it.

FWIW, we have the same Focus meters here, and the one hole under the triangle protrusion is plugged.
 
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