Thursday, April 26, 2018

SensorData - Sigfox & LoRaWAN - Rain, Temp, RH.

We have a SensorData Sigfox and a SensorData LoRaWAN in our office garden. We have some interesting sensors attached:
  • Both devices have soil moisture probes. These are from our partners at Aquacheck. The devices will talk to any SDI-12 sensor. This gives the soil moisture, as a percentage, from 6 sensors within the probe. The probes are about 1m long and buried in the ground.
  • One has a Digital Matter Ambient Sensor. This measures temperature and relative humidity.
  • One has a tipping rain gauge attached to a digital input. The device counts the tips as pulses. Each pulse is 0.2mm of rain.
  • Both are getting a GPS fix every 24 hours.
  • They are all polling the sensors every 30 minutes. They read the sensor values, and transmit them on their respective networks.
They are all reporting to our SensorDemo platform: Check out the data for yourself at that link. The Device Serials:
  • Sigfox: 21F5B4 
  • LoRaWAN: 70B3D57050000574
Connectivity is via:
  • Sigfox - Sqwidnet runs the local SA network
  • LoRaWAN - Comsol runs a public network in SA. We can see 6 gateways from the office. They use Actility in the background.

Here's our setup.

Here is the pulse count on a graph - each pulse is a rain gauge tip. Each tip is 0.2mm. Jo'burg is dry now, so this is us putting some water through it.

Soil Moisture. 6 sensors reported as percentages.

Temperature and humidity. Jo'burg has glorious winter weather!

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

LoRaWAN Temperature Sensor - SensorNode

We've mounted a SensorNode LoRaWAN outside the office for a long term test. It has a DM Temperature Sensor attached. It is meant to be a long term battery test. It is reading the temperature every 5 minutes, and sending it via the Comsol LoRaWAN network. It gets some morning sun, so we expect the temperatures to spike mid-morning.

We have a demo site here: It simply graphs whatever we send it.
The device serial is: 70B3D5705000057E.
The parameter is "Digital Matter I2C Temperature Probe 1 (Red)

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Actility Integrated with Telematics Guru

Telematics Guru now accepts data from Actility. Actility is a popular LoRaWAN network server that runs many of the public networks around the world:

  • Comsol in South Africa
  • Comcast in the US
  • KPN in the Netherlands
  • Many others...
This is exciting because we can view Oyster and Guppy LoRaWAN devices in our platform:

Friday, February 9, 2018

G200 - the new flagship

Our new top end, do it all tracking device is in progress. 

  • Iridium fail over
  • 2 x Analogue Inputs
  • Ignition + 3 Digital Inputs
  • Bluetooth module
  • External sensor options
  • Driver ID: RFID, iButton, Weigand
  • RS232/TTL options
G200 PCB being built and tested.

G62 - the next iteration of our IP67 wired tracker

The G62 prototype has been built and is being tested now.

We're aiming to replace the successful G60 with a newer product. It will be simpler, easier to make, have newer GPS/Cellular modules, and work in new territories. It will retain its bullet-proof work-anywhere qualities.

Here's the summary:
  • IP67 rated, glass nylon housing - tough as nails, and proven on the G50 and G60.
  • New cellular platform, gives options for 2G, 3G, LTE-CATM1, and NB-IoT (if that makes sense for a mobile wired tracker...). This should give us options all over the world.
  • GNSS (GPS + others) block is the latest and greatest from u-blox.
  • Ignition + 2 digital inputs
  • 1 analogue input
  • 1 switched ground output, for immobilisation
  • Dallas iButton Driver ID
The G62 Prototype

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Yabby - the Mini Oyster LoRaWAN

The Yabby Prototype is being built and tested. It's coming together quickly.

This is a LoRaWAN tracker, with a form factor based on 3 x AAA batteries. The size is really exciting.

