Montag, 25. Januar 2016

Home Measurement: Switch to RRDtool

My mobile wifi ESP8266-sensors with DHT22 (and soon even with a barometric sensor ... ) are working very well for seeing what is going on in my flat. But MRTG has been developed for monitoring internet traffic. Thus negative values are not possible to be displayed. There is no easy solution to add that. So I needed to switch to RRDtool to fetch my data and plot the graphs. This needs a bit more thinking as you need to setup databases for each of your sensors and think about how often you want to sample the data, the allowed values, how far are averages stored, and so on.

As I still want to monitor my internet traffic as well, next to the "weather sensors" I need to setup a traffic counter manually as well. My solution looks like this:

First, I generate the databases.


rrdtool create /var/www/rrd/fritzbox.rrd -s 300 DS:in:DERIVE:600:0:6500000 DS:out:DERIVE:600:0:1300000 RRA:AVERAGE:0.5:1:576 RRA:AVERAGE:0.5:6:672 RRA:AVERAGE:0.5:24:732 RRA:AVERAGE:0.5:144:1460

Which means: sample accepted every 5 minutes (300 seconds). The bandwidth is 50MBit down and 10 MBit up, added some Bytes for the theoretical headroom. Derive means that the difference to the last sample value should be stored; with a 0 sample for example after a reboot, traffic gets counted as 0 (instead of giving a huge spike as RRDtool assumes a wrap-around of the counter otherwise). The other values create entries for the daily, weekly, monthly and yearly averages.

For the DHT22 sensors, I create a database for each sensor in place so adding new ones or removing old ones is easy.
rrdtool create /var/www/rrd/dht22-pi.rrd -s 300 DS:temp:GAUGE:600:-40:100 DS:hum:GAUGE:600:0:100 RRA:AVERAGE:0.5:1:576 RRA:AVERAGE:0.5:6:672 RRA:AVERAGE:0.5:24:732 RRA:AVERAGE:0.5:144:1460

Now I need to adopt the scripts which read out the sensors to feed the data into their database.
Bash is not quite intuitive, unfortunately. Whitespaces around "=" can take you hours to spot as error! ;)

A few hours later, everything falls into place. This is the script which gathers the data and creates the graphics. For crontab, I needed to add it with a trailing call to "/bin/bash" in the crontab-entry as it was throwing syntax errors when I directly called it.
Source here:

The graphs are embedded in a very basic HTML webpage for now:

Source here: (more recent version: ).

Now I'm still finetuning all the scripts, graphs and websites. But it is doable, although a bit more complex, to plot the data with RRD instead of MRTG.

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