Home automation: Putting a child lock on my Nest thermostat using SCOM

April 24, 2014 at 10:23 am in SCOM 2012, sysctr by Dieter Wijckmans


This post is part of a series on how I demonstrate how to use SCOM to basically monitor everything. The other parts can be found here:

After I have successfully been able to get data into SCOM from my Nest Thermostat and my Flukso energy meter it’s time to do some cool stuff with it. More devices are in the pipeline to get data into SCOM to create the ultimate Domotics controller or should I say “SCOMotics”…

The world: Keeping an eye on Teen Trouble

One problem I have in real life is the fact that it’s very hard to explain to my wife and kids the process off radiant floors. It takes some time to heat up but it stays warm a long time so there’s no point in setting the thermostat to a higher point to get instant heat because it takes approx 1 hour to heat up 2 degrees celcius (something I also learned from getting my Nest thermostat data into SCOM).

But you can explain all you want if they find it chilly they’ll turn up the thermostat assuming it will get warm instantly but in fact they are just using more energy than necessary to heat the house in 2 hours when they already left the house.

So the mission was very simple. To stop them from doing this. Yes… I could put a lock code on the Nest thermostat and make it only available to me but if I’m not home and they really need to put the heating higher they are not able to do so.

So I came up with another solution: Setting a hard limit on the degrees and enforcing it.

So in short what do I need to achieve with SCOM:

  • Detection of the current temperature set: Target temperature
  • Alerting when the Target temperature breaches the set limit
  • Take corrective action to make sure the target temperature is set below the max temperature.

So let’s start with the detection of the current target temperature. I can reuse the work I already did to read in this value and compare it to the limit. To keep track of things and as this is a more general approach I’ve documented the process of creating a PowerShell script monitor using Silect MPAuthor here: http://scug.be/dieter/2014/04/24/scom-creating-a-powershell-script-monitor-with-silect-mpauthor/

So now that we have the monitor in place let’s check out whether it’s working!

First of all I’m setting my nest thermostat to 20 Celsius while my limit is set to 19 Celsius:


After the first run the monitor is picking up that indeed the temperature is higher than the requested limit. This is detected by running the PowerShell script monitor we’ve configured earlier:


Here you can see that the Recovery target which I configured kicked in as well. This recovery target consists out of a PHP file which is located on my Webserver and loaded by using the PowerShell Invoke-Webrequest module..

Note: I’m running this recovery against my Watchernode class which consists of 1 server and thus I’ve copied the “settempnest.ps1” to the local folder of that particular server.

How did I configure the recovery task

First open the monitor and click add on the “configure recovery tasks” section


Fill in the name of the recovery and select the status where to react upon.


Enter the command:

  • Full path: C:\Windows\System32\WindowsPowerShell\V1.0\powershell.exe
  • Parameter: -noexit “& “C:\scripts\settempnest.ps1″


The powershell is running a invoke-webrequest on my webserver. The PHP script it is running is copied below:


require 'inc/config.php';
require 'nest-api-master/nest.class.php';

define('USERNAME', $config['nest_user']);
define('PASSWORD', $config['nest_pass']);

$nest = new Nest();
$nest->setTargetTemperatureMode(TARGET_TEMP_MODE_HEAT, 18.0);

So after running the recovery we see the monitor changing back from error to healthy:


There we go… All good again saving some energy


And final check on the thermostat itself… Back humming at 18 degrees.


SCOM: Creating a PowerShell script monitor with Silect MPAuthor

April 24, 2014 at 10:15 am in SCOM 2012, sysctr by Dieter Wijckmans

Sometimes it’s necessary to create a monitor to monitor something which is not included in the standard management packs. Unfortunately it’s not possible in SCOM  to use PowerShell to crerate a script monitor in the scom console. Although it’s not a good idea to start authoring in the operations console it sometimes can be a quick and easy way to create a monitor.

Recently Silect Sofftware released a free version of MPAuthor to create your management packs. I’m using this to create my script monitors to collect and monitor the data which I use in my monitoring my home series: http://scug.be/dieter/2014/02/19/monitor-your-home-with-scom/

Download the tool here: http://www.silect.com/mp-author

Below is an example of how I monitor the target temperature set on my Nest Thermostat.