Here are the details:
  • LoRaWAN - 868 and 915 MHz regions
  • GPS: high performance u-blox module, LNA, 2.5cm patch antenna
  • 3 x AAA replaceable batteries
  • New IP67 rated Yabby housing
  • More compact than the Oyster, but less battery life.
  • Accelerometer on board.
Our hand built prototype so far...

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Meet the SensorNode LoRaWAN

The SensorNode LoRaWAN was run at the factory today. Here's the summary:

  • Battery powered - 3 x AA's.
  • LoRaWAN communication, covering all 800 and 900 MHz zones worldwide.
  • IP67 rated "Falcon" housing.
  • 2 x Digital Inputs.
  • 2 x Analogue Inputs, 0-30V, with auto-ranging.
  • I²C interface, enabling a variety of sensors. A temperature sensor is shown below.
  • GPS module.
We're working on the firmware now. We should be shipping samples soon.

Yes, this is different to the SensorData products. Less functionality, but at a better price. LoRaWAN only for now.
Falcon housing rending, with two grommets.
A view of the battery side, in the housing. And another view of the underside, with a temperature sensor connected.

The "top side" of the housing. There is a flat face accommodating grommets to expose sensors.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Guppies around Jo'burg

The first Guppy LoRaWAN devices have shipped to customers! We've got a few driving around with DM staff in Jo'burg. It's interesting to see how they are working...
4 x Guppies and 1 x Oyster in TG
We have 4 Guppies linked to Comsol. Comsol use Actility network servers. Actility report the position of the gateway that heard the device. Guppies don't have GPS - they're just LoRaWAN tags with accelerometers. So we're plotting these gateway positions on the map in TG, as reported by Actility.

The interesting thing is that all of the Guppies are at our office, shown by the Oyster (which has GPS) and the blue arrow. So the Guppy positions are all over the show - up to 14km away! So that's not particularly useful on this network. 

  1. If you were to put up your own gateways, at your depots for example, this could be very useful.
  2. When a network like Comsol gets more dense (densifies?), and the LoRaWAN localisation improves, it could be a lot more useful.

Flexi1 - Temp/RH sensor, and battery life

We recently connected one of the DM Temp/RH sensors to our garden Flexi1. It's matching our bullet to within 0.4 degrees C.

Our garden Flexi1 has run out of juice now, so let's look at the numbers:

  • Batteries: this device was setup with 4 x 1.5V Energizer Ultimates (LiFeS2 chemistry). 4 x Alkaline C Cells is a more common setup, and you'd expect about 1.6x more from a set of those.
  • Uploads: 2130 uploads were recorded. This one was uploading via GSM every 3 hours. That's 266 days. Comfortably over 1 year with 4 x C Cell Alkalines.
  • Samples: each read of the Soil Moisture Probe counts as a sample. Each read of the temp sensor also counts. They were reading every 30 min. 2 samples every 30 min is 96 per day. Which works out to the same 266 days of life.
  • GPS Fix attempts: it is setup to fix once per day. So we have 274 fixes, which took a total of 5932s. That's 22s per fix.
Next up is to do this on Sigfox and LoRaWAN - that will be the SensorData products.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Telematics Guru - where are we?

Here's a simple graphical answer to that question. This is a plot of every Telematics Guru device's current position. We're getting to some new territories.

Friday, December 15, 2017

SensorData LoRaWAN and SensorData Sigfox

Hours before the factory doors close for Christmas, two new products made it through the ovens:
They're both sensor platforms, with the obvious communication technology differences. Sensor interfaces include:
  • SDI12 - Agriculture sensors like soil moisture probes
  • I²C - Temperature, humidty, CO2, etc.
  • Digital inputs - 2 on LoRaWAN, 3 on Sigfox
  • Analogue inputs - 1 on LoRaWAN, 2 on Sigfox
  • Outputs - 3.3V and 12V boost outputs.
  • Optional GPS
Both are extremely low power devices, so multi year battery life is possible.

SensorData Sigfox in the pick and place machine. The pneumatic head is whizzing around

Partially populated SensorData LoRaWAN panels, waiting for some additional parts.