Meter Reading

We are a group of 13 primary schools and i’d like to roll out a IOT network (using The Things Network). My aim is to measure the following;

  • Temp/Humidity and Luminosity in each classroom (There’s some research on the ideal temp etc for teaching)
  • I’d like to be able to get live(ish) electricity/gas/water usage (i believe we are billed on a 30 minute cycle). This will help drive a education program in each school.

Having researched, i believe i can purchase The Things Gateway and nodes to measure the temp/humidity & luminosity. Where i’m stuck is on the meter reading, so below are photos of the Electric and Water meter. Are there any solutions for this?



The Itron water meter already has a cyble sensor with 433MHz radio (of course not compatible with LoRa).

The problem with the water meter is it belongs to the water distributor company.
You are not allowed to replace the meter or the clip-on with your own one with LoRa technology or whatever. You are only allowed to see the meter to visually check the reading.

One solution is to ask the water company for the data, maybe they have a cloud API. Other solution is to instal another water meter in series, after the itron one.

Almost the same for electricity meter, it is sealed, but maybe you can access to the flashing LED, and can use an optical pulse counter

Thanks for the really helpful reply. I’m guessing the 433Mhz radio would only transmit encrypted traffic?

The simplest solution may be to install a LoRa meter on your side of the water supply company’s meter.


From the electricity meter I presume that You are in UK.
European Union since some years adopted rules to decrease contrast climate change. For energy efficiency there is a directive, that has to put in place by 2020 mandates free access for customer to real time data and past data for electricity and gas consumption and costs in other to allow customers to regulate their own consumption.

I don’t know what will happen with Brexit, but that are the rules, so You can ask utilities companies about how to access to data.

As other suggested You can install one or more water meters for sub-metering.
I personally prefer the ones with dry pulse output, so You can change the wireless device without changing the meter itself as it happens sometimes with all integrated units (meter + radio unit).

You can easily capture and decode the wireless signal from some of your meters but it has nothing to do with lorawan. Using rtlsdr you can read yours and quite a few of those that don’t even belong to you. :zipper_mouth_face:

I can read my water, gas and electric meters by using a dongle and free/libre and open source software. My water meter is in the ground and it reads flawlessly. You just have to make sure that you get the unique id off your meters and filter them out as you’ll see reading from many other devices around you.

Check this out you just need to set your center frequency to 433 if that is in fact the frequency they use:

Search for this “rtlsdr meter” or perhaps “rtlsdr water meter”

Not sure if this works with your particular meter as rtlamr works with ERT type meters. I’ll leave the fun of researching this further to you but this is a good start :sunglasses:

1. Electricity Meter: I see it has an infra-red port (the circular port on the right with a magnetic ring). Confirm it is IEC 62056-21 compliant. If it is, then it’s possible to read data from the meter through this port and transmit that over LoRa.

I am working on a similar project. You will need an optical probe and a controller that can provide hardware serial. Atmega32u4 board may work if your code is not long. Another option is to use an ESP32 board.

2. Water Meter
If the transmission on 433MHz from the water meter can be received, you could make a transceiver that communicates with the water meter, collects the data you need and then formats and sends same data over LoRa to TTN. If you have more information on the water meter that would help.

  1. There is no public access. The only option is to count the pulses.

Can you clarify please?

In the UK it would be unusual for meter operators to give public access via any port, there will be a password.

The port is indeed flag style but you can run any protocol you like over it. The protocol in this instance will depend on the firmware version and port configuration. It’s probably “EDMI command line” if you are curious.

I personally wouldn’t mess with the port since it’s a revenue meter and that would count as tamper. Counting flashing LEDs is probably also against the rules but there is little chance that this will interfere with the operation of the meter.


Well there is a standard for meters and that is why I said

IEC 62056 is a set of standards for Electricity metering data exchange. If it is, there are multiple modes for communicating with the meter over that port. Protocol Mode C in particular will give a data readout without requiring a password except where it is not implemented in that make/model of meter.

A reference to this document will help.

What I believe he needs to determine are the values he wants to collect and if they are provided in the readout. If they are, then he can easily parse the readout, select the values and transmit said values over LoRaWAN.

EDMI meters not use IEC 62056-21 (IEC1107) protocol.
“EDMI Command Line” is the native protocol of the Atlas meters.

But optical interface comply IEC 62056-21 hardware standard. You can use standart IEC optical probe to read meter using EDMI Command Line Protocol. See probes you can use.

This topic was automatically closed 60 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.