Reading out Kamstrup Multical 402/403 with home-built optical head

By Atomstar on Monday 16 November 2020 21:09 - Comments (4)
Categories: Linux, Smarthome, Views: 2.215

Our grid heating meter has been replaced, and since I like to read out meters, I had to replace my read out sensor as well. Here I document how I custom-built an IR / optical head to read out the Kamstrup Multical heat meter using their proprietary protocol.

TL;DR:
  • Get head from using the hal9k.dk reader head (archive) then solder together (22 EUR including shipping in EU, a bargain :) Best to pay with PayPal because banks apparently charge a ridiculous amount to transfer money across currencies.)
  • Connect to an FTDI USB TTL reader (e.g. at tinytronics)
  • Use either use this python script to read out the sensor and push to domoticz, or use my fork to push to InfluxDB or MQTT. Note that the original script seems to use more battery than required (see issue on GitHub repo, being worked on)
  • Useful background info on the Kamstrump Multical meter sensor here (archive) and here (archive).

Hardware

I got the optical head from hal9k.dk for 22 EUR including shipping, soldering and assembly required. Alternatively, you can get one from volkszaehler.org or buy the official one (not recommended, price >150 EUR).

Soldering instructions are on the hal9k website, and are fairly straight-forward. Note that the resistor color coding might differ from the ones mentioned in the article, use this website to check the resistance.

Software

There are several software solutions available for USB-driven optical heads:

Mounting

Resources

Useful background info on the Kamstrump Multical meter sensor here (archive) and here (archive).

Volgende: Measuring CO2/Temp/RH/Pressure with ESP8266 version 2 03-01 Measuring CO2/Temp/RH/Pressure with ESP8266 version 2
Volgende: Coupling my fiber internet directly into my router 07-'20 Coupling my fiber internet directly into my router

Comments


By Tweakers user jwmaas, Friday 18 December 2020 23:51

I read the Multical 403 meter using this script on a raspberry pi 3b. I get none, none as output for all the variables. I have manually woken up the meter before sending commands. I have the reading head from volkzaelker.org which worked beautifully on the Landis & Gyr heat meter.

Do you have any suggestions on how to solve this? Anyone?

Many thanks, Jan Willem

By Tweakers user Atomstar, Monday 21 December 2020 16:01

jwmaas wrote on Friday 18 December 2020 @ 23:51:
Do you have any suggestions on how to solve this? Anyone?
Can you pastebin your output? Have you tried other scripts linked in this article? Are you sure you're queuing the right variables? If you get None, None, at least the script runs normally, i.e. no timeout due to optical misalignment. Some ideas to check :)

By Tweakers user divebuster2, Friday 15 January 2021 14:49

Thank you for your detailed description.

I have been working with Home assistant for some time now and we have collective heating and cooling (district heating) in our house.
I am making the heating and cooling control with Home Assistant.
We have a kamstrup multical 403 that I want to read, and your work helps!
Would this optical head work too?

https://nl.aliexpress.com...b201602_,searchweb201603_

I have already ordered but have to wait for delivery ;-)

By Tweakers user Atomstar, Monday 18 January 2021 12:04

divebuster2 wrote on Friday 15 January 2021 @ 14:49:
Would this optical head work too?

https://nl.aliexpress.com...b201602_,searchweb201603_

I have already ordered but have to wait for delivery ;-)
Not sure, the scheme looks quite similar, so I guess it could work. In the end it’s a light that switches on and off and a sensor to receive it. Let me know when you get it :)

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