Brad107906 just shared a new project: "LoRaWAN Tank Level Sensor Node"
My brother-in-law has a dairy farm in Victoria and many hours per week are wasted traversing the farm to check water tank levels, opening/closing valves, and other small tasks that could easily be remotely monitored and controlled.
Excellent Project Brad!
Very impressive and a great application, I’m curious as to whether it’d be useful to add an IP camera to the mix, in order to easily get some pictures or a live stream of what’s going on with the nearby paddocks from where the tank is.
Bryce has an excellent idea here. I was installing solar pumps in central Queensland for 3 years and I found that a lot of the cattle stations had the same issue of checking waters almost everyday. Bit when they got the solar pump they would continue to check the water daily for a month or so and then they trusted the system and rarely go to check on it even less if they have a tank monitoring system. While all the automation is good and saves time it doesn’t tell you everything, for example one farmer had a calf get in the trough and drowned and the other cows didn’t want to drink from there but because his tank monitor said his tank was full he didn’t think anything was wrong till he went down there a day or 2 later. So I guess what I’m trying to say is a camera would be a nice addition to finish it off and be sure that it is fully autonomous.
I have seen documentaries in the past showing commercial monitoring systems which do have video cameras in the mix for more complete monitoring. Of great use where the monitored tank or whatever can be some hours drive to check.
I’ve seen a few agricultural monitoring projects and inevitably once the system works the first question is always can we add an IP camera. Unfortunately, LoRaWAN is built for tiny data packets and devices which spend most of the day asleep, making it highly unsuitable to upgrades with IP cameras.
I think the larger commercial systems use dedicated VHF or possibly UHF radio systems. I don’t know about satellite as I think the cost of an up link would be prohibitive. But they do have satellite phones???
Maybe getting a bit off track here. After all this is a Maker/Hobbyist forum and VHF, UHF, Satellite is getting into the up market realm. But that doesn’t make it less interesting.
While the price sure is prohibitive for most, we do have a few Iridium boards in our range:
Additionally, if high data throughput over large distances is what you’re after, perhaps Ubiquiti’s line of affordable microwave dishes might be the go (they effectively create a multi-kilometer wireless ethernet cable):
Cool stuff nonetheless, it’s good to see technology making menial farming easier.
Interesting devices. Not familiar with them at all. I have not worked full time now for so long have not kept up with developements.
Had a quick (read very quick) look at Iridium devices. True they are a bit expensive to purchase and the ongoing cost to use is quite out of reach for most hobbyists, commercial use as on a large property would be well and truly offset by time saving and convenience. I don’t know about video. The data traffic of the 9603 devices seems to be measured in Bytes not the rate required for video, maybe slow scan might be OK. Just don’t know. The Mk 2 device seems at first glance to be primarily a tracking service.
The dish appears to be 2.4GHz and 5GHz microwave system and as such is line of sight. You can’t get away from that, if you can’t see the other end it will not work. The blurb says up to 35kM but that would assume a hill or tower at each end. Earth curvature (even allowing 4/3 earth radius) will beat you.
Hi All, Very new to all of this, but very interested in recreating this project! Just wanted to find out though if it is still possible using the components listed in the article. Reason for asking is when I look at the guide for ‘Using LoraWAN and The Things Network with Feather’ it says “This guide is deprecated and is no longer possible! Single-channel packet forwarders no longer work after the Things Network migration to The Things Stack v3.” As said earlier very new to all of this and so just wanting to confirm if this project is still possible using the tutorial and the components listed or if different components would be required. Thanks.
This setup is still working fine for me. I’m pretty sure I migrated to V3 as well. And I now have it integrated with my Home Assistant.
I’m based on SW Victoria in the middle of the diary region here, I’m sure there are local farmers that would be very interested in this, as am I as a hobby farmer. How do we get in touch in real life? Happy to share my email, but not sure how to do that without attracting a lot of Spam.
If you’re interested, shall I reach out to the CoreLogic people?