Garage Monitor: Garbage Collection, and jQuery Animations

Here is a quick update summarizing the changes I have made over the past few days. I am convinced I have removed 99% of the memory leaks. The memory on my Raspberry Pi stayed pretty stable yesterday.

The summary of what has changed is this:

  1. import gc was added to (the Python Garbage Collector).
  2. gc.collect() was added to the end of my main loop (so its runs on each cycle and tries to free any orphaned variables/objects).
  3. bash script was created to researt the garagemonitor service when the script is no longer in the process list (for some reason it has terminated a couple of times on me, I am not sure why).
  4. The Status web page no longer reload the entire page every 10 seconds. Instead, it now uses AJAX to query the Web Service every 5 seconds. It now only reloads the page when the status has actually changed. This saves workload and bandwidth for the server, and moves more of the work to the client’s browser.
  5. The Status web page background grows bright then returns to the normal color to indicate when the status has been updated.

I may even rework the status webpage all together again so it never reloads the entire page again. I am looking at the jQuery Mobile framework right now.

As always a stable version of my code is avilable at Github.

Garage Monitor Remote Requests

I have added a wish list item to my My Raspberry Pi Garage Monitor. I added the ability for users to be able to issue requests from buttons on the Status Page. The first button issues a “Status Refresh” request.

Garage Monitor Status Page

Action Request Web Service

For safety I decided not to make the Pi accessible to the Internet, so I setup a second web service. The button submits a form which stores the request in a file. A web service which reads that file is queried by the Raspberry Pi every so often. Right now I have setup to query the service every 60 seconds.

Future Expandability

I may add the ability to close the garage door on the Open Status Page. However, there are some issues to consider.

  1. We do not want the web service to be able to open the door. (For safety reasons.)
  2. The door could be closed remotely while someone is backing out of the garage. (For example, my wife checks the status at work and closes the door while I am backing my car out.)

Does anyone have any other ideas?

Garage Monitor Memory Leak: Part 3

Note: this is part 3 of a series. You can see all of the articles I have written on my Garage Monitor here.

A Possible Solution

OK, so after going down the route of debugging and tracing, I realized I had no idea what I was looking for. So I started thinking about what I should be doing to cleanup. I realized that I wasn’t freeing the memory of the objects that I was using in the functions. So, I started trying to figure out how to do that.

Memory Readings

So after making some modifications, I have been randomly taking readings by running the free command. Over the last 2-3 hours the free memory is staying quite stable. In fact for a couple of the readings the free memory actually goes up: 349816, 349824, 349576, 349700, 349584, 349576, 349584! 🙂

Continue reading “Garage Monitor Memory Leak: Part 3”

Garage Monitor Memory Leak: Part 2

Update: I may have found a solution. Read about it in Garage Monitor Memory Leak: Part 3

Note: While this was an interesting exercise, I don’t understand the results so I cannot use them to find the issues at this time. I think my next step will look up some Python Best Practices. I have already found an interesting discussion on Stack Overflow.

In an effort to trace the memory leak, I discovered an article. In the article Marek Majkowski describes using the Python Debugger (PDB), and a garbage collection library. His article also describes the use of Python Object Graphs, an open source library written by Marius Gedminas.

Continue reading “Garage Monitor Memory Leak: Part 2”

Garage Monitor Memory Leak: Part 1

Update: Garage Monitor Memory Leak, Part 2: Tracing the memory leak.

There is some kind of memory leak happening. I first noticed a problem yesterday when the python script stopped running. The Raspberry Pi was still responding to my SSH requests, and when I ran “ps aux | grep”, the script was no longer in memory.

As a troubleshooting step I disabled some of the superflous functions (such as temperature monitoring and startup LED flashing). I have been watching how much memory is free over the past hour or two. The free memory has gone from 299596 to 288784. So it is obvious to me that this is going to run out of memory at some point as well.

Apparently Matt Hawkins from the Raspberry Pi Spy blog is having the same issue. Does anyone have any suggestions? At this point all I can think to do is schedule a reboot every so often.

Continue reading “Garage Monitor Memory Leak: Part 1”

My Raspberry Pi Powered Garage Monitor

Update #1: Garage Monitor Memory Leak: Part 1.

Update #2: I should point out that the arm on the switch I ended up using bent so it stopped working after about a month of use. I really need to figure out a way to mount the magnetic switch instead. I added a rough parts list to the end of this article.

This project uses a switch and temperature sensor connected to a Raspberry Pi (revision 2 board) to provide the state of the garage to a personal web server. This allows my wife and I to check the status of the garage via a bookmark on our smartphones.

This is the first circuit I have created a circuit board for. I am proud of the results. 🙂

Continue reading “My Raspberry Pi Powered Garage Monitor”