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Cellular telemetry for remote locations

Home Forums Mayfly Data Logger Cellular telemetry for remote locations

This topic contains 7 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  neilh 2 years, 9 months ago.

  • Author
  • #1568

    Danny Waz

    Are you using the Mayfly in any remote locations where cellular telemetry is necessary? Do you know of any products (e.g. 3G modem, cellular bee module?) whereby one might establish wireless IP connectivity to the Mayfly, or at least have data periodically pushed up to a remote server? Any “getting started” tips would be appreciated!

    The (proprietary, off-the-shelf) loggers I’ve used in the past have 3G or Iridium modems built in, and I must admit I’ve never given much thought to the infrastructure at work to get my data.

  • #1634


    Way late response. Was checking the forum about any issues from batch v3.0.

    From pricier logger/DAQ setups, i’ve seen Raven cell modems from Sierra Wireless (with NexSens data loggers and NI cRio data acquisition the Raven modems). Not sure if folks have combined the modems with any Arduino boards.

    Board-wise, I know of the FONA board from Adafruit: https://www.adafruit.com/products/3147
    I also ran across Skywire (distributed through digikey): http://www.digikey.com/en/product-highlight/n/nimbelink/skywire-lte-cat1-modem

    Note, no experience using either breakout boards.

    If my XBee radios + Mayfly can’t punch through the elevation gradient and slight tree interference, I may end up going with a Campbell CR300 logger + Raven Modem (assuming boss has the cash). Not sure if I was of much help, ‘luck with your project! -h

    • #1638

      Danny Waz

      Thanks for the links. Of these, the NimbeLink Skywire looks most like what I was imagining. The FONA boards have some promise, but the Adafruit library does not support data yet for the linked 3G version. I would consider a cell modem like the Raven a good option for a remote system based on a full-fledged computer (say, an RPi or NUC), but it looks like it would require a middleman to interface with a light MCU like an Arduino/Mayfly. Still good info to file away for future projects!

      By the way, if you end up going with a CR300, Campbell makes their own compatible cellular modems (COM110A). I don’t about the prices, but staying within one company’s ecosystem might simplify the setup.

  • #1637

    Shannon Hicks

    We have had very good results with the GPRSbee module from SODAQ. It’s a 2G board and SODAQ also has a new 3G board with the same Bee footprint so it could also work with the Mayfly. We have deployed many stations with the GBRSbee board along with a SIM card from a company that offers a low-cost data plan, so the loggers can push data into our custom online database every 5 minutes. They work anywhere that there’s a decent AT&T or T-Mobile signal. Verizon uses different hardware and also doesn’t permit devices like this on their network anyway.

    We plan to offer kits later this month that include a GPRSbee and SIM card, along with publishing a tutorial for how to build the logger stations that use the Xbee and/or cellular modules.

    • #1639

      Danny Waz

      Thanks, @shicks. I will look into those too. I am glad to hear you are planning a tutorial already.

    • #1724

      Danny Waz

      @shicks I assume you have been busy and this hasn’t happened yet… I’d like to start playing around with the GPRSbee on my own. Any recommendation on which Rev to buy and where to buy it?

      • #1725

        Shannon Hicks

        I would highly recommend the GPRSbee Rev 6. It has a much easier (and more reliable!) method for waking and sleeping the GPRSbee than the Rev 4 board. Plus the Rev 6 has a u.fl antenna connector instead of the SMA that the Rev4 has, so it’s much easier to fit it inside the Mayfly enclosure. I’m deployed 6 Mayfly loggers with GPRSbee’s last week and will be putting in 3 more tomorrow. So I’ve got plenty of photos of the process and example sketches. I just need some time to publish the instructions when I’m not in the field doing installations! Hopefully I can post a couple basic sketches later this week with more detailed instructions soon after.

        As for sources, we still plan to offer kits soon with the GPRSbee in them, but for now I’d suggest you order them from SODAQ or Seeedstudio.

  • #1727


    Wow – congratulations on deploying. Always a watershed moment to get it in to the real outdoors.
    When its easy, it would be fascinating to see the basic parts list, outdoor configuration, power configuration especially with the GPRSbee, and target sensor data collection
    Many thanks for sharing.

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