We’ve been working with Glyn on behalf of OpenEnergyMonitor for quite some time now and we wanted to share what they do, obviously Glyn isn’t your standard PCB customer, he’s climbing the side of cliff faces and standing on tight ropes above gorges, this Sir is your rare find!
Just to let you in on the back story; Glyn is in his early 20’s and is an absolute adventure freak – It only takes him about a week until he’s on his next great adventure. At Ragworm we know that Glyn is very modest, but he really is doing the best anyone can to change how we look at the environment!
Glyn’s no 1 factor when it comes to PCB’s is environmentally friendly manufacture, so who better to come than Ragworm! He always checks where the components are sourced from, is the material eco-friendly, what are the effects of delivery and all the jazz that makes your company energy efficient. We like to think we’ve given the best service to Glyn as he keeps coming back for more!
He Started OpenEnergyMonitor to make a difference and it certainly has, it’s changed the way we even look at what we do in the factory… since meeting Glyn we’ve done so much to factor in what he has taught us into our manufacturing process’, it’s now become a very recognised company for its work, no doubt you’ve seen some of his boards posted around!
You’re probably wondering about the picture as well… yes Glyn is in fact climbing a cliff face, it’s just a normal Tuesday for him!
We sent Glyn over some questions to answer so we can show you the ins and outs of the company Glyn has created, and here they are:
What is your name and what company do you run?
Together with Trystan Lea we run OpenEnergyMonitor”
What does your company/project do?
“We design and build open-source tools for energy and environmental monitoring, analysis and optimisation.”
What inspire you into the world of tech?
“The thing which inspires me the most is the application of open-source collaborative technology to help solve real world, worthwhile problems. In my opinion, problems such as climate change and resource depletion are so large that a collaborative sharing approach is essential to try and do the best we can as fast as we can to improve the situation. I see a low carbon, knowledge sharing economy as an exciting future.”
How do you feel about British manufacturing?
“Use it or lose it! I feel strongly that Britain has got great manufacturing facilitates and in my experience the advantages of getting things made in the UK (e.g. flexibility, communication, speed, peace of mind, shipping logistics etc.) far out way the perceived disadvantages (e.g. cost, quantity production etc.). From the beginning, it was a no-brainer to get all of our units manufactured and assembled in the UK, for me it’s the only way that makes sense.”
Do you have any open source projects?
“Our whole project has been built from the ground up to be fully open-source, both software and hardware. We don’t just share a pdf of the schematic but the full PCB CAD files and also write extensive documentation on as much of the system as we can: from AC Power measurement theory to each circuit building block that goes into making a full energy monitor. We also openly share our firmware and Web application software.”
“There is an intentional separation between our commercial activities (manufacture and sale of our units on) from the open-source part of the project (documentation and forums on shop.openenergymonitor openenergymonitor. This distinction is important as the project is not the property of the company but of our individual contributions and the contributions of others involved in the project, the project is also open for contributors to start their own open hardware/software businesses that work alongside us contributing back to the project or companies providing services using the kit.”
Are you working on any new exciting projects?
“As always! The latest in hardware designs is combining our emonTx (energy monitoring transmitter unit), emonBase (web-connected RaspberryPi base station) and emonGLCD (display unit) into a single unit based on the RaspberryPi. This unit will consist of a RaspberryPi with an energy monitoring shield with option to add 2.5” HDD for local data logging and hosting. This should make for a tidy one-box, low-cost and easy to install solution for energy monitoring. “
What do you think about Ragworm?
”Fantastic! It’s just what the doctor ordered! Before Ragworm the DIY, ‘maker’, ‘hacker’ community was crying out for such a service. Recent years has seen other community ‘pooling’ PCB facilities startup in other countries, it’s great now to have such a service delivering top quality PCB’s at low cost and starting at low volumes here on our doorstep in the UK. “