I am part of the Little Manistee Watershed Conservation Council here in North West Michigan. We are in the early stages of implementing a series of up to six monitoring stations along 72 river miles on the Little Manistee River. All stations will have CTD and at least one will have a Turbidity sensor. This conversation caught my attention because cell coverage in this area is very unreliable and I believe to make the Mayfly stations upload reliably the only choice is the xbee radio and not cell.
My plan for the first unit is to use xbee radio from the monitoring station to a base station in my house that will connect to the internet via an ethernet connection to my router and satellite. I expect the satellite system to be problematic, but it is my only choice here in the forest. The future additional units will either use the same configuration at other citizen scientists homes or connect as second or third nodes to existing base stations.
I am in the process of purchasing materials for the first unit. I was hoping for suggestions on the base station configuration and the radio modules.
For the base station it would appear an Uno with Ethernet and Xbee shields would serve the purpose with some programming. The Arduino Ethernet Shannon refers to in the link above shows it is retired with no newer version I can find. I have not been able to find a better alternative and am wondering if any of you have?
There are so many xbee radio modules out there it is overwhelming. We are in dense pine and oak forest and the monitoring stations will be in river valleys so the 900 MHZ xbee modules with external antennas are probably the place to start. Some monitors will be close to base stations, others will not. From reading the conversation above it sounds like I should use a non programmable radio module. Can any of you tell me what specific modules you have had success with and other parameters I should be considering based on your experience?