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ThingSpeak framework
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May 25, 2011
11:24 pm

Forum Posts: 6
Member Since:
May 5, 2011
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I didn't see a forum branch to discuss the UI approach but this might be OK. Apologies if I've misplaced this post.

I would like to understand the intention of the web application in terms of what is meant by a channel, a field, a device, etc.

In my setup, I have:

  • sensors attached to 
  • radio transmitters which send data to
  • a receiver in a
  • gateway device which has scripts to communicate to an API

Each radio can have 1 to 5 sensors.  The gateway can support many radios. The scripts in the gateway can send sensor data to 1 or more web service APIs.

If I have 6 radios with 2 sensors each, should I be setting up 6 "channels" with 2 "fields" each?  And if I add a radio with 5 sensors will I be defining 5 fields?


On Pachube they seem to have a concept of Feeds and Datastreams.

On the seem to have Devices with Feeds with SenseRivers... ???


How about Feed comes from Sensor.  Feeds can be grouped/tagged/attributed for apps and/or charting in any combination required.  Like set lower threshold at 0 degrees C for any feeds tagged as "temperature, outdoors" and do an action send a tweet alert that says "pipes might freeze and plants might wilt".


Another for example.  All my radios have a temp sensor on them.  I'd like a single chart to show all my temp sensor data regardless of channel or device so I can see which rooms are not being vented properly.

Seems a bit complicated so please help.  How should one set up his or her sensors for maximum flexibility and what does a channel refer to in regards to a physical sensor or data stream.




May 26, 2011
1:17 am
Natick, MA

Forum Posts: 411
Member Since:
January 18, 2011
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A ThingSpeak Channel is a conduit for data. Inside a channel you can have 8 fields that store alphanumeric data, 3 location fields (lat/long/elevation), and one status field (this is like a status update).

On the channel page, there is a link that says, "View Charts". This will show a chart for each of the 8 fields (the ones with data). Each chart has embed tag and you can customize it's meta data and options.

if you want to customize a chart and show multiple lines of data, you can create a Plugin.

So, a channel could be anything - the output of a sensor or a place to publish data from a process. With the addition of geolocation fields and status, you can also give the data more context. It would be trivial to be a location tracking mobile app with ThingSpeak.

In your application, you would create a Channel, title it, add a description, and add tags. Then, assign and title a field for each sensor (1-8).

The Devices tab is different than Channels. It's an app that lets you register a device, like an Arduino. It also allows you to store info about that device such as Public / Private IP addresses. If your devices needs a MAC address, you can generate a MAC address from our address pool. This MAC will be globally unique.

The source for the API is available on GitHub for further inspection / complete customization for your application. We are currently hosting private / custom branches of ThingSpeak for customers that want a web service tied to their product.

May 26, 2011
4:25 pm

Forum Posts: 6
Member Since:
May 5, 2011
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Thanks for the detailed description.  That's just what I needed.


We are currently hosting private / custom branches

That's cool.  Will keep that in mind as I think this through.


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