An RGB light sensor we evaluated for use in the Evaporometer project. This sensor measures RGB, color temperature, lumens, and visible light spectrum, and has features that won't necessarily be useful for our project, but are still worth documenting in this post.
So far we have used this series of blogposts to discuss a lot of the technical details about how certain processes are happening within the Evaporometer Transmitter and Receiver. A series of diagrams has been made to help visualize how everything comes together. First will be a diagram showing how all the sensors are connected to the Feather 32u4 and battery, followed by two flowcharts illustrating how abstract environmental conditions are transformed into the data logged in our spreadsheet.
After months of prototyping, experimenting and redesigning we have successfully deployed our first, "fully open source" transmitter and receiver with near real time updates to a google spreadsheet. This post will give a step by step procedure on how to set up all the software and web interfaces for this project.
On Thursday July 27th, members of the OPEnS Lab finally deployed a working prototype of the Evaporometer at the HJ Andrew's Experimental Forest. They were accompanied by Professor Bo Zhao, a member of his data visualization team, and coordinators at the HJ Andrews Forest as the receiver hub was set up at a station near the Discovery Trail and the Evaporometer-transmitter was drilled into a log overlooking a stream.
For the past several weeks the primary focus of myself and the other undergraduate researchers at the OPEnS Lab has been to get a working, deployable prototype of an Evaporometer (link here) sensor for use for a partner research group. This project required numerous data transmission protocols and untimely it is our hope to add remote data-logging capabilities using the Ethernet Feathering.
This post is dedicated to our testing results and a few comments about why the Evaporimeter's first test took so long to complete!
It has been some time since any updates were posted on development of the Evaporimeter device designed to remotely transmit evaporation data via LoRa transmission to a central receiver and then to an internet hub. There have been A LOT of changes - so many additions and revisions to the overall design that perhaps now it is best to introduce the Evaporimeter as an entirely new model with an expanded focus on reporting data for a multitude of environmental factors.
WiFi Data Logging
For the last few weeks, I have been working on using an Arduino Uno and a couple different ESP8266 WiFi modules for the purpose of logging sensor data in real time to a Google sheet and develop a network Gateway for all of our sensor devices.
We're releasing details about our project after ten weeks of development including support for portable limply batteries, project code/resources, and why some additional functionality is necessary before deployment.
As progress on the LoRa radios leads to integration into the Evaporometer Project, we take a closer look at some of the aspects of data transmission and providing portable power.
As this project continues to develop, it is time to begin looking to add a more practical means of implementing these systems into the environment in a small and user-friendly package. The problem? The Arduino Uno is an excellent prototyping microcontroller, it's easy to work with, has several built-in functions with many pins ready to be used, however, this ease of use and functionality comes at the cost of a bulky, power-hungry micro controller that likely can do much more than you need it to. The solution? The Adafruit (3 Volt) Pro Trinket.
This post describes all progress up to this point and the integration of LoRa communication into the currently in progress Evaporometer project.
After concluding testing on basic functionality earlier this week with positive results , it was time to dig into the real work... developing a protocol that would allow this Bluetooth LE breakout board to be used to transmit sensor data in a convenient and uniform way across the "Internet Of Agriculture" project . In addition, a second nRF08001 module was set up, and experimenting with two modules began.
Today I confirmed that the range of the LoRa devices is at least 1-2 km; the documented range on Adafruit's website is 2km line of sight in an open area. I took a walk and brought along one LoRa radio to the far west side of campus.
Code and information to get the Arduino and ESP set up to log data on the Adafruit IO platform
In this blog post we go over how to we assembled the LoRa transmitter and receiver. We include instructions on how to set up the Arduino IDE as well as the code for our test devices.