So open the tool and create a new management pack => Create New Script Monitor…


Name the script (if you have the script somewhere as a PS1 file it will load the script body automatically.


This is the script I’m using:

[void][system.reflection.Assembly]::LoadFrom(“C:\Program Files (x86)\MySQL\MySQL Connector Net 6.8.3\Assemblies\v2.0\MySQL.Data.dll”)

#Create a variable to hold the connection:

$myconnection = New-Object MySql.Data.MySqlClient.MySqlConnection

#Set the connection string:

$myconnection.ConnectionString = "Fill in the connection string here"

#Call the Connection object’s Open() method:


$API = New-Object -ComObject "MOM.ScriptAPI"
$PropertyBag = $API.CreatePropertyBag()

#uncomment this to print connection properties to the console
#echo $myconnection

#The dataset must be created before it can be used in the script:
$dataSet = New-Object System.Data.DataSet

$command = $myconnection.CreateCommand()
$command.CommandText = "SELECT target FROM data ORDER BY timestamp DESC LIMIT 1";
$reader = $command.ExecuteReader()
#echo $reader
#The data reader will now contain the results from the database query.

#Processing the Contents of a Data Reader
#The contents of a data reader is processes row by row:

while ($reader.Read()) {
#And then field by field:
for ($i= 0; $i -lt $reader.FieldCount; $i++) {
$value = $reader.GetValue($i) -as [int]
#echo $value
#$value = $value -replace ",", "."

if($value -gt $maxtarget)
$PropertyBag.addvalue("Desription","Target temperature currently set to " + $value + ": is higher than the maximum target temp " + $maxtarget)
$PropertyBag.addvalue("Desription","Target temperature currently set to " + $value + ": is lower than the maximum target temp " + $maxtarget)


Note that you need to pass the parameters through to SCOM via the propertybags. I also am a fan of doing the logic in the script itself as shown above to avoid any logic in SCOM afterwards. It’s far more easy to do the comparison in the PowerShell script. In this case I’m setting State to either ERROR or OK. This also avoids the format conflict of the output whether it’s a string or an integer.

I’m setting the maxtarget parameter to 19


Next you need to create the conditions for the monitor states:


As I’m only using a 2 state monitor I’m deleting the OverWarning state and only using UnderWarning (= Healthy state) and OverError (= Error state).


For the Healthy state I’m detecting the “State” property value as OK (note that I’m defining the Type as a String as the state is just plain text)


For the Error state I’m detecting the “State” property value as ERROR


Now we need to target the monitor. In my case it’s the watcher node target I’ve created earlier on.



Naming and enabling the rule


Set the schedule how many time to check the status of the max temp


Speciffy the alert that needs to be raised if any:


And create.


Now save the management pack and test it in your environment.

System Center 2012 R2 Update Rollup 2 Released

April 23, 2014 at 10:55 am in sysctr by Dieter Wijckmans


Just a quick note that System Center 2012 R2 Update Rollup 2 was released last night. For a full view of the different updates included head over to the official KB which is located here: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2932881

A lot of features and fixes.

Below you can find the links to the different fixes.

Data Protection Manager (KB2958100) (6 fixes in total)

Operations Manager (KB2929891) (9 fixes in total)

Operations Manager – UNIX and Linux Monitoring (Management Pack Update KB2929891) (1 fix in total)

2929891 System Center 2012 Operations Manager R2 Update Rollup 2

Orchestrator (KB2904689) (3 fixes in total)

Service Manager (KB2904710) (15 (!) fixes in total)

Service Provider Foundation (KB2932939) (6fixes in total)


Virtual Machine Manager (KB2932926) (30 (!) fixes in total)


As always these packages are cumulative and hold all the fixes off Update Rollup 1 as well. I’ll be taking the different packages for a test spin in my lab environment and will keep you informed about the things I came across.

Last but not least the Windows Azure Pack also got a very extended update.

More info can be found here: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2932946

SCOM: Agentpostinstall.ps1 PowerShell demo script Webcast 01042014

April 3, 2014 at 10:29 am in LiveMeeting, SCOM, SCOM 2012 by Dieter Wijckmans

On april 1st 2014 (a day I will remember for a long time due to various reasons) I held a webcast for Microsoft Technet Belux regarding automation of admin tasks in SCOM.

