Need Suggestion for external Cell and GPS antennas locations

That makes perfect sense.

What’s your website for the systems you create?

You should push your data to Losant or something similar to get a nice dashboard and historical graphing.

Here is an example of a Losant Dashboard I push data to every 10 seconds - 24/7.

You can embed this whole dashboard into a website or just each widget window into a website.

You can trigger actions or alerts if anything goes out of programmed thresholds.

Basically, your Gas Generators could have their own live dashboard and alerting system if something goes wrong.

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I thought I read a couple of your threads on Ubidots, do you like Losant better?
I am excited to sign up and try them out. I wanted to get stuff up and running before I dived into another learning curve… I am a slow learner with this stuff. lol.

my website is www.gasgenerationsolutions.com

Yes, I do prefer Losant and they will allow you to do more on their free accounts which means you can do more before you ever need to spend any money compared to Ubidots latest offerings.

Either platform will work for you though so you have to pick one or learn how to get data into both and see which you prefer.

I checked out your site and it looks like you have some decent sized machines.

I also didn’t know so many industries use Nitrogen!

Are you seeing lots of interest from the Cannabis industry now with the legalization being adopted all over the place?

Yes we have. My friend actually owns a couple cannabis related business. From equipment supply to processing, that was the main reason to make the small unit specific to the cannabis packaging industry.

We make giant systems in addition to the ones you see on the site. I make the generators for huge electronics manufactures, food packaging companies, coffee, wine, etc. some are 2-3 stories tall. :slight_smile:

I will check out Losant and see how it goes. I am currently stuck on one final part of the project trying to get the SD Card Error or success to print to my OLED. Once I figure that out I can move on to more of the fun stuff.
See this post here. No luck yet. lol. I just can’t figure it out and it’s beyond my knowledge base… well that and I am sooooo new to all this.

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Very cool to see you being successful serving all these markets keeping PCB’s reflowing well and keeping Americas weed fresh :wink:

I have a tutorial on here for how to get going with Losant so reach out when the time comes.

I looked at the SD card library, and supposedly it can print out the LOG messages over serial also or both SD and Serial. If you could find where it Serial Prints out the log messages, you could replace that serial print with TFT print or whatever command prints to your LCD screen.

But honestly, I couldn’t find the spot where the Serial print was happening with the little time I had to look over the code. I’m sure it can be done, but I’m far from an expert myself, so it would take a little more digging to figure it out.

Awesome thank you.
I did some peaking at Losant but working on learning Eagle right now. Look forward to getting into it later. Will definitely look up your post when I do.

I have searched the two files for the SD Card apps and just can’t seem to get it right. Taking a break and playing with Eagle may give me a fresh set of eyes when I come back to it. I think I just got frustrated trying all kinds of different code, but I am not giving up yet. lol.

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Hey Tom,
it’s great to hear that it helped.
I think many of us around here do it for many reasons, and they may include:

  • You are giving back. The same way you saved time on that project because John-David Dalton dropped lodash, you might save someone else time with your code. You become part of a community where we all save time because we collaborate and share.
  • It feels great. Speaking personally here, but it is truly an amazing feeling every single time someone thanks you for a project or tells you a story about the time you saved them.

This post here is the source of those thoughts.
Cheers,
Gustavo.

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Thank you Gus,
Appreciate the support. The link you posted was a great read and really hits on the highlights of open source. I look forward to posting my progress along the way. Not only in hopes of helping others but by also taking advantage of the helpful people here that can point out any errors they see in design or implimentation.

Cheers,
Tom

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Happy Wednesday Particle People.
Here is my attempt at using Eagle to create the board to send to OSH Park. I went through about 13 revisions before I settled on this one. I have added a few JST ports to add my inputs, power, batt. I also added two external to JST switch points. One for turning the unit on and off / Battery using a sealed exterior switch, there is a jumper in place that can be used incase the switch fails. The second switch is for a reset button, also on the exterior of the unit. There are some radome Vias placed under heat-generating items, trying to keep a little air flowing around this sealed unit.

Let me know if you have any suggestions or questions. I welcome any input good, bad, or indifferent.

Cheers,
Tom

Eagle View (Note you do not see the ground plane in this image.

