HomeNewsTonga volcano killed my Aqara sensor

Tonga volcano killed my Aqara sensor

This was a shocking discovery!

As far as clickbait titles go – this one is pretty awesome. And it’s not entirely misleading, so keep on reading. You are probably aware of a massive volcano eruption on the other side of the globe (to me). Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha‘apai exploded on 15th Jan at 5:20 PM local time throwing a lot of dust and causing a deadly tsunami which no doubt will affect a lot of people.

You can observe the eruption and the following shockwave

In the more calm parts of the world (UK), I discovered that one of my sensors stopped submitting data to my home automation system. I know the scale of that disaster simply cannot compare to a Tonga volcano eruption, but we all deal with our own problems. I had all of my temperature sensors hooked up for my overview of the best ZigBee temperature and humidity sensors. While the pressure metrics didn’t make the cut, I carefully logged everything sensors were able to supply to my server. Just in case, and just because I could. I guess we all know why every company is harvesting your data!

Anyway…

Aqara Temperature/Humidity/Pressure sensor

The Aqara sensors are able to submit barometric pressure as well as temperature and humidity. It’s not a big deal as watching the air pressure graphs is as interesting as watching the paint dry. At least I thoughts so. As my sensor stopped reporting, I decided to check back to see what happened to it. It turned out, that the sensor decided to flatline (Grafana is set to retain the last value) on the 15th of Jan around 9:30 PM – there was nothing particularly special about this date until you look at the pressure graph.

Tonga volcano explosion (the big one) occurred at 4 am GMT time on 15th of Jan. A quick Google Map lookup reveals that the volcano is approx 16.300km away from me. While I don’t anticipate rocks falling from the sky any time soon, a quick google search revealed that shockwaves travel at 340m/s.

16300*1000/340/60/60 = roughly 13h

This confirms that should the shockwave reach my humble abode it would place it there around 7PM-ish GMT time. I could not believe that the cheap Aqara sensor with far from ideal measurement resolution could pick this up. Normally, these sensors report every 1-3 minutes, but upon sudden condition change, the reports are more frequent. It corresponds with the increased number of updates sensor provided for that short period of time.

A significant increase in the update count

The Aqara sensor has recorded an explosion of a volcano 16.300km away and that’s mind-blowing. I’m not 100% sure why the sensor stopped responding (I suspect the battery finally gave in, due to an old battery and increased payload count), but the timing couldn’t be better. Causation isn’t a great headline maker, but correlation can work wonders.

Have your sensors recorded the explosion? Let me know in this Reddit thread.

PayPal

Nothing says "Thank you" better than keeping my coffee jar topped up!

Patreon

Support me on Patreon and get an early access to tutorial files and videos.

image/svg+xml

Bitcoin (BTC)

Use this QR to keep me caffeinated with BTC: 1FwFqqh71mUTENcRe9q4s9AWFgoc8BA9ZU

Smart Ideas with

Automate your space in with these ecosystems and integrate it with other automation services

client-image
client-image
client-image
client-image
client-image
client-image
client-image
client-image
client-image

Learn NodeRED

NodeRED for beginners: 1. Why do you need a NodeRED server?

0
To server or not to server? That's a very silly question!

Best Automation Projects

Tuya SDK for beginners: Intro to Tuya Cloud API

0
Working with Tuya Cloud API. A guide to Cloud automation for beginners, get started with REST!

NEST your old thermostat under $5

0
Nest-ing up your older thermostat under $5

Nora – Google Assistant in NodeRED

0
Integrate Google Assistant with NodeRED thanks to Nora - NodeRED home automation

DIY Smart Washing Machine – for about 15 bucks!

0
Learn how to add washing machine notifications to your Google Home on the cheap

Things they don’t tell you about IKEA Trådfri

0
There are things you should know about IKEA Tradfri before you make your purchase

Smart Home

Never mind Evvr Smart Switch, look at that panel!

0
Evvr Smart Switch brings 2 part module to enable no-neutral ZigBee and Z-Wave connections to your wall switches turning them smart without compromise!

Aqara TRV will support Matter!

0
Aqara just released Aqara TRV - their ZigBee 3.0 thermostatic radiator valve to control your heating - with... Matter support

Shelly Motion2 is EVERYTHING

0
I always wanted a universal node that delivers all environmental data at once - Shelly Motion2 comes very close to that.

Sonoff NSPanel Pro is missing everything!

0
Today, on "how not to launch a product" we revisit a launch firmware for Sonoff NSPanel Pro - a new smart panel from ITEAD that looked very cool at first...

Shelly Pro 4 PM: everything *4

0
I'm ashamed. Shelly Pro 4 PM had been on my shelf for months now, waiting for my time and attention. I really wanted to cover it sooner rather than later, but Shelly had other things that caught my eye including no-neutral Shelly L and...