I went over the basics to get started, the pitfalls and gave some tips and tricks to get you going. This session was recorded and together with the slide deck it’s made available here:


In this demo I created a small PowerShell script that could save you some time when agents are installed in your environment through an image. In this particular scenario the agents are automatically in the “pending approval” list in SCOM.

Running this PowerShell will add them to the environment, make them remotely manageable, point them all to a management server of your choice and put agent proxying on true.

Feel free to adapt the script for your needs.

The script in question:

# AUTHOR:    Dieter Wijckmans
# DATE:        01/04/2014
# Name:        agentpostinstall.PS1
# Version:    1.0
# COMMENT:    Approve agents after install, make remotely manageable, assign to 1 management server
#           and enable agent proxying.
# Usage:    .\postinstallagenttasks.ps1 mgserverfrom mgserverto sqlserverinstance dbase
# Parameters: mgserverfrom: the primary server at this point
#             mgserverto: The new primary server
#             sqlserverinstance: the sql server where the opsdb resides + instance
#             dbase: name of the opsdb

param ([string]$mgserverfrom,[string]$mgserverto,[string]$sqlserverinstance,[string]$dbase)
###Prepare environment for run###

# Start Ops Mgr snapin

##Read out the Management server name
$objCompSys = Get-WmiObject win32_computersystem
$inputScomMS = $objCompSys.name

#Initializing the Ops Mgr 2012 Powershell provider#
Import-Module -Name "OperationsManager"
New-SCManagementGroupConnection -ComputerName $inputScomMS

#Get all agents which are in pending mode and approve
$pending = Get-SCOMPendingManagement | Group AgentPendingActionType
$Count = $pending.count
echo $count

If ($count -eq $null)
echo "No agents to approve"
Get-SCOMPendingManagement | where {$_.AgentPendingActionType -eq "ManualApproval"} | Sort AgentName | Approve-SCOMPendingManagement

#Let all servers report to 1 primary management server

$serverfrom = Get-SCOMManagementServer | ? {$_.name -eq "$mgserverfrom"}
$agents = Get-SCOMAgent -ManagementServer $serverfrom
$serverto = Get-SCOMManagementServer | ? {$_.name -eq "$mgserverto"}
Set-SCOMParentManagementServer -Agent:$agents -FailoverServer:$null
Set-SCOMParentManagementServer -Agent:$agents -PrimaryServer:$serverto
Set-SCOMParentManagementServer -Agent:$agents -FailoverServer:$serverfrom

#Set all servers to remotely manageable in SQL

$ServerName = "$sqlserverinstance"
$DatabaseName = "$dbase"
$Query = "UPDATE MT_HealthService SET IsManuallyInstalled=0 WHERE IsManuallyInstalled=1"

#Timeout parameters
$QueryTimeout = 120
$ConnectionTimeout = 30

#Action of connecting to the Database and executing the query and returning results if there were any.
$conn=New-Object System.Data.SqlClient.SQLConnection
$ConnectionString = "Server={0};Database={1};Integrated Security=True;Connect Timeout={2}" -f $ServerName,$DatabaseName,$ConnectionTimeout
$cmd=New-Object system.Data.SqlClient.SqlCommand($Query,$conn)
$ds=New-Object system.Data.DataSet
$da=New-Object system.Data.SqlClient.SqlDataAdapter($cmd)

#Set all servers to agent proxy enabled

Get-SCOMAgent | where {$_.ProxyingEnabled.Value -eq $False} | Enable-SCOMAgentProxy

It can be downloaded here



  • that you need to give the proper parameters for it to work as stated in the description.
  • that perhaps you will have to check the SQL connection string on-line 68 with your SQL dba and adapt accordingly.

Received MVP 2014 award

April 2, 2014 at 10:02 am in Uncategorized by Dieter Wijckmans


Yesterday I have received the news that I am awarded with the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional award 2014 in Cloud and Datacenter Management.


I can’t describe how thrilled I am to be a part of this community to share even more knowledge with true experts in the field to gain even more insight in the System Center products.

