A few years past we put together a custom board that would accept an Electron and allow us to monitor Rural fire water tanks out in the middle of nowhere via the Cell network.
This version has a Solar Lipo battery charger, a 24v boost DC-DC converter, FRAM memory storage, a Pressure temp sensor, Watchdog, optional Lora, accelerometer and a current sensor to monitor 4-20ma type sensors.
It’s a great little unit, but then the Particle mesh products came to market, and we wanted to update a few things.
We thought to ourselves, let’s modulize. Lets put all the various parts onto thier own feather, so that way when a customer wants a particular custom setup, we can quickly and easily swap things out and change things.
So we came up with the new and improved Monitoring system based on the featherwing ethos.
What you see here is a fully loaded 8 slot Feather main board with various feathers either designed in-house or sourced from external companies.
From top to bottom we have the following
- Boron, Argon or Xenon.
- Sensor board with FRAM, Accelerometer, BM280 pressure sensor and option Fuel Cell monitor.
- 12/24v Boost converter with dual Current sensor.
- RTC board to overcome the Missing Deep sleep waking capability of the newer Mesh products.
- Lora board. Allows extended range and alternative backup communication.
- Solar Lipo charger with current sensors. Can take a 10W 21v panel and charge a standard 3.7v cell.
- A weather station feather adapter to allow an anemometer, wind direction and rain gauge to be added.
- A 5v Boost converter adapter (from Polulo) with 4 serial (I2C or RS232) with each plug power controllable so that you can share multiple devices on a single RS232 line or same I2C address. (Grove version not shown).
- Watchdog and Interrupt, Enable controller. This is used in a special socket on the main board that allows each slot to have it’s own interrupt using the NC pin, and each EN to be controllable.
The Weather station, Lora and Grove board are currently just showing off the expand-ability and are not yet implemented in the current firmware, but the rest is very much working nicely together.
We’ve added a Fuelcell to the sensor board that is identical to the one supplied on the Boron so when we have either a Argon or Xenon plugged in, we can get the same readings of battery capacity as when we have a Boron. We also have instantaneous current usage from both the solar panel and battery.
We communicate with particle Cloud which a Node-Red server connects and masterminds the boards and acts as a Gateway to a thingboard front end which collates and shows all the status and data of each unit out in the field.
The node red flow allow two way communication and data manipulation between Thingsboard and the Particle device.
And things board page showing the status of one tank.
You can find more info on our Website s2j.io.