This will be a many phased project - each phase building on the previous one as I learn and experiment along the way. Something like this:
Beta: just build a quick PCB to test out various sensor. Incorporate LOTs of test-points, and places/jumpers to measure voltage/current. Based on a STM32L151RE due to max programming space. Test this at home in the back yard. Allow for external sensors, but provide footprints for all on-board sensors too.
V1: The idea is that the first version would be setup in a remote farmers field. Will use LoRa tech to transmit the collected data back to me.
V2: The Second version would incorporate the Satellite data feed and be tested in a more remote place and be optimised for low power usage
I am initially imagining this to be the size of a 2L milk carton, and will be held up off the ground by maybe 10cm to 20cm on 4 legs. These legs might contain sensors to monitor soil temperature and moisture. I would like these to be as cheap and robust as possible, so I can place quite a few of them around WA.
All of the above will be powered from a LiFePO4 rechargeable battery. I haven't used these yet, but there are now four of these in transit for me to experiment with. I also have two different kinds of small 6V solar PV cells on their way too. There will be one mounted on each of the sun facing surfaces East-North-West. At the top there will be the a LUX and UV sensor, along with a GPS antenna and the LoRa/Satellite antenna.
Some of the data I would like to collect:
- Air Temperature
- Air Pressure
- Air Humidity
- sunlight LUX and UV index
- Soil Moisture
- Rain/Dew indicator
- Lightning count
- GPS (location/Datetime)
- Accelerometer (is it still standing upright?)
When I start a project, I create a Project folder and a README.txt file where I write down my ideas, things to explore, tests to be run, things to purchase and a project journal. I might spend a day or two researching my ideas and making lists and notes etc. Next up is usually followed by designing up some test PCBs, as thats my thing, and I enjoy the process. This also might include some bread board tests and testing some software etc.