This couldn’t have been possible without the help and support of a lot of people who guided me into the world of System Center. However there’s a small problem with name dropping: You are always forgetting some people. But hey I’m happy to take the risk.

First of all I would like to go back to 2010. While I was working at a client I came across Kurt Van Hoecke (who’s an MVP now as well) who introduced me to the System Center Suite. I did have an ITIL background but never heard of System Center as such. I agreed to join him to MMS2010 and barely got there due to the ash cloud. During that MMS I already met the people of System Center User Group and other System Center engineers who became good friends afterwards.

Time went by and I started to experiment with SCOM and other Sysctr products. I changed employer specifically to start working with Sysctr products and from then on it started rolling.

I officially joined SCUG Belgium in 2011 and have blogged ever since. Started speaking at events as well with already recently a couple of highlights (Expertslive, SystemCenteruniverse US,…) and hopefully many more to come.

During the past years I enjoyed sharing my knowledge, findings regarding the Sysctr products, helping out people with issues and just meeting new people with the same passion. I can’t count the hours I’ve spend on these activities but I enjoy doing it otherwise you would not continue right?

So what now? Well euhm basically nothing. I will continue blogging, speaking, helping out and hopefully meet even more people with the same passion. As a board member of SCUG I can say that we will continue to provide a platform for System Center content in Belgium and throughout the world. If you would like to start blogging / speaking / contributing here just drop me a line.

So finally I would like to start name dropping… The dangerous stuff right?

First of all thanks to Arlindo Alves and Sigrid VandenWeghe: As Microsoft Belux community leads they provide us (and me) with a solid platform to build and grow our community platform.

Second I would like to thank the members of the SCUG who helped me in the beginning of my wanders through the System Center world.

Third I would like to shout out to some specific people who had a significant impact on my journey II ‘ve travelled so far. Thanks Maarten Goet, Kenny Buntinx, Tim de Keukelaere, Cameron Fuller, Kurt van Hoecke, Kevin Greene, Marnix Wolf, Mike Resseler and so many more I’m forgetting to mention right now.

It’s because of these individuals and much more due to the buzz in the Sysctr community  that I really like sharing my knowledge and meeting new people while I’m speaking

Last I would like to express a special thanks to the Sysctr Community members who provided good content in the past, now and in the future. It’s their blogs, effort and guidance who helped me in the beginning to gain a good insight in the Sysctr world.

Some blogs that really helped me in the beginning (and still are helping me today)

Last but not least I want to encourage you to share your knowledge as well in the community. Every bit of effort even the smallest ones really contribute in keeping this community alive and helping others to fully understand the potential of the system center suite. Hopefully see you at one of the events in the near future!

Connect with me on

Webcast 01/04: Make SCOM work for you and not the other way around!

March 6, 2014 at 9:23 am in LiveMeeting, SCOM, SCOM 2012 by Dieter Wijckmans


Face it… Sometimes keeping SCOM alive can be a real challenge especially when there are a lot of people who have access to the console… Sometimes it feels like monitoring SCOM itself can be a full time job!


I came across a lot of environments and one of the things I’ve learned is in fact if you automate a lot of tasks you already gain a lot of time. Well there’s PowerShell for that!

It gives you the opportunity to go from a SCOM zero to a SCOM hero by freeing up more time to do the cool stuff… Because let’s face it nobody likes scrolling through alerts, approving agents, checking the status of agents,…

In this session I’ll walk you trough some of the scripts I always implement when running a SCOM project to give me control, flexibility and save me some time in the end.

Apart from these scripts I’ll showcase also the awesome power the vast System Center community can bring you to even more facilitate the troubleshooting, configuration and manageability of your environment. The community is out there… No need to build something which is already out in the open. I’ll give you some pointers to get the community layer in your environment and will encourage you to start sharing in the process…

So if you want to save some time, see some cool pointers + tips and tricks to automate some of those tedious tasks?

Make sure to sign up below for my online webcast!

Hurry up because seats are unlimited!