OSH Park Board Top

OSH Park Board Bottom

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@GasGen, you don’t seem to have used the other side of the board for your traces. This will help in keeping your traces short and clean for both power and signal traces. Another trick is to do a ground plane on both sides of the board which helps keep noise down and makes ground connectivity simple. On long power lines you may also want to consider 0.1uF decoupling capacitors as near as possible to the destination pins as possible to reduce noise o the power rails.

How is the asset tracker going to sit/connect to those rows of pads at the top of the board?

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@peekay123 Ditto on only using one board plane. If you used the back side for some of the signals, you could have made some of those traces just a quarter of the length. I just received my first board back from OSHPark. Now I have to order a stencil… I didn’t realize how ridiculously small some of the SMD packages are. Happy prototyping!

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Thank you @peekay123 and @ninjatill for taking the time to view and comment. So I thought I was being clever by putting all the traces on the bottom of the board, lol. It does not show in the picture but I do have a ground plane on the top of the board. I will add one to the bottom as well.

Would you suggest I separate the power to bottom and data to top, or just mix and match to achieve the shortest lines possible? As a noob I don’t know if it is more important to have them on different sides or as short as possible. I would asssume shorter is better but I bet there is a sweet spot for both.

@peekay123 in answer to your question about how to attach the asset tracker. My plan was to solder two 18 row female headers to the new board, and two male pin rows to the asset tracker inner holes. The picture below of my sample kind of shows what I had planned. Not the best photo but I hope it gives you and idea if what I had in mind. Ignore some of the layout as this was an older revision print to check the line up of parts. You can see the pins the asset tracker inner holes are sitting on.

Suggestions, ideas, changes, all are welcome.

Cheers,
Tom

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Good morning Particle.
Here is this mornings update taking @peekay123 and @ninjatill suggestions. I added the second ground plane to the bottom of the board. Changed some of the routings to utilize both sides of the board. I have also added the decoupling caps… maybe went a little overboard and added ones to the SD card and OLED screen. I hope I can use just regular ceramic ones and bend them slightly as there is no way my hands are steady enough for the surface mount.

Eagle Image

OSH Park Top of Board.

OSH Park Back of Board

Looks cleaner. And you probably won’t have as much noise on some of those signal lines. I remember back to my EE101 class where we had to etch our own PCBs. We could only do single-sided boards so the professor challenged us to make our traces with the least number of vias/jumpers. But fast forward almost 20 years and we have resources like OSHpark. When using a fab house, I figure that they are charging me for both sides whether I use them or not. So I still keep that “minimal number of vias” mentality but I wholeheartedly use both sides of the board to maximum effect. Here’s my first fab house board. They look big in the pic but are only 48mm to a side. Despite numerous revisions prior to ordering, I found a mistake as soon as I received them. Luckily it’s only on the silkscreen text. Haven’t tested it electrically yet.


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@GasGen, for your first board, it’s looking better! You may want to consider routing your RESET line on the top layer to get a less meandering line. Have you tried viewing the board in 3D to look at possible “tight spots” around the connectors, etc.?

That is really clean looking. There is no way I could possible solder all those SM items. Hands just aren’t steady enough. lol.

Great work.

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Thank you sir. I have not been able to figure out how to export it into a viewable 3d file. Still trying to figure that part of Eagle out. Lots to learn.

Appreciate all the tips.

Cheers,
Tom

The new boards arrived yesterday. Wired everything up and believe it or not it actually works. :joy:

These larger boards are more for internal use as clients won’t need the asset tracker. I need it because the loaner units tend to wander off. Soldering pins to the inside rows on the asset tracker was a little sketchy but I managed not to melt anything.

One thing to note is how difficult it is to make the JST plugs. Those crimp on inserts are so dang small, definitely not as easy as a Molex. I may change the inputs and such to something a little easier to make.

The 2mm screws did not arrive yet for the OLED but as soon as they do it will it get secured to the board… but I am impatient and wanted to see everything else mounted while I wait.

Input, feedback, criticism, ideas, are all welcome. Fire away.

Cheers,
Tom

Board Top

Board Bottom

Assembled

Swanky Switches. :slight_smile:

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Congrats on the first PCB working as expected!

I know it took lots of learning and tinkering to get to this point :beer:

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Thank you Ryan,
Now working on a smaller version along with trying to tackle Losant. I am making some progress but stuck on a few little things trying to graph the data… story of my life with the new IOT project I have created for myself. lol.