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Solar Powered (Beehive) Monitor Using Sigfox

Solar Powered (Beehive) Monitor Using Sigfox © GPL3+

Small temperature/humidity/atmospheric pressure monitor using Sigfox to transfer the data. Powered by solar energy to monitor beehives.

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Components and supplies

Necessary tools and machines

Soldering tool
Multimeter

Apps and online services

About this project

We wanted to monitor beehive remotely and online. You would say it is easy to use mobile data for such purpose. But there are some cons: The coverage is not good enough, not all the people do have mobile data activated, the pricing is quite high for our purpose and last but not least such solution consumes a lot of electricity causing the battery dry in a day or two.

So we did a brief research and found a network which is dedicated to IoT stuff like our iTRUBEC beehive monitor – Sigfox. Sigfox covers 96 % of the Czech Republic area and 98 % of CZ population:

Sigfox has very acceptable cost (for less than 200 CZK (8 €) can be sent up to 120 messages daily for one year, each up to 12 bytes) and the device is very efficient in the consumption. So we started to prototype.

Whole solution is designed that way so it could work without the connection to the electricity – it works on battery charged by a small solar panel. The size of the batter was chozen as big as is theretically needed to survive several days without solar charging – we will see how it works in reality.

Monitor has three sensors, two of them are monitoring temperature and the third one temperature, humidity and atmospheric pressure. Data are captured and sent over the Sigfox network approximately each 15 minutes.

SigFox message contains also other data like the signal strenght. We would like to experiment with geolocation in the future too. This will be used together with vibrations sensor to prevent stealing of beehives.

Code

iTRUBEC SigFox beehive monitor sketch & callback REST in PHP

Schematics

iTRUBEC SigFox beehive monitor
Basic schema (does not contain the power part)
2018 10 14 sigfox monitor   schema v1 uentij5wsm

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