Register here:


Flukso Energy Meter Monitoring Pack: Part 4: Seeing it all in action

February 25, 2014 at 12:57 am in Flukso, Monitor your home, operations manager, SCOM, SCOM 2007, SCOM 2012 by Dieter Wijckmans

This blog post is part of a series check out the other posts in this series:

So after all this hard work. To get the data into my MySQL dbase and into SCOM. What can I actually do with it?

This is the second part of  a far greater monitoring project I’m building to basically monitor my house but now I have control over the temperature and heating in my house using the Nest Thermostat monitoring pack AND can check on my power consumption and basically control my electrical bill.

I’ve created the views in the flukso monitoring view for electricity:


Nothing much we can do with this view as this is actually giving me a good reading. It’s in fact what we can do with the data which get into SCOM. Because this data is now into SCOM we can use this data to generate alerts when sudden peaks occur.

A cool one I have setup is the peak right around supper. We have an electrical furnace so when someone starts cooking at around 18h (6PM) I now get an alert becaus the total power consumption is above 4000 watt at that time…

So I know now perfectly well when I need to rush home to get in on time for dinner…

Now that I have this data in I can move forward and build a cool demo to show the added value of having this data in.

This is the second part of the puzzle of monitoring my house. In fact this process can also be used when having a solar power installation to see the generated energy on the graph.

In short notice I will be adding Water readings to the graph as well and have another few things I would like to add to the management pack to be able to patrol my house but more on that later.

Flukso Energy meter monitoring pack: Part 3: Get data into SCOM

February 25, 2014 at 12:51 am in Monitor your home, Nest, operations manager, SCOM, SCOM 2012 by Dieter Wijckmans

This blog post is part of a series check out the other posts in this series:

So after we have successfully set up the connection between the flukso and our mysql dbase with basically following the same route as the nest thermostat data is pouring into our own dbase on the same device..

The only thing left to do is get this data in SCOM as well. I’ve created a separate management pack and PowerShell script for this to give people the ability to install it separate from each other but the goal is to create one big management pack in the end.

This blog post will explain how to retrieve the data with PowerShell (of course) and dump it into a property bag which is readable by SCOM. This is the second phase in our schematic example:



We basically need the same requirements as for the NEST thermostat monitoring as we ar using the same route:

What do we need to retrieve the data out of the MySQL dbase.

  • A watchernode which has PowerShell V2.0 installed (can be a server or a desktop laying somewhere)
  • a reg key to identify this watcher node. I’m using “HKLM\SOFTWARE\Flukso\Watchernode” for this
  • The mysql connector installed: http://dev.mysql.com/downloads/connector/net/ (note in this example I’m using version 6.8.3)
  • Scom agent installed on the machine to be able to discover it as a class

There’s no additional install required on the mysql server although you will need the following to connect:

  • Location
  • User which has access to the mysql dbase (I use Root but this is not the safest way)
  • password

I’m using this on a virtual Win2012 machine without any issues.

Retrieve the data from MySQL using a PowerShell script

This is the script I created to get the data out of MySQL.

Note that this script only is retrieving one value. It’s possible to retrieve multiple values all at once but I preferred to use different scripts to get the different parameters out of the dbase.

The script has some prep work for water consumption in there as well but this is not yet fully operational as I need to convert the pulses to l/min so more on that later.

The dbase is filled with data every minute so I run the PowerShell script below every 120 sec to get data in.  The data is measured in watt.

The script used:


It can be downloaded here: http://scug.be/dieter/files/2014/02/perfdatafrommysqlelectricity.rar

[void][system.reflection.Assembly]::LoadFrom(“C:\Program Files (x86)\MySQL\MySQL Connector Net 6.8.3\Assemblies\v2.0\MySQL.Data.dll”)

#Create a variable to hold the connection:

$myconnection = New-Object MySql.Data.MySqlClient.MySqlConnection

#Set the connection string:

$myconnection.ConnectionString = "database=flukso;server=<fill in ip of server>;user id=<user>;pwd=<password>"

#Call the Connection object’s Open() method:


#uncomment this to print connection properties to the console
#echo $myconnection

$API = New-Object -ComObject "MOM.ScriptAPI"
$PropertyBag = $API.CreatePropertyBag()

#The dataset must be created before it can be used in the script:
$dataSet = New-Object System.Data.DataSet

$command = $myconnection.CreateCommand()
#$command.CommandText = "select date, time, sensor_1 from fluksodata";
$command.CommandText = "SELECT Sensor_1 FROM fluksodata ORDER BY IDTimestamp DESC LIMIT 1";
$reader = $command.ExecuteReader()
#echo $reader
#The data reader will now contain the results from the database query.

