Freelance Solutions Designer for
Web Based User Interfaces
Process Automation and SCADA
A seasoned designer and developer of hardware and software systems, I enjoy helping people to realise their goals through identifying with and understanding their specific project needs with clear and concise communication.
Starting at a young age with electronics, then a large part of my career as an engineer working in the industrial automation sector, I have been fortunate to develop and experience a broad skills set.
Some days will see me working with reasonably complex industrial projects, while many days will find me working from my hidden mountain cabin crafting away on code to further develop skills in integrating and implementation new methods of technology.
More information follows below on who I am with the sort of things I can offer and also details on my current personal projects to do with SCADA and renewable energy systems.
To maintain my sense of sanity, I also like to enjoy a number of other activities in life which are not related to technology in any way. I hope you will enjoy reading these as I write them up to share.
Once again I am focused on embedded systems after spending the past decade and a half in main stream automation and instrumentation of process control systems.
Development with a variety of micro-controllers over many years has provided me a reasonable foundation in embedded systems architecture. My days started many years ago with the Signetics 2650 8bit CPU, progressing to other devices such as 6800 variants and Z80 based designs, but these days see me working with popular Atmel 8 and 32 bit micro-controllers.
Optimised and unique in each case, embedded control systems have always been my first love. Designing PLC (Programmable Logic Controller) based control systems I would often think how I could achieve similar designs employing embedded systems for a smaller and more cost effective solution. Of course, using embedded systems is not always appropriate.
With the increase in the widespread development and acceptance of the ubiquitous micro-controller and embedded systems generally, especially in new and emerging areas such as the arts and home and building automation I expect we will shall see an exciting period ahead with new concepts and innovations, and one that I am keen to be part of.
Having come full circle, I choose to utilise embedded systems where I think it is an appropriate and effective solution.Some project examples:
Experienced in wide range of process control systems engineering, from small to the medium sized industrial projects. For automation project work, I offer my engineering services within the Australian territory.Past involved projects:
QuadlogSCADA is a personal project started in early 2014, with ongoing development.
QuadlogSCADA aims to be a functional SCADA system in the true sense of what a SCADA does. It performs Supervisory Control functions for processes as well as Data Acquisition from processes. SCADA is Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition
The core of QuadlogSCADA is an application program written in the C language, compiled to operate primarily on GNU/Linux operating systems. It works on both Intel 64/32 bit as well as ARM platforms. The ARM platform appears ideal for small and low power consumption applications such as found in solar installations.
QuadlogSCADA communicates to devices using standard industrial communication protocols such as Modbus via Ethernet TCP, RS-485 or USB. It maintains a regular scan of data tags from connected devices. The data is viewable by the inbuilt HTTP server for displaying as real-time data on web pages as the GUI.
QuadlogSCADA is aimed for small process control environments, typically used on industrial sites, but is equally right at home with building automation and renewable energy systems.
The scope of a QuadlogSCADA system is for small to medium automation or process control systems, being particularly more suited for non critical and non life threatening tasks. It is not designed to replace critical or safety systems. Such systems must be designed to use dedicated safety control equipment such as accredited PLC's.
Quadlog utilises the following proven C libraries SQLite3, libmodbus and libmicrohttpd:
Quadlog is currently in development, having been started in April 2014 and is presently being tested in a few initial systems to test reliablility and robustness of core components. It is anticipated that by around mid 2015 it will closer to being at a state ready for use as an alternative SCADA system for renewable energy installations using solar, wind and hydro. It is hoped that people interested in such systems for their own private use might like to make use of QuadlogSCADA.
Licensing of QuadlogSCADA is still being determined
This web server you are accessing right now is the QuadlogSCADA application itself. I have designed this application for a specific reason which is quite different from web servers as used by many web sites, though it may not be apparent to the casual user. The code this server operates on has been programmed from the ground up in the 'C language' in-conjunction with the libmicrohttpd library. This is not an Apaché nor Node.js style server.
The reason for writing this web-server code is to facilitate an integrated real-time SCADA system within the server code and also to be fully independent from any other web service. Also, traditional setups using the LAMP stack are not well optimised for use as real-time data systems. Typically, they consume a fair amount of operating system resources just sitting there and significant additional resources for every HTTP connection made to the system. The SCADA, (Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition) system section uses an additional library which communicates with real world hardware continuously every 500mSec, 24/7. The real world hardware is my home based renewable energy system, which I detail in the following section below.
During the development cycle this server will operate on a dedicated small DELL laptop running Debian GNU/Linux as the operating system. Once development is closer to being stable, the server application will be migrated to an ARM based single board computer, a Cubieboard II, also configured with the same Debian GNU/Linux operating system. The Cubieboard II is a dual core ARM Cortex A7 CPU, based on the Allwinner A20.
When migrated to the Cubieboard II, it will run in headless mode, that is, no physical screen or GUI environment installed to provide a lightweight system that takes very little electrical power as well as system resources. My hope is that this should work well as a general purpose web server for serving up all web based files and also work as a dedicated SCADA data concentrator and host for web based HMI screens to view next to real time data.
For my own personal long term project using QuadlogSCADA, I am developing a control and monitoring system for my home based renewable energy system that has both a microhydro turbine and solar panel array.
Currently, it is still in early development and has many features yet to be installed, though it is alive and working, providing me with valuable information. I make use of an Arduino Ether-Mega board to connect to real world sensors and controls. The Arduino has a PID loop controller to control microhydro energy between the main battery bank or a diversion shunt load. The Arduino is a Mobus slave/server, with the main GNU/Linux system running QuadlogSCADA being the master/client and making the data available to HTTP clients, such as your web browser.
To view the current development of my home based renewable energy system I am developing. (Best viewed on screen resolutions greater than 1024px wide)HydroSolar
I live on the small island of Tasmania, which hangs below Australia.
Tasmania is not a separate country, it is a part of Australia which has surprised many people. Our time zone here is UTC+10 plus an extra hour in our summer time.
For project assistance, I will need a detailed functional description of your project so I can clearly understand your concepts and ideas. I can assist you if you need help with this part.Please contact me with the at least some of the following details:
I try to be flexible with how I charge for my time, and may even work free of charge if your project really grabs my interest or if there is a possibility of teaming up with you and your project, where, together we might make a gazillion of some form of high value currency.
But if you prefer, I can work with you on an hourly rate or if you wish I can provide you a reasonably close approximation of project costs for my involvement.
There are many situations where I don't charge for my time, for example, when I need to learn something where you would generally expect me to already know this. This is normal and is my way of keeping myself well informed of new technologies and techniques.
My rates for engineering work in automation process control where I work with PLCs and SCADA systems are generally higher than other forms of work I do. For this sort of work my charge out rate is AUD$120 per hour.
You may contact me by any of the following methods:mobile: +61 466 968 395
Last update to this information: 19 March 2015