July 24, 2013

Detect AC power outages with Arduino

 When the mains power goes out for various reasons most of us can get by while the distributor works on restoring the outage, however in some cases people are running basement sump pumps or other critical devices to keep things dry, frozen or alive. But what if you're sounds asleep when the outage occurs? You don't want to wake up to a flooded basement or spoiled food. 

An interesting yet completely simple solution to this has been devised by Instuctables user "Abnormal Force". They use a battery-operated Arduino to monitor the output from a 3.3V plug pack transformer that's running from a power point. So when the mains power cuts out, the plug pack voltage drops to zero and the Arduino can sound a beeper or other alert device. 

Not the most efficient of solutions, but it works. Nevertheless, the instructions and notes can be found from here. And for more, we're on twitter and Google+, so follow us for news and product updates as well.

If you're new to Arduino and want to join the fun, the first step is a solid board for your projects - our Freetronics Eleven - the Arduino-Uno compatible with low-profile USB socket, onboard prototyping space and easy to view LEDs:

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