#Processing the Contents of a Data Reader
#The contents of a data reader is processes row by row:

while ($reader.Read()) {
 #And then field by field:
 for ($i= 0; $i -lt $reader.FieldCount; $i++) {
 $value = $reader.GetValue($i).ToString()
echo $value

$PropertyBag.AddValue("energysort", $energysort)
$PropertyBag.AddValue("electricity", $value)

This script will basically do the following.

  • Prepare the environment
  • Open the connection to MySQL
  • Get the data in the data reader
  • Read out the last line because we are only interested in the most recent value
  • Fill it in the property bag

Note: I’m also using a variable $energysort to identify the flukso sensor.

Now to get all the different parameters as mentioned above the only things you need to change are:

  • The name of the script itself
  • Command.CommandText = “SELECT Sensor_1 FROM fluksodata ORDER BY IDTimestamp DESC LIMIT 1″;
  • The property bag value: $PropertyBag.AddValue(“electricity”, $value)
If everything goes well you have your data in your MySQL dbase now and can retrieve it remotely via PowerShell to pass it on to SCOM.

Now that we have the PowerShell in place. Check out this blog post to make a management pack for it: http://scug.be/dieter/2014/02/19/nest-thermostat-monitoring-pack-part-3-create-the-mp/

Download the MP here: http://scug.be/dieter/files/2014/02/flukso.energymeter.rar



Flukso Energy meter monitoring pack: Part 2: Get data into MySQL

February 25, 2014 at 12:51 am in Flukso, Monitor your home, operations manager, SCOM 2012 by Dieter Wijckmans

This blog post is part of a series check out the other posts in this series:

So after we have successfully installed the device and data is flowing to the flukso website we get a nice graph on our dashboard which is available by logging into the website:


Cool… So now we get a clear overview of our energy consumption. But there’s nothing we can do with it basically. We can look at it. Make some adjustments but no alerts, no long term reports nothing…

So as I discussed in the first post there’s an open API which makes the data available locally. This is great. No need to retrieve the data from an external website. It stays inside my own network.

The setup was very similar to my Nest Thermostat approach because I had that framework already in place I planned to use it the same way and get the data in SCOM via the same process.

Again the heart of my setup is my trusty Synology DS412+ hosting my linux distro and my MySQL dbase instance:


How did I get data in?

The setup is very similar to my Nest Thermostat approach. To get the data queried out of the Flukso device I have used the script written by a fellow fluksonian PeterJ (yep that’s the official name of users of flukso): https://docs.google.com/file/d/13wB85cPx_5nykBq3ZShnClHa1rpkRE5edNEluMqxrFaCRlvJrD8Bn_6UDCs9/edit?pli=1

He uses a set of PHP scripts to get the data in.

A high level overview of the install:

  • Connect to your Synology box with Winscp
  • Copy the content of the files to /volume1/web/flukso (Make sure to follow the exact same paths as described on the google drive).
  • Open settings.php and fill in the parameters requested:

// Rename to settings.inc.php

// DB Settings
define('DB_HOST', 'localhost');
define('DB_NAME', 'flukso');
define('DB_USER', '<fill in a user with rights to create dbase on your Mysql>');
define('DB_PASS', '<fill in the password of that user>);

// Flukso settings
define('FL_ADDRESS', 'ipaddressofflukso:8080/sensor');
define('FL_PASSWORD', ''); //for future use
define('FL_SENSOR1', 'sensor ID');
define('FL_SENSOR2', '');
define('FL_SENSOR3', '');

// Meter settings
define('START_DAY', '070000');
define('END_DAY', '230000');

  • Note the sensor ID can be retrieved from the website in the sensor section (make sure to use the ID and not the token)


  • Run the install.php script by accessing your synology via putty to gain a terminal access (more explanation check the Nest thermostat topic here)
  • At this point the dbase should be created an ready to go:


  • All left to do is create another line in the cron and restart it to get data flowing into our dbase and ready to get extracted by SCOM.
  • The crontab which needs to be changed is located in /etc and is named crontab. The line is in red.

