New project theory for Ag feed industry
I was visiting with a friend in the ag feed industry. He explained a real problem they incur is farmers who fail to monitor feed grain bins and then request special blended feed with zero notice because they are out of feed, which is almost impossible to satisfy in such short notice. In our conversation I concluded the perfect project scenario would include the following for a 3 grain bin solution:
(This solution is based on nanos communicating with each other without a parent gateway. Not sure if that is possible)
- 3 arduino nanos
- 3 Ultrasonic Module HC-SR04 Distance Measuring Transducer Sensor
- 3 NRF24L01+ 2.4GHz Wireless Transceiver
- 1 SIM800L GPRS GSM Breakout Module
- 3 Batteries (bins are often in remote locations, without power)
(add Rasberry Pi and nrf24lo1+2 (running home assistant) if parent gateway is needed)
In short, when an ultrasonic sensor reports the bin is near empty, a cell phone call is triggered to announce the alert.
with battery power being used the boards would power up once or twice a day and report the status when grain levels were low.
zboblamont last edited by
They had a version years ago in Scotland, when the farmer went to the bins and they were near empty the Labourer was standing there with a furious expression and a very large pick shaft... Probably not quite so saleable though...
1 - Dust on the US head, grain surface variation?
2 - Nano consumes more battery power than pro-mini
3 - RTC on Nodes?
4 - 2.4GHz ? With metalwork around you may be pushed to get 433MHz to work, and even that is distance limited.
4 - Gateway? Probably simplest for your SIM, it could even be powered up by syncronised RTC to run just before readings are due and shut down afterward if it had to be battery powered.
ancalotoru last edited by ancalotoru
@mrhutchinsonmn It is a good idea in my opinion. I would say that if you use a SIM 800L running on batteries, you will probably drain the batteries sooner than expected.
I will try with a RPi3 along with the SIM 800 connected to the power. However, depending in where the gateway is placed, you could not have enough transmission range to communicate with sensors.
Another alternative is to consider the thethingsnetwork solutions with the Lora modules. It seems that if a gateway is working nearby, you do not need a gateway in order to send data to a server.
I am not an experts, just sharing my thoughts... hope it helps.
A bit off-topic, yet part of the project. I need to associate the GSM module with a phone service. Verizon indicates they can add the device as a second line for their customers-about $20.00 per month. Are there other options available that would not require a monthly charge? I am guessing the GSM will, at most make 3-4 calls, annually.
@yveaux My only experience with prepaid is it must be updated, monthly, regardless of usage.
zboblamont last edited by zboblamont
@mrhutchinsonmn I suggest you query the services available, many companies in the US use remote monitoring stations with limited data streams on contract SIM, last I heard they were in the sub $5/month range...
I guess it varies from carrier to carrier. In Sweden we can get prepaid cards that are valid for 1 year after each refill.
Minimum refill is usualluy around 10 EUR. So minimun yearly cost is 10 EUR.
Interestingly, it seems all US carriers require monthly payments. https://www.tomsguide.com/us/no-contract-phone-plans,review-2489.html
Maybe not 100% comparable since you don't need data traffic, but US mobile traffic is ridiculously expensive.
ancalotoru last edited by
You can check them out! Report if you find something interesting
Stephen205 last edited by
I use https://www.datamobile.ag/ for my hive scales, very good and you pay for what you use.
FlyingDomotic last edited by
@mrhutchinsonmn Even if I know we're on a MySensors forum, you may also have a look to SigFox controllers (like MKR1200, should you want something with radio already built). Consumption if very low, and radio is off until you turn it on. You can be few hundreds of kilometers away from a base station and may use SigFox portal to send an alert to any device then (i.e. SMS).
MySensors supports Lora (RFM95), so you could have the devices talk to a controller at home.
As a controller I recommend the Mozilla WebThings Gateway Less manual tinkering with config files.
And yes, communicating with each other without a parent gateway is also perfectly possible.
How about using sensors that are more robust than ultrasonic? There are some sensors used non-contact detection of water/gas levels, for example.
if you want some GSM code, give me a shout.