Note: make sure to use TABS between the different columns otherwise the line will be deleted with the next reboot. On a Synology box it is… I don”t know on other linux distro’s but better safe than sorry right:


  • The line that needs to be added: */1    *    *    *    *    root    /usr/bin/php /volume1/web/flukso/cronjob.php

After this install the data should normally be coming in.

I’ve tried to create a brief overview on how to setup the Synology to get the data from the flukso into my own MySQL dbase using a community driven script. However this is a System Center blog so I’m not going to go further in detail here.

If you still have questions either check the flukso forum which has some really active members out there eager to help spread the word on this nifty device: https://www.flukso.net/forum

Or connect with me on twitter @dieterwijckmans so I can assist where needed.

Flukso Energy meter monitoring pack: Part 1: Intro on the device used

February 25, 2014 at 12:50 am in Flukso, Monitor your home, operations manager, SCOM, SCOM 2012 by Dieter Wijckmans

This blog post is part of a series check out the other posts in this series:

This post is part of an ongoing series on how to monitor my house with SCOM and build scenarios based on the data that comes into SCOM.

More info on the blog series here: http://scug.be/dieter/2014/02/19/monitor-your-home-with-scom/

After monitoring the temperature / humidity and heating in my house I now have turned my focus on the aspects that cost basically money. My electrical bill. To get this data in you need an energy meter. I actually have 2 at the moment so I can level them out to see which one is right… Boys and toys right.


They are both of Belgian companies but can be used on any power grid. The above device is called the smappee.


It’s a rather new device with a very spacy exterior and lighting. Indeed it’s connecting quite easy to your environment and it measures everything beautifully. The nice thing about this device is in fact it has a nice shiny app for iPhone and Android so you can get your data while on the road. The coolest thing is in fact that this device is capable of detecting certain patterns on your internal electrical grid to identify certain devices in your household so you can easily pinpoint what the big consumers of power are. This works quite well… The downside of this device however is that there’s up until now no way to get the data from the device towards your own device. This is not open source. Although there’s no additional fee for the website and the apps it’s kind of useless if you want to get the data out and play with it…

More info on the smappee can be found here: http://www.smappee.com/


The device just below is completely different. Although it serves the same purpose: monitoring your power consumption. This device is just a small box which holds a custom made device which was built from the ground up with the open source community in mind. The software is running on a linux distro, dd-wrt for the routing and you have the possibility to access it via a terminal to gain root access and play with the device. The data gathered is logged to the flukso server and nicely graphed on a custom dashboard protected by your user name and password. You get a nice overview of your consumption even in real time. Besides the electrical consumption you can also check water and gas consumption so an all-round device for a little bit less than the Smappee. The cool thing in fact is that you can access the data locally by checking the box in the admin dashboard. This opens up the local API which can be addressed by a simple CURL call.

More info on the Flukso can be found here: https://www.flukso.net/about


The installation for both devices was straight forward. As soon as the device came online you needed to connect it to an account on the website and that was it… Now only to get the data into the device.

To use this you need to have a little background of electrical work. Both website come with a huge disclaimer if you are not confident with installing the metering device ask a professional.

What you need to do is clamp a power metering device over the hot wire of your electrical installation behind the meter and before the first fuse in your fuse box:


After connecting the clamp to the device you are good to go to get things monitored. Both devices use the same tech so if you have both just connect both of the clamps to the wire. No cutting is involved.

So this was a blog about System Center right?

True… But I’m also active in the flukso community and promised to give feedback to them as well how I cracked this box open to get all the data into a MySQL dbase. I’ve used a similar approach as the nest thermostat series which can be found here: http://scug.be/dieter/2014/02/19/nest-thermostat-monitoring-pack-part-i-how-did-i-get-data/

So how did I get data?

Still not much System center content but important for the people who are going to use this or try this at their home because face it… Monitoring is our profession and if we can save some money while we are at it… Check out the other parts to find out how I got data in.